Restaurants in Maine

Hugh Stewart

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... Read More

The ospreys are often circling overhead at Bagaduce Lunch, a no-frills take-out restaurant on a tidal river in Brooksville—and recipient of a... Read More

This Munjoy Hill restaurant and bar serves a rotating selection of New American dishes utilizing organic, seasonal ingredients. The menu is organized... Read More

In 1961, longtime fisherman and lobsterman Billy Tower started scouring nearby waters for seafood to serve at his casual, Perkins Cove restaurant, which... Read More

This roadside spot on Highway 175 isn’t far from Northern Bay on Maine’s central coast, and it's open only in the summer. Owners Larry and... Read More

Eat where the fishermen and the dockworkers eat—although you don’t necessarily need to dine at 4 a.m., like they do. There’s more than just breakfast at... Read More

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... Read More

You have your choice of authentic, hearty seafood joints along the Portland wharf, but none are as fun or as food-forward as the landmark, two-story... Read More

With just 20 seats in all (four of which are at the bar), Middle Street newcomer Bresca is one of Portland’s most coveted reservations—with... Read More

One whiff of the hickory wood–smoked BBQ, and you’ll be seduced by this roadhouse restaurant, one mile south of downtown Freeport. Here,... Read More

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... Read More

Sure, you can eat inside at Cameron’s—or on the nice covered deck—but why would you want to? The Brunswick seafood shack does a great lobster roll and... Read More

This family-friendly joint has famous thick chowder, plus burgers and lobster rolls. Read More

Sweets are no afterthought at this hip, easygoing bar and small-plates emporium. As with the rest of the menu, the dessert emphasis is on simplicity,... Read More

I had my best meal all year while seated at the bar of this hip, nonthreatening small-plates emporium in the Old Port. The vibe is unhurried and... Read More

Part farmstand and part restaurant, Chase’s Daily is owned and operated by Penny Chase and her family. The restaurant, housed inside a refurbished... Read More

An anchor of coastal Belfast’s funky downtown, Chase’s hosts a farmer’s market (from the Chase family farm) right in the back of the restaurant. The... Read More

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... Read More

When chef Lee Skawinski travels around Italy each year, he's not just sourcing recipes. Strains of beans, squash, and lettuce from the area wind up on a... Read More

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... Read More

Freshly caught seafood is served at this casual Bailey Island restaurant. Opened in 1955, Cook's is located on a fully operational wharf and,... Read More

Dangling at the bottom of the Pemaquid peninsula (actually, on the car-accessible Rutherford Island), Coveside is a welcoming pub with a deck, marina,... Read More

More than 75 years in, Bucksport’s tiny Crosby’s turns out all the deep fried seafood classics and goes above and beyond the requisite lobster rolls... Read More

This diner in the western Maine hamlet of Bethel features a peaked roof, with wooden walls, and a patio with a white picket fence and lime green... Read More

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... Read More

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... Read More

 There’s comfort food, and then there’s Duckfat. When owner-chef Rob Evans opened this friendly all-day café just down the... Read More

For starters, they’ll combine one of their cane-sugar craft sodas (I like the cherry bark phosphate) with some vanilla gelato. If that doesn’t appeal,... Read More

Guess what the crisp and perfectly seasoned Belgian fries are cooked in? Duckfat’s fries are a Portland classic, and you can grab a cone full of them at... Read More

You might be thinking, “I didn’t come to Maine to eat at a truck stop.” Your loss. Bangor’s no-frills, 24-hour eatery has a from-scratch ethos, hearty... Read More

Thousands of miles from the Mexican border, in a residential neighborhood two blocks from Brunswick’s main drag, this funky cantina belies every... Read More

You can tell the place is good by driving past the crowded patio during the summer months. A young crowd mobs El Rayo on warm evenings for tacos al... Read More

Maine’s Mid Coast hides some of its best secrets on the “reaches”: long, narrow peninsulas that stretch like fingers into the sea. The... Read More

The ice cream is churned in-house, the clam strips are crispy, and the hot dogs are in red casings (as all true Maine hot dogs should be). Along with... Read More

