If you’re in need of an early-morning pick- me-up, the beans at Coffee By Design’s 45,000-square-foot Diamond Street Coffee Bar and Micro Roastery (coffeebydesign.com) are hand-roasted in small batches, which you can taste by the cup, take home by the pound, or order at PeRx-U-Up cafe (perx-u-up. com). A three-minute walk away from CBD is Will and Kathleen Pratt’s Tandem Coffee Roasters (tandemcoffee.com). Located in a renovated 1930s brick building, you’ll know you’re in the right place by the tandem bicycle rack out front. Pair your java with a bagel from Union Bagel Co. (unionbagelco.com), which hand-rolls, boils, and bakes the dough on a stone hearth, or pick up a breakfast sandwich from Ten Ten Pié (207.956.7330). In the space where DiPietro’s stood for 69 years until the owner recently retired, Markos Miller and Atsuko Fujimoto—a former pastry chef at Fore Street Restaurant and Standard Baking Co.—now serve fresh-baked goods both savory and sweet.
One of the best ways to experience the neighborhood is on the flat, wide Bayside Trail (trails.org). Built along the old Union Branch railroad, the 1.2-mile paved path connects the Back Cove and East End trails. It’s a great place for a stroll with Fido—pick up treats or a ball at Planet Dog (planetdog.com). Before hitting the trail, runners and bikers can pop into Fleet Feet Maine Running (fleetfeetmainerunning. com) for expertly fit sneakers and sports bras, Black Bear Medical’s This Active Life (thisactivelife.com) for joint braces and rollers, Port City Bikes (portcitybikes.com) for custom bicycles and parts, and Apothecary by Design (apothecarybydesign.com) for nutritional supplements from flax to fish oil. There’s also Boulder Nordic Sport (bouldernordicsport. com), should the trail be blanketed after a winter storm.
There are plenty of places to take your workout indoors, too. Pedal to pumped-up beats at Quest Cycle (qfcycle.com), reach new heights at the Maine Rock Gym (merockgym.com), pick up a spare at Bayside Bowl (baysidebowl.com), and perfect your downward dog either at Portland Power Yoga (portlandpoweryoga.com) or, on the southern border of the neighborhood, Lila East End Yoga (livelila.com). If you’re sore after your workout—or just want to unwind— then head to Hara Massage (haracenter.net), for a heavenly hot stone massage.
If you need to fuel up after all the activity, Washington Avenue is a good place to start. It serves as the dividing line between East Bayside and the East End and is home to Salvadoran restaurant Tu Casa (tucasaportland.com), which serves up fried plantains and pupusas, and Silly’s (sillys. com), where you can order anything from a milkshake to Thai-style rice noodles. Heading west towards Deering Oaks Park, the dinner menu at chef and owner Larry Matthews, Jr.’s Back Bay Grill (backbaygrill.com), changes nightly and includes dishes such as truffled beef tartare, hand-rolled pappardelle, and celery root and green apple soup. If you prefer to cook at home, Eli Cayer’s Urban Farm Fermentory (urbanfarmfermentory. com), which makes mead, apple cider, and kombucha, hosts the Winter Farmers’ Market (portlandmainefarmersmarket.org) on Saturdays from December through April. Browsing its aisles, you’ll find booths overflowing with a seasonal cornucopia of greenhouse greens and root vegetables, plus pickles, pesto, milk, cheese, and more. In addition, the space is home to several small- batch food companies.
There are also plenty of homegrown places to grab a drink. Maine Mead Works (mainemeadworks.com) makes what’s referred to as “honey wine.” If you’ve never had it before, you can sample a glass—or two— in the tasting room at Ben Alexander and Carly Cope’s meadery, where you can also take a behind-the-scenes tour. Tours can also be had at Heather and Nathan Sanborn’s Rising Tide Brewing (risingtidebrewing.com), a craft brewery that specializes in unfiltered beers. Try a glass of their winter brew, Ursa Minor, which is “dark as squid ink and moody as the sea.” Nano-brewery Bunker Brewing Co. (bunkerbrewingco.com) is located in a 1920s-era garage and creates beers ranging from golden old-world Czech pilsner to dark amber Scottish ale—just three and a half barrels at a time. If you’re more in the mood for a cocktail, Maine Craft Distilling (mainecraftdistilling.com) serves six spirits, including Alchemy Gin, Ration Rum, and the dangerous-sounding but delicious-tasting Blueshine—moonshine made from local blueberries, barley, and maple syrup.
With Bayside’s spacious commercial buildings, many furniture and home- design stores call the neighborhood home. Performance Building Supply (performancebuildingsupply.com) provides design services and building materials for eco-friendly home construction. Fogg Lighting (fogglighting.com) carries chandeliers, pendants, and sconces from more than 50 manufacturers—ranging from the modern, Danish-made Louis Poulsen to the rustic, Vermont-made Hubbardton Forge. Should you happen to stumble upon an incredible antique headboard among the myriad treasures at Portland Flea-for-All (portlandfleaforall.com) or Portland Architectural Salvage (portlandsalvage.com), your next stop should be Portland Mattress Makers (portlandmattressmakers.com). The company has been making custom and standard-size mattresses—ranging from the hybrid coil-and-foam Boothbay to the kid- friendly Casco Bay—in the area since 1938.
The neighborhood’s raw, industrial buildings have also become home to several artist workshops. There are classes on sewing, silk screening, dyeing, embroidery, and even color theory at A Gathering of Stitches (agatheringofstitches.com) and, in the same building, knitting classes and yarn at PortFiber (portfiber.com). Over at PhoPa Gallery (phopagallery.com), a collaboration between photographer Jon Edwards, curator Bruce Brown, and Maine Media Workshops and College, catch one of the rotating art shows, which feature a cast of emerging Maine artists whose works are either photography or on paper. You can screen- print at Arm Factory (thearmfactory. com)—or have the professionals do it for you—and you can check out an art show at Zero Station (zerostation.com), which also offers digital printing and framing. Both Mayo Street Arts (mayostreetarts.org) and Compass Project (compassproject.org) reach neighborhood youth through arts- based programs. The former offers puppet theater, dance, music, and more, while the latter teaches wooden boat building and on- the-water skills.
“This neighborhood embodies the eclectic nature of Maine,” says Kate Anker of Running With Scissors (rwsartstudios.com), an artists’ studio space. “There’s the new creative community and that goes hand-in-hand with the industrial and historical elements, which keep us all grounded. It’s an exciting time.”