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Aug 24, 2014 08:06 PM

Best places to eat near York Beach, Maine

Hi! Our family of six (myself, my husband, our two year old, two month old and my parents) are spending the first weekend of September in York Beach, Maine and I was wondering what restaurant recommendations you guys might have for us. We are all seafood lovers and are particularly interested in great lobster and/or lobster rolls. Many thanks in advance!

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  1. Absolutely no question in my mind about the answer. The Lobster Pound in Ogonquit, right on Route 1. You order the lobsters outside, then go in to a sit down restaurant, and they bring them to you. Also a full menu including lobster rolls in the restaurant For years when the kids were small, we took a cottage in Ogonquit for a week, and Lobster Pound was a must. More informal is Bob's Clam Hut, which is in Kittery near the shopping outlets. Showcased on Diners, Driveins and Dives. Lobster Pound has a web site, but both the Pound and the Clam Hut are well covered on the Internet.

    8 Replies
    1. re: trakman

      I think I'm genetically incapable of letting a recommendation for the Ogunquit Lobster Pound go unchallenged. I find it over-priced for what you get, the atmosphere is loud and unpleasant, they cannot produce a decent non-seafood option (which I suppose doesn't matter much to the OP since they all love seafood), and their sides are eh, at best.

      There are much better options in the area, one of which is Billy's Chowder House in Wells. Some others are the Lobster Shack and Barnacle Billy's at Perkin's Cove.

      1. re: Morganna

        I would second the Lobster Shack in Perkins Cove and warn people that while Bob's Clam Hut might be good for fried clams, the lobster roll is quite mediocre.

        1. re: Morganna

          I guess I need to explain more. We love the Ogunquit Lobster Pound. If you don't like seafood then don't go there…….. Get the point!!
          They are very professional;. Yes a little expensive but don't forget they are in a seasonal business. All restaurants are loud, but this one is not as loud as most. Tables are not that close together. Menu is large, and very good. They have the best lobsters in town but they should be for $19/pound.
          Service is great. Parking is easy and free, and not like parking at Barnacle Billy's which is a real tourist trap. They have a full bar, beautiful fireplace, and appreciate every buck you leave there……Its my kind of place, and look forward to our several visits there each summer.

          1. re: irwin

            Uhm, just because I like seafood and my husband doesn't isn't a reason for you to snap at me not to go to a lobster pound (ie, don't make assumptions, eh?).

            As I said, the sides at Ogunquit Lobster Pound aren't very good, and yeah, I do actually enjoy sides with my seafood. Their inability to make an edible non seafood option is a serious problem for a lot of folks who can't eat seafood due to allergies, or who just actually despise seafood. It's a piece of information that people who are looking for a place to eat often need to take into consideration. While they all love seafood, if one of them just doesn't feel like having seafood on a particular night, the lack of an edible option -matters-. It's just information about the place.

            Not all restaurants are loud. This one is a huge room with no buffers and high ceilings in the middle. It's a giant echo chamber. It is possible that the seats near the windows aren't as loud, but we couldn't have any sort of conversation at our seat in the middle. It was far louder than most restaurants I've been in, which is why I bring it up.

            Yes, parking is easy and free, but that is hardly a reason to stop someplace for over-priced food of mediocre quality. Yes, the seafood itself was good. The lobster was fresh, but the "market price" there was higher than at other places I'd been -on the same trip-. Also, why should I pay more for less when I'm getting mediocre sides and my husband can't even find an edible option?

            These are all valid criticisms of the location, not of you as a person for your recommendation. Clearly these things you either don't agree with, or you aren't as sensitive about. That's fine. You're not me, and I'm not you. And not everyone on the board is you. Which is why I cannot let a blanket recommendation for Ogunquit Lobster Pound go without offering my experience. There are bound to be people reading this who would actually be bothered by these things, too.

          2. re: Morganna

            We agree to disagree on the Lobster Pound. I can't comment on the whole menu at Billy's Chowder House, having only had different versions of their lobster or clam bisque. Which are excellent. Found Barnacle Billy's at Perkins Cove to be so so.

