Maine might be well known for its coast and wooded wonderlands, but when it comes to food, many people simply overlook us. Or, assume all we have to offer is lobster. While it’s true that we do lobster better than most, we also have some pretty incredible restaurants. And, what’s better, you don’t need to set your sights on Portland to find it. Maine’s small towns are where the best hidden food gems exist. Here’s a list, in no particular order, of just a few to start you off.
1. Forks in the Air Mountain Bistro, Rangeley: 2485 Main Street, 207-864-2883
It's hard to choose just one thing to recommend here, but many folks rave about the mac and cheese. Whatever you order - from lamb lollipops to the tuna tartar, you can't really go wrong. Another bonus is that virtually every menu item has a gluten free option as well. Certainly one of the most upscale restaurants in Rangeley, make a reservation here for a special occasion.
2. Bayview Takeout, Beals: 42 Bayview Drive, 207-497-3301
Bayview is so good, it's almost a shame it's only open for the season. The fish is fresh and fried to perfection. Order at the window and take your plate to the tables to look out over the bay and the Jonesport fishing village.
3. River Cafe, Island Falls: 23 Houlton Road, 207-463-7001
The River Cafe is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner so you can plan to eat every meal here for the rest of your life if you'd like. And we're sure you'll want to after trying just about anything off the menu. The haddock burger gets great reviews, along with the homemade english muffins. The ambiance inside is cozy and the view off the back deck is phenomenal.
4. The Liberal Cup Public House & Brewery, Hallowell: 115 Water Street, 207-623-2739
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.
5. The Olde Post Office Cafe, Mount Vernon: 366 Pond Road, 207-293-4978
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!
6. Appalachian Trail Cafe, Millinocket: 210 Penobscot Ave, 207-723-6720
The Appalachian Trail Cafe is a must try after you've tackled the AT or Katahdin. Replenish your calories by digging into the epic Trail Burger, complete with a quarter pound of beef and topped with onion rings, BBQ sauce and cheddar cheese. If you're still hungry take the Summit Sundae challenge. Finish it and you'll get to add your name to the list of champs and go home with a t-shirt, bumper sticker and the bowl! If you've done this, let us know!
7. The Gingerbread House Restaurant, Oquossoc: 55 Carry Road, 207-864-3602
The Gingerbread House is a Rangeley Lakes area mainstay. Pop in during breakfast and you'll find a lively house along full of locals and visitors enjoying plates heaped high with pancakes, french toast and their famous homemade hash.
8. Countryside Restaurant & Bakery, East Corinth: 98 Main Street, 207-285-3694
Come to Countryside with you 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.
9. Waco Diner, Eastport: 47 Water Street, 207-853-9226
The Waco Diner has been under new management for the last few years and it comes with rave reviews. In the season, enjoy the incredible views of Passamaquoddy Bay while enjoying a lobster roll or some fried haddock.
10. Flatlander's, Greenville: 36 Pritham Ave, 207-695-3373
You really can't go wrong with anything here. From fried haddock to the chowder, everything gets rave reviews. But what's 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 passing through Greenville.