There’s truth in advertising. Brunswick’s sixty-year-old, cash-only, drive-in institution still packs them in for notably mayonnaise-y lobster rolls and... Read More

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... Read More

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... Read More

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... Read More

The signature lobster roll is stuffed with five ounces of the day's freshest catch-hauled in by the owner himself-and served with a side of chips or... Read More

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... Read More

Coastal Maine-influenced cuisine is the inspiration at this bistro in Camden, Maine. Francine is the brainchild of chef-owner Brian Hill, who cut his... Read More

Maine’s pastoral midcoast exists at a glorious three-way intersection of local horticulture, local aquaculture, and world-class ocean fishery. If there... Read More

The riverfront, monolithic brick Fort Andross Mill—which turned out countless bolts of cotton broadcloth in the 1800s and then for years stood... Read More

For owners Bob and June Frost, it’s always time to make the doughnuts—with potato flour. Their homey shop with red-and-white-striped awning... Read More

Maine’s original gelato shop opened in 2007, and the Old Port location (the flagship’s in Brunswick) still has lines out the door every (non-winter)... Read More

Order a warm chocolate lava cake at this family-owned Oquossoc institution. Read More

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... Read More

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... Read More

So you’re making the pilgrimage to L. L. Bean and the outlets of Freeport. When you can’t face another discounted duck boot, retreat to this... Read More

Eclectic, organic foods are the specialty at this downtown Brunswick restaurant serving everything from Cuban shrimp to beef Brisket. The interior is... Read More

Owner-chef (and James Beard Award–winner) Rob Evans may have trained himself to cook—but it’s not as if he just woke up one day and... Read More

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... Read More

This tantalizingly retro white cement block of a restaurant enjoys a great waterside location off Commercial Street. Simply emblazoned on the outside... Read More

Owned by native chef Joshua Mathers, his namesake eatery serves organic American cuisine in a Colonial house dating back to 1774. The interior blends... Read More

Dine on seafood cioppino with fresh-caught fish or jumbo baked lobsters at La Bella Vita, in the Harborside Hotel. Read More

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

Overlooking the Damariscotta River where it feeds into the Atlantic, this unpretentious spot—decked out with antique lobster buoys, hurricane... Read More

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... Read More

Handmade pies—cream, fruit, and even savory—made from predominantly local ingredients and sold in the store or delivered to you in Portland. Owner and... Read More

Chefs/partners Mark (“M”) Gaier and Clark (“C”) Frasier of the esteemed Ogunquit restaurant Arrows opened this seaside bistro in... Read More

There are only a couple hundred feet of land on either side of MC Perkins Cove, an approachable bistro and raw bar run by James Beard Award-winning... Read More

James Beard Award-winning chefs Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier opened this raw bar and upscale casual dining room as a relaxed alternative to their (since... Read More

Sanford isn’t known as a foodie hotspot, so this Québécois-influenced gastro-pub in a restored textile mill took Maine diners by surprise. The place... Read More

A mid-century dining car with unabashed greasy spoon appeal, this Portland landmark is conspicuous on a strip of new condo construction and upscale... Read More

Easily identified by its famous giant neon sign, Moody’s endures as the rest stop of choice on Maine’s mid-coast highway. Family owned and... Read More

Opened in 1927, it isn’t Maine’s oldest diner, but Moody’s might be the state’s most beloved and least changed. The open-faced turkey sandwich with... Read More

Seven miles from U.S. Route 1 (turnoff opposite Moody’s Diner) is a Teutonic gourmand paradise. Founded in 1918, this friendly family-run... Read More

The fine-dining restaurant of Kennebunkport’s Cape Arundel Inn, Ocean shows off its namesake with immense windows that give every table in the house... Read More

This 1925 dining car in the former mill town of Biddeford seats 15 for breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunches. The stools and formica countertop and... Read More

Live and cooked lobsters are the draw at this low-key waterfront seafood shack, operated by the nation's oldest fishermen's cooperative. Everything... Read More

