Where to go to get a sweet treat
Sweet Treats in Greater Portland, Maine
Whether you’re heading home from a long day at the beach or walking around Portland’s Old Port after a seafood dinner, you’ll have plenty of occasion to enjoy a sweet treat while visiting Greater Portland. Not that you’ll need an excuse. Portland’s growing reputation as a foodie city has is well earned by our large selection of world- class restaurants. Their standard of excellence has influenced everything food- related, making even our casual sweets like donuts and ice cream remarkable and distinctive. You could plan a whole tour of the region based on chasing confections — and we suggest that you do!
Sweet Treats in Old Port
Start your tour in the morning in Portland’s Old Port by grabbing your breakfast at The Holy Donut on Commercial Street. (You’ll also want to stop at their original Park Avenue location on your way out of town, so you can pick up a dozen to share with family and friends. ) The Holy Donut is famous for handcrafted Maine potato donuts in a dizzying array of flavors, including vegan and gluten-free options. If you find it impossible to choose, ask for whatever is still warm. You can’t go wrong.
After your not-so-nutritious breakfast, get ready to unleash your inner child at the Old Port Candy Co. on Fore Street. This old-fashioned candy shop has a large fill-your-own candy bar, plus a whimsical selection of nostalgia candy. They also sell Maine-made chocolates and delicious homemade fudge. Stock up on gifts and everyday treats!
For an authentic taste of Italy, head right to Gorgeous Gelato. Owners Donato and Mariagrazia came to Portland from Milano just a few years ago. This gelato is the real deal: creamy, dense, flavorful, and surprisingly healthy. Gorgeous Gelato claims its product contains up to 70 percent less fat them American ice cream, so go for a double scoop. They offer 16 flavors at a time, as well as gelato pops, gelato cannolis, and other Italian treats.
If you want to keep walking, continue straight along Commercial Street on the Eastern Promenade trail, which goes by East End Beach and past the Eastern Promenade to Back Cove. If you’re ready for a cookie, or need a blue-ribbon pie to bring to a cookout, turn up India Street and hit Two Fat Cats Bakery. This local favorite is a great place to order a cake fore a birthday or other occasion.
This would be a great time to head to Dean’s Sweets for a selection of nut- free chocolates and truffles. You won’t miss the nuts as you choose from flavors that include Lemon Apricot Chevre, Wasabi Ginger Sake, and Moxie — a nod to Maine’s beloved old soda. These attractive confections make wonderful gifts, especially for teachers in nut- free schools.
Sweet Treats Elsewhere
Now that you’ve eaten your way through Old Port, which is dense with opportunities to get your sugar fix, you’ll want to be on the lookout for sweet stops in other parts of Greater Portland. For an unusual and educational shopping experience, you can’t miss The Honey Exchange on Stevens Avenue in Portland. Expect an amazing variety of honey, of course, but also health and beauty products, home goods, jewelry, beeswax candles, and beekeeping equipment — for the brave at heart.
Nearby on Forest Avenue, stop in at Haven’s Candies. Haven’s has been making chocolates and other confections in Maine since 1915. You’ll be so impressed that you’ll want to visit its chocolate factory in Westbrook, too.
Finish off your chocolate journey with a pilgrimage to Len Libby Candies in Scarborough. Len Libby’s is a fourth-generation family business, and one of Maine’s oldest chocolatiers. It’s famous for making Maine’s classic Needhams with fresh coconut cracked and shredded on site. Len Libby’s is also home to Lenny, the world’s only life- size chocolate moose.
Ice Cream Only
Gelato may be all the rage these days, but sometimes you need good old-fashioned, full-fat American ice cream. Greater Portland has you covered with all varieties of ice cream, from soft-serve cones by the beach to handcrafted, small-batch organic scoops. We recommend you try them all. One place to try would be Gorgeous Gelato downtown. You may even spot them around town in their portable kiosk, selling sweet treats around the region. One fun idea is to pick a favorite flavor and do a taste test comparing the different versions around the area. Let us know who wins!
You’ve probably heard about Portland’s foodie scene. But, don’t you think it’s time you try it for yourself? Soaking up every bit of lobster butter?
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