            1. re: trakman

              Billy's Chowder House has good lobster at a reasonable price. I don't know what Ogunquit's price was last year when we went to Billy's Chowder House, but it seemed to me that Billy's price was well within what I'd had at other places in the area. The lobster was, as is typical for the area, very fresh and tasty. The service is generally warm, and they have actually good non-seafood options for my non-seafood eating husband (which can be hard to find at a seafood place).

              Additionally, they belong to a discount program for the group of restaurants owned by the same family (Varanos, Fire and Brew, and Billy's Chowder House), so you can get discounted meals and specials using the card (you earn points). Which is a nice thing. (

            2. re: Morganna

              I think both the Lobster Pound and Bob's are extremely overpriced tourist traps of mediocrity.

            3. Check out Chauncey Creek. Its a beautiful spot, the food has always been good, and you can bring in anything they don't sell including beer and wine.

              From York its easier to get there the it would be to the Lobster Pound and you are sitting on the water. There is covered seating,
              I would recommend a late lunch, early dinner.


              1 Reply
              1. re: grumpyspatient

                I was going to recommend Chauncey Creek as well. We were there just last week and had a great dinner. Drive from York Beach is about 15 minutes, and some of it is a pretty drive. Lobsters were 15.99/lb. And the sides were good...we tried fries, onion rings, coleslaw and beans. you do want to bring your own wine and beer. Also pack some bug spray. Around 7PM the mosquitos started to get hungry.

              2. I could comment on all the restaurants other posters have listed, but won't, with the exception of Chauncey Creek, which we found vile.

                We've enjoyed Fishermen's Dock on Rt. 1, near the Cape Neddick/York traffic light. Excellent food, esp. the baked scallop dinner, lobster stew, and clam chowder. Haven't tried their lobster roll or whole lobster yet, but people eating them said they were good, and everything is very fresh. You can select your lobster from the very clean tank (they had a blue one when we were there) and they take the scallops and lobster meat for the stew from the fresh fish case right in front of you.


                5 Replies
                1. re: IWantFood

                  Haven't been to Chauncey but always liked the idea of a byo rustic feast. What was 'vile'? It's a strong word.

                  1. re: Bellachefa

                    Replying to Bellachefa: Here's a re-post of my review:

                    After seeing their Web site, we were really looking forward to eating at the Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier. Ordered fish and chips and boiled lobster. The fish and chips tasted odd and fermented, like soggy bread long past its prime. The fries were mush and gummy. The lobster was absolutely vile to the point of being inedible. It smelled old and musty, like a damp, dank, rotting basement; it tasted musty; and it was dry, rubbery and chewy. The revolting odor emanating from this crustacean was so strong that it took five hours and multiple hand-washings to get the stench off my hands. The lobster was also virtually impossible to crack. I am a seasoned lobster eater and don't appreciate paying top dollar for lousy food, and I told the waitstaff the lobster didn't taste right. The waitress offhandedly replied, "Oh, I'm sorry," while grinning inappropriately and not sounding sorry at all. Since I couldn't crack the lobster with the provided flimsy nutcracker, I asked if the kitchen could cut it down the middle with a cleaver. She looked blank, then announced that the kitchen didn't have any knives at all. I then asked if the water in the communal sink adjacent to the dining area was potable so I could wash off the lobster meat before eating it--it smelled (and tasted!) that bad. The waitress had no idea what "potable" meant and walked away. After the meal, a waiter came along and asked how the food was. I told him the lobster was the worst I had ever tasted. He said, "Oh, really?", smiled, and walked away. There are a lot of excellent lobster eateries in the area. If you are interested in good--or at least, edible--lobster, and proper, professional service, go elsewhere.

                    1. re: IWantFood

                      that does sound vile, how long ago was that?
                      and did you speak to anyone besides wait staff?

                      1. re: IWantFood

                        Wow, that is sad. I won't say that our meal at Chauncey Creek was vile, but the lobster rolls (served on ungrilled hamburger rolls) were among the worst we have had. My son's boiled lobster and my daughter's fish nuggets were fine. Overall, way overpriced and we won't go bad.

                        Any place for a good lob roll in Kittery, since Chauncey Creek and Bob's Clam Hut were both big fails?

                    2. re: IWantFood

                      To clarify my previous post, I meant Fishermen's Dock had a blue lobster in the tank, not that the tank itself was blue.