Dining In Maine
Dining is one of the major attractions for tourists in Maine. The state is home to some of America's finest dining and there are so many places that you cannot exhaust all of them even if you visited every year.
Predictably, you're likely to find the best dining places are in Portland city, the largest and main city in Maine, but that doesn't mean that doesn't mean that there are no unique eateries in other cities elsewhere in Maine.
Below, well look at the a few eateries you should dine at in Maine by city or town.
Without a doubt, Portland has grown into one of the country's top dining cities, only topped by san Francisco in restaurants per capita. So next time you're in Portland, be sure to check out these places.
Portland Lobster Company - You probably already know that there's no shortage of the famous lobster in most cities in Maine, especially Portland. However, not all red crustaceans are made equal in Portland. When you've been to a few eateries, you'll realize that many of the lobster served is more mayo than meat. But Portland Lobster Company is just the opposite. Located on the dock close to Commercial Street, Portland Lobster Company is the epitome of genre. There's both indoors and outdoors seating and ordering is all done at the cashier. The eatery features a laid-back ambience and serves a host of other non-lobster food items, but whatever your order, it's always worth the wait starting with a lobster roll.
Hugo's - Hugo's came on the Portland eatery scene in 1999 and quickly stamped its authority. Opened and run by acclaimed chef Rob Evans, Hugo's oozes inventiveness and sophistication. Local fish is a major feature on the menu but not lobster. Hugo's is also a good place for food adventurers as it offers a 'blind tasting menu' night by night.
Five Fifty-Five - Five Fifty-Five is especially famous for its superbly delicious truffled lobster mac and cheese, but that's not all that there's to offer at this two-flow restaurant; the juicy 555 hanger steak and the local diver scallops with black pepper coating and soaked in vanilla emulsion are worth indulging in. For sure, this is one place you'll keep coming back to, thanks to the magic of local ingredients.
Fore Street - Fore Street has garnered a list of accolades since it's opening in 1996, including the 2004 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef in Northeast for Sam Hayward, owner and chef. The eatery was also among the very first in Maine to feature an open kitchen with a grill, a wood-burning oven, and turnspit. You will love its wood-fired dishes and a range of seasonal fruit desserts, among other unique delicacies that have made the restaurant one of the finest in the whole of Maine and the Northeast generally.
Freeport is an upscale coastal village in Maine with beautiful scenery and lots of places to dine at. Here are a few suggestions:
Azure Cafe - Famous for Italian dishes, Azure cafe attracts both locals and tourists in big numbers. Located right on Main Street, Azure offers a range of cocktails and tasty seafood with both indoor and outdoor seating.
Mediterranean Grill - Offers both indoor and outdoor dining (seasonal) for mostly Turkish dishes and vegetarian treats. You will love the serene atmosphere as well as the separate lounge and bar area.
Maine Dining Room - If you're looking for upscale and elegant dining in Freeport, the Maine Dining Room in the Harraseeket In offers just that. Mind the dress code though as it's usually black-tie and dressy casual here.
Rockport and Camden
There are so many good things about Rockport, but its eateries are a class apart. Once you visit the top eateries in Rockport, you'll always harbor a crush on them Here are a few standouts to checkout:
Shepherd's Pie The menu at this fascinating eatery is so tantalizing that you'll have a hard time to make your selection. Besides the famous shepherd pie (part of reason for which the place is named), the pork belly sandwich and the Maine crab ceviche are sure to bring you back to this spot over and over again. Simply put, the food served at this quiet eatery rivals that of many other critically acclaimed restaurants in Portland, and, in fact, many reviewers suggest that it surpasses many of those restaurants.
Francine Bistro - A sister eatery to Shepherdis Pie, Francine Bistro is an upscale eatery that offers great dining experience to locals and visitors alike. First, you'll love the romantic and cozy atmosphere, but that's before you get distracted by the amazing cocktails. The menu is ingenious and constantly changes to cater to local tastes. However, on any given day, you're likely to find Chilled Remaquid Oysters, Sweet Corn Soup, and Barbequed Lamb Riblets, among other mouth watering dishes.
Cappy's Chowder House - Another typically local restaurant located at 1 Main Street Camden/Rockport, Cappy's Chowder has a warm pub ambience and has superb service. Although it's not a tourist hot spot, it is worth trying out on your next visit to the area. The typical menu includes Lobsta Spring Rolls, Maine Popcorn Shrimp, Jo's Mussels, and the Best Calamari, among others.
Atlantica - This family owned (owned and run by chef Ken Paquin and wife Del for more than a decade) upscale bistro serves some fine international cuisines as well as a number of creative American delicacies. The menu has strong influences of French and Asian cuisines and uses fresh farm ingredients from a string of farmers with whom the restaurant partners. The signature dish of Pan Roasted Halibut is sure to leave an impression, but so are many other dishes of scallops, lamb, oysters, and steaks.
Home Kitchen Cafe - Located on Main Street in Rockland, this recently opened cafe (opened in 2009) has a hip setting and is mainly flocked by locals. The food is amazingly delicious an all made by local ingredients such as seafood, cheeses, various vegetables, and eggs, among others.
Well, it's impossible to include all places even in a single town or city but the aforementioned places seem to standout both with local and tourist crowds. Check them out by yourself and be the judge.