I’m sure several things come to mind when planning a trip to Maine. Where should I visit? What should I do? But most importantly... Where should I eat!? Maine has incredible food and I’m not just talking about lobster.
Let’s focus on the coast from Kennebunkport up north to Bar Harbor. This area has some of the best seafood in North America and Portland was named the #1 Foodie City in the nation by People Magazine in 2018!
Portland has a wide variety of cuisines including Vietnamese, Spanish, and classic Americana. One of my personal favorites in Portland is Duckfat, where they cook their fries in real duck fat and have the most amazing paninis! Be sure to get the flight of dipping sauces for the ultimate fry experience.
Just south of Portland lies Kennebunkport, a small town with a lot of history. It is home to long sandy beaches, the interesting Seashore Trolley Museum and the Goat Island Lighthouse just outside of town that dates back to 1833. Make sure you spend some time in Dock Square that is lined with great shops and the local favorite, The Clam Shack. Feast on fried clams, clam strips and clam chowder or go big with a whole boiled lobster!
Moving up the coast a bit brings us to Freeport, home to the LL Bean Flagship store. One of the best local spots in this area is the Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster Company. This no frills spot, known as a lobster pound, is right on the dock with great views of the water! You can’t get anything fresher than this with lobstermen coming in throughout the day with their catch.
*Fun fact* lobsters were dirt-cheap in the early 1800s because they were so abundant and routinely fed to prisoners! Some prisons even had a limit as to how many times a week they could serve lobster to the inmates. It wasn’t until 1850 or so when people developed a taste for the shellfish and the rest was history.
Continue north and arrive in Rockland, a small town with a famous hot dog joint named Wasses. Mainers love their snappy natural casing hot dogs on a steamed split top bun. A local tradition is to order hot dogs and a chocolate milk… evidently it’s a great combo! Of course if that sounds a little too strange, order a classic Moxie. Moxie is the official soft drink of Maine with a unique taste that comes from gentian root extract, a bitter substance commonly used in medicines.
As you keep traveling up the coast, you will arrive in Bar Harbor, located right outside of Acadia National Park. This area is known for their popovers, with the best served at Jordan Pond House. Here you can enjoy a classic afternoon tea with popovers and fantastic views after exploring the park. Another spot not to miss is Jordan’s Restaurant with the best blueberry pancakes and muffins made with delectable wild blueberries. Blueberries in Maine are a bit smaller than normal and have an incredible flavor! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for other blueberry treats or simply a pint of fresh ones!
Saving the best for last, let’s talk about dessert. One of my favorite sweet treats in the Pine Tree State is a whoopie pie. Two cake-like cookies get smashed together with cream filling. The traditional flavor is chocolate but bakeries are coming up with all sorts of fun twists like red velvet, pumpkin, lemon raspberry and more! If you want something frozen and refreshing, Gelato Fiasco is an amazing gelato spot. They started in Brunswick and now have a location in Portland. Some of the incredible flavors include apple caramel mascarpone pecan, Sicilian pistachio, and torched marshmallow s’more.
Next time you’re in Maine, be sure to enjoy a few of these delicacies and take plenty of photos along the way! Besides lobster, Maine has many other highlights that might not initially come to mind from head over to our Guide to Maine: Vacationland to find out more.