80 of Maine’s Top Dining Destinations, from Kittery to Fort Kent
AROOSTOOK COUNTY, STONINGTON + BANGOR
Long Lake Sporting Club
48 Sinclair Rd. | Sinclair
This Aroostook County staple, open since 1922, offers beautiful views of the water and a stick-to-your-ribs dining experience. When you’re done filling up on lobster, they’ll even gas up your snowmobile.
415 Main St. | Presque Isle
With an ever-rotating ingredient list, designed to reflect the changes in Northern Maine seasons, and a menu influenced by Thai, Italian, and American cuisine, this charming spot guarantees that regulars will never be bored, and first-timers never leave hungry.
27 Main St. | Stonington
Farm-to-table restaurants have never been more popular, but chef Devin Finigan puts her own spin on the genre at her Stonington restaurant. Every dish on the short menu is fresh, perfectly prepared, and designed to reflect the temperamental Maine seasons.
84 Hammond St. | Bangor
From the creative drinks to the playfully composed cheese plate, everything at the Fiddlehead is joyous, tasty, and just a little quirky, as is the offbeat decor.
Massimo’s Cucina Italiana
96 Hammond St. | Bangor
Authentic Italian food finds a home in Maine at Massimo’s. One bite of the puttanesca sauce and youll find yourself wondering if you’re in Bangor, or Italy. And be sure to take a little something home from the attached bakery.
NORWAY, BETHEL + SUGARLOAF
5092 Access Rd. | Carrabassett Valley
After a day on the slopes, nothing beats good, old-fashioned comfort food, like juicy cuts of beef, or ooey, gooey mac and cheese. Few things pair better with sore legs than red wine and prime rib.
76 Pleasant Street
76 Pleasant St. | Norway
Housed inside a lovely old mansion, 76 Pleasant serves classic dishes with a fresh spin. The menu isn’t long, but with dishes like roasted pressed duckling dressed with shallot demiglace, it doesn’t need to be.
Mill Hill Inn
24 Mill Hill Rd. | Bethel
Even if not staying at the cozy Mill Hill Inn, visitors to Bethel owe it to themselves to try the small plates at the Studio Bistro and Bar. While the dining style borrows from Spain, the menu here is far more global, and includes everything from falafel to teriyaki chicken kabobs.
141 Main St. | Bethel
Lovingly prepared Korean dishes sit alongside sushi and other Japanese favorites. Don’t miss the hot stone bibimbap, which comes with an array of housemade kimchi.
49 Lisbon St. | Lewiston
This modern French-style bistro mixes time-honored favorites (like the steak au poivre) with more unexpected fare (a standout is the mac and cheese with braised beef short ribs).
Fish Bones American Grill
70 Lincoln St. | Lewiston
Fish, and other fruits of sea, are treated with the utmost respect at this Lewiston eatery. While one can order something from the land, when there’s lobster napoleon and mussels margarita to be had, who would want to?
ELLSWORTH + MDI
321 Main St. | Bar Harbor
The diminutive dining room just makes the food at Mache feel all the more special. Rustic French dishes come delicately plated, and a smartly chosen wine list ties it all together.
Cleonice Mediterranean Bistro
192 Main St. | Ellsworth
Local and seasonal ingredients come alive with the bright and varied flavors of Italy, Spain, and the Middle East. Whether you’re looking for tapas or a dish just for you, Cleonice will satisfy.
Burning Tree Restaurant
69 Otter Creek Dr. | Otter Creek
Vegetarians and carnivores alike will find something to love at Burning Tree, a restaurant that excels when it comes to healthful, flavorful dishes. Thanks to smart preparation and delicate seasonings, even kids will want to eat their veggies here.
318 Main St. | Bar Harbor
A Bar Harbor favorite, Havana keeps it light and fun with a Latin-infused menu and bright, summery dishes. Order a bottle (or two) off the fantastic wine list and spend an evening savoring the fresh seafood paella, complete with local Maine lobster, mussels, and shrimp.
14 Clark Point Rd. | Southwest Harbor
Fresh, organic ingredients sourced from local farms and dairies help shape the menu at Red Sky, which specializes in the classics; think New York strip steak and peekytoe crab cakes, cooked perfectly with a fitting hint of Downeast flair.
