With coffee shops and cafes like Arabica, Crema, Speckled Ax, Tandem Coffee Roasters, and Bard, the peninsula has no shortage of great coffee and places to enjoy it at. If you are like me, though, you regularly find yourself traveling around off peninsula in the Greater Portland Area and less than knowledgeable about where to grab a cup of coffee.
I put a call out on Facebook and Twitter and asked fellow addicts where they get their fixes when they venture off peninsula and I was overwhelmed by the number of passionate and informative responses that came in. The following is a crowd-sourced list of coffee shops and cafes in the Greater Portland area and beyond. The baseline for this list is the availability of a good cup of coffee and, more often than not, a place to sit and enjoy it. Please keep in mind that not every shop listed is a full-service coffee bar by way of offering espresso.
Please feel free to offer your own suggestions in the comments section.
- European Bakery [Falmouth]: Elise writes: “The European Bakery in Falmouth is a tea room, but they sell coffee. And despite being very pink, it is a nice place to hang out. And baked goods.”
- The Local Buzz [Cape Elizabeth]: Diane says: “The space is fantastic, the food is great and at it doubles as a local bar.”Scott says that it has “lots of room to spread out, great coffee, great service.” Annie says: “The interior of the Buzz is comfortable, kid friendly, and a great coffee shop to work from when I really need to just put my head down and work. One of my favorite things about the Buzz is that it converts from coffee shop by day to a wine bar at night — something I really loved about all of the cafes in Cape Town when i studied in South Africa.”
- Big Sky [Portland,over by Artist and Craftsman]: Petra says: “Cool building, decent coffee.” Someone else said: “Freshly baked bread, 90′s music and a homemade bread dough table for the kids to play with. It’s a great retreat for parents. Not sure if they do espresso drinks.”
- Bogusha’s [Portland, Stevens Ave]: Petra says that they “also have great pierogi.”
- Scarborough Grounds [Scarborough]: Mario says: “Good food, good coffee, ample comfy seating and a punny name. Awesome.” Sarah says: “They mess up my order every other time I go in there, but it’s nice to grab an iced coffee there on your way to ferry beach.”
- Lois’ Natural Marketplace [Scarborough]: Amy says that they are “decent in a pinch.”
- Scratch – South Portland: Kevin says: “Scratch has Matt’s, which goes great with a Chocolate Chip Hooray!”
- 158 [South Portland]: These guys, who I love, came up a number of times and sparked a conversation about the difference between coffee shops and cafes. They don’t have a full service coffee bar, but they serve coffee and great food and their location is a lovely one for sitting in while enjoying a cup. Also, they don’t have a wireless signal, so while it might not be the best place to catch up on work, it is a great place to go to in order to regain your sanity.
- Verbena [South Portland]: Claire says you can “always get a tasty treat with a coffee and sink into a chair and read the paper.” Mario says: “I love that place. Good coffee, good food. And Melissa is really nice.”
- Maine Roasters [Yarmouth]: Amanda says: “The atmosphere is admittedly a little weird, but I love the coffee. Rocky Coast Roast (the house blend) is my favorite coffee in the world. Or if you go there and a personal trainer-looking dude is behind the espresso machine, get a latte. He makes the best drinks.”
- Royal Bean [Yarmouth]: Chelsea says: The Royal Bean in Yarmouth is great because they’re really into their coffee and it’s Yarmouth’s biggest community hub–lots of business goes down in there! It’s always full of business people, freelancers, and a lot of times Moms and Dads (there’s a little play area for kids) just hanging out. The variety of seating is good–small tables for singles, big tables for larger gatherings (usually meetings!), and club chairs for reading. Outdoor tables for summer. I often end up talking to strangers in there because Jim, the owner, is so friendly, he kind of brings people together. The place is for sale—could be a cool opportunity for somebody who wants to do great coffee OFF THE PENINSULA.”
- The Daily Grind [Westbrook]: Mike says: “Believe it or not, there’s an awesome one-man (yes, it is a man, not being a post-feminist sexist pig by automatically using the male gender) drive-through coffee shack off Main St. in Westbrook.”
A LITTLE FURTHER OUTSIDE OF PORTLAND
- Gorham Grind [Gorham]: I go to the Gorham Grind every single morning I drive into Portland, as they are the half way point between my house in Cornish and the big city. The folks are friendly and they serve coffee roasted by Coffee By Design. It is also a nice little shop, so should you need to get some work done or meet up with a friend or colleague, it is a perfect match.
- The Good Life Market [Raymond]: Erika says: “I just love it. Great coffee, bakery items, amazing tea, wine, booze, cheese, produce selection with many local offerings. The sandwiches and daily food specials are to die for. There is also a great little seating area on the deck and picnic tables on the lawn.”
- Moses Dyer Coffee [Freeport]: Kate says they have “really good coffee.”
AND EVEN A LITTLE FURTHER THAN THAT
- Bread and Roses [Ogunquit]: Spencer says: “I recommend Bread and Roses. Mary Breen runs a great shop with consistently deliciously brewed coffee by Carpe Diem as well as baller pastries and lunchy bits.”
- Frontside Grind [North Conway]: C.r. says: “My boy Austin Orth roasts the coffee right at his house down the street. It’s killer stuff and his shop rocks.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Gorham Grind