Portland’s Old Port makes “best drinking neighborhoods in the country” list

Up against the likes of New York City’s Williamsburg, Chicago’s Logan Square, Miami’s South Beach, and New Orleans’ French Quarter neighborhoods, Portland’s Old Port has been ranked by Thrillist as one of the top 16 drinking spots in the country.

Here’s what Thrillist had to say about the historic Old Port:

“The Old Port with those classic cobblestone streets and proximity to the water, has not exactly been off of the Mainer community’s radar. In fact, it’s been the place to drink in Portland for many, many years. It’s just that — in the last few — it’s made some serious headway to the point where people from Boston make the two-hour drive up and get jealous.

Let’s start with some staples: Gritty McDuff’s, the legendary brewpub, is a must-visit for its in-house beers. Novare Res Bier Cafe is absolutely legit, and features a couple dozen imports you rarely find anywhere on draft. And if you want cocktails, few do them better than the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club (a former best new bar in the country recipient), and Grace, the former church, now restaurant/bar. And yes, none of this would be complete if we didn’t shout out Fore Play, the sports bar with the best/worst name in the city that you inevitably end up at late night.”

The 16 selections are not ranked, but rather grouped together, so according to this list the Old Port stands evenly with the neighborhoods from the biggest cities in the country.

As for the criteria of the rankings, Thrillist gives this for an explanation:

“In the end, while taking quality, quantity, and variety into account, what really sets the best drinking ‘hoods apart is that feeling that you’re having an imbibing experience that you couldn’t quite be having anyplace else. In 2015, you can absolutely find that feeling in these 16 neighborhoods.”

What do you think?

Chris Shorr

About Chris Shorr

Chris is a sixth generation Portlander who loves all things Maine. He has worked with mentally ill and marginalized adults at a Portland non-profit, on a lobster boat in Casco Bay, at several high-end Portland restaurants, and at a local meat packing plant. He also ran for Portland City Council in 2013, wrote a weekly column in the now defunct Portland Daily Sun, and currently writes a weekly column in The Portland Phoenix.