Best Soup: Kamasouptra
Every winter, when the harsh chill has calcified the surface of our skin and rendered our bones brittle as barleycorn, we turn to Kamasouptra. For a mere five bucks, there are few lunches better than a veggie chili and one of their warm, doughy rolls. But really any of their selection of hearty, life-giving soups (broccoli-cheddar! grilled cheese and tomato soup!) will put us back on the map again. And while the situation’s less dire come summer, we keep coming back anyway, for their chilled offerings (try the bouktouf, it’s amazing).
28 Monument Way, Portland | the Maine Mall food court | 207.415.6692 | kamasouptra.com
Best Splurge: Fore Street
In many ways, Fore Street is the restaurant that got people to first start taking Portland seriously as a foodie town. Opened way back in 1996, the evolving platter of local fish, vegetables, game, and seafood that chef Sam Hayward has cobbled together over the years has become stuff of national legend. It’s pricey, sure, but it’s worth every penny, and will undoubtedly be one of the most memorable dining experiences you’ll have, in Portland or anywhere else.
288 Fore St, Portland | 207.775.2717 | forestreet.biz
Best Sports Bar + Best Wings: Binga’s Stadium
A good sports bar calls for a few things: cold beers, good snacks, and as many big-screen TVs as’ll fit in the place. Binga’s Stadium boasts all of the above. Whether your sport is baseball, hockey, poker, or trivia, you’ll find like-minded folks here at the Stadium, where the brewskis flow, the wings are cooked to messy perfection, and the game is always on. For the wings, our favorites are the Diesel, Spice Girl, and KGB sauces. Judge for yourself on Wednesdays, when all wings and tenders are half-price until 8 pm!
77 Free St, Portland | 207.699.GAME | bingasstadium.com | Binga’s Yarmouth, 907 US Route 1 | 207.846.8736 | bingaswingas.com
Best Steak: Grill Room
Made of the best cuts, and grilled — as if there is any other way to cook a steak — to perfection, the meat at the Grill Room is top-notch and accompanied by your choice of sauces, as well as satisfying a la carte sides. An excellent combination is hanger steak, red wine sauce, and mushroom risotto; for more zing, have the skirt steak with zippy sauce and spicy broccoli. Whatever you choose, just don’t order it “well done” (that’s a sign to the chef you’re not serious about your beef, and, frankly, an insult to your taste buds, which can take real meaty flavor). If you’re in doubt, ask how the chef recommends it; if you like control, go for medium rare.
84 Exchange St, Portland | 207.774.2333 | thegrillroomandbar.com
Best Vegetarian Restaurant: Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro
Steeped in subtle spices, mouthwatering curries, and whispers of coconut, the food at Green Elephant transcends what we’ve come to expect from vegetarian food. Besides their smoking good pad thai, Green Elephant has delicious spring rolls, a hearty tikka masala, and a soul-warming coconut soup among its staples. Add to that its elegant interior and terrific waitstaff and you’ve got one of the most attractive options in the whole city. Missing of meat doesn’t even enter into the equation.
608 Congress St, Portland | 207.347.3111 | greenelephantmaine.com