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.
This red building, situated on a stretch of land between City Cove and Haley Pond, previously housed an IGA grocery store and, in 1958, even a co-ed sauna.
Co-owner and James Beard Award–winning chef Melissa Kelly drew on two influences when she opened her Italian restaurant in this renovated 1880s Victorian in 2000.
This self-proclaimed “fine casual dining” establishment in the cozy western Maine hamlet of Bethel is open for dinner and Sunday brunch. During the warmer months, S.S. Milton features a patio with a white fence, flowers, and green umbrellas.
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.
Freshly caught seafood is served at this casual Bailey Island restaurant.
This Munjoy Hill restaurant and bar serves a rotating selection of New American dishes utilizing organic, seasonal ingredients.
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.
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.
Cod End consists of a cookhouse, fish market, and dock, all packaged into one locale. The outdoor deck is scattered with picnic tables, which is the preferred place to sit, weather permitting. Indoor seating and a to-go menu are also offered.
Pronounced "kay-o-las," this restaurant in Portland's tree-lined West End area specializes in down-to-earth New American food with splashes of Mediterranean influences.
This candy store and restaurant has been a pillar of the Cape Neddick area since 1896, thanks mainly to their homemade saltwater taffy, fudge, and other sweets, all prepared in full view of the customers. Founder E.A.