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Oct 19, 2008 09:12 AM

Camden, ME

I will be attending a conference in town this week. I'll have breakfast at a BB and lunches will be covered by the conference. Dinners are on my own. What are the recommended places? I'll have access to a rental car so if needed, we can drive outside of town. My per diem will be about $30 but I'm willing to pay the difference for an exceptional meal. Having said that I'm generally into good values and hole in the wall places. Aside from avoiding dairy products, I'm an adenturous chowhound.


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  1. hello, i think you will find many good places to eat in camden. my favorites for a nice semi-upscale meal are waterfront and francine restaurants. both have seafood and eclectic fair, with francine's being the more upscale of the two. the waterfront is, well, on the water so if you can get out on the deck the view is lovely. the market basket (on the corner of routes 1 and 90) in rockport, just a mile south of downtown camden, has exceptional breads and desserts and other luxury food items, wine, etc. definitely worth looking at if for nothing other than browsing. hint: the peanut butter balls are divine. for a great mix of hole in the wall with great eats i would try zaddik's. all of these places i've mentioned are within walking distance of downtown camden. i hope this helps, let me know if you have any further questions.

    3 Replies
    1. re: redsoxburns

      Thanks. Where would I find the best lobster roll?

      1. re: tdonline

        Do a quick search on this board -- there are numerous postings on this very sort of topic. Sort by date/number of responses.

        Have fun at the conference. It is a nice town. But bring a sweater at this point...

      2. re: redsoxburns

        The Market Basket is not within walking distance to downtown Camden. You'd need a car or a bike at the least.

        Make sure to check out Boynton-McKay also.

        If you're thinking about Francine's, also check out The Hartstone Inn

        Other places worth looking into are:
        Peter Otts
        Paulina's Way
        Elm St. Grill

        Enjoy your stay!

      3. Since you have a car, you may want to go a few miles over to Rockland, and check out Primo: You won't get away for any $30, but it could easily be exceptional.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mainemal

          If you want to try Primo, maybe for just a little over the $30 range, check out the bar menu, if you get there early enough to eat at the bar. Tried the wood fired mussels a la plancha last week; the best I've ever had.

        2. true, market basket isn't within walking distance of downtown camden, but since you have a car, you should check it out. almost any decent restaurant specializing in general far will have good lobster; you just need to call ahead and see. i second the votes for primo, if you feel like going into rockland for a bit you will not be sorry. also there are plenty of places to get smaller fare in rockland. i'm blanking on the name right now but there is a pizza slice/ice cream parlor that is owned by the father of price kushner (part owner of primo). it's got good slices and the service is friendly.

          1 Reply
          1. re: redsoxburns

            The place is called Thorndike's Creamery (it's in the Thorndike building on the corner of Main and Tillson..). It's no longer owned by the Kushners; another couple bought it about a year and a half ago and they run a good business with much more variety than before. Decent soups and the slices are still good, too.

          2. None of these recommendations really fill your request for good value/hole in the wall places. Camden is a rich tourist town and there are no holes in the walls, only high end or tourist traps IMO. Rockland has better mid-range options.

            All on Main Street in Rockland and open year round:
            Rockland Cafe - great fish cakes, beans
            Susuki's Sushi Bar
            In Good Company - wine bar
            Conte's - fresh seafood down on the public landing, eccentric