BELFAST + NORTH HAVEN
108 Main St. | Belfast
Housed in a beautiful old building, the Gothic is the first Maine restaurant from famous raw food restaurateur Matthew Kinney. While much of the food is made with raw ingredients, there is more on the menu than cashew creams and parsnip purees, though those are excellent, as well.
96 Main St. | Belfast
Vegetarians will find themselves in heaven at Chases Daily, but even the most devout carnivore will enjoy the hearty, rich, produce-heavy food. The continually changing menu is packed with both comfort foods, like salty, garlicky pastas, and healthier eats, like epic salads and warming vegetable soups.
11 Mullins Ln. | North Haven
On the beautiful island of North Haven, Nebo Lodge provides first-class lodging and a topnotch dining experience in one lovely building. American standbys like pizza, cheeseburgers, and tacos get new life at Nebo, thanks to the creativity of the chef and the inventive use of Maine-grown goods.
ROCKLAND, CAMDEN + ROCKPORT
55 Chestnut St. | Camden
Diners are greeted by twinkling lights that adorn the small patio, and this romantic, festive vibe continues from the first bite of chef Brian Hills inspired appetizers to the last morsel of the baked-fresh-daily desserts and pastries.
Suzuki’s Sushi Bar
418 Main St. | Rockland
If you’re looking for greasy tempura, head elsewhere. Suzuki doesn’t serve any fried or grilled food, choosing instead to focus on creating delightfully balanced bites of sashimi, nigiri, and maki. If you must have your food cooked, they offer a menu of steamed items, as well.
2 S. Main St. | Rockland
In 2013, chef Melissa Kelly became the first to win the James Beard Foundation regional best chef award twice (her previous win was in 1999). Fortunately, the considerable hype is backed up by some serious culinary chops, which Kelly uses daily to prepare the Italian and Mediterranean menu at Primo, where she is chef, farmer, and co-owner.
3 Crow Restaurant + Bar
449 Main St. | Rockland
A fantastic beer selection and a wide variety of whiskeys keep bar patrons happy, but it’s the Southern-inspired fare that sets this trendy eatery apart.
Salt Water Farm Cafe + Market
24 Central St. | Rockport
At first glance, the food at Salt Water Farm appears simple and rustic, but to write it off would be a terrible mistake. There is wonderful beauty in the dishes cooked up in their open kitchen, from the farm-fresh eggs that top fresh salads to the lovingly presented wild Maine oysters.
18 Central St. | Rockport
The dining room at Shepherds Pie is both cozy and cool, a winning combination that matches the quirky, yet comforting, American food. From the fried green tomatoes to the PB+J duck burgers, there isn’t a miss on the menu.
31 Elm St. | Camden
Instead of focusing on just one region of Asia, owners Paula Palakawong and Ravin Bas Nakjaroen have chosen to create a menu that is something of a greatest hits list. While flavors may skip from continent to island, all offerings are highly authentic and wonderfully flavorful. Local ingredients add a dash of freshness to the dishes from away.
31 Elm St. | Camden
Located inside the luxurious and modern Camden Harbor Inn, the ambiance at Natalie’s make you feel like you’ve earned another stamp on your passport. And if you order the prix fixe menu, prepare to take a culinary road trip though the bounty of the midcoast.
40 Washington St. | Camden
Step inside 40 Paper and you’ll instantly be drawn to the bar. In a room filled with unexpected touches to delight diners, your main focus should be on two things: devouring the handmade pasta (whether it’s pillows of gnocchi or strings of spaghetti) and nabbing a cocktail from the expert bartenders.
BOOTHBAY + WISCASSET
Ports of Italy
47 Commercial St. | Boothbay Harbor
The sign outside proclaims that this is a ”Real Italian” restaurant, complete with handmade pasta. Ports of Italy gets it right, particularly the branzino, an entire fish that comes whole and gets deboned right at your table.
Squire Tarbox Inn
1181 Main Rd. | Wiscasset/Westport Island
Housed inside a lovely old historic Colonial, the Squire Tarbox Inn Restaurant serves country-inspired food that feels rustic, yet displays the chefs technique and epicurean tendencies.
BATH + BRUNSWICK
128 Front St. | Bath
This small and sophisticated bistro, with its candy-colored chairs and light wood fixtures, is a literal bright spot in the industrious little city of Bath. The food is playful and tasty, and the menu features vegetarian and vegan options.
