Local and sustainable foods, succulent lobster and fresh seafood are prepared in various cuisines from a myriad of small chef-owned restaurants near our Rockland, Maine bed and breakfast that create a vibrant food scene that rivals much larger cities. According to the Rock Coast Maine restaurant guide, this area has more restaurants per capita than any other location in the US. Additionally, Rockland was named one of the Top Nine Best Small Cities for Food by TheDailyMeal.com in 2012 and is the self-proclaimed lobster capital of the world. This area is a must stay for foodies, locavores and just people who enjoy good food. Enjoy incredible Rockland restaurants during your visit to Midcoast Maine!
The Rockland and Camden area of Midcoast Maine supposedly has the highest number of restaurants per capita in the US. The area has an amazing number of really good to great restaurants all which serve some type of seafood and include cuisines such as Italian, Mediterranean, Japanese, Indian, Mexican, Southwest, Thai, American and of course lobster – succulent, juicy and fresh from the ocean! Most of our restaurants are relatively small, chef-owned and operated and pride themselves on serving fresh, local and seasonal foods. In 2012, thedailymeal.com named Rockland (pop. 7600) as one of the top nine best small towns for food with a small town being defined as less than 350,000 people!
Sample menus are available in the menu book at the inn or you can check them out online from the links below. Of course your innkeepers will gladly help you find the right restaurant for your budget, taste and the perfect ambiance from an AAA Four-Diamond award winning establishment to a lobster shack on the water! With over twenty restaurants in Rockland’s downtown alone and many more in the surrounding area we can’t mention them all. Some of our local favorites are listed below but the Rock Coast Maine restaurant guide is also a good source.
Primo Restaurant Opening for their 18th Season – May 2018
2 South Main Street (Rt. 73), Rockland 207-596-0770
Primo is considered one of the best restaurants in Maine for people that truly enjoy an epicurean dining experience in a relaxed and definitely Maine atmosphere. Melissa Kelly, co-owner and chef, is the first chef to win two James Beard Best Chef of the Northeast awards with the most recent being in 2013. Primo was named as one of the top ten best farm to table restaurants in the US. The chef, Melissa Kelly, has been recognized as one of the top 20 chefs influencing today’s restaurants and food scene. The restaurant grows most of their own herbs and greens; raises their own heirloom pigs and chickens; and was listed by Bon Appetite as the 2008 Top Eco-Friendly Restaurant in the United States. The menu changes nightly depending on what is fresh and includes seafood, fish, pasta and their specialty Pork Saltimbocca. Open for dinner service only May through January – schedule varies by season but always closed on Tuesdays. Upstairs in the “Tavern” section of the restaurant they serve small plates and the full regular menu and no reservations are required. Advanced Reservations Required for a table in the dining room. Primo is closed for the winter season beginning January 9, 2017 and will reopen early May, 2017. Ask about our special “Garden Tour and Dinner” package available specific dates July through September.
In Good Company – Wine Bar
415 Main Street, Rockland 207-593-9110
Chef-owner Melody Wolferitz, a CIA graduate, and staff have created a charming, comfortable atmosphere to enjoy a great selection of wines and also small plates of salads, appetizers, cheese boards and entrees. Wonderful place to go when you just want to nosh with wine, food and friends. Certain Thursdays in the winter months she offers food and wine from around the world with a different country featured each week. Open Year Round. Schedule varies by season. Dinner service begins at 4:30pm until close. No reservations taken.
15 Oak Street, Rockland 207-594-2034
“We Don’t Serve the Food of Cowards” is the motto of this eclectic small bistro. Chef-owner, Kerry Altiero was crowned 2012 Maine Lobster Chef of the year and 2013 Farm-to-Table winner at Harvest on the Harbor. He offers lobster specials in season and his lobster mac ‘n cheese is a favorite. The 7-page menu is filled with appetizers and entrees that range from Italian, Thai, Mexican, Armenian, and the all American burger, dogs and pizza all cooked in the wood fired brick oven! We recommend “grazing” on assorted appetizers so you don’t limit your choice to one item. Don’t miss the “Elvis” bathroom! Open year round, seven days a week for dinner. Advanced Reservations strongly suggested.
