Local 188 is located in Portland's Arts District at 685 Congress Street, near the corner of State and Congress.

Free parking is available behind the restaurant.

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To contact us by email (Reservations are online or by phone only): Email
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Street view of Local 188
Established in 1999

Looking to combine their respective backgrounds in cooking and art, husband and wife Jay and Allison Villani opened Local 188 in 1999 with friends Pat Corrigan and Matt Purrington. The cafe / gallery was an instant hit as artists and foodies lined up to feed their senses.

Ten years later "local" has moved to a new space across the street  that revives the same features that made the original so popular, including the open kitchen with counter seating and a painted bar by Pat Corrigan.Sous chef in the kitchenServer taking plates to customers


Local 188  offers a full bar, a culinary bar with front row views of the kitchen, a comfortable lounging area and full dining room set amongst local art.

The restaurant serves Spanish & Mediterranean inspired cuisine made from fresh, local Maine ingredients.




View of the restaurant during dinnerReviews:

“The seafood paella came with perfectly cooked mahogany clams,mussels, salmon and Maine shrimp along with green beans and the requisite long grain rice w/ it’s saffron seasoning and color. There is something soul satisfying about seafood and rice and Local 188 has caught the essence of it with the Spanish classic.”
N.L English, The Maine Sunday Telegram

“Pulsing with energy and filled with diners enjoying the new surroundings,local 188’s famous tapas shimmer invitingly across a big mirror in a scroll reminiscent of a Toulouse Lautrec interior. According to owner/chef Jay Villani the menu descriptions are deliberately vague as the nature of hunting for the city’s freshest ingredients dictates surprise.”
Diane Hudson, Portland magazine

“While the old space had a certain artsy, campy vibe —
enhanced by the small, well-worn dining room and the edgy art shows —the new restaurant is filled with a bohemian elegance. The huge dining room contains two bars (one overlooking the open kitchen),an eclectic assortment of tables and chairs and a dedicated lounge area.Deep purples and rich burgundies add a nightclub feel that’s buoyed by comfortable couches and a bench salvaged from the St. Lawrence Arts & Community Center.”
Avery Yale Kamila, Switch magazine

"Local 188 pride themselves on using the freshest ingredients, often from local farmers and fish markets. For visitors during brunch hours, their peach pancake, although bigger than most human heads, is the lightest and fluffiest pancake in Portland. You don't even need maple syrup to make their pancake delicious. The huge dollop of whip cream on top of the golden cake covered in fresh peaches is enough to satisfy the worst sweet tooth"
Stacy Normand, USM Free Press(see full review)

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