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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 On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: August 26, 2015

Dining Guide: 5 Portland places to try for breakfast

You probably already know about the diners and the other usual (and good) suspects for a morning meal in Portland. But if you haven’t been to breakfast at these hot spots, put them on your list.

Written by: Susan Axelrod

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

Aurora Provisions

Aurora Provisions is an institution on Portland's West Side. Press Herald file photo

Aurora Provisions is an institution on Portland’s West Side. Press Herald file photo

64 Pine St., Portland | 207-871-9060  | | $$
The cafe at Aurora, known for off-premise catering and gourmet take-out, has been a West End Haunt for 15 years. Locals stop in for a breakfast of homemade granola and raspberry scones, or a breakfast panini (which usually sell out pretty quickly) and locally roasted Carpe Diem coffee. The blackboard menus also lists a variety of smoothies, and Aurora’s substantial oatmeal, nut and fruit breakfast bar is one of best around. There’s outdoor seating in the warmer months and (bonus) a parking lot.


390 Congress St., Portland | 877-890-5641 | | $$$
Portland’s newest place for power breakfasts is in the chic new Press Hotel, the former home of The Portland Press Herald, across the street from City Hall. French press coffee service is available, as is a “detox smoothie.” On the menu: Croissant with “local artisanal cheese and salumi, hard boiled egg, fennel mustard and fig jam,” and “vanilla brioche French toast with local maple syrup, whipped butter and grated cinnamon,” along with omelets, benedicts, fruit and yogurt. There’s also a kids menu, because not everyone is there on business.

Local Sprouts Cafe

Co-owner Jonah Fertig at Local Sprouts Cafe. Press Herald file photo

Co-owner Jonah Fertig at Local Sprouts Cafe. Press Herald file photo

649 Congress St., Portland | 207-899-3529 | | $
Run by Local Sprouts Cooperative, the cafe uses local, organic ingredients and offers budget friendly food that will please vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters. It also may be the only place in town where you can get authentic Acadian ployes — French Canadian pancakes made with buckwheat flour. You’ll also find a vegan tofu scramble, vegetable fried rice, a hearty breakfast burrito and plenty of baked goods. The atmosphere is earthy, casual, and ideal for families with kids.

OhNo Cafe

87 Brackett St., Portland | 207-774-0773 | | $
Slightly off the beaten path in the West End, quirky OhNo Cafe is known for its breakfast sandwiches, served on a bagel, bialy, or English muffin. Favorites include maple glazed prosciutto, egg, Vermont cheddar and Tabasco on a bagel and Browne Trading’s smoked salmon, cream cheese, spinach and red onion on a bialy, but you can also come up with your own combination. There are a few tables and a bench outside, which is a great spot for people watching. Or take your sandwich down the block to Harbor View Memorial Park.

Hot Suppa

The dining room at Hot Suppa. Press Herald file photo

The dining room at Hot Suppa. Press Herald file photo

703 Congress St. Portland | 207-871-5005 | | $$
Home-style Southern cooking is the distinguishing characteristic of this cozy spot in the West End, which despite its name also serves breakfast and lunch. Biscuits and sausage gravy, corned beef hash and buttermilk waffles (plain, or with bacon or pecans) are highlights of the menu, but you can also get 7-grain porridge from Maine’s Fiddler’s Green Farm, New York-style bagels with smoked salmon and eggs benedict with fried green tomatoes or pulled pork, in addition to the usual egg dishes. In good weather, try to grab a table on the back patio.

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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