Dive Bar Dining may appear to be an oxymoron, but in a shabby-chic town such as Portland, "dive" is both uber-hip and relative. The unspoken No Dress Code means rolling out of the rack and throwing on last night's jeans and a Pat's cap when heading off to a brunch, or waltzing in fried and ravenous after a day on the water, still sporting flip-flops and your finest, yet tackiest Hawaiian shirt. Reservations aren't taken and that's OK because most of the time Dive Bar Dining is an impulse feeding experience.
Greater Portland is blessed with many spots deserving of the coveted Miller High Life neon trophy, all umbrella-ed under the dark and fabulously seedy atmosphere required to qualify as "dive." Here are a few of the best that also offer surprisingly good vittles: in town, off the peninsula and outta Dodge.
By Eater Maine contributing writer Natalie Ladd
The One That Got Away:
Binga's Wingas - Owner Alec Altman, and then partner J.D. Way (the world's biggest and most annoying New York Giants fans) moved locations around a bit with different dining concepts before plopping Portland's best in-town wing bar (bar none) on Congress Street, within spitting distance to Maine Med. Everything about the location screamed dive - the graffiti, the overly tattooed servers, the abundance of killer sauces and delicious BBQ, cold beer, tacky game nights ... It was the whole package. When things went up in smoke and expansion to Yarmouth and Free Street commenced, the food simply didn't taste as good. With classy new locations and a mini-corporate feel, Binga's lost it's dive-ish charm.
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