India Street / Munjoy Hill
India Street, a vibrant block of retail and wholesale businesses, cafés and coffee shops, breweries, bakeries, and even a tackle shop, located right in the heart of Portland's East End. Portland’s beloved Micucci’s offers a range of imported Italian foods and house‑made take out times. Two Fat Cats is well known for it baked goods, especially the pies. Side streets offer nationally recognized restaurants like Duck Fat, Eventide and Hugo’s. At the foot of India Street, BenKay offers some of Portland’s best sushi.
Munjoy Hill was named for George Munjoy, who settled here in 1659. The Hill served as farm and grazing ground throughout the early 1800s. An early landmark is the Observatory, a tall tower built to allow a watchman with a telescope to see incoming ships when they entered the mouth of the Harbor. He then lofted a signal flag to let the merchant know his cargo would soon dock at the wharves along Fore Street. Today, the Observatory is preserved as a historic site and open to the public. Visitors can climb to the top and take in views of the ocean and Mt. Washington.
In the late 1840s, a demand for housing for the railroad workers constructing the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad spurred development on the harbor side of the Hill. Over the next twenty years increasing numbers of workers for the railroads and other industries, such as the Portland Company, spurred further development of the East End. A 1871 map of the area shows the south slope was largely built out, while other areas were still largely undeveloped.
Munjoy Hill is the heart of Portland’s East End. Eclectic, independent, and vibrant are the words most often used to describe this part of Portland. “Eclectic,” as it is home to a wide range of age groups and backgrounds. Also eclectic is the neighborhood’s architecture, a harmonious mix of historic, wood‑framed homes and more recent, very modern construction. Single family, triple‑decker, multi‑family ‑ all the options are available here. “Independent” both for the spirit of the residents and the many locally‑owned businesses ‑ there are no chain stores on the Hill! “Vibrant” as this is a neighborhood where artists perform and create, and where residents walk and interact with one another.
Over the last twenty years, Munjoy Hill has enjoyed a renaissance, throwing off an ill‑deserved tag of a less‑than‑desirable, working‑class neighborhood to become one of Portland’s most sought‑after areas. It’s a true neighborhood, a friendly place where the residents know each other and appreciate the family‑owned businesses that have been here for generations.
Munjoy Hill residents enjoy walking to the Eastern Promenade, or “The Prom” as it is known locally. Designed by the noted Olmstead Brothers firm, the Eastern Prom is one of Portland’s most scenic parks, with water views in every direction. There is a two‑mile trail for walkers and runners and you can launch your boat, scull or kayak at the East End Boat launch. A playground, a sand beach for swimming, tennis and basketball courts, and a hill for winter sledding offer more reasons to get outside. In the summer, you’ll have the best view of Portland’s spectacular July 4th fireworks.
The Hill is a destination for its many and wide‑ranging cafes and restaurants. The East End is home to St. Lawrence Arts, which offers a range of concerts and plays. Also nearby, Mayo Street Arts’ diverse offerings include live music, artistic puppetry, and dance. Local galleries and studios offer still more to enjoy and absorb.
It shows up on many lists, confirming what we locals already know. Portland is a great city where people of all ages can afford an active, healthy lifestyle and enjoy a wide range of cultural and outdoor activities in a scenic environment.
Portland is a beautiful city situated on Casco Bay. Its many distinct neighborhoods have unique personalities. Commercial Street and the Old Port are the historic waterfront and commercial heart of the city. Their many warehouses attest to a trading past. The West End is full of large, historic brick and stone homes on quiet, tree‑lined streets. Congress Street and the arts districts were once the retail downtown and today offer a mix of shopping, art and cultural destinations, professional space, and many restaurants. In Portland, beautiful outdoor spaces and parks are never far.
Portland’s high‑quality dining destinations have been featured in many publications including the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Boston Globe. From the gourmet offerings of our numerous James Beard Award nominees and winners to fresh lobsters and clams at an ocean front shack, you’ll love discovering the full range of dining opportunities. For those who prefer to do their own cooking, twice‑weekly farmer’s markets and a wide range of ethnic food stores provide both the supplies and the inspiration.
- Sebago Lake, Maine: 30 minutes
- Kennebunk, Maine: 40 minutes
- Portsmouth, New Hampshire: 50 minutes
- Newburyport, Massachusetts: 1 hour 10 minutes
- North Conway, New Hampshire: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Sunday River, Maine: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Camden, Maine: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Boston, Massachusetts: 1 hour 50 minutes
- Sugarloaf, Maine: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Burlington, Vermont: 4 hours
- Montreal, Quebec: 5 hours
- New York City: 5 hours 20 minutes