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casual dining lunch and dinner Kennebunkport

  • b

We will be in Kennebunkport (Cape Porpoise) over the July4 the weekend. Four adults and 3 kids, the first are all foodies, one of the kids doesn't do pizza and cheese. So where can we go that will please everybody? 2 of the kids and one of the adults don't eat lobster, the others adore it, so non-seafood options a necessity. Three lunches, two dinners, and an ice cream shop in between. So far on my list are the following:
Mabel's Claw
Nunan's
Bandaloop
Pier 77
Wayfarer
Cape Pier Chowder House
Cape Porpoise Kitchen

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Bandaloop
2 Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport, ME 04046

Chowder House
RR 16, North Conway, NH 03860

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  1. In the Back of Pier 77, which is fine dining, is The Ramp. Very casual and delicious food. Seafood and other choices for kinds. Perfect place. Could be a wait but well worth it.

    1. You might not enjoy Nunan's, since it is basically a lobster shack with a very limited menu. I haven't had good luck with the food at Cape Porpoise Kitchen (with the exception of the clam chowder, coffee, and homemade cookies, which are divine); once bought a lamb chop dinner with potatoes and veggies and threw the whole thing in the trash. Also, Cape Porpoise Kitchen isn't a sit-down service restaurant. There are two tables on one side and some stools at a counter; otherwise, you'll have to take your food to go. You might want to try Lucas on 9 (www.lucason9.com), down the street from the Cape Porpoise Kitchen. Extensive menu, large portions, good food, "cash crunch" specials, casual and family-friendly.

      Also, the Arundel Wharf Restaurant at 43 Ocean Ave. in K'bunkport is very good. Varied menu, excellent service, nice view, indoor and outdoor dining. www.arundelwharf.com

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      Arundel Wharf Restaurant
      43 Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport, ME 04046

      9 Replies
      1. re: IWantFood

        thanks for the menu information. It turns out only one person out of our group loves lobster, so as you described, Nunan's won't work. The other suggestions are probably better choices, as you mentioned.
        Is Bandaloop kid friendly? that one seems to get consistently good revues.

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        Bandaloop
        2 Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport, ME 04046

        1. re: bawc

          Haven't been to Bandaloop but have been meaning to try it. The menu is here: www.bandaloop.biz. Unless the kids are sophisticated eaters, they may not have much to eat.

          If you 're still looking for an ice cream place, there's The Daily Scoop in Kennebunk. If you're willing to drive, I suggest The Scoop Deck in Wells or Brown's Ice Cream in York, opposite Nubble Light House (outdoor picnic tables at both places). Both are good. There's also Big Daddy's in Wells, a little closer than the others. Never been there, but people recommend it.

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          Bandaloop
          2 Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport, ME 04046

          Big Daddy's
          RR 1, Wells, ME 04090

          Scoop Deck
          Eldridge Rd, Wells, ME 04090

          1. re: IWantFood

            How far are the other ice cream places in Wells or York from Kennebunkport? We are staying in Cape Porpoise.

            1. re: bawc

              From the center of Kennebunkport, Big Daddy's is about 5 miles, The Scoop Deck is about 9 miles, Brown's is about 19 miles.

              Not sure if you're familiar with the area, but there's a grocery called The Landing Store at 157 Summer Street, Kennebunk. They bake the best muffins ever! Good sandwiches and coffee, too. There's a bench outside and a picnic table or two out back, also.

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              Big Daddy's
              RR 1, Wells, ME 04090

              Scoop Deck
              Eldridge Rd, Wells, ME 04090

              1. re: IWantFood

                Now that is very helpful! Great with kids...

                1. re: bawc

                  Of the places you list in your original post, the best for kids is the Cape Pier Chowder House. The food is fresh and excellent (love the clam chowder), the prices aren't over the top, it's casual, there's indoor and outdoor seating, they have hot dog, hamburger, grilled cheese, and there's a kids' menu with the usual, plus chicken fingers and PB&J, some ice cream. You can see Goat Island Light House from the small park opposite.

                  Mabel's is good, but not for kids or large parties. It's small and gets very crowded and loud, plus it's on the expensive side.

                  You'll also see the Cape Porpoise House of Pizza (tiny, no restroom), which is up the hill opposite the Cape Porpoise Kitchen. Worst pizza I ever ate. However, opposite this pizza place is Bradbury's Market, a useful grocery store/post office (seriously--check it out) that also sells some baked goods, prepackaged fresh foods, and sandwiches, as well as supermarket products.

                  1. re: IWantFood

                    I think you hit the nail on the head! That was just the sort of information I needed. That market will not doubt be a great help, despite all our efforts to come prepared. Cape Pier Chowder House will fit the bill for one night. I am not all that familiar with K., our friends have been through it a few years back.
                    Is the Landing Store (another perfect sounding place for snack or lunch) in town, or near one of the beaches? We plan on buying a parking pass for Goose Rocks Beach.
                    I printed out the menu for Lucas on Nine and Arundal Wharf, as well as Bandaloop so we can review it with our friends. We are all foodies, but realistic about eating out with our kids...

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                    Bandaloop
                    2 Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport, ME 04046

                    Chowder House
                    RR 16, North Conway, NH 03860

                    1. re: bawc

                      The Landing Store is on Summer Street, one of the main roads that leads from Kennebunk to Kennebunkport. This store also has a room selling wine. It's not at all within walking distance to the beaches or Cape Porpoise, or Kennebunk or Kennbunkport, for that matter. You really need a car there, which it sounds like you will have.

                      Cape Pier Chowder House has a BYO alcohol policy, I believe, especially if you eat outdoors. You may want to check that, though, and I believe they serve beer. You order at the counter and they bring you the food. It's run by two sisters, so it's not like it 's a factory atmosphere like some of the larger chowder houses. There are about three restaurants in that pier area, and parking fills up fast, so I suggest going early if you go for dinner. if you see an attendant, tell him you're going to the Chowder House and he'll direct you. No fee to park.

                      BTW, there's also a Ben & Jerry ice cream store in Kennebunkport, as well as another grocery store in Kbport called HB Provisions, which sells some ice cream (www.hbprovisions.com), as well as souvenirs and wine. Technically it's in Kennebunk, since it's on the other side of the little green bridge. Some tables inside, serves breakfast and lunch.

                      FYI, parking is a challenge in Kennebunkport during the summer. There's limited street parking, but there are lots where you pay.

                      If you are foodies, then you must go to The Flaming Gourmet, a gourmet food shop in town (Kbport). The name refers to the fact that they specialize in spicy foods (sauces, chips, dips, jellies, olives,mustards, chocolates, etc). Fun place. Large souvenir shop (decent prices) is two doors down, toward bridge. Street-park if you can or park in the pay lot behind Alisson's Restaurant (a restaurant I would avoid). If the area is swamped, they might open some fields (behind fire station) for parking.

          2. re: bawc

            Bandaloop has never struck me as the kind of place that's kid-friendly in atmosphere, though that could be a completely different story as they've opened a whole new back room that looked a little brighter and more spacious than the original area. I was there about three weeks ago just as they were really starting to ramp up for the season.

            Unless you've got picky, chicken-fingers-and-nothing-else kids, I'd say the food will be great for them. As well as the regular menu of properly put-together dishes, they have kept the way of ordering that they had a few years ago, which is to order a main protein, plus a sauce. I'm not convinced it's great value for money - it's NOT bargain-basement stuff by any means - but it's a good way of allowing kids to eat regular food that they get to make a lot of decisions about.

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            Bandaloop
            2 Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport, ME 04046

        2. I would try in down town a place called Allisons , Its a great place for kids and adults. It has a varied menu. And my wife and I have enjoyed it many times.. The food has always been good. http://www.alissons.com/ Take a look at the menu, I think it would be a great place for lunch for your family.. Earle

          4 Replies
          1. re: Earle

            Should I make reservations in advance at those restaurants that take them? I worry about long waits with hungry kids
            The lunch suggestions are all great. Yes, we will have a car, and will buy a permit at the police station for Goose Rocks beach. I figured everything would be crazy busy that weekend.
            The guys are really into wine, and we are bringing our own, so BYO has great appeal.
            How would you rank the various restaurants in terms of food quality and child friendliness? Your suggestions have been so welcome!

            1. re: bawc

              As I wrote in my previous post, I wouldn't go to Allison's. Everyone has his or her favorites, but the clam chowder was rubbery and cold, and the lobster roll tasted like something you might find at the supermarket, and not a supermarket in coastal Maine, where the lobster is fresh.

              To try to answer your other question, Lucas on 9 and Arundel Wharf are probably comparable in that they're both sit-down table-service restaurants, with similar food quality. The inside dining room at Arundel Wharf is a bit fancier than Lucas (darker wood, smaller than Lucas), but you're absolutely fine in shorts and sneakers at either place; neither is fancy. Arundel Wharf has outdoor deck seating, which Lucas does not, and it is on the water. Unless you arrive at 5 PM, or whenever dinner service begins, you should probably make reservations or be prepared to wait, assuming the area is busy. FYI, if you insist on going to Allison's, which is also over-priced for what you get, IMO, it's close inside and gets very noisy, plus you'll pay to park. Lucas is a calmer setting. I've found the service at both to be professional and helpful. For example, I once ordered $10 all-you-can-eat fried haddock at Lucas, and they offered to bake it for me instead, which was delicious.

              Cape Pier Chowder House doesn't take reservations, AFAIK. Web site here with menu, pics, video: http://www.capeporpoiselobster.com/de...
              I've always found the food quality to be excellent, and the fried seafood I've eaten has never been greasy. It's on a working pier, so you could call and ask what time the lobster boats come in if you want to watch them unload.

              Have heard only negatives about Pier 77, which you mentioned in your original post.

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              Arundel Wharf Restaurant
              43 Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport, ME 04046

              1. re: IWantFood

                Thank you again for all the insights. Since we are staying in Cape porpoise, it looks like we could even walk to dinner at Cape Pier Chowder House and perhaps Lucas on 9 as well, which would skirt any parking issues. If we feel that the kids would do better on an outside deck, then we will opt for Andel Wharf. I may make reservations at those anyway, just to be on the safe side...

                DH would love the hot sauces at the flaming gourmet, hopefully we can check it out...along with the ice cream, of course!

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                Chowder House
                RR 16, North Conway, NH 03860

                1. re: bawc

                  Glad it was helpful. BTW, Cape Pier Chowder House has outdoor deck dining, too.

                  Hope you'll post after your trip to let us know how it was.

          2. Late to the discussion, but consider Brandy's on the Rocks, a much-larger sibling of the Wayfarer that opened this spring. Very popular with locals. Also the lower level of Grissini, which serves lighter fare in addition to the full menu available upstairs.