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May 30, 2009 01:45 PM

Roadtrip from NJ to Maine- need suggestions along the way

DH and I are planning a summer road trip up to Bar Harbor, Maine to eat lobster/ hike Acadia national park. We would like some suggestions for foodie stops along the way. We are especially interested in local cuisines (fish/lobster/crab, etc) that we wouldn't find at home. Entrees should be under $20/each. We are free to either top just for lunch or stay in an area for a night. Thanks in advance!

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  1. If you stop in Portsmouth, NH for lunch, try Popovers on The Square. It's across from the Old Church. Good food, reasonably priced!

    1. Some rec's in Maine: Thurstons Lobster Shack in Tremont [very close to Bar Harbor]; Bob's Clam Shack in Kittery; Two Lights Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth [set right on the Atlantic] and our favorite restaurant in Maine: Caiola's in Portland. One word of travel caution: avoid long trips on Route 1 in Maine on all Fridays to Sunday during the summer.

      1. Darby's in Belfast has good chowder & nice
        Cleonice in Ellsworth always a great place for lunch or dinner....small.... If you are staying in Bar Harbor this would be a nice drive "back to the main land" for dinner.
        Jumpin Jays in Portsmouth NH Good quality preparation.
        For road side stops....Sea Basket in Wisscasset...Jordans snak bar in Ellsworth.
        Anglers in Searsport for you good high quality fresh "tourist fare" ie fried stuff. But they are always busy so the product will be fresh. Prepareation will be main stream.
        I always get pooped on when I mention the Maine Diner in Wells....but I had there Cod Cakes and Beans one summer & they were tasty came with a corn muffin....but menu is diner food.
        While in Bar Harbor Geddys is always a stop for

        2 Replies
        1. re: westernmaine

          thanks so much for the responses.. we have a full week up there, so keep them coming! i'm so excited to eat my way through new england (had to tie myself over with some canadian lobster tonight)

          1. re: njchowgal

            Hi njchowgal,
            My boyfriend and I are planning a road trip to Bar Harbor and Portland from the NJ area in a few weeks (staying in Bar for 2 nights then 2 nights in Portland). I was wondering if you had any recommendations based on your recent trip? Neither of us have been there before, but would love to get suggestions on where to stop for good food (lobster shacks, etc.) and any other sites we should check out. We plan on stopping by 5 Islands Lobster in Georgetown on way from Bar Harbor to Portland. Thanks in advance for your help.

        2. Bon Jovii and I went to the same high school in NJ. Jersey Chowhounds, email me and I'll give you my phone number. I've lived in the area for 20+ years, am a teacher and work as a Maine Guide in the summer.

          10 Replies
          1. re: Passadumkeg

            Hi I came across this link looking for some suggestions. My family is traveling from North Jersey to Kennebunkport Maine this summer for a week. Looking for someplace great to stop for lunch on the way, about 3 hours into the ride. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks.

            1. re: kbdex

              What's your route? I am thinking that 3 hours into your ride puts you at Mass., what city depends on what roads you take. It would be easier to help you if we know that stuff :).

              1. re: kbdex

                Sorry k, Kennebunk is outta my range. We live 3 hours north in Downeast Maine (In the summer only now.).

                Bon Jovi is from my home town.

                1. re: kbdex

                  I always stop off at a place called Blunch, in Boston, whenever I drive up to Kennebunk from Brooklyn. They're a terrific sandwich place. Unfortunately, they don't have much seating and parking can be a tad difficult. But it's worth it to me.


                  1. re: kbdex

                    When I head home from Portland to Nyack via I84 I usually stop at Rein's deli outside of Hartford. Easy on/off. You probably have better Jewish style food in NJ so... a very good CH alternate would be to take I95 and stop in New Haven for pizza at either Sally's or Pepe's. These two places are possibly the best in the country (check em out on line). Hit one on the way up and the other going home and compare!

                    1. re: bobbert

                      Good thinking on those CT recs! Also, Pepe's has their Manchester, CT location now too, a little further north of New Haven.

                      1. re: solargarlic

                        I have a "thing" about going to the "original" of almost any restaurant. In Boston, Regina in the North End only. I'm qirrky in that way.

                        1. re: bobbert

                          I agree, but there are certain times when I'll take the convenience (like when I'm on the road b/t CT & NH and I need pizza).

                          1. re: solargarlic

                            OK, I guess I have to agree with you. In a pinch... :)

                      2. re: bobbert

                        I used to live in Nyack. I think of it fondly every time a gaggle of spandex-clad cyclists whizzes past my house.

                  2. portland: j's oyster bar really is wonderful. so isn't hot suppa.
                    rockland: suzuki sushi is the best in the state. primo, if you can get in/afford it, is so worth it.
                    belfast: three tides, right on the waterfront, is a fantastic place for a late night snack and cocktail, and for spectacular local beer. young's lobster pound is your typical seafood joint, but the setting is great.
                    searsport: just barbs has the best fried seafood around, for my money.
                    bangor: fiddlehead is a real gem; fresh, local, simple.
                    bar harbor: mache bistro is worth paying for.

                    if you're feeling adventurous and have an afternoon to kill while you're on mdi, take the ferry to little cranberry island and eat lunch at the islesford dock restaurant. then walk around the island. it's gorgeous.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: rockblogsterbdn

                      Current poster (who resurrected this thread) is only going as far as Kennebunkport. MDI is a little out of the way. New Haven is a nice idea but not that far up from North Jersey, maybe an hour and change.

                      I'd check rec's around Worcester, maybe post on the Greater Boston or most likely Southern NE board.

                      1. re: the_MU

                        I had actually factored the time thing in to New Haven ( about 1 1/2 hours from GW bridge with no traffic). Definitely not half way to Kennebunk but for the best pizza anywhere???? To get right at half way, Sturbridge, Ma area as well as Worcester. Good luck and enjoy Maine!

                        1. re: bobbert

                          No one should have to eat in Sturbridge (at least last time I stopped there, it was really slim pickings).