Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Northern New England >
May 6, 2011 05:37 AM

Best places to Eat from MA up to Portland ME?

We will be driving from Ware,Ma up to Portland,ME and I was wondering if there were any good places to eat a long the way? Are there any good clam shacks along the way? We are all about seafood and would love to try some local clam shacks or any other kind of place along those lines.

Also,where are some good,moderately priced place to eat in Portland? Are there any good ice cream places along the way?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. For clams, I've heard great things about the Clam neighbors all love it there. I don't eat clams, so I can't verify what I've heard.

    Portland has some great restaurant, just search the board for previous threads.

    Oh, and if you drive through Hampton Beach, get some Blinks Fried Dough...not healthy, not fancy, but freaking yummy.

    1. As with anything "Maine seafood" related, you'll get varying opinions - but I love Bob's Clam Hut in Kittery. Not the best scenery (in the middle of hundreds of outlets), but the fried seafood is great (I especially like that the batter isn't too thick - the fish to batter ratio is one of the best). Chauncey Creek in Kittery isn't too shabby either, and a nicer setting.

      Bob's Clam Hut
      RR 1, Kittery, ME 03904

      1. I like sitting outside at Petey's in Rye. I like their chowder, and Rye has some really nice, quiet beaches. I don't get much more than that usually because the prices are so high, so I can't comment on the fried clams. Portsmouth is a great city to walk through, so depending on how long you have, I think it's a worthy stop.

        2 Replies
        1. re: solargarlic

          Petey's and Rye were very busy yesterday on a hot, sunny Memorial Day weekend. It was our first visit and we're sorry it's such a long drive. The lobster rolls are excellent and average priced ($16.95 includes french fries). The lobster is very fresh, maybe a bit too much mayo and shredded lettuce but since they use a soft, toasted sandwich roll, it holds a lot of meat, more than the traditional hot dog roll. The roll is the size of a bulkie roll but it's a softer bread. Once in awhile gluttons that we are, we also got a serving of deep fried onion bits ($3.95) which I prefer because they are the center pieces of onion so there is more onion than batter. AND a small side of whole belly clams that were on the smallish side, sweet and very tasty.

          We ate in the bar which is noisy so I wish we had waited the 5-10 minutes for a table in the dining room. The parking lot was overflowing. Their menu looks great since there are so many choices. Some seafood "shacks" only have lobster rolls and deep fried seafood. We brought home almost all the french fries and must of the onion bits. We should have shared a lobster roll since we also had the clams.

          Petey's Summertime Seafood
          1323 Ocean Blvd, Rye, NH 03870

          1. re: dfrostnh

            Nice! Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the onion bits tip, I've never had them before! Lucky for me, I've only hit Petey's on the weekdays when it's quiet.

        2. Last year in Portland we visited MDI ice cream on Exchange St. They have some very unusual flavors which you might want to sample before getting a whole scoop. I always go for 2 flavors/2 scoops. One was salted caramel and the other was molasses banana. Bother very good but DH didn't like his peanut butter ice cream (one he finds a brand he likes, he doesn't like to switch).

          We had some great fried clams at Mike's Clam Shack on Rt 1 (might have been wells, we were staying in Ogunquit).

          If you want a leisurely drive, you could head up I91, get off in Brattleboro and head to Keene and then east to Concord NH. It is our preferred route from your area. In Hillsborough NH (you'll have to get off the hwy bypass) there's the Tide. It's seasonal with screened porch dining. Decent for an inland place although not our favorite. When you get to Concord there is homemade ice cream at Granite State Candy on Warren street. You'll have to find metered parking. But up on Loudon Rd, Arnie's makes their own ice cream and also does barbeque. Continue heading east and you will get on Rt 4 to go to Portsmouth and connect with I95. You will also pass Johnson's Dairy Bar in Northwood where you can get both clams and ice cream. (clams are decent but their cole slaw has to be the worst in the state).

          You could also get off Rt 495 in Westford MA for Kimballs Ice Cream. It's just a few miles from the hwy.

          Mike's Clam Shack
          1162 Post Rd, Wells, ME 04090

          1 Reply
          1. re: dfrostnh

            Kimball's has good, creamy ice cream. Beware, a "small" is as big as a baby's head!!

          2. The best clam shack is The Clam Shack in Kennebunk, Maine, at the bridge leading into Kennebunkport. The fried clams are the best I have ever had, as are the fried scallops, and fried shrimp. The lobster roll is also excellent. For ice cream, try Kimball's off Route 495 in Westford, Mass. I have been going there since it started out as a small farm where you could see and hear cows in the background. I do not think you will be disappointed.

            Clam Shack
            2 Western Ave, Kennebunk, ME 04043