Which Portland is better? Maine and Oregon cities face off in Internet smackdown

Part of the Portland skyline. (BDN photo by Troy R. Bennett)

Part of the Portland skyline. (BDN photo by Troy R. Bennett)

Every week, Internet giant Yahoo! is holding what it’s calling a “City Smackdown” in its travel section. Last week, for instance, Yahoo! readers were treated to a battle of attractions between Bay Area neighbors San Francisco and Oakland.

If you read the headline of this blog post, you’ve probably surmised which cities are pitted against each other in this week’s rumble.

Portland, Maine, and Portland, Oregon.

The former is the first, the latter is the larger.

Both frequently appear in national “Best Cities” lists touting things like high quality of living, beer selection, coffee, restaurants and healthy activities.

Click on the clips below to read how Yahoo! Travel describes the two cities, and mull it over:

The smackdown write-up goes into greater detail, but here are some of the categories Yahoo! uses and how the two Portlands size up:

Population — Portland, Oregon: 603,106. Portland, Maine: 66,214.

(If bigger is considered better, we got crushed there. But that’s a big “if.”)

Anna Kendrick (Reuters photo)

Anna Kendrick (Reuters photo)

Star power — Portland, Oregon: Matt Groening, creator of long-running sitcom/cartoon The Simpsons, and Art Alexakis, singer of the rock band Everclear.

Portland, Maine: Bestselling author Stephen King and Academy Award-nominated actress and singer Anna Kendrick.

(Seriously? The guy from Everclear? They’ve got almost ten times the population and they can’t produce two people more famous than the guy from Everclear? Portland, Maine, wins this round.)

Signature dish — Portland, Oregon: There’s so much good food here it’s tough to pin down, Yahoo! says, it “could be anything from fried chicken sandwiches at Cackalacks Hot Chicken Shack to vegetarian Middle Eastern fare at Wolf and Bear’s.”

Portland, Maine: Lobster roll, which the travel site acknowledges is “cliche, but true,” and highlights the one made by the food truck Bite Into Maine (which is typically parked in Cape Elizabeth, but permitted for Portland as well).

L.L. Bean boot and a bowl of dessert from the Maine-based Gifford's Ice Cream. (Photo courtesy of L.L. Bean and Gifford's)

L.L. Bean boot and a bowl of dessert from the Maine-based Gifford’s Ice Cream. (Photo courtesy of L.L. Bean and Gifford’s)

Fashion statement — Portland, Oregon: Flannel shirts, although Yahoo! offers skinny jeans, army jackets and “not showering” as runners-up.

Portland, Maine: L.L. Bean boots, which Yahoo! describes as “making a resurgence in style blogs — which is nice because they’re functional and cute.”

The Yahoo! smackdown also describes¬†what it considers each city’s best local restaurant (DOC vs. Fore Street), bar (Clyde Common vs.¬†Hunt and Alpine Club) and hot neighborhood (Alberta vs. the Old Port), among many other criteria.

Click here for the full list of ways the travel site slices and dices this comparison.

What did this Yahoo! Travel writer get right? What did she miss? Agree with her choices of top establishments in The Original Portland?

(There are already two comments on the Yahoo! site arguing that not including Bintliff’s American Cafe was a major oversight. What do you think?)

Patrons park their bikes outside the tasting room at Hair of the Dog Brewing Co. in Portland, Oregon. (Dana Juhasz/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Patrons park their bikes outside the tasting room at Hair of the Dog Brewing Co. in Portland, Oregon. (Dana Juhasz/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.