Where To Eat When In Maine?| The Ultimate Restaurant Guide By Mainers (2023)
What’s your obvious focus when you are out on a trip? Of course, food, right? And why not? Whether you are at home or on an outing, no single day is complete without having good food. Be it a bunch of snacks or a wholesome three-course meal, food is a priority, and it should always be. A similar is for Maines and the people who visit Maine. The world knows Maine for its Lobsters, and why not? The Pine Tree State offers the best of it. However, that’s not the only food offering in Maine. Instead, when you step out to try the local Maine food, you will be surprised by the range of options and the mouthwatering taste.
Agriculture is extremely rich in Maine, and all thanks to that farm-to-table ethos quite a norm in various parts of this northeastern State. Mainers aim to please when it comes to food and drinks. While exploring different parts of the State, you will come across vivid cuisines, different tastes, and of course, endless options to try. From excellent vegan and vegetarian options to the world’s best seafood, Maine has all of it. With that said, here we have the list of Best Restaurants in Maine that every Mainer swears by. Have a look:
Where To Eat When In Maine: The Ultimate Restaurant Guide By Mainers
1. DUCKFAT in Portland
Beginning with undoubtedly the Best Restaurant in Maine, when in the city of Portland, eat at DUCKFAT. It is a café and sandwich shop located in downtown Portland owned by Nancy Pugh and Rob Evans. DUCKFAT is a Portland staple for munching and hanging out and is quite popular amongst the young generation. The restaurant features a cozy and casual indoor and outdoor dining space where one can grab great food and drink options. Some of their specialties include fried potatoes (Belgian-Style) in duck fat, panini, soups, salads, charcuterie, homemade dipping sauces, and some excellent milkshake choices. They even have a killer soda, beer, and wine menu to choose from. DUCKFAT is extremely hyped in Portland, and it lives up to that.
2. The Clam Shack in Kennebunk
The Clam Shack in Kennebunk isn’t a huge legit Maine Restaurant but if you are a foodie, it is a place to check out. This iconic little eatery is perched on a bridge in the heart of Kennebunkport and has been serving since 1968. Clam Shack is popular for its locally caught lobsters and seafood, especially the fried clams and lobster rolls. What makes their Lobster so flavorful is the process of cooking. The chef boils the Lobster in salt water, drizzle it with butter, kindly spreads all the sauces, adds the required flavoring, and makes the ultimate Lobster roll. They even serve a range of Lunchbox options, Sandwiches, and specialties like Clam Chowder, Shrimp Cocktail, and Dill Pickle. To pair along, Clam Shack has a few soft drink options as well.
NOTE: Clam Shack is summer seasonal, and therefore you won’t find it all year long. Also, it is right adjacent to one of the oldest continuously operated seafood markets in the State; thus, expect a heavy crowd while you approach.
3. Barnacle Billy’s Original in Ogunquit
Another popular restaurant in Maine, the Barnacle Billy’s Original in Ogunquit, is recommended by every Mainer. Operating for over six decades now, the restaurant serves seasonally from May through October. Barnacle Billy’s Original has always been known as luxurious, and its setting right across the harbor contributes to the same. Guests can access both its indoor and outdoor seating (sundeck) and relish their meals while enjoying the beauty of the ocean beyond. The restaurant, though, has an extensive menu, but more lost rolls, homemade lobster stew, Lobster, steamed clams, barbecued chicken, homemade clam chowder, and large lusty drinks are their specialties. Not just that, but the fried clams and seafood dishes here are definitely to die for. Additionally, for drinks, they have a few milk, tea, coffee, and soft drink options as well.
4. Flo’s Hot Dogs in Cape Neddick
Flo’s Hot Dogs is a long-time favorite of both locals and visitors in Cape Neddick. It is a family-owned hot dog stand that has been a constant of Maine for over five decades now. Florence Stacy originally owned the business, and that’s how it got its name. However, Stacy later sold the business to her son and daughter-in-law, who are also its current owners. They have even earned the tag of Best hot dogs in Northeast and New England recently. Flo’s Hot Dogs is located at 1359 Route 1 in Cape Neddick, and unlike many other restaurants in Maine, it opens year-round. Its operational hours go from 11 am to 3 pm from Thursday through Sunday. Even though when options here are limited, this place will never disappoint you for a quick snack or lunch.
