Ready for lunch? Don’t brown bag it by your laptop this summer. Hit the streets for outdoors eats. In the parks, pubs and breweries of Greater Portland there’s no shortage of patio options to accelerate your al fresco a go-go!
The latest is the sprawling patio at Tiqa Cafe and Bakery. Anchoring a key corner of Deering Oaks Park, Portland’s “Tavern on the Green” officially launched last week. The elevated patio next to a vintage castle with water fountain views is a primo place to soak up some sun, salads, shawarma and chardonnay. Near tennis courts, the farmers market and a new bocce court, it feels like an outdoor sports club with way better food. Bonus: wine by the glass tops out at $6. Go casual — shorts, sunscreen, frisbee and a friend.
Over in Congress Square, The Westin’s aptly named Congress Squared restaurant now features an inviting patio for power lunchers. Remember when this park was left for dead? Now you can nosh on mussels, gazpacho and grilled Reubens for lunch, and sup on lobster frites. At night, twinkling white lights feel downright Parisian. This park is slated for an overhaul, so dine here now while the dining is good.
A few blocks South, subterranean speakeasy Bramhall just broke ground on its new outdoor patio. According to Instagram, it will be ready in a few weeks. Good spot when you don’t want to see and be seen (tryst alert), but seek to imbibe in a hidden watering hole on the edge of the West End. Cuban sandwiches and cocktails like Nurse’s Aid, appease the appetites of nearby docs at Maine Medical and hipsters as well.
Over in Biddeford, the boys at Banded Horn Brewing are taking it to the streets, or deck in this case. York County’s favorite craft brewer is lowering the roof with their new, 650-square-foot back deck surrounded by brick mills. They’ll be grillin’ up brats from 4 to 9p at tonight’s Big Deck Party. Southern Maine’s tasting room without walls should be more crowded than Pine Point Beach this summer. All hands on deck!