Josh Christie publishes the blog Brews and Books.
Breakfast: Wake N’ Bakery. The gimmick behind the Wake N’ Bakery – it’s a cafe AND a blown glass shop! – makes for a good name, but it wouldn’t matter if the place sucked. Luckily, the Wake n’ Bake is an exceptionally good bakery and they can blow some gorgeous glass. Meals tend to be on the hearty end of things, with huge omelettes, bulky burritos, massive wraps and big breakfast sandwiches making up the menu. Add to that a coffee bar and a nice bar bar for some hair of the dog, and you’ve got a killer breakfast joint.
Lunch: Peanut Butter Jelly Time. If you want an inexpensive lunch that has you covered in the comfort food department, PBJT is the place to beat. The sandwich stand just off Monument Square serves up sandwiches for just a couple of bucks, and offers options out the wazoo. On top of peanut butter (crunchy and smooth) and almost a dozen different jellies, PBJT has tons of different breads and other toppings like Fluff, bananas and cinnamon sugar. Not up for a sandwich? Three words: Cold. Cereal. Bar.
Dinner: Silly’s. There’s not another restaurant in the world quite like Silly’s. If Roald Dahl ever designed a diner, it would be something like this – funky stuff all over the walls, quirky staff, and an out-of-this-world menu. A maple, pecan, molasses, chocolate and blueberry shake? You got it. Coleslaw, fried tofu, tomatoes, pickles, vegan bbq sauce in a wrap? Boom, it’s called the “Bio Diesel.” A PeppaKalaSpinaVeganDocious pizza? I don’t know what’s in it, but you can get one. Double-bonus-awesome points to Silly’s vegan and vegetarian menu, which means the menu has plenty in store for you no matter your diet.
Lagniappe: Novare Res Bier Cafe. The first three places on this list are way down on the low end of the cost spectrum – Novare Res is what you’ve been saving your money for. 25 taps, 2 hand-pumps and over 300 bottled beers to choose from. If you’re looking for beer nirvana, you’ve found it. Add to this some seriously awesome events, and Novare is one of the truly can’t miss bars of Portland’s bustling Old Port.