Every road trip to Maine involves lobster. And while there are certainly many seafood shacks to choose from, a meal in Maine can be so much more than lobster rolls and chowder (although those are very, very good). For our Labor Day weekend trip, we made our way through Camden, Rockport, Rockland, Bar Harbor and Portland, and our food itinerary was surprisingly diverse. We had fantastic plates of Asian food in lily-white Camden, hand rolls and omakase in Portland, and delicious blueberry pancakes in Bar Harbor. If you’re looking for a hit-list of places to eat that include a little bit of lobster and a whole lot of something else, check out the recommendations below.
20 Washington St, Camden, ME 04843
(207) 236 – 9001
Vibe: Southeast Asian food in country-chic settings.
Must get dish: the Maine crab fried rice.
18 Central Oyster Bar & Grill
18 Central St, Rockport, ME 04856
Vibe: Fresh seafood and raw bar in a modern steakhouse.
Must get dish: Raw oysters and the specials of the day.
743 Main St, Rockland, ME 04841
Vibe: Quintessential Maine seafood shack.
Must get dish: Lobster roll with a side of butter.
Bar Harbor, Maine
80 Cottage Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Vibe: Scrappy, local diner that makes one of the best blueberry pancakes in town.
Must get dish: Blueberry pancakes.
41 Water St, Wiscasset, ME 04578
Vibe: Famous lobster shack with lines out the door.
Must get order: Deep fried clams, followed by the lobster roll.
Eventide Oyster Co.
86 Middle St, Portland, ME 04101
Vibe: Brightly lit and inviting raw bar. Everyone keeps insisting that Portland’s food is amazing, and this is the restaurant that makes you believe them.
Must get order: Any raw fish crudo / carpaccio / sashimi.
28 Monument Way, Portland, ME 04101
Vibe: Tiny hand roll stand that sets up shop in various spots around Portland. Check @mr.tuna_maine for schedule.
Must get order: Any of the spicy rolls.
Tandem Coffee + Bakery
742 Congress St, Portland, ME 04102
Vibe: Hipster bakery and coffee shop housed in a former gas station.
Must get order: Famous loaded biscuit slathered in jam and butter. Pies are also acceptable.
Standard Bakery Co.
75 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101
Vibe: Pretty, artisanal bakery that’s serious about its breads and pastries.
Must get order: Croissant or financier.
468 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101
Vibe: Creative omakase in a traditional Japanese setting.
Must get dish: Choose the 4-course dinner option so you can try a little bit of everything. I personally liked the hamayaki–lobster, scallop and crab over sushi rice with kewpie mayo.
Elda (technically in Biddeford, ~20 minute drive from Portland)
140 Main St, Biddeford, ME 04005
Vibe: Sleek, New Nordic atmosphere. (Definitely the most refined and impressive restaurant on our trip).
Must get order: 4-course menu is the only option and changes seasonally. I was impressed by everything, even the bread.