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.
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).
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 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.
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.
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.
Dine on fresh seafood cioppino with fresh-caught fish or jumbo baked lobster.