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.
The Maine Dining Room restaurant at downtown Freeport’s Harraseeket Inn is a source of local pride; James Beard Award–winning chef Sam Hayward (now at Fore Street) first helped make a culinary name for the Harraseeket in the early ‘90s, and dishes like halibut encrusted in fresh horseradish and f
A local favorite on Mount Desert Island, this New American restaurant emphasizes organic local produce and fresh seafood from the coast of Maine.
Easily identified by its famous giant neon sign, Moody’s endures as the rest stop of choice on Maine’s mid-coast highway.
The food is nothing fancy—fish chowder and the like—but the breezy Maine ambience is the real deal.
In a region with so many seasonal restaurants, Grissini stands out for being open year-round and for its refined Tuscan food. The space sports white-clothed tables and a stone-lined fireplace. In warmer summer months, they utilize a patio with umbrellas and a white picket fence.
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.
To passersby, the no-frills seafood shack won't look like much, but the "fisherman's lunch"— a cup of clam chowder with a lobster roll—is as good as it gets.
No self-respecting food-lover on a tour of Maine would skip a visit to this restaurant, only three miles (yet worlds away) from Ogunquit’s busy downtown.
Dine on seafood cioppino with fresh-caught fish or jumbo baked lobsters at La Bella Vita, in the Harborside Hotel.
What started as a simple jam enterprise for Jonathan King and Jim Stott in 1991 blossomed into a culinary empire that includes a cooking school, and as of 2003, a café.
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 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.