Tao Yuan Restaurant
22 Pleasant St. | Brunswick
Most of the small plates at Tao Yuan, a restaurant that specializes in Asian tapas, fall into one of three categories: hot, cold, or dim sum. No meal at this superb eatery is complete without trying at least one of each. Adventurous diners can broaden their horizons with beef tongue buns or octopus carpaccio.
El Camino Cantina
15 Cushing St. | Brunswick
Proving that serious food need not be taken too seriously is El Camino, a brilliantly quirky Mexican joint that tap dances across the line between authentic and inspired.
25 Mill St. | Brunswick
Italian and Greek foods live together in perfect harmony on the tables of Trattoria Athena. Throughout the meal, diners are given the chance to choose between oils, wines, and even herbs from each country, but smart gourmands will support the union and have a bit of both.
Henry and Marty
61 Maine St. | Brunswick
With a motto like food is love, few things can truly go wrong. And Henry and Marty gets it right, offering an offbeat selection of pizzas, pastas, tacos, and more. If food is love, then dessert is lust, and their list of sweets will certainly kindle your desire.
FREEPORT + YARMOUTH
Conundrum Wine Bistro
117 U.S. 1 | Freeport
Come for the wine, stay for the alcohol-absorbing food. With an encyclopedic list of over 500 bottles, vino enthusiasts will be in heaven, particularly if they can land a seat near the fireplace.
189 Main St. | Yarmouth
With a word that evokes in equal parts parties and foraging, this locally focused restaurant is perfectly named. Inside the brick dining room, you’ll find a feast of American classics, like burgers and crispy-crust pizza, made with local and seasonal ingredients.
PORTLAND, SOUTH PORTLAND + THE ISLANDS
190 State St. | Portland
The glamour of France comes to Portland’s West End neighborhood with this intimate bistro, where you can get everything from escargot to risotto, all curled in the comforting embrace of real butter.
Boones Fish House + Oyster Room
86 Commercial St. | Custom House Wharf
The latest entry on restaurateur Harding Lee Smith’s impressive list of properties is this cavernous space, where picnic-style food like steamed lobster and fried clams takes on a new, gourmet identity.
111 Middle St. | Portland
When Damian Sansonetti opened up Blue Rooster Food Co., it didn’t take long before that small sandwich shop became the place to get lunch in Portland. His sweetly compact new Italian restaurant, Piccolo, was rightfully met with the same fanfare for its tight focus on the home cooking of Central and Southern Italy.
15 Chestnut St. | Portland
Who would have thought that an old church would be such a natural home for a modern bar? The appetizers are top notch, and the cocktail list is a thing of beauty, so don’t stress if you don’t have reservations.
555 Congress St. | Portland
The lobster mac and cheese has the kind of following usually reserved for religious leaders or NFL stars, but everything at this Congress Street restaurant is decadent and tasty.
685 Congress St. | Portland
Tapas-style dining is popular on this list, but Spanish food? That’s not so easy to find. Fortunately, Jay Villani has answered our foodie prayers with Local 188, a spacious, yet über-cool restaurant and lounge that is equally appealing for dinner, or just cocktails and snacks.
Vignola Cinque Terre
10 Dana St. | Portland
Behind a curtain of ivy lies this Portland treasure, where Old World Italian food dominates and the service is fittingly formal. Created by the merger of two neighboring restaurants in 2012, Vignola Cinque Terre also boasts one of the best wine lists around.
505 Fore St. | Portland
Chef Shannon Bard presents her thoughtful and fun take on traditional Mexican fare at this trendy downtown spot. An expertly curated and wide-ranging selection of tequilas complements the spicy, cheesy, and fresh food perfectly.
231 York St. | Portland
A relative newcomer to the scene, Outliers has already won over city dwellers with its urban decor (take a trip to the bathroom to check out Hunter S. Thompson-inspired art) and mouthwatering cuisine.
88 Middle St. | Portland
Few places can match Hugo’s when it comes to presentation and gastronomical innovation. Here you will taste ingredients and see cooking techniques that have yet to make it into mainstream consciousness. But don’t let that scare you away; the food is phenomenal.
Eventide Oyster Co.
