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Once known for being a fishing city, Portland, Maine has become a growing hub for tourism in recent years. We can totally understand why, too. Between the gorgeous cityscape that features a mixture of 19th and early 20th-century architecture that mingles with modern buildings and the rocky shores of the waterfront, it is a picturesque destination for anyone who wants to get away without sacrificing their connection to civilization. It has also emerged as Maine’s unofficial culinary capital, and if you’re looking for a plant-based meal in Portland, you’re in luck. Check out our top picks below for where to dine out when you visit:

1. Sticky Sweet

Pumpkin 350x350

Sticky Sweet/Facebook

Sticky Sweet is a 100 percent plant-based ice cream and sticky rice shop that combines founders Kelley and Ashley’s love for sticky rice and fresh, local ingredients. We recommend trying their Blueberry Mango Sticky Rice, which uses fresh Maine blueberries and whatever seasonal flavors they are currently offering, like their Pumpkin Ginger flavor served in a gluten-free waffle cone, pictured above. In addition to being a completely vegan establishment, they are gluten-free, their recipes use no refined sugar, and they use mostly organic ingredients.

If you want to visit, you can find the shop located in Public Market House at 28 Monument Square. Or, check them out on Instagram.

2. Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro

Banh Mi 350x350

Green Elephant/Facebook

Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro is an Asian-inspired bistro that was opened in 2007 by chef Dan Sriprasert. Inspired heavily by Thai cuisine, chef Dan’s menu offers a wide variety of pan-Asian fare that uses ingredients and flavors from Malaysia, Japan, China, and India. You can sip on local beer brewed in Portland while dining on their many vegan options made from as many local ingredients as possible, like Crispy Wontons stuffed with soy cheese and spinach, Hot and Sour Noodle Soup, Tofu Tikka Masala, and more.

You can find Green Elephant at 608 Congress Street in Portland.

3. Asmara

SamplerLeslie P./Yelp

If you’re craving a unique dining experience, head to Asmara, an Eritrean restaurant that serves communal dinners shared by the entire table. Similar to Ethiopian cuisine, a meal consists of several fragrant, spiced dishes that are served on injera, a spongy flatbread made from teff flour. You partake by tearing off a piece of injera, then grabbing whichever dishes are calling to you. While Asmara is not a vegan restaurant, their kitchen is free from dairy, so you can order from the vegetarian section of their menu without worry. We recommend trying their Vegetarian Sampler, which includes a taste of everything, like Tsebhi Hamli (collard greens and kale served in a mild yellow curry sauce), Spicy Potatoes, Birsen (curried red lentils), and more.

Visit Asmara at 51 Oak Street.

If you’re interested in finding the must-try vegan options across the U.S., check out our dining out guides below:

We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!

Lead image source: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock