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Best reasonably priced LOBSTER spot in Maine??

I've never had Maine lobster while IN Maine. When I was a child I would visit, but wasn't into shellfish at the time. Now I'm older and absolutely can't get enough of it.

I'm looking for a great authentic Maine lobster spot. Great views and authentic Maine atmosphere are huge pluses. Ideally not ridiculously expensive, but of course we're talking about lobster so I'm prepared to shell out a fair amount. It would be nice if we could walk around and enjoy the area afterwards as well!

What are the top spots around? Ideally not touristy, but just very real and relaxed atmosphere. Are there any nice spots overlooking the shore? What do regulars recommend? Would love to hear your recommendations!!


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  1. Sorry Cappey, but you are a day late and a nickel short. There are 4 seasons in Maine; Winter Mud Season, Black Fly Season and Getting Ready for Winter. You're asking in the preliminary stage of winter, Leaf Peeper Season. The Lobster Season peaked at Labor Day. All my tomatoes is froze and the boys is bringin' in their lobstah traps for the wintah. Many right purrty lobstah shacks have closed because the folks have gone ovah to tippi'n for makin' Christmas wreathes fuh ol' L.L.Bean, besides we know tourists tend to freeze solid in 40 degree weathah. Good luck findin' lobstah and keepin yuh buttah liquid. Bring some Old Mr. Boston with yah for antifreeze. It's chowdah time.
    Ol' Dumkeg
    ps, Deary, don't forget that the Maine coast is furthah than from Staten Island to Buffalo, but if you're goin' to the Little Boston area of Maine, Portland south, you might stand the chance of smellin' a faht in a gale of findin' reasonable lobstah, but still wear yuh union suit.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Passadumkeg

      Rock on, lobstah man. I could hear it.

      1. re: Veggo

        Downeast Maine ain't the 7 line to Queens w/ chow at every stop. We button up for the wintah. Gotta go get out my snow shovels, roof rakes and tune up the snow blowah. Lobstahs is headin' 20 miles off shorah as we speak to hunker down for the wintah, just like sensible folks.

        1. re: Passadumkeg

          Pass, in old NYC Chowhound parlance :"I've heard Tad's Steaks also has pretty good lobster."

          But nobody says that sort of thing anymore.

          If Portland Lobster Co is still open the Old Port is nice to walk around in.

          1. re: the_MU

            Tad's! $.99 steak dinner on Times Square in the 60's!
            The point I'm trying to make is that lobster and the coast of Maine is VRY seasonal; June to Sept., at best, 4th of July to Labor Day at worst.

            1. re: Passadumkeg

              Yes, there will be plenty of gales to faht into very soon.

              We haven't had a hard freeze yet on Merrymeeting Bay, but it'll be happening any day.

              This thread, from *today*, has some decent suggestions, as well as a few closing dates: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/655385

              Which was my point, and maybe part of yours, but I could've been reading in my own agenda :)

          2. re: Passadumkeg

            This is probably the funniest reply I've ever read on CH.

            We wander over the state line fairly often (but not often enough) looking for lobster. This summer it might not have been the best lobster but the best lobster eating by locals we enjoyed was the Tenants Harbor firemen's lobster benefit dinner in July.

            I can tell winter's coming. After weeks of alternating clam dinners and lobster rolls at our favorite inland NH local places, my husband is suddenly in the mood for something else. He also requested pot roast for family dinner. Definitely, the lobster season is over. And he's been out cutting next year's firewood.

            1. re: dfrostnh

              Thanks, I attempt humor w/ information; sometimes I feel I just ruffle feathers. Many summer tourists don't realize that by the end of October, Bar Harbor has many store fronts boarded up and looks like a town in Florida waiting to ride out a hurricane.
              Maybe I should just go do something more worthwhile, shut up, and go get my lobster rolls at Mc Ducks and Quiznos.

        2. re: Passadumkeg

          you are funny....
          Well said..
          Keep up the good work...

        3. Where in Maine are you gonna be, Sage? I know me some wicked good places, but you probably can't get theyah from where you're at.

          1. Lobster is available in Maine year round. There are plenty of lobstermen that are always out on the water. There may not be many of them but Monhegan lobstermen only go out in the winter. And this time of year the lobsters are still molting so soft shells are still available if you prefer those.
            While a lot of lobster places are seasonal a lot of them are open through Columbus Day. Plenty of leaf peepers want lobster. To point you to these places though some more info is needed about your trip. Maine is big. What area are you visiting?

            1. You're willing to shell out and have an out of body experience? If you can't get enough of it you may be riding the bus home.
              If they told every New Yorker where the locals go then it would become the next tourist trap, no? I'll bet there are no top spots that aren't touristy. Have you seen my Maine food places, map? http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&...
              BTW, Mainards, look out! A Texan is coming your way! However, lobsta is not my favorite sea creature.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Scargod

                Tex, it is Maniac, not Mainaird, yes you eat little lobster, but drink like a fish.

                As to the op, of course it is possible to get lobster year round, but w/ regards to the second paragraph, most of the coastal shore "shacks" are rapidly closing, and as oft repeated, Maine is a big place. Eighty five percent of the lobstermen have their gear out of the water by November. The other 15% go off shore and haul the more expensive hard shells. The price per pound goes up a lot in the winter.
                More info is indeed needed. Resonably priced is very vague too. What is reasonable to New York, southern Maine and Downeast are 3 very different things.

              2. For all of Ol Dumkeag's ramblings, I'd agree that yes, there are still some reasonable places where the lobster's are still coming in (as mentioned, soft shells for the most part, which I personally prefer; and market price is pretty inexpensive right now), particularly from the mid-coast southwest. For example, I'm pretty sure that Five Islands Lobster Co. near Georgetown will be open for a few more weeks; and one of my favorites, Dolphin Chowderhouse in S. Harpswell will be open until Thanksgiving. There are a number of places on Commercial St. in Portland which, while not quite as scenic, can still be counted on to produce the "bug" you're salivating for. So much depends on when you're coming, and how far downeast toward Ol Dumkeag you're going.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mainemal

                  I really like 5 Islands. It seems, naturally, that the further north and off the big tourist trail on is, the earlier places close. I get my lobsters from my students a $2/lb, but that will end this month. Scallop season is short and spotty this year and many local clammers have switched to wormin' because to all the red tide. I'm getting depressed. Time to go mushroom picking, bird hunting or fishing!

                2. I have to say the best price for Maine lobsters is Big Daddy's Clam Shack in Acton,Maine, all you can eat lobsters for $19.99, it is no gimmick, they do it every day, we went last Saturday and went apple picking just up the road at an apple orchard, it was a great day!

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Sofia22

                    I'm not finding this place. If in Acton, all I find is Big Daddy's BBQ. Seems like it might be in Cozy Corners, but I can't really nail it down, though there are references to a "Big Daddy's" in the town.

                    1. re: Scargod

                      I would recommend Lord's in Wells. They are open until October 25....closed on Tuesday's. They have lobster prepared in many ways and an extensive menu in addition to lobster. They also have homemade desserts which are delicious. I have brought many people there and everyone enjoys it. The service is friendly and efficient and the prices aer great.

                      1. re: edgewater

                        Lord's was a disappointment on two levels - food and service. I can't argue myself to giving it another try, there are just too many good, let alone great places in the area. This was a last minute recommendation by another traveler and didn't work out for us.

                      2. re: Scargod

                        Went to Bid Daddy's in Acton, ME this past Sunday. Big Daddy's is the real deal. Technically not all you can eat as they limit you at six 1 - 1.25 pound steamed lobsters served w/drawn butter. No sides of any kind. Thought I'd eat six but topped out at 5. They bring you 2 and then 2 more the last 2 they bring one at a time. But they were fresh and tasty. Big menu w/lots of other fish, seafood & meat items. would have liked to try the BBQ but was ready to burst. Wife had the prime rib special - cooked just right w/homemade mashed potatoesand fresh geen beans. $10. All in, no alchohol, $38. Best value I've had in NE.

                        It's a big Texas road house type place w/big bar & big TV screens w/all the sports going. Stage for live music at night. Very local. I was the only Mass lic plate on the lot.


                        Big Daddy's
                        RR 1, Wells, ME 04090

                        1. re: Scargod

                          Located on Rte 109 in Acton across from the Acton Fair Grounds,it was called Big Daddy's BBQ but changed to Clam Shack this summer, we have gone 3 times now! it is the real deal!

                        2. re: Sofia22

                          Or $6.99 for a single lobster ! Up the road is Crabby Appleton's ice cream, which is decent, and also nearby is Ted's Fried Clams....they make a great appetizer before the lobster. Lovell lake is a nice drive at this time of year, too.


                        3. For the last 30 or so yrs. we've been going to Shaw's in New Harbor around Columbus Day for a week or so.
                          This is a working harbor with no frills.
                          Good seafood and lots of it.
                          Pemaquid Point,just around the corner,has the Sea Gull Shop for breakfast,lunch,and dinner(byob) right on the ocean if that is what you are after.
                          Larsen's in Damariscotta has good lobster rolls and a few places in Boothbay are open for a week or so after Columbus Day.
                          We've never been up to Bar Harbor late in the season and Passadumkeg says business is all over by Labor Day,which I wouldn't dispute.
                          If I were you I'd try Boothbay right about now.
                          Still touristy,still many shops open through Columbus Weekend,and probably a good selection of lobster joints.
                          Ask around when you get there and use the searchsite here to check out those places.
                          Have fun!

                          1. Catnip, that sounds great. I always seem to by pass the New Harbor area. We need to explore it.
                            Ruth & Wimpies still has its $9.95 lobster dinner special. No view though. More of downtown Bar Harbor is open due to the recent spate of cruise ship visits. I still that you will have better luck finding more places open further south, Sage.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                              We have been going to the New Harbor area for decades.
                              We've gotten to know a lot of wonderful locals who now come up to Lake Ontario to visit us now and then also.
                              We like the ruralness of the area;very little tourism if any at all except for the Pemaquid Lighhouse.
                              The Bradley Inn,right down the road from the lighthouse,is a great place for really high-end food.
                              It's expensive but so very good.
                              We eat at the bar and enjoy.
                              King Eiger's in Damariscotta is another favorite.
                              Many here have posted postiviely and negatively about the place but we've never had a bad meal there.
                              Morse's Sauerkraut is anotherr fine market aand a very good lunch in the Waldoboro area as well.
                              Several lobster places are still open through the Columbus Weekend and you don't' see too many kids(just a lot of old "cottonheads"as we are now called---LOL).
                              We haven't been to Moody's Diner in all these yrs.
                              The place is always packed.
                              We may break down and try the place this year after so many good posts are written about the place.
                              You really owe it to yourself to try this area Passadumkeg.
                              The lack of "tourist" makes ths one of our favorite places in Maine.
                              The downstairs bar at Shaw's in Ne w Harbor is usually full of lobstermen after their hard day and we ,coming from a town of 300,really love mixing and drinking with small-town locals like us.
                              We feel right at home at Shaw's and the food is 1st class.
                              See you at Shaw's bar!

                              1. re: catnip

                                Thanks Catnip, we will explore. We have been to and agree w/ King Eider's and especially Eider's. I used to Live year 'round on North Haven Islan, and though I have been by hundreds of time, have not been to Mooy's!
                                I have, however sailed past Pemequid and years ago been to the Damascotta Oyster Festivsl. We been busy raising 5 kids for the last 30 years. Almost done.

                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                  Since the only one "flew" the nest a few yrs. ago a whole new world of eating non hotdogs,mac and cheese,and hamburgs has opened up for us.
                                  You're lucky to have lived in Me.
                                  We can't
                                  find work there for a decent income so we eat a lot in rural N.Y.
                                  Lots of squirrel,rabbit,ect.---we love wild game when it's cooked well.
                                  Does anyone serve wild game in maine that you know about?
                                  Damariscotta is having a pumpkin festival this weekend and Eider's is on our menu.
                                  Their clams are some of the best around.
                                  Saturday night treat at the Bradley ,at the bar,is always a welcome meal.
                                  We usually wind up just munching off their bar appetizer menu.
                                  The chefs there really know how to take the same old bland offerings and put new "zing" into them.
                                  Eat well!

                                  1. re: catnip

                                    Thanks, I meant to say "especially Morse's Saurkraut." I normally try to make my own. I know no places for game, except Dumkeg's Kitchen.

                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                      Thanks !
                                      Will be bringing back Morse's Saurerkraut in the cooler as well as outstanding bacon from the Brick Schoolhouse in N.H.(best flavored smoked bacon we've ever found).
                                      Leaving for Me. in 1 hr.
                                      Computer service down all day yesterday---ahhhh!

                                      1. re: catnip

                                        Brick Schoolhouse in N.H.: Can't find anything on a place by this name. Can you elaborate?

                                        1. re: catnip

                                          There was a thread about smoked meats in Maine. Have a safe trip and a healthy winter; not too much nippin'.

                              2. Our two favorites: Thurstons, located near Acadia in Tremont; and, Five Islands in Georgetown.