Lobster shacks between Boston and Bar Harbour
My Husband and I are driving from Boston to Prospect Harbor( 40 minutes from Bar Harbor) and staying at a gorgeous oceanside inn next week. We wanted to stop at a lobster shack on the way up and partake in a quintessential New England meal. We are open to other suggestions as well- we are foodies and love all food but plan to make the most of the seadfood experience in Maine.
We will also be staying in Camden for a few days and taking a workshop at the Salt Water Farms for 3 days. Any recommendations for good dining joints near or around Camden? On the way back we are taking Route 1 back to Boston since it's the middle of the week and there will be less traffic; we have heard that it is a pretty scenic route. Is there any towns that one would specially recommend for both it's beauty and great seafood? We already plan on stopping by Red's in Wiscasset- it's such an institution that we just need to visit to see if it lives up to all the hype!
Depending on your route and timing, try to hit Harraseekett Lunch & Lobster in South Freeport. Nice spot on a small working harbor. Just 10 minutes off I-295. Can get crowded during prime hours. (Freeport is also home to LLBean's Flagship stores if that is of interest).
Another nice shack, in the Camden/Rockland area, is Waterman's in Thomaston.
Lots of info on Lobster Shacks on CH if you search.
We've only been to Chauncey Creek once and never cared to return. Felt prices were too high. It's located on a saltwater river, parking can be difficult if they are busy. You don't have the tremendous ocean views that you have at Waterman's. Keep in mind Waterman's is very basic (i.e. porta potties) but service is friendly and the area is open and spacious. Chauncey Creek is in a lovely area of Kittery Point but it's also high end residential for the most part. When we first visited Waterman's there were only the picnic tables out front. Now there is also a covered porch in the rear and the front.
We love Waterman's but we thought our best buy in steam lobster dinners was at Cundy's Harbor last week. Looks like it was Holbrooks Wharf. Go to Brunswick and head east at Cook's Corner. I think the dinner was $14.95 and we're pretty sure the lobster was at least 1 1/4 lb. We grabbed a table on the deck with the best views. It's a working harbor. It's a bit of a drive east from Brunswick so it depends on when you leave Boston.
If the line is too long at Reds, you might try Schutty's Seafood in West Bath. It's just a roadside truck but a more varied menu than usual. I had a great crab roll with topped with chopped tomato and avocado. They use local ingredients. We did not have a very good meal at the Sea Basket in Wiscasset which we usually visit instead of Red's. Fried food was over-cooked.
If you haven't been to the Harpswells, it's like turning back the clock. Very rural. You have your choice of several lobster places in addition to the one in Cundy's Harbor. If you have time for a hike, look for the trail along the cliffs to Giant Steps. We took so many roads, I'm not sure if it's close to Estes or Cook's Lobster.
We did not eat at the lobster places near Pemaquid Point this trip but did the drive. The town of Damariscotta is lovely. Take advantage of the farmers markets. Google a list. We visited Rockland, Brunswick and Bath this year. I thought Bath had the most varied vendors (great yogurt, pastries, yellow beets, etc. I would have bought some wonderful looking mushrooms if we had had better cooking facilities.)
We tend to get on/off I95 in Brunswick. If you stay on Rt 1, you can stop at Stonewall Kitchens and When Pigs Fly bakery in Kittery for tastings. The bread freezes well.
The lobster place in Round Pond is Muscongus Bay lobster. Great spot but a bit if a hike off route 1. Worth it if you visit Pemaquid light, as well. It's a very beautiful area.
The best of Mid Coast Maine is off route 1 down the peninsulas so maybe when you're staying in Camden you will drive down to Port Clyde. Waterman's Beach lobster, Cod End lobster and Miller's lobster are on the way. Check out great tidal pools at Birch Point Beach, Drift Inn beach is beautiful at low tide. Lighthouses: Rockland Breakwater light (great hike out the granite breakwater), Owl's Head Light (tons of star fish at the pebble beach at low tide) Marshall Point Light (more great tidal pools at low tide).
Before you leave Boston, you could stop at Belle Isle at 1267 Saratoga St. in E. Boston. My coworker drives down there all the time and loves it. Not scenic, but good.
It's a bit of a detour, but we much prefer Five Islands Lobster Co in Georgetown vs Reds. Fried seafoods there are superior and the views outstanding.
South of Portland, we always enjoy the Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth. Again, magnificent views , but here I always order their crab roll.