Rustica Cucina Italiana
315 Main Street, Rockland 207-594-0015
This casual Italian restaurant touts itself as “Rockland’s Premiere Downtown Italian Restaurant”. Its menu offers pizza, panini, pasta, fabulous mussels, sandwiches and lip smacking desserts. It is a very comfortable atmosphere and serves good food at a very reasonable price. Open year round for dinner, Tuesday through Saturday. No reservations except for special holidays – Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and New Year’s Day and for parties of 5 or more. Service starts at 5pm.
Suzuki’s Sushi Bar
419 Main Street, Rockland 207-596-7447
Chef owner Keiko Suzuki serves sushi and other Japanese specialties with the perfect balance of presentation and taste. She was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2017 and 2016. “Simple elegance” is how she self-describes her food. She was recently named by Maine Magazine as one of Maine’s top chefs. If you love sushi then don’t miss Suzuki’s as it is considered to be some of the best sushi and Japanese cuisine in the US. Open year round for dinner service only Tuesday through Saturday (Summer) and Wednesday through Saturday (after Labor Day until Summer). Reservations strongly suggested.
Eclipse Restaurant and Bar
One Park Street at the Trade Winds, Rockland 207-596-6661 Ext. 606.
This marks the first time ever that we have recommended the restaurant at this location but it is definitely now worthy of our stamp of approval! They serve whole lobster dinners year round and have a nice selection of entrees for the non-lobster person – almond crusted chicken, crab cakes, ribs, steaks, salads, etc.. They also offer a “soup sampler” and their lobster bisque is a guest favorite. During the quieter season they have introduced “Meatball Mondays” where you can get a spaghetti and meatball dinner with salad for $10. Open year round serving lunch in the summer and dinner only otherwise. Closed Sunday nights during Locals’ season. Reservations preferred.
Landings Restaurant Open 7 Days starting in late spring 2017
1 Commercial Street, Rockland 207-594-3011
Waterfront dining in Rockland Harbor. Under new ownership since April, 2013. Menu is steak, lobster, seafood, pretty straight forward fare and then there are daily specials where the chef gets to have some fun and upscale things. Casual atmosphere, great views. Open 7 days in season for lunch and dinner. Closed December – March.
Fog Bar and Cafe
328 Main Street, Rockland 207-593-9371
A hip and happening gastro pub and cafe with smaller plates with focus on southwestern inspired comfort food, great desserts, upscale cocktails, nice selection of craft beers and some entertainment. The duck nachos and duck wings are a guest favorite. They often show old silent movies on the back wall. Trendy-casual. Open 6 days a week – closed Tuesdays. Open Year Round.
The Pearl on the Pier – Seasonal June through October, 2017
273 Main Street, Public Landing, Rockland 207-593-8629
Under new management since the summer of 2016 and it seems they are finally getting it right – casual seafood, casual decor, casual prices, pretty active bar scene and killer view! Featuring good, casual seafood, lobster, oyster bar, steak, salads, lobster bites and other seafood fried or broiled. Open 11am to 9pm Tuesday through Monday (closed Tuesdays).
Archer’s On the Pier Restaurant
58 Ocean Street, Rockland 207-594-2435
Archer’s on the Pier opened Spring 2011. It’s predominately seafood menu includes fresh lobster daily – steamed or sauteed as “lazy man’s lobster”. They also serve both fried, baked and broiled seafood favorites, burgers, pastas and salads. Lynn Archer, the owner, also owns the Brass Compass Restaurant so the “King of Club” sandwich is also served at Archers. Unbelievable views, great sunsets and very casual atmosphere. No reservations needed. Schedule will vary throughout the year but generally 7 days for lunch and dinner in season.
Brass Compass Restaurant
305 Main Street, Rockland 207-596-5960
Casual restaurant open for breakfast and lunch. Well known for it’s “King of Club” lobster club sandwich that was matched in a Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the Food Network. Great local feel, generous servings. No reservations needed.
Home Kitchen Cafe
650 Main Street, Rockland 207-596-2449
Serving breakfast and lunch and limited dinners (Wednesday – Saturday). The Home Kitchen Cafe specializes in fresh, local and organic food and has been recognized as one of the top breakfast spots in Maine. It is one of the ONLY places in Rockland that serves breakfast all day. Known for its homemade cinnamon buns, lobster tacos and breakfast burritos. Open Wednesday – Monday (closed Tuesday) from 7-3pm.