86 Middle St. | Portland
Owned by the trio behind the revamped Hugo’s, this sunny, open restaurant is a treat for oyster lovers and seafood fanatics alike. The savory lobster bisque is a delight, and provides a warming counterpart to the dozens of chilled oysters youll likely consume.
58 Pine St. | Portland
While the brunch at Caiolas is always fabulous, this neighborhood restaurant in the West End is worth visiting day or night. The menu changes daily, but always offers updated bar fare and comforting Italian entrees.
Portland + Rochester Public House
118 Preble St. | Portland
The cocktail list has just four creations, but every single one is impeccably made. Eats range from pub food to thick, aged steaks and browned pork chops, all served in a rustic-yet-chic dining room.
671 Congress St. | Portland
Inspired by the street food of Thailand, Boda is a rare find in a city of great dining; it’s at once casual and cool, nice enough for a date but also prepared for the late-night crowd. Savory skewers of meat and vegetables do wonders to neutralize an impending hangover.
547 Congress St. | Portland
Traditional Greek recipes are recreated beautifully at Emilitsa. Composed of simple, fresh ingredients, each dish is created like a work of art and plated with the same loving care.
Cantina El Rayo
85 York St. | Portland
Hibiscus pickled deviled eggs. Swiss chard with pine nuts and tequila-soaked raisins. These are just a few of the Cantina’s original appetizers. This upscale sister to El Rayo Taqueria also boasts a great drink list, for those seeking alternatives to the standby margarita.
22 Monument Sq. | Portland
With three restaurants, and one excellent restaurant-within-a-restaurant, under his belt, chef David Turin has earned his status as a local celebrity. His cuisine is at once familiar, drawing inspiration from Italian and American staples, and offbeat, with a dash of Asian fusion.
22 Monument Sq. | Portland
While David’s is always a solid choice, and David’s 388 continues to draw visitors off the peninsula, there’s no place quite like Opus 10. Located inside Turin’s Monument Square eatery, this is where you’ll find his most upscale and fanciful fare.
2 Portland Sq. | Portland
This classic Portland restaurant has a loyal following among locals, but even those who have never heard of chef Jeff Buerhauss bold fusion cuisine will be drawn in by the funky sign and dimly lit interior.
89 Congress St. | Portland
The simple wood chairs and globe-like hanging lamps provide a clean backdrop for a continually rotating menu composed of wholesome Maine ingredients. For a truly different experience, head over for Sunday Supper, a family-style gathering featuring seasonal ingredients.
468 Fore St. | Portland
Diners who dream of sushi will fall in love with Miyake, where you can taste everything from fresh sea urchin to thinly sliced raw marinated salmon. To sample without the price of a five-course meal, visit at lunch for a bento box.
Back Bay Grill
65 Portland St. | Portland
Despite having won numerous awards, this intimate restaurant remains slightly under the radar thanks to its location. A world-class wine list and a clear dedication to the fundamentals of fine dining make it a must-visit.
288 Fore St. | Portland
Since 1996, Fore Street has remained at the top of the list when it comes to Portland dining. Grab a seat near the open kitchen and watch as the masterful crew pulls dish after dish from the wood-fire grill.
Street + Co
33 Wharf St. | Portland
Caught-that-day seafood is treated with the respect it deserves, meaning impeccable preparation and few accoutrements. A whole fish pairs mighty well with a bottle of old world Italian wine.
Elsmere BBQ + Wood Grill
448 Cottage Rd. | South Portland
2013 could go down in local history as year of the barbecue. But as on trend as it may be, Elsmere stands out with fall-apart tender ribs and savory, tangy house-made sauces.
Enio’s Italian Eatery
347 Cottage Rd. | South Portland
Yet another recent arrival on the scene, Enio’s is the work of husband-and-wife team Laura and Robert Butler. Specializing in rustic Northern Italian food, Enio’s offers classic pasta dishes, complete with rich, homey sauces.
CAPE ELIZABETH + SCARBOROUGH
Sea Glass Restaurant
40 Bowery Beach Rd. | Cape Elizabeth
The ocean view keeps guests coming back to the Inn by the Sea, but even if you’re not staying overnight, you can still enjoy briny Maine air from the restaurant patio. The food is inspired by the chef’s childhood in Argentina, which creates a great melding of northern and southern flavors.
