Updated weekly, this round-up summarizes the latest restaurant news from New England, beyond the borders of Massachusetts — restaurant openings, closures, and more in Portsmouth, Providence, Portland, and elsewhere. (Find the archive of last season’s news here.)
Check back for updates — the most recent ones will always be at the top — and email email@example.com with any tips pertaining to New England restaurant news.
Note: Jump to the bottom of this page for a list of other links pertaining to New England dining, including a guide to Portsmouth and Kittery, an archive of Maine news, a map of the hottest new restaurants in Providence, and more.
September 10, 2019
PORTLAND, MAINE — A hotel that’s partnered with Shipyard Brewing is set to open in 2021, and there are now a few more details on the full spectrum of what it will feature. The so-called “brewtel” (25 Hancock St.) will have a craft beer theme with an indoor-outdoor rooftop bar. The roof will also double as a hop-growing space for Shipyard.
A bubble tea shop is in the works for Portland’s Longfellow Square. Uncharted Tea (662 Congress St.) comes from owners Michael Bowser and Emma Vonderheide, who aim to serve a variety of teas with local ingredients.
Portland also has a new food cart called Chula (tagline: elotes locos). The street corn business sources its corn from Fenderson Farm in Saco, Maine, and serves elote with a variety of toppings, such as Takis Fuego, which is a sprinkling of the crumbled hot chile and lime snack over the corn, served with a crema drizzle. Another option comes with striking blue and pink cotija and a blue crema drizzle.
A vegan ice cream shop just opened in Portland. Sticky Sweet (119 Cumberland Ave.) serves fully gluten- and dairy-free ice creams Thursday through Sunday, with flavors like lemon fig cookie, sea salted maple, and Meyer lemon cheesecake, among others.
The new owner of Pat’s Pizza Old Port (30 Market St.) has some big plans for the business. Mike Lizotte, who also operates the Drink Exchange (an interactive stock market-structured bar), will add a speakeasy component to the restaurant, complete with a secret entrance. The restaurant will reopen on September 20, with the speakeasy opening New Year’s Eve. The first 100 customers to return to the restaurant this month will get free pizza for a year.
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND — Providence civic leaders aim to swing momentum towards establishing a designated nightlife area of Providence. Dylan Conley, the chairman of the city’s liquor authority, proposed a 24-hour nightclub district where businesses could theoretically operate with fewer restrictions than clubs in other parts of the city that are forced to shut down at 2 a.m. It would ease certain regulations regarding bottle service, hookah smoking, and noise.
September 3, 2019
ANDOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE — The Refinery (4 Mill Rd.) is a market and restaurant operating in Andover, with the restaurant open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday. The menu includes dishes like barbecue platters, sandwiches, soups, and much more.
BATH, MAINE — Sisters Gourmet Deli of Portland now has a location in Bath (45 Vine St.). The new addition serves breakfast and lunch sandwiches as well as salads, and offers catering of sandwich and platters, veggie plates, cheese and meats, and more.
FREEPORT, MAINE — Arabian Sisters Kitchen (20 Bow St.) has opened a stall at the Freeport outlets, serving falafel and shawarma bowls and wraps, salads, and baklava.
MANCHESTER, CONNECTICUT — Urban Lodge Brewing Company (47 Purnell Pl.) opened in late August and is now pouring pints of golden ales, New England-style IPAs, and milk stouts in Manchester. The brewery also serves ciders and wines by the glass or bottle, and the facility has outdoor space in addition to an appropriately lodge-style interior.
NORTH CONWAY, NEW HAMPSHIRE — South Paris, Maine-based Luchador Tacos has expanded to North Conway, opening at 1833 White Mountain Hwy. The restaurant serves East Los Angeles-style tacos and taco salads, with assorted toppings.
OGUNQUIT, MAINE — The Crooked Pine (30 Shore Rd.) opened over the summer and has a long list of cocktails, champagne, and sparking wines, among other beverages. The food menu features items like confit chicken sandwiches, seared scallops, bone-in ribeye, and duck wings with a spicy sesame gochujang.
August 27, 2019
PORTLAND, MAINE — A development project in Portland will be home to a large food hall filled with as many as 30 local vendors. The 58 Fore project aims to repurpose factory space into retail and restaurant space, including a new home for Evo Kitchen + Bar, which currently operates down the road at 443 Fore St. Specific details on the food hall vendors are not yet available, but stay tuned for updates.
A long-running Portland restaurant and its young sibling will both close down as owner Colleen Kelley focuses on family matters. Simply Vegan by Silly’s is now closed, per a Facebook post from the restaurant, while its 31-year-old sibling Silly’s will close for good next month. Kelley shared a personal explanation for the closure, including her desire to care for her father. She and her sister have sold the building, and Silly’s will close September 1. Kelley has not ruled out the possibility of rebuilding Silly’s in a different space or form in the future.