Associated with the Home Kitchen Cafe is their bakery -Home Sweet Home Bakery featuring homemade breads, pies, pastries and other yummy desserts; Cone Home, an ice cream shop featuring Gifford’s Ice Cream and Close to Home Subs and Burritos – serving breakfast, lunch and dinner options including the old Brown Bag’s turkey pot pies and Turkey Gobbler sandwich. All are located at 606 Main Street, Rockland.
441 Main Street, Rockland 207-596-7556
This is our version of the local diner and it is where the locals eat. Menu features fried seafood, homemade fish cakes, lobster, subs, soups, salads and burgers. They have one of the best prices on single, double or triple lobster dinners. The owners’ homemade seafood chowder (gluten free) is loaded with seafood and has no potatoes or onions – just seafood! Open year round for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Park Street Grille
279 Main Street, Rockland 207-594-4944
A fun and casual place to dine. Their motto is “where the Southwest meets the Northeast”. They serve burgers, salads, chicken, ribs, steaks, Southwest specialties and wonderful margaritas! Generally open year round for lunch and dinner (winter not open for lunch some days and closed Mondays). No reservations needed.
420 Main Street, Rockland 207-593-7488
A local gathering place with a casual atmosphere and menu. They have a great selection of micro-beers on tap and are Rockland’s only brew pub. They offer Trivia nights, open mic night and other entertainment most nights in season. Open year round for lunch and dinner. No reservations needed.
7 Lindsey Street, Rockland 207-596-2753
A casual pub that will always have the game on! We think of this as our version of the “local Cheers Bar” as it feels like everyone knows everyone. They serve chili, chowders, salads, seafood, burgers and sandwiches. In the summer enjoy dining on the deck. Open Year Round, seven days for lunch and dinner.
488 Main Street, Rockland 207-466-9059
This new restaurant opened July 2016 in Rockland and features an eclectic assortment of items that change daily. This winter the restaurant will be featuring a menu of Mexican food. The chef has been around the area and this is his first venture with his own restaurant. Reservations recommended. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 5-9 for dinner.
Hill’s Seafood Restaurant
266 Main Street, Rockland 207-594-8400
Small family owned and operated family casual restaurant that opened late in the summer of 2014. Primarily seafood and lobster but also steak, salad and chicken dishes for the non-seafood lover. In the summer, enjoy the outside deck with ocean views. Closed January through April. Serves lunch and dinner.
Owl’s Head General Store
2 South Shore Dr. Owl’s Head 207-596-6038
Head to Owl’s Head General Store for the best burger in Maine. Whether it’s the 7 napkin burger or another item on the menu you’ll find something to come back for again and again. Open for lunch and early dinner. Closed for the Winter, reopens in the Spring.
27 Central Street, Rockport 207-236-8800
New to Rockport is a restaurant created in the tradition of a Mediterranean trattoria. Menu changes weekly. Open for dinner 5:30-9, Weds – Sat. Chef Sara Jenkins also offers cooking classes.
55 Chestnut Street, Camden 207-230-0083
This small (seats about 25) bistro is on a side street in Camden. It is owned and operated by Brian Hill who was nominated for 2016 and 2017 James Beard Chef of the Northeast. The menu changes nightly and features 4 appetizers, 1 salad and 4 entrees utilizing fresh, local and organic meats, fish and vegetables. Reservations required. Open Year Round Tuesday – Saturday, 5:30-9ish
Long Grain Asian Cuisine
31 Elm Street, Camden 207-236-9001
Menu is “home cooked” Asian cuisine -authentic, high quality, homemade and delicious. Long Grain offers classics of Thai cuisine with Korean, Vietnamese and Japanese flavors traditions. The place is tiny with only about 10 tables so reservations are absolutely needed especially after Chef Ravin Nakjaroen’s James Beard Chef of the Northeast 2017 nomination. Open for lunch (11:30-3) and dinner (4:30-9) Tuesday through Saturday. Open year round.
1 Bayview Landing, Camden 207-236-7005
A small, unpretentious restaurant tucked away in downtown Camden, Fresh’s menu is committed to honoring those that raise, grow, and catch what they serve. Open March through October for dinner 5-9pm.