5. Anju Noodle Bar
Probably one of the must-visit restaurants in Maine, the Anju Noodle Bar is located at 7 Wallingford Square #102, Kittery. This small dining facility provides intricate freestyle Asian cuisine, probably some of the best food you will try in Maine. The noodle bar utilizes a repurposed government building in Kittery, and its menu is to die for. Everything from the Shoyu Ramen bowl to pork-flavored bone broth, okonomiyaki, pork buns, or ramen fortified by a 14-hour broth, the options on their menu are truly divine. Not only how it tastes, but they even focus on providing enough portion size that even when you are full, you may have some leftovers to take back home. Dishes, including Jairo ramen, duck Yakisoba, and Xi’an Lamb Noodles too, are some excellent options to try. Asian food tastes different, but when it is in Anju Noodle Bar, it is worth trying.
6. Hurricane Restaurant in Kennebunkport
Maine’s seafood has a very different taste to it, and to prove that right, you need to visit the Hurricane Restaurant in Kennebunkport. The restaurant is located right in Dock Square and is known for its fine dining and casual bar area. It only serves the freshest seafood, the one cooked using aged recipes. The executive chef at Hurricane has even written a book on Lobster, and the ones he makes are definitely to try for. The menu at Hurricane Restaurant often changes depending upon which seafood is available as the freshest. Not only that, but they even have some fine options for vegetarian guests. When here, do try their Wedge salad, Lobster Chowder, Oysters Rockefeller, Grilled Veal Chop, Pasta, Bread, and the ultimate Blueberry Cobbler. The dining area at Hurricane has an iconic river view which takes the dining experience here to another level of satisfaction.]
7. Helen’s Restaurant in Machias
Helen’s in Machias is another popular restaurant to try when in Maine. Established in 1950, the restaurant operates seven days a week and serves three meals a day. Their menu features everything from Starters to Salads, Sandwiches, Burgers, Seafood, Beef, Chicken, Pasta, sides, and of course, Helen’s special desserts. Not only that, but the restaurant even has a Kiddos under ten menu that is low on price, spices, and portions kept concerning kids’ appetite. When visiting Helen’s, do try their Chili Lime Shrimp OR Scallops, Spicy Downeast Chicken Salad-go, Seasonal Salads, Meatloaf Grilled Cheese + Marinara, Cobscook Scallops, New Crab Cakes with Chili Lime Aioli, Sweet Potato Fries and Homemade Meatloaf, the real comforting food. Their cookies and pies are the life of meals, and you cannot go back without trying one. Raspberry Pie and *Chocolate Torte with Strawberry Glaze are some really popular and must-try choices.
8. Side Street Cafe in Bar Harbor
When searching for some good restaurants in Maine, the Side Street Café in Bar Harbor is gold. A family operates this warm and welcoming eatery/ bar, and they have something for everyone. As the café’s name suggests, it is just a few blocks from the main tourist area on a side street. It operates for lunch and dinner from 11 am to 6 pm and has quite a fair number of options to choose from. Their cuisine is focused on American food, and some of their specialties include Lobster Rolls, Macaroni and Cheese, Blueberry Pie, Soups, and Sandwiches. Their indoor and outdoor seating option with island vibes can make up the entire mode. Side Street Café also features vegetarian options and gluten-free options just in case someone has a particular food choice. They even have a wine menu from unknown vineyards, but despite that, the drinks are tasty.
9. Yosaku in Portland
Last but not least is a famous Japanese restaurant called Yosaku. A Portland classic, the restaurant is located in downtown the city near the waterfront featuring a mesmerizing setting. While visiting on weekends, reservations are recommended since crowds can be heavy most of the time. Yosaku is known for serving homestyle comforting Japanese food that includes various options from Sushi to Bento Lunch Boxes, Teppanyaki, Soba, and more. Everything they cook is made with the freshest product that is brought right by the fishmongers. Their lunch menu has ever-changing bento box options, which are excellent in taste. Their outdoor seating area overlooks a beautifully manicured Japanese garden that adds extreme relaxation to the dining experience.