Food tastings provide enough for lunch.
Tour takes place in rain, snow or shine. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes for walking.
Tours run Tuesday - Saturday, June through November, 11:00a.m. - 2:00p.m.
Small tour groups of no more than 12 guests and best for adults and older children.
Vegetarian substitutions are available.
About 1 mile of easy walking.
For Maine visitors and locals alike, top interests include food and beverage. The restaurant scene in Portland has become globally renowned for its innovation and quality, but there is also an important and vibrant story behind the plate that interconnects the land, the sea and the people of Maine, that have made it, over time, into the food city it is today.
Maine Food for Thought is a 3 hour educational culinary walking tour in Portland’s historic Old Port where the cuisine reveals distinctive stories of Maine’s unique food system, the path that food travels from land and sea to fork, and its impact on the people and the environment along the way.
In small groups of no more than 12, participants will sample delicious, locally sourced and seasonal dishes from some of Portland’s nationally-acclaimed chefs, that tell a story of why Maine is on the map as a must visit destination for quality, sustainable and traceable food. The tour uses the medium of great food as a vehicle to advance this greater sense of community, responsibility, and the joy that comes from eating a remarkable meal and knowing a little more about your relationship to the food, the farmer, the forager, and the source.
Attendees can expect to go forward with a renewed and authentic perspective of Maine’s place- based advantages, challenges and innovation in the food sector and how these parts interact and impact the health of localized economies, ecosystems, and communities. We can all create change, one forkful at a time.
Our name represents the restaurant’s
relationship with the community – the local
farmers, ﬁshermen, brewers and craftsmen
that create the uniquely Portland experience.
EVO Kitchen + Bar
EVO kitchen + bar cooks contemporary
Mediterranean and Middle Eastern inspired
food using local, seasonal ingredients.
Solo Italiano represents truly authentic,
Italian cuisine. All components are
prepared by hand and are fresh from
the farm and sea.
Scales is a local seafood restaurant
focusing on the best quality ingredients
sourced locally whenever possible.
East Ender is a casual, two level restaurant
located on Portland’s food famous
Piccolo is a restaurant where everything is
made with the best local produce, ﬁsh, meat,
and the ﬁnest imported Italian ingredients.
The meeting location is UNION Restaurant, 390 Congress Street. Please enter the restaurant at the Congress St. doors and your guide will meet you just inside the restaurant. If you are driving, there is a $3 an hour, or $16 a day, public parking lot nearby - Top of the Old Port Parking, 119 Pearl Street, Portland. This lot is cash only and there is also another lot at 385 Congress St. that takes debit/credit cards. Please arrive 10-15 minutes early to ensure a prompt tour start at 11:00am.
390 Congress Street
Portland, ME, USA
The tour is designed to showcase the Maine food system. We have carefully selected food tastings in partnership with our restaurants that reflect the uniqueness of our area and its food scene, and these selections often include seafood, wheat, and dairy products. We CAN accommodate vegetarian/pescatarian/no shellfish diets. Please understand that we have limited tastings that meet other dietary preferences, and that substitutions may not resemble the selections made for guests without restrictions, or may not be available at all.
Yes, advance ticket purchase is required. To maximize your chances of securing the date, time, and number of tickets you prefer, please book well in advance.
Maine Food for Thought Tours serves enough food that participants feel comfortably full at the conclusion of the tour. We view the tour as serving as your lunch meal for the day.
The tour covers about one mile of easy walking, pretty much on level ground, and provides sit down food tastings and restroom breaks. The tour generally lasts about 3 hours. We recommend that you wear comfortable shoes.
Yes! In fact, many of our attendees are local. Maine Food for Thought is an educational food tour that reveals the story behind the plate of the unique Maine food system. Locals are often surprised to learn things about Maine’s food sector that they never knew before and the restaurants that are going beyond their bottom line to source locally and support the broader Maine economy.
Still have questions? Visit our FAQ page to submit your own
Robert L, Montreal, Canada, TripAdvisor Review
"Who would think that a food tour could accomplish so much in 3 short hours? It was truly an enlightening experience in many regards. It not only showcases great local products in creative dishes but also feeds the mind with historical and economical regional perspectives. A wonderful experience!"