Restaurants in Maine
You’ll be hard pressed to find many restaurants in Maine that don’t include lobster on the menu in some way—but Maine restaurants also offer plenty of grilled shrimp and crab salads, and all manner of great local produce. You can sample great seafood and farm-to-table fare at some of the best restaurants in Maine.
Fore Street is a Portland institution helmed by chef Sam Hayward, who was doing farm-to-table long before it was cool. Everything here is cooked in an open, glassed-in kitchen, and much of the menu changes daily. The big crowd-pleasers include anything roasted or grilled, such as the wood oven–roasted mussels appetizer. Leave room for dessert—house-churned ice cream made with seasonal berries from a local farm.
The Lobsterman’s Wharf is a Freeport, Maine, restaurant in East Boothbay overlooks the Damariscotta River, which feeds into the Atlantic and is decked out with antique lobster buoys, hurricane lamps, and nautical paraphernalia. It’s long been a local favorite for its hit parade of seafood greats, such as excellent clam “chowdah,” the grilled haddock sandwich, and the freshly picked crab roll. For dessert, try the homemade three-berry pie à la mode.
About a 30-minute drive from the tourist traps of Bar Harbor, this no-frills waterfront seafood joint specializes in reasonably priced, freshly caught lobsters.
With just 20 seats in all (four of which are at the bar), Middle Street newcomer Bresca is one of Portland’s most coveted reservations—with good reason. Owner-chef Krista Kern, a former pastry chef for Guy Savoy in Paris and Las Vegas, strikes a rare balance between comfort and fine dining.
The Clam Shack has been a summertime tradition since 1968. That’s when Richard Jacques debuted his seafood hut above the Kennebunk River. In 2000, Jacques sold the shack and adjacent Clam Shack Seafoods to local Steve Kingston.
Run by the husband-and-wife duo of Steve and Michelle Corry, this farm-to-table restaurant serves up contemporary American dishes with an emphasis on fresh seafood.
Hidden far off the beaten path—at the end of a country road in South Harpswell, this family-run marina-side restaurant may appear nondescript, but its fish chowder is a well-guarded local secret.
Located in the coastal fishing village after which it's named, Five Island specializes in fresh-caught crustaceans. There's no indoor seating; snag a picnic table on the dock overlooking the sea, and watch as the lobster boats come in and out of the harbor.
When chef Lee Skawinski travels around Italy each year, he's not just sourcing recipes.
This seasonal oceanside restaurant, which is affiliated with Spinney's cottages and guesthouse, serves lobsters straight from the tank with drawn butter and bibs.
Part farmstand and part restaurant, Chase’s Daily is owned and operated by Penny Chase and her family. The restaurant, housed inside a refurbished 1888 building, has polished wood floors, a handful of tables, and a counter with red leather stools.
This sleek and modern restaurant is a new entry from celebrated Boston chef Lydia Shire, whose menu includes her famous lobster pizza (way better than it sounds).
The riverfront, monolithic brick Fort Andross Mill—which turned out countless bolts of cotton broadcloth in the 1800s and then for years stood derelict—has become one of the state’s great mixed-use spaces: antiques dealers, gallerists, and a new breed of restaurateurs all share the renovated buil
This massive red-roofed building remains open daily throughout out the year (with truncated hours from Mother's Day to Columbus Day) and specializes in creek-front lobster feasts.
This Little Cranberry Island restaurant, with a gray wood frame and a sizeable patio, rests on pylons along Hadlock Cove, offering views of the boats and ships as they navigate the rippling water of Cranberry Harbor.
Eclectic, organic foods are the specialty at this downtown Brunswick restaurant serving everything from Cuban shrimp to beef Brisket. The interior is simple but inviting, with white tablecloths, squash-yellow walls, and framed artwork throughout.