Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Hugo's Restaurant
Founded in 1988, Hugo’s restaurant sits at the edge of Portland’s historic Old Port district. In its third generation of ownership Hugo’s continues to offer refined and delicious cuisine. We source our produce, game, fish and meat locally—we’re lucky to work with Maine’s best ingredients. With our tasting menu, you can join us for a couple of courses or an extravagant feast!
Like our pantry, our dining room is dependent on Maine’s best: sculptors, painters, carpenters, and iron-workers collaborated to create a space that evokes our location. Wrapped around our open kitchen, a large red birch bar occupies much of the interior. With its exposed brick walls, soft wood tones, and plush leather, the dining room’s modest luxury sets the stage for an unforgettable meal.
Portland, ME 04101
Contemporary American, International
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Wednesday - Saturday: 5:30PM - close until Memorial Day.
Memorial Day-End of year: Monday - Saturday: 5:30 - close
$50 and over
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Pay with OpenTable, Visa
A small lot is located diagonally across the street from the restaurant. You will see a brick building with a large sign reading "OLD PORT SPECIALTY TILE". Please feel free to park here within 20 minutes of your reservation time and be mindful that you are not blocking another vehicle from leaving. Thank you.
Andrew Taylor, Michael Wiley
Bar Dining, Beer, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
Please check our Facebook page for information about special events year-round!
Hugo's Restaurant Ratings and Reviews
Hugo's is not a place for casual dining or if you're super hungry. It is a place for an incredible, creative food experience. Worth a visit every few months or for a special occasion. The staff is incredibly friendly and knowledgable about their food. Dress nice and be prepared for a food event that you won't forget.
We went out for a special birthday with another couple and had the 5-course table d'hôte. It was a wonderful experience--like going to a fine restaurant in the countryside in France. Why we liked it:
Attentive but unpretentious service. Although it appeared that there were 3 five-course set menus, we were able to choose from different columns, which made it possible for a fussy eater and one with dietary restrictions to enjoy a "menu". Reasonable-sized plates were beautifully and creatively presented. Between courses, surprise dishes kept appearing. Everything was delicious, beautifully balanced, with some surprise tastes. A selection of all the desserts came on a wooden platter for us to pick at. We were there, entertained by the art of the food for hours. Don't plan to rush through dinner. It would be a shame anyway.
More comfortable after a redesign a year or two ago, but most of the seating is now at the bar. Courses ranged from awesome (all four desserts) to disappointing (a roast pork platter for the whole table of four). Some very good house cocktails, but a somewhat limited wine by the glass menu. (That is important if you mix,and-match from the meat/fish/vegie columns on the menu). The portions were larger than at most places which say they offer "small plates," and thus the full tasting menu was actually quite a lot of food. The staff were amiable and really cared, but there was a wait of about half an hour between each course, and dinner took over three hours. (One person at our table fell asleep.) Noise level was high enough to have some impact on conversation. Still, very nice people and some fine food, and we expect to return.
Hugos was everything we expected and more. Food was outstanding .Service was top notch Waiters were very knowledgeable of the menu and the wines. We choose the 4 coarse with wine tasting and we will definitely do it again. They are a little pricey but well worth it our check including tip was 400 dollars. A must for foodies to try
Hugo's remains the best restaurant in Portland, despite many new challengers in a burgeoning restaurant scene fueled by New Yorkers with fat wallets who've suddenly discovered the city. Artistry abounds, as do fantastic flavors and textures. It's on the expensive side, but worth every penny.
Hugo's has been a round since 1999, so they know how to give the customer a great experience. The menu is continually changing and Is adaptable for those who have food challenges. My wife and I love sitting up at the "bar" are so we can watch and talk with the staff preparing food right in front of you with precise accuracy and artistry. Everyone that works there is polite with each other and patrons. Food and drink knowledge is stellar, not sure what you want to drink, describe what your feelings are they'll match it to a tee.
You will be amazed and so will your taste buds, trust me.
My wife and I went for her birthday and the staff at Hugo's was truly incredible. The service is Portland is generally very good, but they went above and beyond. Everyone appeared to actually want to be working in the kitchen and we felt very welcomed. We're local, so we're familiar with the scene, but have to say that Hugo's is now our #1 recommendation for unbelievable food. Our experience was just that, a real experience.
Great food and wine pairing experience. My wife and I decided to spend a romantic night down in Portland and we got what we asked for with the exception of sitting at the bar. We were looking for a nice quiet table, booked 2 weeks in advance and received a table next to the kitchen. The staff were very friendly, helpful describing each course along eith the wine they chose for the pairing and the food opened your eyes to diffetent types of food, just not what we expected for a table.
This restaurant is phenomenal. Amazing tastes in each dish, reminiscent of the beautiful kaiseki ryouri in Japan. Tremendous wait staff and seating at the bar provides a view to the artistry of the chefs, which is incredibly inspiring ... the chefs and waitstaff were very patient with our inquiries and questions. Dining at Hugo's was a memorable experience & highly recommended for anyone visiting Portland and looking for a special dining spot.
