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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod@mainetoday.com On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: October 22, 2015

Dining Guide: 5 gourmet markets where you can sit and nosh

Written by: Susan Axelrod

For full listings and more restaurants, see our searchable Restaurant & Bar Guide.

Key to prices
The approximate cost of two dinner entrees (not including appetizers, drinks, tax and gratuity.)
$ – $15 and under
$$ – $16 to $25
$$$ – $26 to $45
$$$$ – $46 and up

C Salt Gourmet Market

C Salt in Cape Elizabeth. Press Herald file photo

C Salt in Cape Elizabeth. Press Herald file photo

349 Ocean House Rd., Cape Elizabeth | 207-956-7700 | csaltgourmetmarket.com | $$
This one-year-old cafe and market is housed in a cheery, cottage-like structure right in the center of town, on Route 77 near the high school. Order from the blackboard menu over the counter in the center of the light-filled space, and choose one of several tables, or take your breakfast or lunch to go. The menu offers a variety of sandwiches — including ham, brie and honey mustard on a croissant and a house-roasted beef with cheddar, caramelized onions and chipotle mayo — burgers, grilled cheese, salads, soups, slab-style pizza and a large selection of baked goods.

Aurora Provisions

64 Pine St. Portland | 207-871-9060 | auroraprovisions.com | $$
The cafe at Aurora, known for off-premise catering and gourmet take-out, has been a West End Haunt for more than 15 years. Locals stop in for a breakfast of homemade granola and raspberry scones, or a breakfast panini and locally roasted Carpe Diem coffee. Lunch includes three homemade soups daily and a large sandwich selection, including house-roasted turkey breast and panini specials. Hot entrees vary between black bean burritos, chicken pot pie and quiches. Desserts are baked on site and include a choice of more than 50 brownies, bars and cookies. Lunch delivery is available, and there’s outdoor seating in the warmer months.

The Cheese Iron

A turkey on baguette and Va Bene Italiano sandwiches served at The Cheese Iron in Scarborough. Press Herald file photo

A turkey on baguette and Va Bene Italiano sandwiches served at The Cheese Iron in Scarborough. Press Herald file photo

200 U.S. 1, Scarborough | 207-883-4057 | thecheeseiron.com | $$
A European-style specialty food and wine shop that stocks more than 200 varieties of domestic and imported cheeses, The Cheese Iron is also known for its daily assortment of sandwiches. A proper Cubano is made with porchetta, organic applewood smoked ham, Morse’s mustard pickles, Swiss cheese and spicy mayo, and if you’re hankering for a grilled cheese, well, this is where you need to be. Take a seat in the middle of cheese lovers’ nirvana and if you have any room left after your lunch, the homemade cookies and bars offer more temptation.

Clayton’s Cafe & Bakery

The dining area of Clayton's Cafe in Yarmouth. Press Herald file photo

The dining area of Clayton’s Cafe in Yarmouth. Press Herald file photo

447 U.S. 1, Yarmouth | 207-846-1117 | claytonscafe.com | $$$
A Yarmouth institution, Clayton’s has it all: well-made breakfast and lunch sandwiches first-rate soups (fans rave about the butternut squash); dinners to-go; wine, desserts, coffee and to the delight of its younger visitors, a big selection of candy displayed in glass jars in its own section. The staff is super friendly and there’s a spacious eating area out of the way of the often-busy market.

The Good Life Market

The Good Life Market in Raymond. Press Herald file photo

The Good Life Market in Raymond. Press Herald file photo

1297 Roosevelt Trail, Raymond | 207-655-1196  | thegoodlifemarket.com | $$
Located in an old house, this market near Sebago Lake has tables in a couple of rooms where you can settle in with a hot or cold sandwich, salad, soup, smoothie or coffee from Swift River Roasters. IA fan favorite is the Godmother panini: Grilled jumbo shrimp, artichoke hearts, spinach, provolone cheese and garlic mayonnaise on focaccia. n the shop, you’ll find a large wine selection, cheeses, baked goods, even local organic produce.

Key to prices

The approximate cost of two breakfast entrees (not including drinks, tax and gratuity).
$ – $15 and under
$$ – $16 to $25
$$$ – $26 to $45
$$$$ – $46 and up

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