By Joe Ricchio
Photograph by Kate Kelley
01 A1 Diner
Though I decided to keep it simple and get the burger made with beef from a local farm, the options here are more diverse than those at a typical diner. What excited me the most was the beer selection—because who needs coffee when you’ve got Unibroue Maudite?
3 Bridge St. | Gardiner | 207.582.4804
02 Maine Diner
After working in the restaurant business my whole life, I honestly have no idea how the servers here stay so friendly and professional while dealing with the constant hordes of customers that mob the place every single day. While pondering this over a delicious bowl of mac and cheese with kielbasa and a Michelob Light, I came to the realization that maybe not everyone is as much of jerk as I am…
2265 Post Rd. | Wells | 207.646.4441
03 Marcy’s Breakfast & Lunch
I’ve been going to this biker-themed Portland breakfast institution for years. Sure it’s small, cash only, and I don’t always fit that well into the booth, but the food is consistently good and the atmosphere is everything I want in a diner.
47 Oak St. | Portland | 207.774.9713
04 Moody’s Diner
Anywhere you rest your arms in Moody’s, the Formica is worn down by generations of others who have come before you. This iconic Maine diner has become something of a legend, and yet it still caters to the locals with items such as fresh smelts (when in season), beef liver, and fried tripe. Plus they’ve got a motel, so bring a change of clothes and a stack of trashy magazines and stay for a few days to sample the whole menu.
1885 Atlantic Highway | Waldoboro | 207.832.7785
05 Ricky’s Diner
There’s something about 1950s-style decor that reminds me of really bad dreams, but when I randomly stumbled upon Ricky’s, I had a feeling that I was in for something good. I proceeded to eat one of the best bowls of clam chowder I’ve had, and I’ve had a lot, followed by a delicious patty melt that made the fact that I was lost someplace in Bridgton seem not so bad.
138 Main St. | Bridgton | 207.647.2499
06 Q Street Diner
While chatting with one of the regulars about “back when jogging was trendy, you know, in the seventies,” I watched the waitress skillfully handle the packed dining room completely on her own. In addition to the fact that they serve great breakfast, I also enjoy the option of hash browns, which I’ll take over home fries any day.
9 Q St. | South Portland | 207.767.0299