We have eaten at Hugo's a number of times in the past several years. Since the latest reincarnation, we have eaten there only 3 times and compared to prior years our experiences have been consistently disappointing. Our latest meal included the 5 course tasting menu and the wine parings. The menu choices were limited, the food and wines were mediocre, and the service was slow and somewhat pretentious. The "experience" was an expensive disappointment.
My wife and I ate here for the first time for our 29th anniversary. We chose the 5 course tasting menu, and I emailed ahead and requested chef's choice with pairings. We decided to leave all of the food and pairing choices to the chefs. The evening was perfect, and the meal was a small culinary adventure. If you go, sit at the bar and interact with the staff. Everyone is friendly and engaging. We would like to thank the whole staff for a wonderful evening.
Hugo's is a place for foodies. Great layout so you can see all the action in the kitchen, and the music is just the right volume so you can talk to your fellow diners.
I do love a leisurely dinner, though the time between courses was perhaps a bit too long, with our total time there being 3 hours. Go for a special occasion and when you have plenty of time! The food was incredible though, and the presentation beautiful. And those little biscuits they serve, absolutely addictive!
We have been trying to get here for dinner for a while but the timing just didn't work out.
Wow, we have been missing some great food and service!
We sat at the "bar" where we could see all the food prep directly in front of us. Amazing how each chef is so focused and meticulous in the preparation at their station.
We both selected the "five course" dinner with some commonality in the specifics. I also had the wine pairings with my dinner.
In keeping with manageable reviews, each service was excellent, timed perfectly, with ample time for the friendly staff to explain each course and answer all our questions. Lots left on their menu to come back to try.
My first time dining at Hugo's Restaurant, I came alone and ate at the counter allowing visitors to watch and converse throughout the (5) courses. The night was cold and rainy. Hugo's was comfortable, warm and elegant. During the meal, a comparison with Cirque du Soleil came to mind.
Each course was infused with unanticipated creativity, flare and surprise. The novel design of the meal itself, small plates selected fro m sourced (land animals, sea and garden) columns, set the tone.
The cocktail and wine selections were sophisticated but unpretentious. The most outstanding feature was, without doubt, the service. Each person was genuine, knowledgeable and engaging. The collective pride in the enterprise was palatable and not overbearing at all. The ingredients and preparation of the food were of very high caliber. Overall the meal was pricey, in part due to my own desire to make the most of a rare and wonderful meal. That said, I'll surely return as soon as I come upon an occasion equal to this high quality dining experience.
Hugo's is our go to destination for an evening of upscale dining where a vegetarian is treated with the same respect and creative choices as those of us who are meat and fish eaters. The service is both professional and relaxed. Hugo's is highly recommended.
We dined at Hugo's Saturday with two friends and we all agreed it was one of the best restaurant experiences we've had. We had been to Hugo's before the current owners purchased and renovated it, and the atmosphere is definitely improved. It is a beautiful space with great care taken to source Maine products and artists, creating a clean, contemporary look while maintaining a warm atmosphere. This is carried through to a menu that changes daily, with a tasting menu where you can select 5 courses or fewer, all with the utmost attention to creating a beautiful plate with textures and tastes that will have you asking how they do that. (The lobster tail was exceptional!) Fortunately, we had Patrick to respond to our questions and make sure everything we could possibly need was provided, without our asking. You will find everyone here to be warm, knowledgeable, and interested in your having a wonderful experience. Thanks all!
This is the first time we returned to Hugo's since their renovation. Our server was attentive, very knowledgeable, and made us feel quite comfortable. The small plates that made up our five course dinner were very specific and suited for the adventurous palette. The atmosphere was festive and the decor had clearly been thoughtfully chosen with the design of using as many locally salvaged products as possible...for example, the server told us our table was lumber that was salvaged from the bottom of Moosehead Lake, and the slate serving plates came from Monson, Maine.
The only criticism I would have about the new Hugo's appears only in light of comparing it with the old Hugo's. We felt that the old Hugo's offered a slightly more personal touch. When we visited Hugo's five years ago, the bartender had no problem pairing my husband's meals with beers because their selection was wide and varied. And, when we left the restaurant, they gave us a printed menu addressed to us with our food, beer, and wine choices four each course and tailored to our meal. We felt quite special and that we had truly had a unique experience that was worth the money spent. I don't think we felt this two nights ago. It felt as if we had a lovely night, but it was not as intimate as previously experienced and felt overpriced for the overall experience.
Our evening at Hugo's was incredible. With the exception of a timing snafu that significantly delayed service of our fourth item (which the staff explained in a very appropriate manner), the evening was as close to perfection as you can be. The quiet rhythm of service was amazing and the "tiny" plates whether they were the delicious garlic biscuits or the sea bass were a fabulous extender of the main orders. The creativity with which ingredients are combined and reimagined is stunning. This is definitely a special occasion restaurant and we will return!!!
There are three menus and guests choose 2-5 courses from each menu. The courses are quite small--we were told that two courses equals one regular size appetizer. My friend and I each ordered three--I left hungry, she did not.