After your meal at this buzzy Old Port trattoria, stick around for the nightly dessert. Pastry chef and co-owner Ilma Lopez is a veteran of a handful of... Read More

Getting one of the 20 seats at tiny Piccolo became progressively more difficult this year, as word got out that the restaurant’s southern Italian... Read More

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... Read More

Co-owner and James Beard Award–winning chef Melissa Kelly drew on two influences when she opened her Italian restaurant in this renovated 1880s... Read More

A local favorite on Mount Desert Island, this New American restaurant emphasizes organic local produce and fresh seafood from the coast of Maine.... Read More

This central Maine institution has been located along the Wiscasset waterfront since 1954, and before that, in nearby Boothby, beginning in 1938. The... Read More

Buddy Poland inherited the lobstering tradition from his New England forebears and manages this shingled lobster shack near a harbor called Round Pond,... Read More

This self-proclaimed “fine casual dining” establishment in the cozy western Maine hamlet of Bethel is open for dinner and Sunday brunch.... Read More

Fresh lobster rolls, fried scallops, and haddock chowder are just a few of the locally renowned specialties at this casual roadside restaurant, situated... Read More

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.... Read More

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.... Read More

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... Read More

This zanily cluttered East End institution has been pleasing omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans since 1988. Never mind that the inside looks like a TGI... Read More

The folks in the bright orange truck are perfecting the art of the artisan sandwich, beer battering locally caught haddock, making corn dogs out of... Read More

This seasonal oceanside restaurant, which is affiliated with Spinney's cottages and guesthouse, serves lobsters straight from the tank with drawn butter... Read More

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... Read More

The Breakwater Inn’s signature restaurant, named for striped bass, specializes in local Atlantic seafood, and offers views of the Atlantic Ocean... Read More

Find some of New England’s best pho—fragrant, complex, and generous with beef steak or brisket—in this totally unassuming Vietnamese restaurant. There’s... Read More

A former post office with family-style seating and specials on chalkboards, the humble set-up at the Black Birch belies the quality of the gastropubby... Read More

Differentiating itself from the area's many cafeteria-style seafood shacks, this tapas bar and restaurant specializes in small plates designed for... Read More

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,... Read More

Two miles north of Camden at the Inn at Ocean’s Edge, a leafy path lined with artful walls of stacked wood leads to a ‘70s retro-chic... Read More

The New England outpost of lauded chef and plant-food evangelist Matthew Kenney, The Gothic puts a smart, contemporary spin on vegetarian cuisine. Small... Read More

The classical brick building that houses The Gothic is a former bank looming over Belfast’s downtown, but the menu isn’t as austere or intimidating.... Read More

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... Read More

Seafood with a comfort twist is what attracts hordes of Maine pilgrims to this slightly hackneyed roadside eatery. Skip the adjacent and much-hyped gift... Read More

The Maine Dining Room restaurant at downtown Freeport’s Harraseeket Inn is a source of local pride; James Beard Award–winning chef Sam... Read More

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... Read More

A local institution in the Kennebunkport village of Cape Porpoise, the Wayfarer looks and feels like a New England general store, but chef Brendan Levin... Read More

About a 30-minute drive from the tourist traps of Bar Harbor, this no-frills waterfront seafood joint specializes in reasonably priced, freshly caught... Read More

Lewiston’s refreshingly no-frills drive-up opened as a root beer stand in 1959 and doesn’t seem to have raised its prices since. The menu board includes... Read More

Certainly the most ambitious kitchen to open recently in Maine, Vinland launched with a credo to serve 100% local, 100% organic food. Locals’ skepticism... Read More

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).... Read More

There’s a poetic juxtaposition to the white tablecloths and candlelight inside of two barns from the 1820s, and that intersection of rustic and elegant... Read More

The centerpiece of Maine’s top-rated inn—its famed white barn with wide-plank floors and soaring exposed beams—is where Brit expat... Read More

Now one of six regional locations, the original Wild Willy’s began serving its signature handmade burgers in 2001. Like the other branches, the... Read More

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