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Great seafood shacks/lobster pounds between Boston and Bar Harbor?

Some friends and I are going to drive from Boston to Bar Harbor in early fall. We'll probably take 95 north, and I hear Rte 1 is lovely, so we might go that way even though it'll add a bit to our time (we are allotting about 7 hours for driving and pulling over and constant snacking). if consensus is that Rte 1 is a waste in the fall, then we'll go 95 to 295.

What are some good places? If we will be driving out of Logan, so we will not be in Boston proper. Our criteria:

Seafood please. Even better if whole-belly clams are involved.
Not pricey ($20 lobster rolls need not apply)
Sit down? Table cloths? Silverware? Not necessary.
Not too far off-course (that is, not more than a 20-25 minute detour from the way we're headed)

I hear Waterman's Beach Lobster is good but we are going mid-late September, and most shacks seem to be closed after Labor Day.

Any suggestions? (We're fairly familiar with Bar Harbor itself, so no restaurant recs there needed).

Thanks much!

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  1. I would stop at Petey's in Rye NH either coming or going. It's a bit off I95 but worth the detour.

    It's a looong drive. Rt 1 can really slow you down. Suggest you stay on I95 until Brunswick. We got a great lobster roll at Cameron's in Brunswick. Doesn't look like much. It's a former A&W and still has car hops. Some lobster shacks are open on weekends until Columbus Day. Another good lobster roll is Gurnet Trading. 4 miles south of Cook's Corner/Brunswick. Just some outside tables.

    I was impressed with the menu at Schutty's truck on Meadows Rd in West Bath. It's very close to Rt 1. Just call ahead to make sure they are open. I had crabmeat roll with avocado and tomato for a change. My husband thought the clams were on the large side but I believe they were local clams and that should count for a lot.

    Once you get north of Camden, rt 1 can get very rural but still worthwhile. Haven't been in years but I hope Just Barb's in Stockton Springs is still in business. It has been mentioned here that it is up for sale.

      1. I don't really think of Rte 1 south of Portland as being especially scenic. I'd stay on 95 to 295 to Rte 1 after Brunswick.
        I hesitate on this rec because it's so not a scenic spot for lunch but since you mentioned whole belly clams I'll throw out Fisherman's Grill in Portland. 5 minutes off of 295 and IMO the best fried clams anywhere. Cash only.
        IF you are going to make the pilgrimage to LL Bean, then Harraseekett Lunch & Lobster in South Freeport. 10 minutes off Rte 1 and a beautiful scenic little harbor.
        Of course there's Red's where the wait in line could offset any driving time saved by it being right on Rte 1. It is an institution and I'm a firm believer in hitting the institutions at least once if only to say you've been there. It is very good. The links above are very good starting points as well.

        1. I also don't think route 1 is "lovely" for the most part, you have to get off route 1 and down into the peninsulas to get scenic. Also, lobster as well as other seafood, is pretty pricey. Lobster is relatively "cheap" right now, but a $12 lobster roll doesn't really fill you up. That said, I'd look at Beach Plum Lobster on route 1 (Wells exit for 95 then turn down route 1 towards Ogunquit)...this place is a bring your own paper plates and napkins type joint, there are picnic tables but they basically just hand you a cooked lobster. NO frills.

          Off route 295 between Yarmouth and Falmouth is Days Lobster Pound, can't miss it, nice picnic tables out back and good fresh lobster and fried stuff.

          This lobster diner is just off route 1 in Wiscasset, if you decide to take Route 1:
          www.maineheritagevillage.com/lighthouse/

          Tracy's, just before you get to Bar Harbor in Sullivan, Maine, gets good reviews for good lobster rolls at 2 for $15.

          5 Replies
          1. re: jackattack

            Thanks everyone for the tips and the guidance on Route 1. I think we are now going to take 95 out of Boston, then 295 through Portland and Freeport, then 3 through Belfast all the way to the island. Not sure if that's the fastest way though, if anyone could advise on a better way, I'd appreciate it.

            Going by the 95-295-3 route, we should be able to hit up:
            Cameron's (Schutty's seems to be a little farther than we want to veer off 295, although I'm really keen to try it)
            Fisherman's Grill
            Tracey's

            If anyone knows of a shack worth stopping along this projected route, please let me know! Thanks!

            1. re: morninglemon

              I would call Schutty's if you go out of your way because they didn't seem to be open as often as their advertised hours.According to googlemaps, going from I295 to Rt 1 is only a few minutes longer and would be a more interesting drive. I95/I295 can get pretty boring. BUT if it's a Friday, it would take longer because traffic gets tied up at the bridge in Wiscasset.

              1. re: morninglemon

                That's probably one of the fastest routes yes, but not really the most interesting. If you're in a rush to get to Bar Harbor...take that route...but you will be missing alot of the Midcoast charm with towns like Bath, Wiscasset, Damariscotta, Rockland, Rockport, and Camden. Not to mention the scenic drives down some of the peninsulas (Boothbay, Pemaquid, Port Clyde, etc).

                1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

                  agree with mcm especially Port Clyde,Damaiscotta,Pemaquid and I might add Round Pound which you can loop back to Rte 1 on from Pemaquid

                2. re: morninglemon

                  Perfect, because if you take Route 3 towards Belfast you can make a pit stop at John's Handmade Ice Cream in Liberty. (Lori's Cafe next to John's is terrific, too. Good fresh, fried seafood, haven't tried her lobster roll yet)

              2. Last weekend, I had the best scallops I've had all summer at Markey's Lobster Pound in Seabrook. Their steamers can't be beat either. I've had the steamed lobster there and enjoy it every time. Their prices are reasonable.