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When you think of the best restaurants in Maine, you think of Maine lobster. But in addition to Maine seafood, the state is home to a thriving craft brewery scene and exciting nightlife. When it comes to food and dining in Maine, we aim to please. And our natural bounty makes it easy to deliver on that promise.
Where To Eat by Location
As far as where to eat, the better question is where to begin. Every city and town in Maine, from Anson to York Harbor — alphabetically speaking — has its own special places to enjoy a unique dining experience. Whether you’re a foodie, a locavore, or just someone who likes to chow down, Maine’s restaurants, pubs and eateries are waiting with open arms and — if you have a reservation or good timing — an open table. For starters, let’s explore these locales.
Best Restaurants in Portland, Maine
It’s impossible to say which restaurants in Portland are the best. Here are a few to get your own “best of” list started. To save on wordcount, all are award-winning.
At Fore Street in Old Port, local farmers, fishers and foragers contribute to each day’s changing menu, with items destined for their wood-burning oven, grill and turnspit. In the East End, Duckfat is changing the fried food universe by using its namesake — known as liquid gold — in creating a perfect golden-brown finish to locally sourced offerings.
A revival of the great American oyster bar was the mission of Eventide Oyster Co. Put a checkmark in the success box and select from an array of pristine shellfish and a fresh take on classic New England fare. Old Port’s Central Provisions specializes in small plates. But bring your big appetite for the charcuterie offerings and shared plate items like surf clam ceviche.
Where To Eat in Bangor, Maine
In Bangor, Blaze heats things up with wood-fired pizza, burgers and, for a dramatic change of temperature, craft beer. One taste of the duck-fatted “famous fries” and the quote marks dissolve. The Lobstah Buoy is known as Greater Bangor’s Original Shucked Food Truck. With lobster rolls coming in Baby Buoy, quarter-pound and half-pound, get ready to pound one. Downtown Bangor is home to The Fiddlehead Restaurant and comfort-style dishes with a diversity of geographical influences. The geography of the restaurant’s sourcing is easy — its own Fiddlehead Farm.
Best Restaurants in Brunswick, Maine
In Brunswick, The Great Impasta is the real deal for authentic, creatively inspired Italian dining. A 3-star certified Green restaurant, its versatile menu includes gluten-free and vegan options. Minutes from downtown Brunswick, Wild Oats Bakery & Cafe is a from-scratch deli and cafe with a focus on delicious, homemade food and social and environmental responsibility. Then, picture an iconic American diner with a world-famous Wurlitzer jukebox featuring rotating light columns and changing colors. Welcome to The Brunswick Diner, serving iconic diner fare since 1946.
Where To Eat by Interest
In Maine, we pride ourselves on our ability to cater to the interests of our visitors, and nowhere more so than with food and drink. The first thing we ask is: Do you have any special interests? We’ll give you a moment to think about it. In the meantime, please allow us to offer a few suggestions.
Maine Lobster Food Trucks
Food truck lobster anyone? Set the GPS for Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. That’s where you can roll right up to the Bite Into Maine food truck and, within minutes, bite into one of its six varieties of lobster roll. Make sure to check out the Portland Head Light historic lighthouse too. You’ll see it over the top of your lobster roll while you’re eating. For future planning, there’s a second Bite Into Maine food truck in Portland, at the Allagash Brewing Co.
Portland, Maine Food Tours
There are a lot of tasteful ways to tour Portland, Maine, but none tastier than a Portland food tour. There are numerous tours to choose from, depending on your personal tastes and culinary interests. Here’s a quick sampler from Maine Foodie Tours to get the juices flowing.
As acronyms go, the East End Artisans Tasting Tour is a beauty. The entire E.E.A.T.T. experience is a thing of beauty too. Portland’s East End is a foodie treasure trove of craft brewers, fermenters, winemakers, distillers, restaurants and specialty food shops. The tour will introduce you to all of it and to the wonderful diversity of the neighborhood.
With Maine Foodie Tours’ Progressive Dinner Tour, you’ll dine with locals and learn about the chefs and owners while enjoying award-winning cuisine at three of Portland’s hip and happening restaurants. Enjoy appetizers, craft beverages, entrees and dessert in a natural progression. Who doesn’t love progress?
For those who can’t remember if it’s wet your appetite or whet, great news. The Old Port Seafood Lovers Tour accepts both. The tour combines a delicious seafood luncheon with a tour of Portland’s vibrant working waterfront. If you’ve never seen lobster boats unloading their catch, this tour gets you up close and personal.
Beer Gardens and Wine Tasting
Many visitors come to Maine to experience the harmony of our natural world. Many also discover the way drink harmonizes with food, especially upon visiting a Maine beer garden or winery. Here’s a taste of what awaits, beginning with beer.
In Harrison, Maine, Fluvial Brewing serves up its excellent flagship and seasonal brews in an outdoor tasting area that includes a yurt — for the times when the outdoor temperature seeks equilibrium with the beverages. Portland’s Novare Res Bier Café specializes in “crafting wild, wood-aged and blended beer.” Novare Res means “to start a revolution” in Latin. Whether you start one or not, you’ll enjoy great brews and camaraderie in the beer garden. For a taste of beer brewed at sea level, visit Belfast, Maine, the home and port of call for Marshall Wharf Brewing Company. Visitors can enjoy the lovely outdoor beer atrium overlooking the ocean, with 20-plus craft beers to choose from.
Now for some wine, starting in Stetson, Maine, the picturesque setting of the family-run Dragonfly Farm & Winery. There’s a tasting room and beautiful deck overlooking the vineyard, where visitors can enjoy the family’s white, red and fruit wines. Bar Harbor Cellars Winery at Sweet Pea Farm is a bit of a mouthful, and a wonderfully tasty one. It offers everything from simple fruit wines (using the finest Maine apples and blueberries) to complex and bold varietal reds. Ten minutes inland from coastal Camden, in Lincolnville, you’ll find the entrance to Cellardoor Winery. After sampling one of its three signature wine flights, you can pick up a bottle or three to take home.
The nightlife of Maine is particularly vibrant in the trendy and emerging districts of Portland, but you can find nighttime entertainment or a relaxing and friendly neighborhood pub in nearly all of Maine’s villages and cities. Explore dining and nightlife options on our interactive map, or discover them on your own once you’re here.