When it comes to food, Maine has plenty to brag about. We’re known for our plentiful seafood, our award-winning chefs and even our tiny, local well-loved diners. While all of these are great, sometimes you’re just craving something…different. The next time you’ve got guests in town, skip the lobster rolls and head to these 10 unique restaurants in Maine that will provide an unforgettable time.
1. Fat Boy Drive-In, Brunswick
Fat Boy is for all those who miss the old days. From seafood to fried accompaniments (awesome onion rings, for instance) there is plenty on offer. But, try the Whoperburger first. It's classic and messy, just as it should be at a place with "fat" in the name. And, the good news is Take advantage of the throwback drive-in feel and munch out in your car like the good ol' days! Visit them at: 111 Bath Road, Brunswick / 207-729-9431
2. Havana, Bar Harbor
What could be better than fresh seafood? Fresh seafood with a Latin American twist! Havana provides diners with a unique experience using local organic produce and meat to serve up foods with flair. If you're looking for a different sort of lobster dish, try the lobster moqueca, which gets high marks. Visit them at: 318 Main Street, Bar Harbor / 207-288-2822.
3. Grace, Portland
From the outside, this Portland establishment looks like a place to worship. And, while it's true that being inside feels like heaven, it is most definitely a restaurant. The converted church offers two bars and two levels of seating all with a view of the incredibly high ceilings. You'll enjoy anything off the menu (including this grilled steak atop bone marrow,) but if you sit in the bar area the smaller meals are more than enough. If you love cocktails, be sure to sit at the bar. The bartenders are chatty and more than willing to whip-up something unique! They get quite busy, which cane make it hard to get a bartender's attention, so don't be shy about flagging one down. Visit them at: 15 Chestnut Street, Portland / 207-828-4422.
4. Schutty's Seafood, West Bath
The classic Maine seafood shack... except this one is in a trailer next to a car dealership. The menu has all the fried classics down to a tasty science, but some sophisticated surprises are to be had - like fish tacos with fresh Asian slaw and homemade "baha" sauce. Be sure to try the unique lobster egg roll. Visit them at: 410 State Road, West Bath / 207-798-9167.
5. Boba, Lewiston
There's good news and bad news about boba. The good news is that they're one of the best new additions to Maine that I can think of. Having spent a few months in Hanoi, it's great to have an option for the Vietnamese food I miss. They serve up a flavorful mix of Southeast Asian fare from the inside of gas station building. Enjoy healthy versions of everything from Vietnamese pho to dumplings to bubble tea. The bad news? They're closed at the moment while they move to a larger space. Check them out
to make sure you're first in line when they re-open!
6. Earth at Hidden Pond, Kennebunkport
Located within luxury boutique hotel, Hidden Pond, Earth is a delightful place to spend a meal. Their slow food and farm-to-table feel will delight foodies. Everything is created with great care and, while some say they're on the small side, the portions will certainly satisfy. Visit them at: 354 Goose Rocks Road, Kennebunkport / 207-967-9050.
7. Palace Diner, Biddeford
If you think Palace Diner is just another diner you're in for a huge surprise. The chefs here cook up fare that is worthy of a a million photos and even more praise. The historic 1927 "rail car" diner is a classic and the chefs have received national recognition for their inventive take on diner fare. They have a talent for turning the simple into the sublime. Word is the breakfast sandwich is the best. Try The Deluxe Sandwich - bacon, egg, jalapeno and cheddar with Palace potatoes. Then, make sure to visit on a Thursday or Friday for some delicious fried chicken. Visit them at: 18 Franklin Street, Biddeford / 207-284-0015.
8. The Well, Jordan's Farm, Cape Elizabeth
This seasonal spot has people coming back for the amazingly fresh food (much of it sourced right from Jordan's Farm), beautiful pastoral setting and unique outdoor seating... perfect on a warm summer evening. The most unique part just might be the setting. You can choose to sit in small gazebo-type areas or right out in the open next to the flower garden. Visit them at: 21 Wells Road, Cape Elizabeth / 207-831-9350.
9. Crosby's Drive-In, Bucksport
These days, a true drive-in is a pretty unique find. While Crosby's in Bucksport is more of a "walk-up" than a "drive-in" it does not disappoint. Here you'll find huge portions and all the fried seafood you can imagine. The lobster roll is pretty incredible as well. They are now officially open for the season. Visit them then at: 30 Route 46, Bucksport / 207-469-3640.
10. Suzuki's Sushi Bar, Rockland
You might think Japanese food is about as far from Maine as you can get, but not at Suzuki's in Rockland. Here owner Keiko Suzuki Steinberger also acts as chef and is dedicated to including fresh Maine seafood in her menu. Make sure you try the Special Omakase Assortment, which is consistently raved about! Visit them at: 419 Main Street, Rockland / 207-596-7447.
A trip along US 1 will reveal plenty of lobster and seafood options, but you’ll have to dig a little deeper to find the truly unique gems hidden away in Vacationland.