In other Portland restaurant closure news, Lolita Vinoteca and Asador (90 Congress St.) will say goodbye on September 2. The East End restaurant first opened in 2014 under the direction of owners Guy and Stella Hernandez and business partners Neil and Lauren Reiter and Bob Manheimer. Lolita showcases a mix of Mediterranean flavors with local ingredients and serves wine, beer, and cocktails. “We are grateful to our amazing guests & the vendors we’ve partnered with over the years. We’re grateful to our past & present teams who have worked tirelessly alongside us,” a message from the owners read.
Elsewhere in Portland, a new restaurant will open in the building that was previously home to Vignola/Cinque Terre. Owner Joshua Miranda (Blyth and Burrows) will reportedly open an upscale restaurant and cocktail bar at 10 Dana St., with a private event space as well. The as-yet unnamed business could open in late fall.
Meanwhile, a location of Crooked Mile Cafe that’s been closed since October 2017 as a result of damage due to a car crash has officially reopened. The 428 Brighton Ave. restaurant is back in business, rejoining another location on Milk Street. The cafe serves breakfast and lunch sandwiches, bagels, soups, and more.
August 13, 2019
BURLINGTON, VERMONT — Red Panda (161 Church St.) is now open, serving Himalayan dishes and Nepali dumplings. The menu has selections of soup, appetizers like paneer rolls and samosas, vegetarian and vegan curries, and assorted meat dishes.
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND — A speakeasy has opened in Providence. Far West (55 Cromwell St.) is located inside the Rooms & Works building, accessible by phoning a number listed outside on a chalkboard. The bar serves colorful cocktails, wine, beer, and snacks Wednesday through Sunday, and it hosts the occasional pop-up, sharing details on its Facebook page for each.
Meanwhile, a waffle truck has hit the streets of Providence, serving Liege-style waffles with an assortment of toppings. The Burgundian has been distributing waffles to various cafes, restaurants, and farmers markets for a few years, but it now has a truck of its own. There are sweet options for the waffles, like cinnamon sugar and dulce de leche caramel sauce, as well as savory, including a waffle topped with brown butter sage sausage gravy and Gruyere.
August 6, 2019
KITTERY, MAINE — Tacocat Truck is now in business in Kittery, parking at 230 State Rd. Wednesday through Sunday. The food truck — from native New Englanders who spent the past 14 years in Los Angeles — serves carne asada, carnitas, chicken, shrimp, and sweet potato and mushroom tacos, with sides of rice, salsa, and refried beans. It also foregoes single-use plastics in its service ware.
NASHUA, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Rhum Caribbean Cuisine and Rum Bar (138 Main St.) opened last month in Nashua, serving dishes like jerk wings, tostones, and shrimp mofongitos, as well as a selection of rum.
PORTLAND, MAINE — Po’ Boys & Pickles debuted its second location in Portland, opening at 225 Federal St. a few days ago. The restaurant serves a wide variety of half- and full-size po’ boys, with assorted meats and seafoods packed into the buns. There are also salads, sides, and platters, as well as biscuits and some breakfast items.
Roots Café of Westbrook has a Portland counterpart opening soon. The restaurant’s been cagey about announcing the exact address, but it appears the second Roots will be in the Clark’s Pond area. The cafe serves gluten-free items, coffee, and tea, as well as crepes, pastries, and more.
Saco’s Quiero Cafe (8 Pepperell Sq., Saco) now has a second location open in Portland (3 Deering Ave.). The restaurant’s menu includes coffee and tea, as well as empanadas, Cuban sandwiches, hot dogs, and juices, among other items.
PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Red Rover Creamery (150 State St.) is now open in Portsmouth, serving ice cream flavors like blueberry, mocha almond fudge, mint chip, and more. There are also ice cream sandwiches, made with snickerdoodles, chocolate wafers, and chocolate chip cookies.
July 30, 2019
MEREDITH, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Twin Barns Brewing Company (194 Daniel Webster Hwy.) is now open, serving a lineup of beers that include blonde ales, New England IPAs, porters, stouts, and more. The brewery also serves food, with pretzels, wings, sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, and mac and cheese on the menu.
PORTLAND, MAINE — Two waterfront restaurants in Portland are temporarily closed following a fire. Flatbread and Ri Ra Irish Pub (72 Commercial St.) both closed following the Sunday fire and will have to meet with the city to finalize code-abiding repair plans.
A pop-up dinner series in Portland will soon settle into a permanent location. Owners Jake and Raquel Stevens will construct a restaurant at 85 Free St. for Leeward. As with the pop-up, the duo will serve pasta, wine, and cocktails.
