With oyster farms dotting the coastline and rivers, Maine is an oyster lover’s heaven. To enjoy the bounty, turn to these oyster hubs for everything from an island retreat to a full raw-bar experience to a new happy hour.
The Shop | Portland
This year-round shellfish market offers a rotating menu of tinned fish, caviar, and $1.50 oysters from Maine and Massachusetts. Guests sit at industrial-looking tables while a team of shuckers works behind a bar. In the summer months, a front deck overlooking Washington Avenue is open for people to escape Old Port crowds.
Mine Oyster | Boothbay Harbor
The walls on the first floor of this waterfront restaurant are covered in hand-painted quotes describing how an oyster looks and tastes. Outside is a wrap-around deck where diners watch the summer boat traffic and choose from over a dozen types of oysters. Each one is shucked at an open oyster bar and prepared raw, deep-fried, or roasted on a wood-fired grill.
18 Central Oyster Bar + Grill | Rockport
Guests can look out on the harbor from an outdoor patio complete with fire pits and heat lamps and enjoy locally sourced oysters throughout the year. The oysters at 18 Central are served broiled or raw, with a choice of wood-fire-grilled tomato cocktail sauce, red wine mignonette, or a special sauce that changes daily.
Pearl Kennebunk Beach + Spat Oyster Cellar | Kennebunk
The airy and open upper floor of Pearl Kennebunk Beach feels like an enchanted forest thanks to natural wood and elegant, minimalist chandeliers. A long wooden table sits parallel to the bar, and leather couches face a large stone fireplace nestled next to a floor-to-ceiling wine display. The daily happy hour offers raw or fried oysters, littleneck clams, and fried oyster sliders. During the warmer months, guests are invited to dine on the outdoor patio.
Maine Oyster Company | Portland
Over the past three years, Maine Oyster Company has grown from a small farm in Phippsburg to an event venue in West Point and now a restaurant in Portland. To promote local farmers, they offer only Maine-grown oysters, served on the half shell with house-made mignonette sauce. Inside the eatery are exposed brick walls and a display of ready-to-be-shucked shellfish that greets the guests as they walk through the door.
Crown Jewel | Great Diamond Island
To reach Crown Jewel, diners take a boat or catch the Casco Bay Ferry to Diamond Cove. Once off the boat, they walk past island homes and gardens before arriving at this bohemian-style restaurant. Inside are light pink walls and turquoise tables, and when the weather is warm crowds spill out onto the front deck to enjoy drinks and local oysters on the half shell.
King Eider’s Pub | Damariscotta
This locals’ favorite restaurant and oyster bar is located in a historic brick building in downtown Damariscotta. The oysters, harvested locally from the Damariscotta River, are served raw or roasted. Guests can also order the Horseradish Oyster Shooter, which consists of six oysters and a shot of Split Rock Distilling Organic Horseradish Vodka.