So far this year, the question of where to go out to eat in Belfast has a number of new potential answers, as several new restaurants have opened and a couple of key eateries have closed.
The closures include Three Tides and Marshall Wharf Brewing Co., a longtime favorite bar and restaurant that overlooked the water, and Ondine Oyster & Wine Bar, a chef-run restaurant in the flatiron Gothic building on upper Main Street that closed in mid-March.
But with new restaurants running the gamut from a taco stand to a vegan cafe to a Jamaican eatery and from a cider bar to a breakfast and lunch spot located close to the city’s Harbor Walk, a delicious variety remains in Belfast.
This laid-back burrito and taco joint in Belfast City Park aims to satisfy residents’ and visitors’ cravings for Mexican food, and with options that include fish tacos, barbacoa (beef brisket) tacos, crispy chipotle chicken burritos and Korean BBQ pork tacos and burritos, it delivers.
But the menu doesn’t stop there. Other popular choices include the classic or spicy chicken sandwich, “smashburger,” and a kids’ menu featuring hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches and cheese quesadillas.
Recent specials have included agua fresca, a drink made with watermelon, lime and mint, and “love shack” nachos topped with chile con queso, refried beans, salsa, pickled onions and cumin-lime crema, priced at $6. It’s just $1 more to top with chile verde pork or beer-braised chicken.
Baby Burrito is open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
This plant-based wellness cafe in the lower level of the Opera House building in downtown Belfast aims to offer healthy and tasty food and juice options, and all-natural herbal healing and skin care products. It’s a collaboration between the midcoast women who have been running GRAZE, Fancy Plants and Pure, three plant-based businesses. The brick-and-mortar Alchemist will showcase their wares.
Among their specialities are a “caramel crunch” tart, made of nuts, seeds, dates and raw chocolate; hemp power slaw with a Brazil nut and lime dressing; edible flowers; fresh juices; and much more.
The Alchemist is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursdays during Belfast Summer Nights. It’s located at 9D Beaver St.
Owner-operator Jennifer Whitson has turned a long-closed building on Front Street into a bright, stylish breakfast and lunch spot with windows overlooking the waterfront and the popular Belfast Harbor Walk. There’s some outdoor seating, too, making it a great place to enjoy homemade breakfasts, sandwiches, soups, salads, fresh-baked goods and much more.
Among the offerings are buckwheat pancakes, eggs and grits, lentil soup, shrimp salad, lasagna, Vietnamese coffee made with condensed milk and mint, cold brew iced coffee with coffee ice cubes, cinnamon rolls, and vanilla bean custard brioche donuts.
Whitson is happy to put together a picnic for her customers and is planning to hold pop-up dinners with wine vendors this summer.
Crumbs Provisions is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week through the summer season. Breakfast is available from 7 to 10 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For information or pop-up dinner reservations, call 207-338-1716. It’s located at the corner of Front and Spring streets in downtown Belfast.
Perennial Cider Bar & Farm Kitchen
This new cider bar and eatery is one of just a handful of dedicated cider bars in the country. Its knowledgeable, friendly staffers are happy to help cider aficionados and cider newbies alike discover something great to drink. Ciders can be ordered in flights, on draft and from bottles, and are complemented by the food menu, which includes small plates made up of locally sourced, organically raised ingredients. Among local favorites are Spanish-style potatoes, with or without cured lamb sausage and a poached egg.
Perennial, at 84 Main St., is open from 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit www.perennialciderbar.com
Jamaican Vybz at the Cramelot Inn
Jamaican Vybz has been gaining fans in Belfast since 2017, when it opened as a takeout spot on Saturdays in the United Farmers Market. Starting this spring, Jamaican specialities such as jerk chicken, curry goat, curry chicken, Ital stew, rice and beans, and fried plantains have been available to the weekday lunch crowd, as the restaurant has opened in the Cramelot Inn (on the Miller Street side of the United Farmers Market building).
Jamaican Vybz, at 19 Miller St., is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday for dine-in and takeout. For more information, call 207-573-8024.