Although Maine is known the world over for its Lobster, there is so much more to the Maine dining scene once you crack the shell. Maine offers diverse cuisine, starting with the finest seafood restaurants, of course - given our miles of coastline. Maine is also famous for its farms of blueberries, potatoes and some of the best organic and farm raised food in the country. Maine chefs have a delicious corner on the market - creating extraordinary gourmet food from local Maine products served in beautiful natural settings. Maine dining is truly worth experiencing.
A day of Maine dining might start with a breakfast of Maine maple syrup over hot, fresh blueberry pancakes and native farm raised bacon. Lunch is best saved for a cup of chowder (pronounced "chowdah" by the locals), fried clams, or a lobster roll at a seaside clam shack with a view of Lobster boats bobbing in the harbor. End your day with a cocktail on the deck of a gorgeous inn and a perfectly prepared seafood dinner then homemade blueberry pie for desert.
Maine's best restaurants have attracted top chefs who have access to some of the freshest ingredients. Maine is home to northern New England's only five-diamond, five-star restaurant if you chose to dine in Kennebunkport. Further up the coast, Portland dining features award winning chefs creating exciting menus, which are far more affordable than big city prices. Camden and Bar Harbor restaurants may require reservations in the summer, while you can walk in and get the best waterfront table in the quieter season. In Scarborough, you can visit the world's largest moose made entirely of chocolate (chocolate moose - get it?!).
Fresh seafood is always on the menu and Maine dining ranges from candlelit waterfront settings, to cozy pubs, steakhouses, and contemporary cafes serving organic and vegan cuisine. Maine fishing villages have small cafes that serve day boat scallops and fresh caught fish; it doesn't get any fresher than that.
But you can't say you've been to Maine without experiencing an authentic Downeast clambake, fried clams by the pint, or at least a lobster roll from a seaside clam shack - you will find all that and more. A real Downeast feast is a cup of clam chowder, steamed clams (called steamers by the natives), corn on the cob, and lobster cooked in seaweed.
In the Maine lakes and mountains, you will find four diamond dining at lakefront inns and ski resorts. There are casual family dining, campgrounds and beach restaurants that serve the best burgers with cold beer, often by a big campfire or a fireplace. Maine is also home to some classic old-fashioned diners, including the famous Maine Diner in Wells, serving old fashioned home-cooked home-style food.
You should sample Maine specialty foods like saltwater taffy, made right before your eyes at the Golden Rod in York Beach. Maine gourmets are making their own delicious artisan cheese, apple cider in season and fresh berry jams and preserves. You can tour Stonewall Kitchen in York, and learn about their award winning Maine recipes and specialty food products. There are numerous Maine breweries and wineries using native berries to create unique homemade brews and wines. There is even a potato vodka made right here with Maine potatoes.
And you'll have to take home some delicious Maine treats. So save room in your car for live Maine lobster packed to go, fresh picked Maine crabmeat, some harbor candies, fresh Maine blueberries, and a quart of Maine maple syrup. Or you can just stay another day and try more of Maine's best restaurants.