Sea Dog Brewery
1 Main Street, Corner of Elm and Bay View, Camden 207-230-1306
The SeaDog Brewery Company returned to Camden in the summer of 2016. Menu is casual burgers, seafood, sandwiches, crab cakes and lobster. Open 11am – 12:30am 7 days a week.
Conte’s Restaurant – John Conte closed his restaurant in Rockland in 2015 and was cooking in Spruce Head and then Belfast for a time. We will update our site when we know where he will be serving up his signature style next.
The Slipway Restaurant
24 Public Landing, Thomaston 207-354-4155
Scott Yakovenko, formerly of the original Dip Net in Port Clyde, has finally landed again in a permanent location. The menu features old Dip Net favorites like Scott’s bouillabaisse, Oyster Po Boy, Monk nuggets, lobster and other fresh seafood and homemade pies and desserts. The restaurant’s trademark focus is of an authentic Maine waterfront experience using organic, locally grown and fresh ingredients. Hours will vary. Closes sometime in October until spring. This is already a local favorite.
40 Bayview Street, Camden 207-236-3747
A classic Maine family style seafood restaurant overlooking beautiful Camden Harbor. This is the place where the locals eat and people from away too! They are self-described as “not spectacular, dazzling, or brilliant but our food is good, healthy and easy to eat”. Fare include lobster year round (steamed and lazy man style), seafood, salads and steak. Dockside dining in the summer. Open year round, seven days a week from 11:30am to 9pm. Full bar and credit cards.
Seasonal Lobster Pounds:
These are fabulous places to go and dine if “lobster in the rough” is what you are looking for. Typically these places will open late May to mid-June and close anytime from Labor Day to Columbus Day. Many of them only offer outdoor seating, some have beer and wine licenses, others you can bring your own. Most will close between 7-8 pm nightly.
McLoon’s Lobster Shack
315 Island Road, South Thomaston, Maine 207-593-1382
Named by Yankee Magazine as “best hidden lobster pound” in 2015, this is a favorite for many of our guests as the location and the drive to this island location represents quintessential Maine! Enjoy super fresh lobster dinners, lobster or crabmeat rolls, roasted clams, burgers or hot dogs on the shores of Spruce Head Island while watching the lobstermen unload their daily catch at one of the oldest working lobster wharfs in the area. Enjoy outdoor seating or under cover in bad weather. BYOB. Open Memorial Day through Columbus Day, seven days a week from 11am to 7pm.
Claw’s Lobster Eatery
743 Main Street, Rockland Maine 207-596-5600
Offering “lobster in the rough” and a view of Penobscot Bay right on Main Street! Seasonal shack with dining on the patio for protection in the bad weather. They are open seven days a week from 11am to 9pm – rain or shine. Menu of course has lobsters, lobster rolls, lobster bisque, seafood chowder, crab rolls, shrimp rolls, salads and burgers for the non-seafood lover.
Miller’s Lobster Pound
83 Eagle Quarry Road, Spruce Head 207-594-7406
Open mid-June through Labor Day, lunch and dinner daily from 11-7pm. Beer and Wine license. Outdoor dining on picnic tables surrounded by the beautiful waters of Spruce Head Harbor. Fare is lobsters (all sizes), lobster and crab rolls, steamers and hot dogs.
Young’s Lobster Pound
4 Mitchell Avenue (1st right after bridge), Belfast 207-338-1160
Open year round. Small dining inside (minimal heat in winter), outside dining with paper plates, picnic tables and stunning views of Penobscot Bay. Pick your lobster from the tank (many sizes available) to eat in or take out (will pack to ship).
686 Port Clyde Road (after Drift In Beach), Port Clyde 207-372-8533
Absolute best prices for steamed lobster around! 2010 prices were $8.95 for the 1st lobster (with chips, coleslaw and butter) and $5 for each additional lobster. Menu also includes burgers and seafood baskets. This is a small trailer parked in someone’s driveway. You dine at picnic tables on the side of the road but the lobster is delicious! Open June through September or so, Monday through Saturday, 11-7 (hours do change for the beginning and end of season).
Ship to Shore Lobster
7 Wharf Street, Owls Head 207-594-4606
This is a real working lobster pound set in beautiful Owls Head Harbor. Watch the lobster man come in with their day’s hauls. They no longer prepare and serve lobsters on site, but they are available to pack and ship.
