Best Budget Restaurants in Portland, Maine
“Augustah Maine, Portland!” the bus driver shouts out to passengers outside Boston Logan airport. After a scenic ride north, and a short cab into downtown, you finally arrive in Portland, Maine. The coastal breeze carries the smell of the historic seafood as you skip gleefully down the Old Port cobblestone streets. With Portland’s large list of award-winning restaurants, it can be intimidating if you don’t where to start. Traveling can be a heavy expense of its own, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on the impressive local cuisine. From clam ‘chowdah’ to ‘lobstah’ rolls here are a few budget-friendly restaurant options with my order recommendations totaling around $20 or less.
Veranda Noodle House
245 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101
This family-owned eatery on Commercial Street offers a varied menu featuring traditional Vietnamese dishes, specializing in pho. With a welcoming and attentive service staff, this relaxed atmosphere will transport you into a sense of peace as the pleasant aromas playfully dance around your warm bowl. The generous portion sizes exceed expectations; any pho dish comes with a fresh side of Thai basil, sliced jalapenos, bean sprouts, and lime wedges. Here’s my budget-friendly order recommendation:
Phở Gà (Chicken) $12
Large noodle soup with chicken.
Thai Dumplings (Pan-Fried or Steamed) (6) $8
Homemade dumpling dough stuffed with marinated ground pork. Served with ginger sauce.
5 Portland Pier, Portland, ME 04101
Local favorite known for serving buckets (literally) of steamed clams, drinks with a generous pour, and other seafood dishes; all in an intimate, often packed, bar atmosphere. Be sure not to pass by this classic experience of old Maine restaurants located on a pier of Portland’s working waterfront. The freshest clams, oysters, and mussels by the pile either at the bar or tableside. Here’s my budget-friendly order recommendation:
New England Clam Chowder $7
Haddock Filet* $11.50
Lightly breaded and pan-grilled.
390 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101
This wharf side diner feeds fisherman and passersby alike; with excellent customer service and a quality meal for any time of day, Becky’s Diner is a must-stop during your time in Portland. Boasting breakfast all day, Becky’s Diner brings you to the table of a quiant Maine home where the food is as comforting as the company. Here’s my budget-friendly order recommendation(s):
3 Blueberry Pancakes $8.95
2 Eggs, Any Style & Toast $4.50
Choice of white, wheat, rye, Italian, raisin, or English muffin. +75¢ for home fries +$1.50 for each additional egg. +$1.00 eggbeater or egg whites substitute.
Club Sandwich $8.95
Choice of Turkey, Hamburger*, Chicken Salad,
Tuna Salad, Ham, or Grilled Chicken Breast
with Lettuce, Tomato, Bacon & Mayonnaise on 3 pieces of toast.
Clam Cake $3.50
Lobster Roll* MARKET PRICE
Italian bread or biscuits served with all dinners along with two choices of the following: mashed potato, baked potato, french fries, vegetables or a side salad.