Saturday, January 2, 2016

Café Catalog: Portland Maine

Tandem Coffee Roasters

Portland, Maine is frequently compared  to Portland, Oregon, and now I know why. Both have a liberal and laid back population. Both are quirky and artsy and have thriving counter-culture movements. Both have world-class restaurants, and top-notch cafes. Although Maine's Portland is about 1/10th the size or Oregon's, thankfully the quantity of good cafes is not proportional to that. While I have a list of my top 20 cafes in Portland, OR, I found 5 great cafes in Portland, ME.
Ranked in order.

1. Tandem Coffee Roasters
Housed in a vintage gas station, Tandem wins on all levels. Exceptional style, delicious coffee and pastries, and great for people watching. There is limited seating so this is not the place to work, but definitely the place to see and be seen.

2. Bard Coffee
Bard is the best cafe to work from in the city. In afternoons the place clears out and you can have your pick of seating. The coffee is also great here and I enjoy the large windows and natural lighting.

3. Speckled Axe
Another great option, this cafe is centrally located and had pretty fine coffee. I think I bumped it to third place because the music they were playing during the time I spent there was pretty annoying, and the bar stools were a bit uncomfortable. I would definitely go back if I lived in Maine. 

4. Omis
Omis is a charming cafe on the outskirts of downtown Portland. It is located in a fun and colorful old house and has unique latte flavors like lavender and honey. 

5. Black Cat
A nice place to work from in northern Portland. The ambiance is mediocre, but ti was quiet and conducive to writing. 

Honorable Mentions:

A beautiful cozy outdoor patio makes this place a great writing spot on a sunny summer afternoon. 


Coffee by Design
It feel a little too commercial for me, but Coffee by Design is a perfectly suitable local joint with multiple locations in Portland.

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