HOME > Chowhound > All New England Archive >


nyker's seafood tour through maine

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have. We are a couple of New Yorkers driving through maine from Portland to Bar Harbor. Trying to map out where to eat along the way while exploring the coast. Love easy going, reasonable, non-pretencious, non-touristy places. BTW, we are planning our trip at the end of July/beginning of August.

Also, any comments on the Lobster Festival in Rockland?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Went to the lobster fest last summer...pretty fun...check the itinerary, but go the night of the fireworks. Not really the best fireworks, but the atmosphere is fun. The lobsters are pretty cheap and give you all the sides that you might want. They also have a bunch of other seafood available. I went the night of the fireworks and it was pretty packed...rides, candied apples, good ol' fun festival. It's probably good to go during sunset so you'll get a view.

    1. If the only thing you're interested in is the lobster, don't bother with the festival. The lobster is fresh and great all the time along the coast, no need to fight the crowds at the festival.

      When near Rockland, I would suggest a drive down the St Georges penisula winding through fishing villages like Owl's Head, Spruce Head, Tenant's Harbour, Martinsville and eventually Port Clyde. For lobster in the rough (eaten at picnic tables overlooking the ocean) , there is Waterman's Beach in South Thomaston, Miller's on Spruce Head, Cod End in T Harbor, and the Dip Net in Port Clyde.

      I urge you to get off route one and wander down the peninsulas of Mid Coast Maine.

      2 Replies
      1. re: crawfish

        Second crawfish's motion. On the Pemaquid peninsula, south from Damariscotta, check out Shaw's in New Harbor, and enjoy the scenery around Pemaquid Point

        1. re: mainemal

          Pemaquid Light at Pemaquid Point is one of the truly most beautiful places in Maine. Round Pond on the Pemaquid peninsula has a great lobster in the rough place, too.

          To all the mid coast chow hounders - we're coming down this Friday YAHOOOO! Look for a right hand drive Toyota van with Ontario plates.

      2. The best lobster in Bar Harbor is in Hancock, Me. Make a detour and try Ruth & Wimpies ($9.95 lobster & corn special last month). lobster served 15 ways, very low down funky and Tidal Falls Restaurant.
        No recs. in BH except The Thirsty Whale for a 12 buck clam chowder & lobster roll, Blue Fish Cafe for their lobster strudel, West St Cafe is reasonable. Try Beal's in SW Hbr & Thurston's in Bass Harbor.
        Just Barb's in Sandy Point is a trip.
        Union River Lobster Pot in downtown Ellsworth is an unexpected treat.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Passadumkeg

          Is there more than one Just Barb's? The one we went to was right on Rt 1 before we got to Ellsworth in Stockton Springs. Another vote for Waterman's as our most favorite lobster shack. Get a list of farmers markets. I googled Maine Dept of Agriculture but also found a directory/brochure at the visitors center on Rt 95. I loved the Brunswick market which I think is on Fridays. Great selection of breads and pastries. Get fresh berries (any kind!) to mix with vanilla yogurt for a delicious snack. On another thread I think someone recommended a church or grange supper. Usually held on a Saturday night. We always go to the one in our NH town.

          1. re: dfrostnh

            Sandy Pt. is part of Stockton Springs.

          2. re: Passadumkeg

            Ruth & Wimpies is worth a visit just to see the giant lobster in the parking lot--a true piece of Maine kitsch. We had a good lobster roll at Beal's in SW Harbor--not huge, but very fresh and flavorful for $13.95.

          3. If you don't want touristy, skip Shaw's on the Pemaquid Peninsula, instead opt for one of the bring-your-own-go-withs (wine, salad, cheese, crackers, etc.): Round Pond Lobster, Pemaquid Fishermaen's Co-op, South Bristol Fishermen's Co-Op, or Broad Cove Marine Services.

            Yes, definitely Port Clyde loop and out to Monhegan, if time, for lobster on the beach.

            In Belfast, head for Three Tides.

            Passadumkeag has MDI covered, but I must add that I went to Maggie's last week for the signature lobster crepes, and they were all that was promised and more.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Mainegal

              Maggie's lobster crepes are now high on my list. Sound like a good home made too.

            2. We just drove down the coast yesterday from Sullivan to Brunswick before getting on the highway. "Non-touristy" is a relative term at this time of year... I highly recommend getting above Ellsworth. Check out Bunkers Wharf in Birch Harbor, Chase's in Winter Harbor. Grindstone Neck smokehouse is worth a visit. If you get out to Port Clyde, the Dipnet is good. Further down the coast, the Lobster Pound right on Lincolnville beach is a classic. When you get sick of lobster, go to King Eiders in Damariscotta for amazing raw oysters and crab cakes, washed down with their IPA. Skip the fries--hand-cut, but only fried once so they are limp and oily. We drove by Red's in Wiscasset--the line was 40 deep. I've never tried it, for that reason. Is it really that good?

              1 Reply
              1. re: whs

                " I highly recommend going above Ellsworth." YES, YES, YES! This is the real Maine. Poor, scenic and very poor (except the coastal vacation homes.) Jonesport is the epicenter of Maine lobstering. When we get below Bath, I figure, we is no longer in Maine. (Oops, politically incorrect.)
                PS don't tell no one or ittle git ruined.

              2. A "hidden gem" is Dolphin Marina and Restaurant in South Harpswell, which is just outside of Brunswick. The fish chowder is exceptional, the lobsters perfectly cooked, great fried clams and shrimp. They also give you the most wonderful blueberry muffins with the meal, but I saved most of mine for dessert.


                1. Would the recommendations above also apply in late August? And would there be any nearby streams to drop a fly in? Spending a week there and never been.