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Lunch along the Maine Coast

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Will be driving from Boston to Saint John, New Brunswick on vacation this summer. Looking for some suggestions on a place to stop for lunch along the way. Can be either a recommendation for a specific restaurant or just a recommendation for a good location to stop. We are looking to take a break from the road and linger over lunch for an hour or so, so location/setting is a plus. Thanks for any tips, I don't know the area at all.

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  1. It's about 400 miles from Boston to St. John, NB. Where along that 400 miles will you be at lunch time? Are you driving it in one day? If you leave really late, you could be asking for a recommendation in Newburyport.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hicow

      Hicow is right. If you take coastal Rt. 1, it'll take 3 days. Search the board for options for where you think you'll be. Are you looking for fry shacks or gourmet? So little time, so much food.

    2. This is a tough one, but I would focus on someplace near either Brunswick or Bath, ME.

      1. Since relaxing and scenery sounds important, I would suggest Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster along the water in Freeport. They have both indoor and outdoor dining with a great view of the bay and marina. Freeport is next to Brunswick. The restaurant is about 10+ minutes from I-295.

        1. Thanks for the tips so far. Google maps seems to indicate that the driving time difference between the "default" route and sicking closer to the coast on route 1 would only be about 30 minutes - is this misleading?

          Looking at the map, Brunswick seems about right. Please forgive my ignorance but I don't know the area and was partially assuming that most of the small towns along the coast wouldn't even have much of a restaurant selection. Although now I'm reading that even Rockland, pop. 7609, is a tourist spot with "unique shops, boutiques, fine dining and art galleries"

          1 Reply
          1. re: egon61

            Yeah, you're in for a real treat. Rockland actually has at least 7 CIA trained chefs up here! Not to mention the many others from other training venues...

          2. Re: Route 1. Avoid it at all costs from Friday to Sunday night unless you enjoy traffic jams. Re: places for lunch, I recommend Harraskeet Lunch in So. Freeport and Thurston's in Tremont (near Bar Harbor). If you are near Portland, check out J's Oyster, the Front Room and everyone's favorite - Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth. Happy eating.

            1 Reply
            1. re: StevensAve

              Summer traffic on Rt. 1 can be very heavy but it is also close to restaurants and tourist areas are located.

              I've spent a little time along the New Brunswick coast. A great stop is St. Andrews close to the U.S. border. There's a very large and beautiful garden there, a number of restaurants and hotels. Last time through we had lunch at the Fairmont Algonquin, an elegant hotel from another era. It's clearly worth a short stop.

            2. This post should read... if you had one place to stop in between Boston and New Brunswick where would it be? It's funny to see people who are relatively local to Maine say things like " Although now I'm reading that even Rockland, pop. 7609, is a tourist spot with "unique shops, boutiques, fine dining and art galleries."
              I have eaten in the best restaurants in Boston and other metropolitan areas and I can honestly say that I can get better food within 10 minutes of my house and i I don't have to get on a highway to get there. By the way if it were me I would leave Boston around 8:00 a.m. I would be in the Mid Coast Maine area by early lunch (take Rt. 1 Coastal Route through Brunswick it's not much slower and you are right it's worth the extra half hour). Drive through that cool town Rockland that you read about and head up to Camden. Park your car wherever you can find a space, walk the downtown and park, check out the waterfall and schooners, stretch you legs and go to either Cappy's, Marriners, Bay View Lobster, The Waterfront, or whatever looks good to you. You can't go wrong with Camden in the summer.