Maine’s food scene continues to get more notoriety and, with that, comes the belief that you have to head to one of our larger towns for a good meal. But, the reality is that there are plenty of great options just outside your door. If you’re looking for something delicious, but don’t want to make it a big night out, consider staying local and enjoying a meal at any of these neighborhood favorites.
Note: These are listed in no particular order. They’re all wonderful!
1. Norway Brewing Company, Norway
Words can barely express how much we love Norway Brewing Company. It's a shining light when we drive upta camp and since its opening this year we've made a point to stop every time we can. In addition to great beer, this little spot serves up some awesome food. Try the chicken sandwich or any of the specials. But, get there early. As we learned on a recent Friday, the special are so popular they might sell out! The true neighborhood feel of this spot comes in the service. On a slightly chilly night on the patio, the owner came around and offered a blanket.
Visit them at: 237 Main Street, Norway / 207-739-2126
2. The Olde Post Office Cafe, Mount Vernon
This waterside restaurant is known for its homemade fresh baked goods and delicious breakfasts. Ingredients are fresh and the lively atmosphere makes for a good time. Try the spinach, tomato and goat cheese omelet, but make sure you leave with a cinnamon roll!
Visit them at: 366 Pond Road, Mount Vernon / 207-293-4978
3. The Red Barn, Augusta
The Red Barn get high marks for just about everything, but given the season we feel we must mention their lobster roll. Specifically, you need to try their otherworldly creation, The Crustacean Elation. If one regular-sized lobster roll bores you, this foot-long creation just might satiate you for the next few months until next season rolls around. With 28 ounces of lobster meat, it is certainly something to behold. Visit them to check it out at 455 Riverside Drive in Augusta / 207-623-9485.
4. The Liberal Cup, Hallowell
The Liberal Cup is possibly the closest you'll feel to England without having to set food outside Maine. Inside feels like a proper English pub and the local vibe provides the perfect atmosphere to cozy up with a pint and their famous beer cheese soup.
Visit them at: 115 Water Street, Hallowell / 207-623-2739
5. The Owl & Turtle Bookshop, Camden
While not a restaurant exactly, we couldn't help throwing a unique option into this list. If you're passionate about supporting local and independent...well, everything - this is the place for you! In addition to tirelessly promoting local authors, artists, and artisans, the Owl & Turtle hosts poetry readings, author readings and signings, book release events, a writers group and various craft and maker events. And, of course, their coffee is top notch! The locally-roasted coffee is served alongside locally-blended teas, and all baked goods are made in their cafe.
Visit them at: 33 Bay View Street, Camden / 207-230-7335
6. Green Bean Coffee Shop, South China
A lovely spot to enjoy some coffee, baked goods or a breakfast burrito off the coast. You may come in here for a quick bite, but end up staying a while with their many books and games. Take a comfy seat and spend the day!
Visit them at: 11 Old Windsor Road, South China / 207- 445-7099
7. Po' Boys & Pickles, Portland
There are lots of sandwich options in Portland, but Po' Boys stands out among some great ones. Stop in and try a chicken fried pork po' boy with sambal honey and roasted peppers & onions. Or, choose just about anything on a biscuit and you can't go wrong.
Visit them at: 1124 Forest Ave, Portland / 207-518-9735
8. Dysart's, Bangor
A Bangor mainstay, Dysart's has been serving up their "trucker's slice" for as long as the locals can remember. While they get a lot of traffic, it truly feels like a hometown spot. Order one if you like actual whipped cream versus the canned stuff.
Visit them at: 530 Coldbrook Road (207-942-4878) and 1110 Broadway, Bangor (207-942-6725)
9. Flatlander's Pub, Greenville
You really can't go wrong with anything here. From fried haddock to the chowder, everything gets rave reviews. But what Flatlander's is well known for is their famous "broasted" chicken. Roasted first to lock in the moisture, then fried to perfection this is a natural choice for anyone in Greenville.
Visit them at: 36 Pritham Ave, Greenville / 207-695-3373
10. Thompson's Restaurant, Bingham
This little spot up North gets consistently great reviews for both food and service. It's a great place to stop off if you find yourself in the area and have a hankering for donut holes. They're complimentary! Now that it's almost fall, you might love their pumpkin pie.
Visit them at: 348 Main Street, Bingham / 207-672-3820
11. Deb's Diner, Waldoboro
You may be more familiar with another diner in the area. It's name rhymes with "foodies." BUT, if you want a great home-cooked meal in a local atmosphere, Deb's is your place. With unique specials and Deb's waffle breakfast sandwich, you won't be disappointed. Unless you can't get a seat. Then you should be pretty bummed because you're missing out.
Visit them at: 1495 Atlantic Highway, Waldoboro / 207-832-6144
12. The Big Top Deli, Brunswick
This circus-themed deli has a huge selection for both meat lovers and vegetarians. Try the Big Top's namesake sandwich (pictured) or branch out and try the highly recommended Trailblazer, Oliphant or Egress.
Visit them at: 70 Maine Street, Brunswick / 207-721-8900
13. Little Red Hen Diner & Bakery, Andover
Located smack in the middle of the Western Mountains of Maine, Little Red Hen will make you feel like you're part of the family. Everything is homemade and a trip here might mean the best muffins you've ever had. They love their family and when you walk through the door, you'll feel like you're a part of it. For those who want to take a piece of this lovely spot home with them, they've just begun selling their own homemade ketchup!
Visit them at: 28 S. Main Street, Andover / 207-392-2253
14. Big G's Deli, Winslow
If you like your sandwiches the way you like your Acadia mountain views (and by that, we mean HUGE) check out Big G's. You'll likely end up with lunch for two days. With that in mind, we recommend you also pick up one of their size-of-your-face whoopie pies so that you've got dessert for two days as well. Try the Reuben if you're looking to splash out. Or, go for the Richard Simmons if you're feeling a tad healthier.
Visit them at: 581 Benton Ave, Winslow / 207-873-7808
15. Saco Island Deli, Saco
Over 90% of the menu here is made in their own kitchen, making this the place to go if you're into fresh and local. The specials board changes daily and ranges from "The Stuffed Bird Panini" with antibiotic-free turkey breast and stuffing, on local Italian bread to the more recent "Vermonter," featuring cheese, apples and a delicious croissant.
Visit them at: 110 Main Street, 207-286-3842
16. Yancy's Restaurant, Calais
Those who know the correct way to pronounce the town of "Calais" also know that Yancey's is a great place for a lobster roll. Head in for a perfect bun piled high with meaty, lobster goodness.
Visit them at: 332 North Street, Calais / 207-454-8200
17. Countryside Restaurant & Bakery, East Corinth
Come to Countryside with your appetite because the portions here are HUGE. Known for great breakfasts and delicious desserts, you'll want to try the meatball grinder and don't leave without a slice of pie. Or, if you're really ambitious, one of their special gigantic whoopie pies can be purchased to serve a family of (approximately) 27.
Visit them at: 98 Main Street, East Corinth / 207-285-3694
18. Nook & Cranny Restaurant, Baileyville
Washington County's "Best Kept Secret" serves up seriously good cuisine with great local flair - all in a converted chicken coop! A family business through and through, you'll feel right at home the second you step inside. Try the Atlantic salmon topped with Raye's mustard and southern bourbon finished in the broiler.
Visit them at: 575 Airline Road, Baileyville / 207-454-3335
Planning a night out for a special occasion and only the best will do? Check out
this list of the highest rated restaurants in Maine according to Open Table.