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Jun 23, 2011 08:23 AM

Driving from Portland to Mid coast and back July 4th weekend- looking for outdoor dining

Hubby-to-be and I are driving from NYC to Maine next weekend to finalize some details for our August wedding and will be scrambling from Portland to Belfast and beyond and then back- all with our puppy dog in tow, so we'd like to try and eat at places with outdoor dining options. Here is what I have so far- I would love any suggestions, additions or subtractions to the list.

Saturday July 2nd

Are there easily accessible Portland restaurants that are relatively close to 295 AND have outdoor seating for breakfast? I was considering the following based on Chow recommendations- any advice?

158 Pickett St Cafe, South Portland, ME 04106 (Looks really good if we have time, but its not right off the highway. It does have outdoor seating though)


Brea Lu Café 428 Forest Ave, Portland, ME 04101 (Right off 295)

Lunch options in Belfast- Chase’s Daily (96 Main Street) or Bay Wraps (20 Beaver Street), Belfast Does either have outdoor seating? Or is there somewhere that does?

Dinner in Bangor at Fiddlehead, unless we are super motivated to drive another hour and half round trip to Ellsworth for dinner- should we do this if the options we are considering are Cleonise or Jordan’s? I think at this point Fergus the puppy will stay in the hotel so we are not concerned about outdoor options, just a really good meal after a long day of driving.

Sunday, July 3rd

Breakfast- Just Barb’s on 24 Main Street in Stockton Springs. Are there any outdoor breakfast dining options in Stockton Springs? Or any outdoor options driving from Bangor to Stockton Springs? (We have a 10am appt in Stockton Springs, so Belfast is out of the question)

Lunch- Bagaduce Lunch w/outdoor seating- Brooksville (40 minute drive from Stockton Springs)

Dinner Options- are there options on Belfast or Bangor that I'm not aware of/haven't listed?

in Belfast-

3 Tides (heavy tapas and beer) or Darby’s Pub (bar food and beer)

in Bangor-

Market Bistro for dinner, Paddy Murphy’s or Nocturem Draft House for drinks/snacks

Monday, July 4th

Breakfast- happy to go to the same breakfast place twice, especially if we can take the puppy- it doesn't have to be in Stockton Springs/Belfast, but we'll be heading south so will be getting hungryand need to eat something before lunch.

Lunch in Portland- Two Lights Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth? I hear it has phenomenal views and outdoor seating.

Just Barb's
24 Main St, Stockton Springs, ME 04981

Paddy Murphy's
26 Main St, Bangor, ME 04401

Bay Wrap
20 Beaver St, Belfast, ME 04915

Lobster Shack
225 Two Lights Rd, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

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  1. BreaLu may have outdoor seating, but Forest Avenue isn't anything to look at. I'd go with the Port Hole for breakfast in Portland--on the waterfront, so just a few blocks off exit 7, and nice picnic tables on the wharf.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sciencediet

      +1 - My thoughts exactly.

      Two Lights does have great views and outdoor seating and is well worth a visit but is probably a 25 minute drive (at least) from the highway and is in Cape Elizabeth, not Portland. If you have time to kill, jump on the Casco Bay ferry to Peaks Island and grab lunch at the Peaks Island Inn (Shipyard brewery owned). If you do breakfast at the Porthole on the way downeast, you can walk over to the ferry terminal right next door and get all the ferry info you need. The patio at J's or the deck at Gilberts or Dry Dock are good options for a quickie. Far from gourmet, but certainly adequate.

      Oh yeah, be very wary of the traffic leaving Maine on 95... enjoy.

    2. 3 Tides has outdoor seating, Darby's does not. Down next to 3 Tides, the Lookout Pub has outside seating (it's a bit "divey", but I'm soured on Darby's -- I recently had the worst Pad Thai of my life there (yes, I tried Pad Thai at a bar...I was told it was their best seller).

      Next door to the Lookout is a great Thai place called Thai Bhurapar, also with outside options.

      Thai Bhurapar
      37 Front St, Belfast, ME 04915

      1. 3 Tides doesn't allow dogs. Duck Fat in Portland has a few tables outside where Wolfie could join us for a beer and fries.

        Duck Fat
        43 Middle St, Portland, ME 04101

        1. For Saturday dinner Fiddlehead, Bangor and Cleonice, Ellsworth are both chowworthy.

          I second Porthole for breakfast.

          I love Chase's Daily but not outdoor/dog-friendly.

          Chase's Daily
          96 Main St, Belfast, ME 04915

          112 Main St, Ellsworth, ME 04605

          1. Breakfast Portland: Port Hole yes OR pick up breakfast pastries at STandard Baking Co. and find a bench on the waterfront and enjoy.

            Belfast: Bay Wraps, get to go and walk two blocks to the harborfront park (love their Samuri Salmon wrap).

            Fiddlehead:fabulous! Definitely make rez. (But unless you have a pet sitter, reconsider leaving Fergus alone in a strange hotel room. He might bark, whine, cry or if not crated, chew). There's another newish place in Bangor that's getting raves. Can't think of it off the top of my head.

            Stockton Springs: Just Barbs, can't praise this place enough when traveling with dogs--came through after picking up two pups in Halifax and stopped here for dinner. They were great. We ate outside on the picnic tables, and waitress checked on us, even though technically we did take out. Also check out The Good Kettle, I think there may be a few outdoor tables, but this is an excellent spot to pick-up to-go fare.

            Monday July 4: Holiday, don't count on places being open. Some will, some won't. Either call ahead and verify or especially for breakfast, have baked goods or something to tide you over. Also be forewarned that in some Maine towns, the Fourth of July parades go right down Main Street, which happens to be Route 1. Thomaston is one of those, plan accordingly.

            Two Lights is lovely, but about 25 minutes off 295. Consider Day's in Yarmouth on Route 1, right near 295 Exit 17. Doesn't look like much from the road, but there are picnic tables behind on the tidal estuary. Parking is easy, too.

            Main Street Cafe
            888 Main St, Westbrook, ME 04092

            Just Barb's
            24 Main St, Stockton Springs, ME 04981

            Bay Wrap
            20 Beaver St, Belfast, ME 04915

            1 Reply
            1. re: Mainegal

              And another outdoor lunch option on the Blue Hill peninsula: El El Frijoles, Route 15 in Sargentville: Mexican with attitude and a Maine accent, and it really works. Great spot.