The food is very fussy, lots and lots of unrecognizable names on the menu and we needed to ask for explanations from our waiter. They play up the unusual ingredients and seem to lose sight of the fact that most guests care more about how the food tastes than what is in it. And the food was quite disappointing. The gnocchi were hard and chewy, the sablefish was bland, the arctic char was not a pleasant taste or texture. The best course was the bolognese but it was tiny.
The dinner was very expensive--with tip, $100 pp. Too much money for a disappointing experience.
When you book a table at Hugo's you expect greatness. We had experienced the WOW factor in the years previous and had high expectations for the evening. It started great, good table great staff, exceptional food and wine knowledge and presentation.
We ordered the tasting menu and started with cocktails, then moved on to a bottle of wine with our meal. The host, server, bartender and the wine sommelier where exceptional. We enjoyed our first two food courses, then the Entree came and both of us went from a 10 to about a 6 on the 1-10 scale. The flavors where off and they just didn't have the exceptional we felt it should have for the caliber of restaurant we were paying for. The dessert and coffee where again unique and imaginative as well as tasteful. We felt overall they had dropped on our restaurant rating from in the top 3 to in the top 5.
If your going to charge a premium price then it should encompass the whole experience.
Will think twice before booking this restaurant again.
To enter Hugo's restaurant in Portland Maine is to enter a food paradise. Every, that is every, small plate was totally delicious, one better than the other. plus you get little surprise extra plates.
The staff was very friendly and made an even great food experience even better.
It was just one big WOW experience.
We have had the good fortune to eat often in the world's finest restaurants. Now, 2 blocks from the harbor in Portland Maine and a walk away from home, is a restaurant that is the equal of any of them. Unique recipes but without preciousness or a fetish for the exotic; exquisite attention to detail; nuanced, warm and gracious service. Time after time. Never a bad dish. Never a meal without some "ah hah" stemming from one or another unusual combination of flavors. Superb cocktails and fabulous wines -- delivered with price sensitivity. NewYork, Paris, get in line.
This was the second time we visited Hugo's. The first visit was spectacular, with food that would be exceptional in any major city. This visit the good was good but not exceptional and, frankly, the desserts were inedible. I do not know if it was an off night but my recommendation would be to proceed with caution.
It has been a while since we’d eaten at Hugo’s, so we were really looking forward to celebrating our anniversary there. Things started out great. We were seated at the bar with a great view of the kitchen and were given a glass of a very nice sparkling wine in recognition of our anniversary. We selected different meals from the tasting menu and got the wine pairing for our meals.
Both of us were very disappointed in the food. We expected the small portions of beautifully plated food, but found that more attention was paid to how it looked than to how it tasted. The food was mediocre at best. On top of that, the wines that accompanied the food seemed to be chosen more for how unusual they were than whether the actually tasted good.
Although the food was wonderful, and everything were expecting, their music choice (the Hall and Oats station) was a total disconnect. I never realized music could have such a large impact on dinner. Do go and experience Hugo's - the food and service was a pleasure - just call ahead for reservations and what they will be playing for music that evening.
If ever there were a cost to quality ratio that was accurate it would have to be Hugo's. Without doubt the price point is a little steep for every day dining, but it is completely worth it. Not only was the food excellent, but the way that Hugo's approaches the tastings forces you to experience new foods you may not otherwise order. Enjoy your time, and if you want a truly unforgettable experience ask for Patrick ;)
After some recent poor meals, some more than double the cost of Hugos, I couldn't bear another waste of money. Au contraire! Hugos restored my faith in tasting menus but also the ability of people to cook good food! And to ensure all ingredients on the plate work together, not just because they are individually 'hot' at the moment. I ordered mainly from the Foraged & Farmed. The duck, though a bit tough to cut, was one of the best dishes. Several amuse bouches came out. Impressive wine menu with a sommelier who guides you through each pairing. We were sat at the bar, side by side, but just a feet away from the dishes being prepared and gave us a front row piece of the action! Great food. Knowledgeable staff. Worth it!!!!!
We dined at Hugo's for our 30th Anniversary, it did not disappoint!!!! This was by far the best dining experience we've ever had. I would not hesitate to recommend this restaurant!! They were pleasant! When we arrived they seated us at our table and brought us a glass of Champagne to toast our Anniversary which was wonderful and every part of the evening followed the first part. The Food was the star and we are definitely returning. It's expensive but worth every penny. Between the staff and food served it was like nothing we have experienced when dining before, loved it.........people should go eat at Hugo's, they will not be disappointed, we are going back...
Portland is home to a number of superb restaurants, chief among them is Hugo's. We drive up to Hugo's from Massachusetts a couple of times a year and we've never been disappointed. Hugo's is the best restaurant on the East coast, and that includes the Michelin 3 star restaurants in New York. We ate at Jean George (a Michelin 3 star)last month and Hugos last Saturday. Hugo's was spectacular, Jean George (@2.5X the price) wasn't in the same league. Hugo's menu is highly innovative and everything is perfectly prepared. The only thing we don't particularly like is the seating arrangement, most of the seating is bar style where you have a view of the chefs. That works well at a tiny restaurant like Stages in Dover NH but not at Hugo's scale.
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