It’s finally here! We spent 2016 giving you as many incredible Maine restaurants as we could possibly find. But, how to keep track of it all? Fear not! We’ve gone through each of these 2016 articles to make a grand list of places you MUST get to in 2017.
The Lost Kitchen, Freedom
Erin French is completely self-taught. Using recipes passed down from her family, she's improved upon them to make them uniquely her own. The kitchen is manned with those she considers friends, who share her love of locally sourced ingredients and beautifully prepared foods. Everything you'll find here is as uncomplicated as possible, while still providing an experience worth the 1.5-hour drive from Portland. You can find The Lost Kitchen about 17 miles inland from Belfast, in the mid-coast region of Maine. Call them for reservations: (207) 382-3333.
A1 Diner, Gardiner
The inside of the A1 Diner is as unique and old-school as the exterior. Step inside for the original pink Tennessee marble counter tops accompanied by 16 authentic pedestal stools. If intimate eating is more your style, ask for one of the six booths. Don't forget to take note of the cool neon sign, purchased by the owners and rumored to be the reason for the current name. Check them out at: 3 Bridge Street, Gardiner / 207-582-4804.
Blair Hill Inn, Greenville
The food here is incredible, but it’s the unforgettable setting that really impresses us. The Blair Hill Inn, located in beautiful Greenville, was once a gentleman's estate and a breeding farm. It was built as a mansion in 1891 and has been restored to become a boutique hotel with truly unique decor. Today, the bed and breakfast features ten rooms, set on 21 beautiful acres. Visit them at: 351 Lily Bay Rd, Greenville / 207-695-0224.
Francine Bistro, Camden
It doesn't get much cozier than Francine, in Camden. The little restaurant is tucked away and can be found at night by following the twinkle of the outdoor patio lights. Enjoy a cocktail, glass of wine and any of the constantly changing, fresh dishes. The Pemaquid Oysters and Steak Frites are constantly mentioned to be outstanding. Visit them at: 55 Chestnut Street, Camden / 207- 230-0083
The Goldenrod, York Beach
The Goldenrod was built in 1896, in the exact spot it stands to this day. Edward and Mattie Talpey created the sugary stalwart with a sweet tooth and a dream. Lucky for them, fate was in collusion and the very next year the first electric trains of the Portsmouth, Kittery and York Railway came to town. The Goldenrod serves one of the best breakfasts we've ever had. From pancakes to omelettes, there isn't much you can get that won't satiate. Then, when you're done with breakfast, stick around and eat some candy while you wait for lunch. Visit them at: 2 Railroad Avenue, York Beach / 207-363-2621.
Bayview Takeout, Beals
Bayview Takeout is located on Beals Island in the aptly named town of Beals. The location, overlooking the bay between the island and the mainland is perfect and offers a wonderful view over to Jonesport. Their nationally recognized lobster roll features TONS of meaty lobster combined with the perfect amount of mayo. Not too much, but just enough to keep it together. The portion is then served inside a lightly buttered bun - just as it should be. Visit them at: 42 Bayview Drive, Beals / 207-497-3301.
Palace Diner, Biddeford
Originally opened back when Biddeford was a textile mill town, the Palace Diner has been around since 1927. Its walls are an old Pollard dining car - one of only two that exist in the world. It's been sitting in the town for almost 90 years. Hopefully, it'll be around for another 90. Known for their simple menu items that come impeccably prepared, you won't find typical diner fare at The Palace. While the names may sound familiar, each ingredient is made fresh and local (whenever it makes sense) and the taste is nothing short of perfection. Diner food can sometimes taste quickly prepared, but here individual care is taken with each dish. Visit them at: 18 Franklin Street, Biddeford / 207-284-0015.
Eventide Oyster Company, Portland
If shellfish is your thing, you've come to the right state. But, if you're REALLY into it, you should head straight to Eventide! Located in the Old Port, this renowned spot features oysters from both Maine and "from away" along with some unique takes on the traditional sauces. Check them out at: 86 Middle Street, Portland / 207-774-8538.
The Spirit Restaurant, Kennebunk
The Spirit of Massachusetts was launched in 1984 and celebrated in Boston with a tall ship festival that welcomed her to the world. Today, she's in Kennebunk waiting for her second summer season. Once arriving at The Spirit, you'll check in with a host on dry land. Then, after walking down the gangplank you'll enter the ship, greeted by perhaps the most impressive part of the setup - the massive, wraparound bar that seats almost 50 people. Visit her at: 4 Western Ave, Kennebunk
Fat Boy Drive-In, Brunswick
Fat Boy made an appearance on our list of the 10 most Unique and Unforgettable Restaurants in Maine. This one 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
So, your dining list is set for 2017, but what about activities to get you through the winter?
Here’s one we recently highlighted – a winter horseback riding trip in Casco!