Taytene Cafe is under construction at 863 Broadway in South Portland, where it will reportedly serve coffee, bubble tea, smoothies, bread, banh mi, and pho.
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND — A new Providence food hall spans two stories and 10,000 square feet of space, and it’s entirely filled with vegan food. Plant City (334 S. Water St.) is now open under the direction of chef Matthew Kenney and his company, which focuses on vegan dining and healthful cooking. The food hall options include quick service, takeout, and full-service dining, with foods ranging from pizza and sandwiches to smoothies, burgers, and mac and cheese.
YARMOUTH, MAINE — Chef Christian Hayes — a Chopped champion and the longtime operator of Dandelion Catering Company with his wife, Christine — opened a restaurant in Yarmouth. The Garrison (81 Bridge St.) serves a smattering of Asian and Mediterranean dishes, including beef cheeks with ginger tamari, fried chicken sandwiches, and lamb with grilled flatbread.
July 16, 2019
DOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Smuttynose Brewing Co. will expand to Dover, opening Smuttlabs Brewery & Kitchen at 47 Washington St. — previously home to 7th Settlement Brewery — later this summer. It will have 16 taps, featuring Smuttlabs’ small-batch, experimental brews as well as some core Smuttynose offerings, and a food menu that incorporates beer in a variety of ways.
PORTLAND, MAINE — An ice cream truck launched this month in Portland. Maine Maple Creemee Co. debuted its “creemees” — Vermont’s name for soft serve, traditionally maple-flavored — with owner Hannah Daman serving very New England flavors like maple and wild blueberry.
Slice of Heaven is now open in Portland’s Public Market House. The stall, which took over for Totally Tubers, serves desserts that are made without gluten or animal products. Flavors for cakes, bars, and snacks include white chocolate almond with raspberry, lemon ginger, pink peppermint, and matcha vanilla.
PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Luigi’s West End Pizzeria (801 Islington St.) is now open in Portsmouth, replacing Street’za. The restaurant’s menu includes pizzas, sandwiches, pasta dishes, salads, and a handful of appetizers. It’s part of the Portsmouth restaurant family that includes Moxy, the Franklin, and more.
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND — The Shop on Westminster (1551 Westminster St.) opened recently in Providence, serving Middle Eastern fare, like kibbeh, shawarma, and falafel with Syrian bread, assorted seafood entrees, and more.
July 9, 2019
BIDDEFORD, MAINE — Lorne Wine (61 Main St.), a wine bar and store, has made its debut in Biddeford. Owners Carson James and Erin Sheehan have stocked a selection of organic and biodynamic wines, as well as beer and cider, and the bar is open for pours six days a week.
A Portland bakery will relocate to Biddeford. Scattaloni Bakery (1 Monument Sq.) will cease operations in Portland on August 2 to prepare for the move. Owner Andrea Swanson will focus on wholesale and baking classes in the new location and will offer special orders.
ISLAND POND, VERMONT — A poutine pop-up that used to be based in Lowell, Massachusetts, and later moved to New Hampshire has launched a crowdfunding campaign to fuel its buildout of a permanent space in Vermont. Vulgar Display of Poutine will put funds raised towards startup costs, including lease deposits, inventory purchases, and permits. When it opens, look out for fully-loaded poutines, both traditional and not (think toppings of mac and cheese and smoked pastrami).
PORTLAND, MAINE — Three of Strong Spirits (35B Diamond St.) is now open, offering distillery tours, as well as tastings. The bar serves three house cocktails and three classics, including an Old Fashioned. There is also a daily punch and bar snacks like popcorn, Mediterranean olives, flatbread and hummus, and key lime pie. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 9 p.m.
Speckled Ax Coffee will open a second location in Portland (20 Thames St.). Owner Matt Bolinder plans to expand his focus on sustainable coffee sourcing. Keep tabs on progress of the buildout on the company’s Instagram page.
Local Sprouts Cafe (645 Congress St.) has closed after nine years in business. The business ran as a co-op, owned and operated by its employees.
Brewery Extrava (66 Cove St.) held a teaser opening over the July 4 holiday weekend, and it will open with its full schedule on July 19. The brewery’s selections include a dark session ale, a saison, and an IPA.
Dean’s Sweets (54 Cove St.) is open as of July 5. Owners Dean Bingham and Kristin Bingham prepare and sell an array of truffles, caramels, and buttercream sweets, from chocolate stout truffles to milk chocolate bars with potato chips.
PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Luigi’s West End Pizzeria (801 Islington St.) is opening any day now in Portsmouth, where it will serve an array of pizzas, plus assorted sandwiches, pasta dishes, fried calamari, and salads. Keep apprised of the exact opening date on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
July 2, 2019
BELFAST, MAINE — The Alchemist Café (9D Beaver St.) is now open, serving a vegan menu, including pressed juices and pastries like caramel crunch tarts, salads, soups, and more. The cafe operates from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
CAMBRIDGE, VERMONT — A burglary at Smuggler’s Notch Distillery left the company hundreds of dollars lighter on bourbon and vodka. Police said the theft occurred overnight from Sunday, June 30, into Monday morning at the distillery, which also makes whiskey and gin.
HAMPTON, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Whym Craft Beer Cafe will relocate from Portsmouth to expand into brewing operations. Owner Alex Aviles will take over Ron Jillian’s and Revel 853 on Route 1 in Hampton, bringing on co-owners Matt Barrett, who has brewing experience at places like Great Rhythm and Moat Mountain, and Bob Levine.
PORTLAND, MAINE — An ice cream food truck makes its debut in Portland this week. Twist will be parked on the corner of Congress and Merrill Streets on July 4, starting at 2 p.m. It will have a holiday special of vanilla ice cream with Maine wild blueberries and strawberries, a white chocolate shell, sprinkles, and popping rock candy. There will also be shakes, with dairy-free options and popsicles as well.
PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Tuscan Market (14 Market Sq.) is now open in the heart of Portsmouth, in the building that until earlier this year housed the 15-year-old Breaking New Grounds cafe. Tuscan Market — which is a market as well as a cafe — offers a selection of Italian goods like pasta and bread, house-cured salami, and cheese, plus made-to-order lunches and dinners, coffee, and gelato. It’s part of a small Massachusetts and New Hampshire chain that includes Tuscan Market locations as well as full-service Tuscan Kitchen restaurants, including a sizable one in Boston’s Seaport District that opened in late 2017.
June 25, 2019
BRIDGEPORT, CONNECTICUT — The Blind Rhino (3425 Fairfield Ave.) is now open, joining a counterpart in Norwalk. The sports bar from Casey Dohme and partners Matt Bacco and Jamie Pantanella serves a similar menu to the original location, including chicken wings, burgers, wraps, and craft beer. The restaurant has plenty of televisions for sports viewing, as well as a patio, a front deck, and a bocce court.
NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND — Bar ‘Cino is now open in Newport. A member of the Newport Restaurant Group family, the full-service restaurant seats 60, serving items like grilled pizza, sandwiches, bruschetta, and cocktails. Bar ‘Cino is open for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 to 11 p.m. Lunch service will begin later this summer.
OGUNQUIT, MAINE — Treehouse Taqueria (237 Main St.) is now open, serving menu of tacos loaded up with ingredients like carne asada, chicken, seasonal vegetables, and lobster. There are three varieties each of guacamole, queso, and salsa as well, plus sides of rice, beans, and avocado slaw.
STONINGTON, MAINE — Chef Ryan McCaskey of Chicago’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant Acadia will open a casual sibling in Maine this weekend. Acadia House opens Saturday, June 29, at 27 Main St. in Stonington, and it is now taking reservations. The menus pay attention to local and seasonal sourcing, with dishes like lobster grilled cheese, mussels, roasted half chicken, and a build-your-own sundae bar (featuring Maine blueberry ice cream to start). The restaurant will operate Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. for dinner, with Sunday dinner also from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. The bar will remain open later. Acadia House has patio and bar seating available on a first come, first served basis.
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VERMONT — Anna Magoon, the owner and chef behind dumpling-centered catering business Dumps-A-GoGo, is now offering a CSA summer share of dumplings. For $50, customers secure three months worth of dumplings, 20 per month. A $125 share consists of 50 dumplings for three months. Both options will feature a variety of dumplings, depending on the seasonal availability of ingredients.
- New England’s 38 Essential Restaurants: A guide to the best of the best throughout New England, compiled by former Eater restaurant editor Bill Addison with the help of food writers from around the region.
- The 9 Hottest New Restaurants in Providence, Rhode Island: Updated periodically, this map highlights some of the hot new spots to hit the Providence dining scene.
- Eater Maine: Eater Boston’s sister site to the north has been largely retired, but stop by the homepage now and then for updates to major maps, such as the Heatmap, which tracks some of the hottest new openings.
- Maine Restaurant News Archive on Eater Boston: While most Maine news appears right here in this New England news round-up, older stories are archived at the Maine Restaurant News Archive link.
- A Guide to Dining and Drinking in Portsmouth and Kittery: Take a trip up to the New Hampshire-Maine border.
- Eater Recommends: What to Eat and Drink in Portsmouth and Kittery: Don’t have time to read the whole guide mentioned above? Skip to this map, which highlights some of the Eater Boston team’s Portsmouth and Kittery favorites.
- Where to Drink Beer in Portsmouth, New Hampshire: And here’s the beer-specific accompaniment to the above two links.