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.
Order a warm chocolate lava cake at this family-owned Oquossoc institution.
If Shaw's Fish & Lobster Wharf looks familiar, it might be because part of the Kevin Costner movie Message in a Bottle was filmed here. That was in the late 1990s, but little has changed.
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.
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
Dine on fresh seafood cioppino with fresh-caught fish or jumbo baked lobster.
The secret to owner-chef Sam Hayward’s success is his honest, earthbound cooking. And his temple to simply prepared food is Fore Street—a cavernous warehouse space that miraculously manages to feel homey, thanks to old barn wood, worn leather booths, and an all-around lived-in patina.
Chefs/partners Mark (“M”) Gaier and Clark (“C”) Frasier of the esteemed Ogunquit restaurant Arrows opened this seaside bistro in quaint Perkins Cove in 2006—welcome news for locals and out-of-staters who want to sample their cuisine (and produce from the duo’s renowned garden) but not spend a for
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.
The centerpiece of Maine’s top-rated inn—its famed white barn with wide-plank floors and soaring exposed beams—is where Brit expat executive chef Jonathan Cartwright weaves a culinary tapestry of Maine-inspired American and European dishes.
This tantalizingly retro white cement block of a restaurant enjoys a great waterside location off Commercial Street. Simply emblazoned on the outside with a bright blue J, this lively sports bar has been a favorite hangout since 1978, and not much has changed, including the staff.
Live and cooked lobsters are the draw at this low-key waterfront seafood shack, operated by the nation's oldest fishermen's cooperative.
Maine’s Mid Coast hides some of its best secrets on the “reaches”: long, narrow peninsulas that stretch like fingers into the sea. The sleepy Harpswell peninsula is just a half-hour’s detour off I-295, yet it could be 200 miles away.