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Updated: May 23, 2024

Eat Drink Lucky 'Must Eat List' spans mussels to mac-and-cheese

Mac and cheese dish on a plate, at the Good Table restaurant in Cape Elizabeth. Photo / Renee Cordes Claire's mac and cheese, on the menu of the Good Table restaurant in Cape Elizabeth, is on Eat Drink Lucky's "Must Eat List" of more than 70 dishes to try in Greater Portland.

A pizza slab from Miccucci's in Portland, macaroni and cheese at the Good Table in Cape Elizabeth, and mussels at three Portland restaurants are all on Eat Drink Lucky's 2024 "Must Eat List."

Eat Drink Lucky Must Eat List logo.
Image / Courtesy of Eat Drink Lucky
Hot off the presses: Eat Drink Lucky's 2024 "Must Eat List."

The list, released this morning, was compiled by Gillian Britt, the newsletter's executive editor, and Kate McCarty, a contributing editor. Over 70 dishes from establishments in Greater Portland are on the list. 

"The goal was to make it fun and highlight some of the best things we have on offer right now," Britt told Mainebiz in an interview. "It is very much of the moment."

Eat Drink Lucky, a newsletter around "food, drink and fun" published since 2014. goes out daily via email to more than 10,000 subscribers.

Mussels that made the tally are on the menu of Fore Street, Local 188 and Woodford F&B.

Dishes are not ranked but are listed alphabetically, from "Ants Climbing Up a Tre" at Sichuan Kitchen to a tuna hand roll at Mr. Tuna, which has a mobile sushi bar and a brand-new bricks-and-mortar space at 83 Middle St. in Portland.

"If you are talking to somebody and you say, 'You have to go try this, you should not let any. more time to by without eating this specific dish' ...  it's driven by that," Britt said.


Britt noted that a lot has changed in Portland’s scene since 2017, when the newsletter published a previous list.

"Quite a few of the places are gone," she said.

Gillian Britt of Eat Drink Lucky
Photo/ Courtesy Gillian Britt
Gillian Britt

In addition, the 2024 version includes a lot more Asian-inspired dishes, as well as more pizza. Entries in that category include the Detroit-style pizza at Foundation Brewing, the margherita pizza at Quanto Basta, the aforementioned Micucci's slab, and sopresetta pizza at Monte's Fine Foods.

Interestingly in a state known for its crustaceans, the only lobster dishes on the list are lobster tacos from Highroller Lobster Co. and the lobster roll from Bite Into Maine. 

Guava also features prominently, via the guava and cheese turnover at Lenora and the guava kouign-amann at Bread & Friends, which Britt describes as a flaky pastry with a citrusy-tartness.

"It's really interesting to see what kinds of things have changed and some of the new flavors," she remarked.

Britt and McCarty started their research in January, sharing a spreadsheet of dishes they both liked and comparing tasting notes along the way.

"There were no major debates," Britt said. "It was a lot of fun."

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