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Jul 7, 2013 06:23 PM

Bar Harbor and MDI with toddlers

My family and I will be vacationing on MDI in a couple weeks and staying in Southwest Harbor. We have 19 month old twins who are good eaters but we certainly don't want to infringe on others' dining experiences, so we were hoping to eat at nicer places for lunch and occasionally eat out for dinner as well (we'll be cooking at our cottage as well). We'll be skipping the white tablecloths.

We are very adventurous eaters and would love to try anything that is well made. Thanks for your help.

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  1. We had a bunch of kids from 12 to 10 months and LOVED our brunch at Cafe This Way in Bar Harbor. They are extremely kid friendly and the food is great. The pancakes especially. There's a wall full of toys and games to keep junior occupied and no weird looks when the little bugger has a melt down. Highly recommend!

    1. Just got back last month from a trip with my 3 and 4 year old boys.

      I agree with yumyum that Cafe This Way is a must. Really terrific breakfast. Great Maine Breakfast was good too, but Cafe This Way is better.

      Atlantic Brewing Company is a casual atmosphere for bbq. It's okay, not great, but okay. The beer is good too.

      Hannafords for rotisserie chicken is always a cranky night option!

      1 Reply
      1. re: rizzo0904

        We're going to definitely check out Cafe This Way. I also noticed Sips does lunch. We'll see what it's like for lunch go from there.

        Fiddler's Green also said they do take-out. I think that might be an option as well for an "at-home" meal.

      2. We had a fantastic week in MDI!

        Considering that MDI is a vacation spot, we weren't overly concerned about bringing our boys to a restaurant. We kept it casual, for the most part, but were still pleased with the grub we had throughout the week. We brought along our Fisher-Price traveling high chairs/boosters to most restaurants to eliminate the concern about whether or not a restaurant had high chairs of their own.

        1. Sea Biscuits Cafe (SWH) - They were very accommodating to our little ones despite the tiny space they had. The pancakes were tasty, but I wish they served legit maple syrup for the cost of them.
        2. Cafe This Way (BH) - Excellent. They were seasoned pros in handling any kind of family. These were the best blueberry pancakes I've ever had. Quite good.

        I wish I could report on the other types of dishes from these places, but I was in the mood for pancakes both times we ate out for breakfast. The menus at both spots looked good with a definite edge to CTW

        1. Side Street Cafe (BH) - One of my favorite spots on my trip. They were incredibly friendly and the menu was creative and tasty. My wife had a fantastic lobster roll and I had a delicious burger that was also topped with lobster. Yeah, why not?
        2. Finback Alehouse (BH) - Very good pub grub and an excellent beer list. They seemed to be comfortable with the little guys but I could tell that it wasn't a normal occurrence for them.

        1. Sips (SWH) - The food good but not great. I had a risotto that was pretty tasty but not amazing. My wife's pasta dish was a little lackluster. They were very friendly and accommodating to the little guys
        2. XYZ (Manset - just south of SWH) - I was surprised to find a decent Mexican restaurant anywhere in Maine let alone on the quiet side of MDI. The food was simple, but fairly authentic. My wife had cochinita pibil which was quite tasty and my chicken mole dish was also very good. They seemed a little flustered trying to accommodate a family with toddlers but were still quite friendly. I did notice other tables with slightly older children as well (4 to 10ish) but no other toddlers.
        3. Thurston's Lobster Pound (Bernard) - tasty lobster pound food. The boys loved their grilled cheese while my wife and I devoured our lobster rolls. This was a fun meal for the whole family and an awesome location.

        Ice Cream

        Ben and Bill's - they had an expansive list of flavors and the ice cream was quite good.

        Mount Desert Island Ice Cream - This place was a step up from your normal ice cream spot. They had some really cool flavors (Sea Salt and Caramel, Mexican Chocolate, Cereal Milk) that I really enjoyed. There is a local park/playground very close to their location, which was a good opportunity to let the kids run around.

        We had many meals at our rental house and bought over-priced groceries from Sawyer's Market or the IGA in SWH. Of the meals we had out, we had a great deal of success.

        Thanks for your input prior to our trip!