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Bar Harbor? Or will we miss Five Islands too Much?

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It is just brutal hot and humid here in Philly! My husband and I agreed we must go back to Maine next summer. So here's the big issue....we were there several years ago and traveled from Portland to Camden with lots of stops. Our absolute favorite places were Reds' and Five Islands. OMG, we loved them so much!

So, the big question...since this is all about eating lobster and the wonderful ice cream and fried clams...are there any places that good and fun in the Bar Harbor area? We were thinking of flying into Bangor instead of Portland this time and going to Arcadia. But honestly the lobster places are really crucial to us!

So please tell me...what should we do and where should we eat???? Thank you so much!

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  1. Don't miss Bar Harbor because you think you'll miss Reds and Five Islands. Bar Harbor has its' share of great places, too. Testa's in Bar Harbor has the best Strawberry Pie I've ever had.

    Sadly, Red passed away not long ago. But his daughter is going to continue the business.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rockfisherman

      Allen Gagnon, age 71, died at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston of respiratory failure on June 13th, 2008. All though he never minded being called called Red, he inherited that nickname from the "original" Red who started the business in 1938.
      I just think that those who've enjoyed his fare should know who that man behind the counter for many years actually was :-0).

      Harp

    2. When it comes to ice cream, I don't think there's anyplace that has more shops where you can purchase ice cream than downtown Bar Harbor. My current fave is MDI Ice Cream--two locations downtown, with both traditional and wildly creative flavors. Of course, if you want to combine your ice cream with lobster, you can get lobster ice cream at Ben & Bill's. Jordan Pond ice cream is also available at a few places downtown. And there's yet another homemade spot facing the village green (with a red and white awning--I can never remember the name).

      As for lobster, MDI has a few places--nothing quite like Five Islands, but Thurston's (although a bit pricey) has serene views over lobster boat-filled Bass Harbor. I also like the Seafood Ketch, on the other side of the harbor (actually in Bass Harbor). For fried clams, the Docksider in Northeast.

      Actually, though, no place is too pricey; the price of lobster is down because demand is low--a report I heard on the radio said it might reach the same price as burger per pound, if this keeps up.

      If you want to learn everything there is to know about the bugs, book a trip on LuLu; if you want good times (and don't mind that the boat is filled with kids), book a trip with Diver Ed.

      Also, take a day trip over to Tidal Falls, in Hancock. Another beautiful spot, overlooking reversing falls.

      For fancier lobster, the lobster crepes at Maggie's are really fabulous.

      If you're not coming up this way until next summer--ask again just before you leave for updates (or search). The Acadia region is well worth a visit--and not just for food (but oh yeah, do have tea and popovers on the lawn at the Jordan Pond House--yes, it's outrageously priced, but it's a great experience.)

      1 Reply
      1. re: Mainegal

        I agree with Mainegal. On top of it, there is an entire national park on MDI with tons of outdoor activities and great food. So, it depends on what you like to do, aside from eating. MDI is one of the most beautiful places whether you hike, bike, or kayak, or take the free, CNG-powered buses around the island just to see the sights. You should definitely search this site for "Bar Harbor," "MDI" and "Mount Desert" to read about the food.

        MDI Ice Cream is great. The Seafood Ketch has pretty good fried clams, too.

        The Oceanarium has a good lecture/show & tell all about lobsters, including the rare blue lobster (a genetic deviant).

      2. Thank you! You convinced us...we'll go to Bar Harbor! I'm really looking forward to going back to Maine. What a lovely place.

        3 Replies
        1. re: DaisyM

          Yes, but don't stay. Places close for the winter. Lots of snow, poor cell phone receptiopn, over an hour to the closest mall, people talk funny, lousy Philly cheese steaks, no soft pretzels and scrapple.
          Maingal and Bikerdude hit it. Add Blue fish cafe for lobster strudEL and ruth and wimpies in Hancock for the cheapest lobbers around, funky & local.
          We just went to Tidal Falls Tues night w/ the kids for my wife's birthday (She's been going there for over 50 years!). God, what a beautiful place. RivALS ANY IN MAINE AND IS BYOB.
          PS WE've known 5 Islands for 22 years and prefer Tidal Falls.

          1. re: Passadumkeg

            What, no Le Domaine for DW this year???

            BTW, Ruth and Wimpy's nicely embroidered T-Shirts run too damn small.
            Want a 2XL that feel like a large +???

            Harp

            1. re: Harp00n

              Sure! I already wear mine proudly and my wife is "under full sail"! Want a Bob?, Bob? Bob! Lobster one is 2x? I got it for another hound in NJ, but we failed to make contact.