It’s easy to judge a book by its cover when you’re hungry and looking for the perfect meal. But, if you’ve spent some time in the smaller towns of Maine, you’ll know that some of the best spots are the ones that don’t look like much from the outside. They’re the ones that locals know inside and out – where they go for the perfect meal just about every day. There’s something to be said for focusing on what’s on the inside instead of the outside and these restaurants do exactly that. Here they are in absolutely no particular order – they’re all great!
1. Two Rivers Lunch, Allagash
While the food is some of the best in the area, the family who runs this place are truly the stars of the restaurant. Once you've enjoyed their hospitality, spend some time digging into the Grilled Cheese or an A Burger. You won't look back! Visit them at 75 Dickey Road, Allagash / 207-398-3393.
2. Boondock's Grill, Fort Fairfield
This Fort Fairfield mainstay might be more obvious than the others on this list, but the we still think the outside betrays its inside goodness. Lots of beers, along with steak tips that are well-loved. Visit them at 294 Main Street, Fort Fairfield / 207-472-6074.
3. Rollie's Bar & Grill, Belfast
If you want a casual place to watch the game, have some beers and enjoy the perfect fried lunch or burger, head to Rollie's. With daily changing burgers and the ever-popular Rollienator, you'll leave feeling satisfied. Visit them at: 37 Main Street, Belfast / 207-338-4502.
4. Ebenezar's Pub, Lovell
This spot, tucked away on a rickety road in Lovell will warm your belly and your soul. With a great beer menu and incredible fare, it's worth finding your way from the beaten-path to Ebenezar's. Ebenezar's was named by Beer Advocate Magazine as the number one beer bar, not just in America, but the entire world - FIVE TIMES! On the menu: Baladin Nora: Egyptian-inspired brew spiced with ginger, myrrh and orange peel. Visit them at: 44 Allen Road, Lovell / 207-925-3200.
5. Bresca and the Honeybee, New Gloucester
You won't find your typical greasy lakeside lunch at this modest snack shack on Sabbathday Lake. It's run by James Beard Award-nominated chef Krista Kern Desjarlais, former chef/owner of Portland's Bresca, where she's slinging gourmet hot dogs, sandwiches and more to hungry beachgoers all summer. On the menu: Alsace Dog - bockwurst, sauerkraut, violet mustard, beer jelly. Visit them at 106 Outlet Road,
New Gloucester / 207-926-3388.
6. Mia Linas, Winthrop
Two words: Lina. Bread. If you haven't tried it, you're living a life that's less than wonderful. Make your way to Winthrop for Mia Lina's award-winning chili, dagwood sandwiches and awesome pizza. The staff is friendly and attentive and will make you feel right at home. And, Lina Bread. It was worth mentioning just one more time! Visit them at: 206 Main Street, Winthrop / 207-377-2289.
7. Hurricane's Cafe & Deli, Greene
With an all-day breakfast and phenomenal clam chowder, Hurricane's is worth stopping for. Wednesdays and Thursdays are the all-you-can-eat soup bar, which we highly recommend. Visit them at 682 Route 202, Greene / 207-946-3355.
8. Cambridge General Store, Cambridge
This little spot located the the dam on Cambridge Pond will cook just about anything. Well-loved for their prime rib, they're always willing to accomadate your needs AND if you have a special request, they may just stock it in the store! Visit them at 7 Main Street, Cambridge / 207-277-4434.
9. Stow Corner Store, Fryeburg / Stow
After hiking in the area, this place is a perfect stop for re-fueling. The setting is cozy and homey and the owner is attentive and talkative. You'll love the organic coffee and freshly baked pastries as well as the delicious hot menu. The chili gets rave reviews as does the fact that just about everything is made from scratch! Visit them at 590 Stow Road, Stow / 207-697-2255.
10. Harmon's Lunch, Falmouth
If you're not paying attention, Harmon's in Falmouth might be easily missed. A veritable institution, it is known for their loaded cheeseburger. It's a simple classic without any crazy toppings and comes with a steamed bun. I've been told to order more than one next time to truly satisfy a hefty hunger, but check it out and you be the judge. They only accept cash so come prepared. Visit them at: 144 Gray Road, Falmouth / 207-797-9857.
Okay, so now you’re hungry! Here are a few of our other favorite spots for things like
Mexican, sandwiches and burgers.