Cookiescakes and Pies oh my

There is nothing quite a delicious as a loaf of crusty bread or a delectable pastry. While you can find some big box grocers that offer acceptable baked goods, a local bakery offers something different. You can be pulled into their shop by the tantalizing smells wafting onto the street. Portland, Maine may not be large, but it offers some great bakeries to tempt even the most carb resistant resident. There is much discussion about which is actually the best.

The Standard Baking Co has one of the best locations in Portland. On Commercial Street near the seaport and the cruise terminal it is a local favorite. They are very popular.  If you want to get a good choice of all the goodies that they offer, plan to arrive early. By afternoon the choices may well be limited.

They have received rave reviews from Jane and Michael Stern of Roadfood.com and a pretty much a fixture of the area. This is a great place to grab a loaf of bread; expect to find boules, multi-grains, Country Cheddar Ale and lots more. You can also find great croissants, pastries and cookies to die for. The offerings are what you would expect in a Parisian bakery with the addition of great American favorite. Be on the lookout for a pain chocolat to have with a steaming cup of coffee or tea or a hazelnut pastry.

Two Fat Cats Bakery

If Standard Baking Company is European in flavor, Two Fat Cats is all American. This is where you go for a yummy cupcake, chocolate, vanilla or red velvet are available daily. You can special order other flavors or twists on the regular three. They also do full size cakes for all occasions and have lots of options with advance notice.

What will keep you coming back again and again are the pies. Whether it is blueberry, sour cherry, chocolate cream or one of their other flavors, they are all home made with loving care and a combination of butter and shortening to guarantee a flaky and tasty crust. If you don’t feel like cooking tonight, the chicken pot pie is a winner with locals and visitors alike.

You can’t leave this bakery without trying the official state treat of Maine, the Whoopie Pie. You can get it in the traditional chocolate or in the pumpkin. Either way you will soon understand why lawmakers think this dessert should represent the state of Maine. If you want something lighter you can always try one of their chocolate chip cookies or lemon short breads. The shop is small but it is worth climbing down the stairs.

Scratch Baking Company 

Located in South Portland, this bakery is certainly part of the greater Portland culinary scene. Bread is one of their staple items and they have even named their bread starters, Lulu and Laverne. Daily they offer English muffins, baguette (not available on Sunday), Country loaf and bagels. There are daily bread specials to keep things interesting.

There are a wide variety of daily items including a muffin, scone and coffeecake du jour. Along with a selection of cookies, pastries and biscotti. There are some items that are only available on the weekends like bear claws and donut muffins. They also have a wide selection of cakes available. Additionally they offer a few select items to go with bread and some select bottles of wine.

Portland, Maine is a great place to enjoy baked goods of all sorts. Whether it’s a bagel, a cupcake, a French delight or a Whoopie Pie, Portland has it all.