Black Point Inn
510 Black Point Rd. | Scarborough
The stunning historic inn, located on the tip of Prout’s Neck, feels like something out of a different era, where smoking jackets were commonplace and wedge salad was de rigueur. A whole lobster followed by strawberry crème brûlée will complete the illusion.
2 Ocean Ave. | Kennebunkport
Quirky and cool, with a health-conscious menu of local food, Bandaloop is one of the most fun places to spend a night eating and drinking in Kennebunkport. The kale salad is fantastic, as is their signature white peach margarita.
Earth at Hidden Pond
354 Goose Rocks Rd. | Kennebunkport
Dishes like fresh diver scallops with smoked carrots, or duck breast with bok choy and lilybuds, are presented in a beautiful, rustic dining room tucked in the woods of Kennebunkport. It’s farm-to-table at its finest.
Pier 77 Restaurant
77 Pier Rd. | Kennebunkport
For over a decade, Pier 77 has been drawing visitors out of the main town and to the lovely shore of Cape Porpoise, where you’ll find savory treats like truffle fries, fried chicken, and duck confit.
David’s at the Boathouse
21 Ocean Ave. | Kennebunkport
The menu tastes much like David Turin’s excellent Portland restaurant, but the ambiance is entirely different. In the warmer months, you’ll find the waterfront deck packed with diners enjoying the oceanfront view.
Abbondante Trattoria + Bar
27 Western Ave. | Kennebunk
David Ross, the chef behind the popular Kennebunk spot 50 Local, returns to his Italian training at Abbondante. From the garlic bread with melted cheese to the silky gelato, each course is seeped in tradition and full of flavor.
Academe at the Kennebunk Inn
45 Main St. | Kennebunk
Appearances on the Food Network and the Travel Channel have made this brasserie-style restaurant famous. Ivy League charm dominates the dining room, and like those old institutions, Academe has earned its reputation by doing certain things very well, like the lobster pot pie and the heaping plate of surf and turf.
Ocean at the Cape Arundel Inn
208 Ocean Ave. | Kennebunkport
The menu at Ocean may be short, but every item bears the stamp of chef Pierre Gignac, who takes the bounty of Maine and transforms it with his flawless French techniques.
The White Barn Inn
37 Beach Ave. | Kennebunk Beach
Quite possibly the most famous restaurant in Maine, the White Barn Inn has received awards heaped upon accolades. Repeat visitors will love that chef Jonathan Cartwright creates a new menu every week full of decadence, finesse, and of course, lobster.
Tides Beach Club
254 Kings Hwy. | Kennebunkport
Big windows and cheery pink walls make Tides feel like summer no matter the weather, as does the menu, which features inspired takes on classic beach eats, like crispy fried clams and mayo-dressed lobster rolls.
50 Main St. | Kennebunk
You’ll want to linger inside this hip little spot, where sleek industrial design meets DIY whimsy. The menu is similarly quirky, featuring everything from kimchi to burrata.
WELLS + OGUNQUIT
1637 Post Rd. | Wells
Leave the children at home if you want to dine at Joshua’s, where food is prepared and presented with a taste for the theatrical. The slow-food restaurant is the brainchild of chef Joshua Mather, a Maine native with a passion for farm-style eating.
MC Perkins Cove
111 Perkins Cove Rd. | Ogunquit
While Arrows Restaurant has sadly shut down, it’s still possible to taste the cuisine of James Beard-award winning chefs Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier at their slightly more casual eatery, MC Perkins Cove. A tongue-in-cheek menu lists everything from “evil carbos” to ”virtuous vegetables.”
44 Shore Rd. | Ogunquit
While the wood-grilled pizza is the perfect complement to a summer night, the dessert list at Caffe Prego often steals the show. This rustic Italian eatery proves that every meal should end with a cappuccino and a generous helping of gelato (or chocolate souffle or tartufata or take your pick!).
The Black Birch
2 Government St. | Kittery
Known for its excellent comfort food and laid-back vibe, the Black Birch manages to be at once both effortlessly cool and entirely unpretentious. Highlights on the menu include the poutine with duck confit, and the grilled cheese and tomato soup.
20 Walker St. | Kittery
Maine has a wealth of great dining options, but admittedly, Indian cuisine is not our strong point. However, Tulsi would be considered a bright spot in any state. Instead of sticking to one region of India, the menu at Tulsi explores them all, and is all the stronger for it.