By now Mainers know that Portland is the restaurant capital of not only the state, but just about the whole country. The choices for places to eat in Portland are endless and the rest of the world has taken notice with Bon Appetit naming it their 2018 Restaurant City of the Year.

However, there are plenty of places in this great state, other than Portland, to get great meals while getting away from the tourists. These may not all meet your tastes, but here are my top 5 restaurants that I'd pick over any in Portland.


5. Ox Pub - Oxford

Ox Pub via Facebook

You'll find the Ox Pub at the Oxford Casino Hotel and the food is amazing. My favorites are the chicken parm, lollipop chicken wings and Alfredo. I do need to try the grilled salmon though. It's on my list for next time.


4. Maurice Restaurant Francais - South Paris

Maurice's restaurant has been on Main Street in South Paris for decades and it can compete with any of the fancy restaurants in Portland with something for everyone. Escargots, baked stuffed clams, veal flambe. They even do wine dinners with several courses. This is a gem tucked away in Oxford Hills.


3. Governor's - Lewiston

Google Street View

I go to Governor's for my comfort food fix. They have several locations in Maine, but the Lewiston location is the only one south of Waterville. Turkey dinners, meatloaf, shepard's pie, and a great kid's menu. You can even watch the model train circle the restaurant as you eat. This is where you go to eat the food grandma used to make.


2. The Gridiron - Lewiston

Google Street View

Gridiron has been a favorite of mine ever since they were opened by Schan and Kim Martin. It's just a fun place to eat with big screens on every wall and small ones in booths. They serve up pub favorites like steak, ribs, burgers and some amazing seafood. If you want to watch the game with friends in an almost party-like atmosphere, the Gridiron is the place to do it.


1.  Rose's Italian Restaurant -  Windham

Google Street View

I love Italian food and my absolute favorite place to have it is at Rose's in Windham. Their meat lasagna is to die for. You'll need a box to take it home because even I have a hard time finishing it all. They have amazing pizza too cooked in their brick oven and everything on the menu is available for carryout if you don't want to wait for a table on a busy night. It's pretty much our go to restaurant when we go out with friends in Windham.

Got a recommendation for a great restaurant that's not on my list and is not in Portland? I'd love to hear it. Leave it in the comments below or on our Facebook page.