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Aug 16, 2007 09:38 AM

A trip to Bar Harbor

My wife and I along with another couple are coming to Mount Desert Island the first week of October. This is our first visit since 1994 and are looking for any must eat places. We are staying in a house right near the northern entrance to Acadia and are open to any cuisine (with several lobster feasts a must). We will be hiking every day, so are looking for dinner ideas (not too formal) with maybe a can't miss breakfast and/or lunch.

Any help would be appreciated and get on the DC board if you need me to direct you to the best blue crabs in the US, fresh out of our beautiful Chesapeake Bay.


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  1. Apologies - I searched for info on MDI several days ago and nothing was too up to date. Now I just saw the rather lengthly discussion from last week. I will wade through that but would appreciate any other suggestions.


    1. For lobster at its freshest and most essential, you can't beat the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound. As you approach Mt Desert Isl. it's on the right, just before the bridge to the island.

      You must have the popovers at Jordan Pond House, right in the middle of Acadia. Mid-day tea is one way to relax and enjoy them if it fits in your hiking schedule. Even better IMO is their prix fixe dinner. The entrees are just okay (good, but slightly institutional), but the delicious popovers are served as your bread (just ask for more) and one of the included deserts is their home made ice cream inside a popover with chocolate syrup! Perfect reward after a long day of hiking!

      For breakfast, try Jordan's. Thirsty Whale is a funky bar, with great beers on tap, better-than-you'd-expect sandwiches, and occasional live music.

      Enjoy your trip.

      5 Replies
      1. re: MrTaz

        On some previous threads about lobster pounds, there were discussions about whether the Trenton Bridge pound was a tourist trap. There's also Lunds which is just a little north on Rt. 3. We just got back from MDI and went to Thurstons in Bernard on the recommendation of the hotel owner. My wife and son tells me the lobsters (we got the soft shells) were delicious. Unfortunately I'm allergic to shellfish :(

        1. re: MrTaz

          MrTaz is correct. These above choices are excellent. I have been going there for years, and I am a native. By the way, every lobster shack is a tourist trap. They need tourists to survive. So what if it is a tourist trap !
          I feel Trenton Bridge is the best in Maine, besides, they have been lobster fishermen for many years, and have their own pound. Lunds and the one across the street is a joke compared to Trenton Bridge. When u go to Trenton Bridge ask for Josette and tell her Vinny sent you. Good Luck and enjoy your visit.

          1. re: irwin

            Correction; they have never been long term lobstermen and do not have their own (im)pound(ment). They are good buyers and have a good business, but for the same price , go for a view w/ you lobber.

          2. re: MrTaz

            I know the Pettygrows. My aversion to Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound is location , location, location. All local lobsters are fresh, easily prepared and of simiiar price, so why not go eat w/ a sew view, like Beale's, Thurston's, Tidal Falls etc. ? Also, due to tourist traffic, Rt. 3 in front of TBLP has a very high auto accident rate.

            1. re: MrTaz

              last time i visited Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound,they were quite expensive. They even had the nerve to charge extra for butter. not a place i will return to. There are much better choices. You can't go wrong by driving to a landing where lobstermen unload their catch, you will probably find a lobster pound, usually operated by the local fisherman's co-op. lobster pounds offer the freshest lobster, clams and corn on the cob. Bring your own beer and chow down! Is this hog heaven or what?!!!!

            2. My favorite breakfast place is Cafe This Way,, which has terrific blueberry pancakes, creative omelets, good coffee and service. Prices are very reasonable for the pile of food you get. They also serve dinner, which is great as well, and a good value.

              If you have hunted down other posts on MDI (search under Bar Harbor), you will see much discussion over the last couple of weeks. I'm not a big fan of Jordan Pond House for dinner, because I think there is more interesting food on the island, but I agree that stopping after a hike to carbo load on popovers, butter and strawberry jam on the lawn with the view of the Bubbles is one of the great (touristy) things to do. Their ice cream is great, though I think that Mt. Desert Ice Cream in Bar Harbor, near the town green is better and more creative.

              Dinners...check out McKays, Havana, Red Sky (though my last dinner their was a bit disappointing, not bad, just not as good as in the past), Burning Tree (no website). McKays is probably the cheapest of the lot, with most entrees below $20. Their daily farmstand salad is usually very good as is the chinook salmon. The others you will expect to drop at least $100 for 2 (app/salad, entree and shared dessert), not including wine. I caution on this since one of the posters didn't like Burning Tree because of the cost, though they seemed to like the food.

              For a great lobster feed that is not at a pound, try West St. Cafe. They also do a good job on a seafood fra diavolo. It's not fancy though.

              1 Reply
              1. re: BikeToEat

                The cheapest is a local watering hole The Thirsty Whale, unlike Mckays which closes for the winter, is a true local place. The clam chowder and lobster roll for 12 bucks is a deal. And try The Morning Glory backery for brekkie.

              2. Thanks for the suggestions. Tried on the hiking pants last night and they still fit. They will probably be too tight by the time we are leaving this beautiful part of the country.


                1. My favorite place for breakfast in Bar Harbor is definitely Jeannie's, 15 Cottage Street. Take a look at all of the positive reviews on Tripadvisor. It can get busy but the food is great and the staff is incredibly friendly.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: rufustfi

                    Jenny'y is a tourist trap that will probably be closed by Oct. with the owners returning to Fla.

                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                      Tourist trap? Why? Because tourists go there? Tourists go EVERYWHERE in Bar Harbor. And the food and Jeannie's is good and not overpriced. What makes it a tourist "trap"? The Maine Diner is a tourist trap. Red's is a tourist trap. But Jeannie's?

                      1. re: rufustfi

                        Next time try Cafe This Way or The Morning Glory Bakery or even Jordan's(opens a 5am for the lobstermen). and 2 Cats.

                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                          I haven't been to 2 Cats. Thanks for the tip! You're right, Cafe This Way does a good breakfast, although it's a different kind of place (a bit more upscale). Morning Glory is okay and has decent baked goods but the eggs/pancakes/french toast are much better at Jeannie's, in my opinion.

                          1. re: rufustfi

                            Morning Glory doesn't do eggs/pancakes/french toast. I'm with Passadumkeg on this: go to Jordan's, Cafe this Way, or 2 Cats if you want a hot breakfast.

                            1. re: Mainegal

                              Oops. I was confusing the Morning Glory Bakery with the Cottage St. Bakery, probably because I was thinking of places that do a proper breakfast.