Rockland Maine Foodie Tours These regional tours came to Rockland in 2015. They operate June through October. They are 3 hours and make about 6 different stops. You learn all about Rockland’s rich history and what has made it a premiere “foodie” stop in Maine. Lots of fun and great food! Book online by 8am of the day of the tour. http://www.mainefoodietours.com/
FIORE Olive Oil Tasting Room
503 Main Street, Rockland
FIORE Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars tasting room is a favorite stop for our guests. The tasting room offers a wide selection of ultra premium extra virgin olive oil from around the world and aged traditional style balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy. Customers can taste samplings of over 14 different oils and 29 different vinegars and an unlimited number of combinations to find the perfect one for you. The shop also has specialty foods, accessories, cruets and gift boxes. Open 7 days in season. Closed Sunday & Mondays in winter.
State of Maine Cheese Company
461 Commercial St, Rockport
The State of Maine Cheese Company has been making cheese for 15 years in Rockport, Maine and is also home to the Rockport Marketplace where many Maine-made food products like chocolates, jams, wines from all of the Maine wineries and other made in Maine products are sold. The inn has set up a standing tour of the cheese production area on Mondays at 11am for the summer season or we can help set up another appointment. Let the innkeeper know if you would like to attend. The store hours are 9-6pm Monday – Saturday year round.
13 Elm Street, Camden
Stonewall Kitchen has been creating Maine made jams, jellies, condiments and specialty products since 1991. Enjoy some samples, check out the newest items and create your own “Made in Maine” basket as a souvenir.
Bixby & Company Chocolates
1 Sea Street Place, Rockland
In the spring of 2014, Rockland will become home to Bixby & Co., which produces handmade candy bars with organic fruits and nuts. Their candy bars are all natural or organic and free of GMOs. Products use only Rain Forest Alliance Certified chocolate. Yummy! Their products are available at Hannaford Grocery stores, LL Bean, and many other locations.
Rock City Roasters
252 Main Street, Rockland
Hand-crafted, small batch coffees, predominately from sustainable and organic farms, have been roasted in Rockland since 1999. They roast Monday through Friday and invite people to watch the process or just enjoy a cup of coffee. Open Year Round.
Main Street Markets
435 Main Street, Rockland 207-594-8515
Opened late summer 2015, this specialty market and grocery store features hundreds of Maine made products, produce and specialty foods. They also offer made to order smoothies, juices and salads.
Good Tern Natural Foods Co-op & Café
750 Main Street, Rockland
The Good Tern grocery store specializes in high-quality organic foods and health products that support local farmers and food producers. Open daily year round.
Fresh off the Farm
495 Commercial Street, Rockport
Fresh off the Farm is a full service grocery store that specializes in natural, local and organic products including bakery, pet food, and cleaning products with a huge homeopathic health section. Open daily year round.
2 Gould Street, Camden
Charming country upscale grocery store with custom-cut meat, wine, local micro-brews, cheese and baked goods. Open daily year round.
There are no longer State Liquor stores in the State of Maine. Most convenience stores, pharmacies and grocery stores can and will sell a selection of beer, beer and wine or beer, wine and hard liquor.
15 Tillson Avenue, Rockland
The Wine Seller offers a nice selection of wines both local and around the world. They have a very knowledgeable staff that will gladly help you find a wine that fits your taste and your budget. Wine Tastings are offered throughout the year. New for 2016, they offer a great selection of artisan cheeses and breads. Open year round.
Rockland Food Service
195 Park Street, Rockland
Rockland Food Service has the largest selection of beers and ales around with over 341 different types. Open year round.
118 South Main Street, Rockland
Small family owned and operated lobster and fish market that has been recognized by the locals year after year as the best in the area. They cook lobsters to go in the store or pack and ship lobsters to go.
Ship to Shore Lobster Company
7 Wharf Street, Owls Head
Lobsters available fresh off the boat and packed and shipped to travel. Arrangements can be made through the inn for a tour of this working lobster pound. Open daily May – October.
Graffam Brothers Seafood Market
211 Union Street, Rockport
Shipping lobsters to go and offering a year round seafood market with live lobster, fresh seafood, smoked Ducktrap products and beer and wine.