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.
Not every dish is vegetarian-friendly at this eclectic Bayside hole-in-the-wall, but the multi-page menu is so vast and varied, vegetarians end up with some two-dozen entrees to choose from. When Silly’s opened in 1988, most people thought a “vegan” was an alien from Star Trek.
Lifted out of Greenwich Village in 1960 and plunked down in working-class Lewiston, Guthrie’s is a bohemian café with a menu that skews southwestern.
The New England outpost of lauded chef and plant-food evangelist Matthew Kenney, The Gothic puts a smart, contemporary spin on vegetarian cuisine. Small plates let locally grown and foraged morsels speak for themselves.
Chef and owner Dan Sriprasert’s veggie Thai restaurant has all the curries, stir fry, and noodle dishes you’d expect, and Sriprasert goes in heavy on soy meats, ginger, lemongrass, and tamari.
One whiff of the hickory wood–smoked BBQ, and you’ll be seduced by this roadhouse restaurant, one mile south of downtown Freeport.
Pine Tree is a summertime favorite for ice cream on quaint Main Street in Rangeley. People line up to the powder blue building and fill up outdoor picnic tables to enjoy the shop's selection of Gifford’s brand scoops in flavors like French vanilla, coffee, and mint chocolate chip.
First, there’s the drive in, a lovely trip along the peninsula south of busy Rockland (where the Maine Lobster Festival is held every August). Down here it’s a scene from a Wyeth canvas: forests of black spruce abutting saltwater farms; the scent of pine mingled with seaweed.
For 50 years, the Stacy family has been serving up some of America's best dogs from this ramshackle, cabin-like red shed in Maine. The franks come steamed and are served with some very special relish—in fact, it's this now-famous condiment that keeps customers coming back.
This instant institution has been open along Highway One since 1983. The low-slung white building with a blue awning flies a series of flags along the roof, including the U.S., Canada, and of course Maine.
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).
This Munjoy Hill restaurant and bar serves a rotating selection of New American dishes utilizing organic, seasonal ingredients.
Freshly caught seafood is served at this casual Bailey Island restaurant.
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.