“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast” according to John Gunther. What a perceptive man he must have been. I think this has been a guiding philosophy throughout my husband’s life, and it has certainly become one in mine as well.

I wasn’t always a big fan of sitting down to a large meal first thing in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the food I didn’t care for, just the time of day. Over the years though, my husband has taught me to really appreciate, and even look forward to a good leisurely breakfast as a way to start the day. Especially when we are on vacation.

Let’s face it, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! It helps you wake up and get moving, fuels your body and brain for the day ahead, sharpens your mental focus, and keeps you from getting hangry.

For us, breakfast sets the tone for our whole day. It’s a time to enjoy each other’s company, learn about the community & plan out our adventures.

We just got back from a visit to Portland, Maine. While we were there, we enjoyed all kinds of great food, but there were a few breakfast places that really stood out and helped get our days off to an amazing start. Here they are in no particular order. Each of them is unique in their own way, so don’t be afraid to try them all!

1. Becky’s Diner

A hometown diner right on the wharf. We saw it just after crossing over the bridge from South Portland. By the looks of the line outside, we knew that was where we needed to stop and were hopeful it would be worth the wait. Let me tell you, we weren’t disappointed. We could see right away why Becky’s is a favorite amongst both locals and tourists.The casual diner atmosphere was very comfortable and we were greeted with warm smiles from friendly and welcoming staff. The only downside was that they were all sold out of the blueberry muffins Ryan had been craving, but the lemon coconut muffin filled the gap well. They cut it in half and grilled it, serving it warm which was a nice touch. If you’re in Maine for the lobster, I highly recommend the lobster swiss omelet. I asked them to add some spinach to mine, which they were happy to do. It came loaded with juicy chucks of lobster meat and rich gooey melted cheese. It was absolutely delicious!

Becky's Diner
Becky’s Diner



Lobster omelet at Becky's Diner
Lobster omelet at Becky’s Diner

2. 158 Picket Street Cafe

If you’re looking for a casual breakfast in the South Portland area, this is the place to go! The service at this quirky little cafe was super friendly and upbeat. We enjoyed handmade bagels, topped with fresh ingredients, and delicious iced mocha, in their cozy little backyard garden.

A nice assortment of handmade bagels to choose from at 158 Picket Street Cafe
A breakfast bagel sandwich at 158 Picket Street Cafe overflowing with eggs, cheese, meat and fresh spinach

3. Bayside American Cafe

We found this cute little cafe at the corner of Portland Street and Forest Avenue. The old two-story building was full of charm and offered a beautiful setting for brunch. We sat outside on the 2nd floor deck, overlooking the garden. They offer a nice array of breakfast cocktails and our waitress was quick to recommend their Absolution, a fruity twist on a traditional mimosa. I also enjoyed the Honeymoon which combines Maine Mead Works honey mead with champagne and OJ for a sort of meadmosa.Ryan had the make your own omelette, filled with his own combination of toppings. It looked light, fluffy and delicious. I had the lobster Benedict which was amazing! Just the right amount of lobster perched atop a slightly toasted english muffin, with fresh spinach and two perfectly poached eggs, all of it dripping with rich, creamy hollandaise sauce. It was probably one of the best eggs Benedict I have ever had!

The front entrance to Bayside American Cafe
One of the brunch specialties at Bayside American Cafe, the lobster Benedict, was more than delicious you can imagine


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