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. In 2012, Rockland was named one of the Top Nine Best Small Cities for Food by TheDailyMeal.com and is the self-proclaimed lobster capital of the world. Enjoy incredible Rockland restaurants during your visit to Midcoast Maine!
The Rockland and Camden area of Midcoast Maine 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, Mexican, Southwest, 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 on line from the links below. Of course your innkeepers will gladly help you find the right restaurant for your budget, taste and the perfect ambience 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 but some of our local favorites include:
2 South Main Street (Rt. 73), Rockland
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. She was also named in 2013 by Bon Appetit 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. 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 from early January through April and reopens for their 15th year on May 9, 2014. 20 7-596-0770 Ask about our special “Garden Tour and Dinner” package available specific dates July through September.
In Good Company – Wine Bar
415 Main Street, Rockland
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… 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.207-593-9110
15 Oak Street, Rockland
“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 required. 207-594-2034
Rustica Cucina Italiana
315 Main Street, Rockland
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 (winter) and Monday through Saturday (summer). No reservations. 207-594-0015
313 Main Street, Rockland
One of Rockland’s newer downtown restaurant features specialty burgers (beef, chicken and veggie) and a build your own burger bar. Also, sandwiches, paninis, salads, sweet potato fries, shakes and malts. A relaxed family atmosphere. Open for lunch and dinner – 6 days a week (will vary by season). No reservations.
Suzuki’s Sushi Bar
419 Main Street, Rockland
Chef owner Keiko Suzuki serves sushi and other Japanese specialties with the perfect balance of presentation and taste. “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 (winter). Reservations strongly suggested 207-596-7447
Archer’s On the Pier Restaurant
58 Ocean Street, Rockland
A new edition to Rockland’s waterfront, Archer’s 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. 207-594-2435
Brass Compass Restaurant
305 Main Street, Rockland
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. 207-596-5960
3Crow Restaurant and Bar
449 Main Street, Rockland
3Crow is named for the spice company that used to be in the historic building that now houses the restaurant. The focus is food, beer and whisky with the food being described by Josh as “American food heavily influenced by the eclectic flavors of the South”. Serving dinner seven days from 5-9pm, Drinks from 4-11pm and happy hour 4-6pm. Open Year Round. 207-593-0812
Fog Bar and Cafe
328 Main Street, Rockland
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. Show old silent movies on the back wall. Trendy-casual. Open 6 days a week – closed Tuesdays. Open Year Round. 207-593-9371
Home Kitchen Cafe
650 Main Street, Rockland
Serving breakfast and lunch and limited dinners (Wednesday – Saturday). It is the ONLY place 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. 207-596-2449
441 Main Street, Rockland
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. Open year round for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Park Street Grille
279 Main Street, Rockland
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). No reservations needed. 207-594-4944
420 Main Street, Rockland
A local gathering place with a casual atmosphere and menu. They have a great selection of micro-beers on tap and as of late fall 2013, are brewing their own craft beers also. Open year round for lunch and dinner. No reservations needed. 207-593-7488
7 Lindsey Street, Rockland
A casual pub that will always have the game on! 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. 207-596-2753
The Pearl Seafood Restaurant and Raw Bar
275 Main Street (Public Landing), Rockland
Beware the slogan is “the fresher you are, the funner we get!” They serve lunch, dinner and cocktails on the water seven days a week in season (late May – early October). They specialize in casual seafood with an upscale twist, lobster (kept right under the dock!) and raw bar. Michele Ragussis, Next Food Network Star show season 8, will again be the chef at the Pearl for the 2014 Summer season. She is working on an exciting new menu that brings together the fresh seafood of Maine with her Greek and Italian loves. 207-594-9889
488B Main Street, Rockland
The cuisine is classic Mexican fare, Sonora style, and includes quesadillas, tacos, enchiladas, nachos, and burritos. General Hours are Tuesday & Wednesday, 11-3pm and Thursday through Saturday, 11-8pm. 207-594-6196
266 Main Street, Rockland
Small family owned and operated restaurant. Primarily brick oven pizzas (a favorite amongst our guests) but also serve hand-cut steak and fish. Offer $5 lunches most days. In the summer, enjoy the outside deck. Open Year Round, closed Sundays and hours are 11-2:30pm and 5-8:30ish. 207-594-5770
1 Commercial Street, Rockland
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 January – March. Opening seven days lunch and dinner for summer season. 207-594-3011
18 Central Street, Rockport
A James Beard semi-finalist for 2012, this is chef-owner, Brian Hill’s second restaurant in the area (Francine’s Restaurant in Camden is the other). Serves “pub style” lighter fare, appetizers, sandwiches and more casual entrees and of course – Shepard’s Pie! Nice views out the back of the harbor. Can be a little loud with the tin ceilings and open kitchen. Now will take reservations. Serving 4:30-10pm daily 207-236-8500
55 Chestnut Street, Camden
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 2013 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 207-230-0083
7 Public Landing, Camden
Brian Hill’s third restaurant in Midcoast Maine, Seabright will offer five types of handcrafted pizza from the wood-burning oven and two salads daily. Full bar available. Open seven days for dinner 5-~10pm. 207-230-1414
Long Grain Asian Cuisine
31 Elm Street, Camden
influences. 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. Open for lunch (11:30-3) and dinner (4:30-9) Tuesday through Saturday. Open year round. 207-236-9001
Cappy’s Chowder House
Corner of Elm and Bay View, Camden
A landmark in Camden for over 30 years. Their chowder has been named “Best of the Best” by the locals for the past 6 years. Menu is casual burgers, seafood, sandwiches, crab cakes and lobster. Open Year Round, seven days for lunch and dinner. 207-236-2254
148 Main Street, Rockland
Don’t look for a sign in front of the building or a telephone number for this restaurant – he doesn’t have one! This is what we call “adventure dining” and if you are up for some very fresh seafood in a very interesting setting then this could be for you. His chairs and china don’t match, the glasses are jars, his table linens are copies of our local paper and his sound tracks vary from Italian opera to B52s to Elvis! Half the lights are kept off because he hates paying for electricity so most tables are illuminated by a large drippy candle stuck in a large wine bottle which also is a good thing as it makes it a little too dark to look too closely at things. You order up front by reading the hand written menu (half English – half Italian) scratched out on rolls of butcher paper hanging from the ceiling and then are seated. All meals come over pasta with his daily salad and bread and the portions are extremely generous (easy to share and sharing is encouraged). Typically of the 12-16 items on the menu more that 10-14 will be seafood. Limited Beer and Wine. Cash only. Open 7 days 365 days a year from 5-8ish unless he feels like closing earlier in the night or doesn’t feel like even opening.
The Slipway Restaurant
24 Public Landing, Thomaston
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 eperience using organic, locally grown and fresh ingredients. Hours will vary. Closes sometime in October until spring. This is already a local favorite. 207-354-4155
40 Bayview Street, Camden
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. 207-236-3747
421 Main Street, Rockland
Fisherman turned restaurateur! This eatery offers fresh fish, oysters, mussels, lobster and other seafood cooked the way a fisherman cooks. New this year they are offering fried seafood dinners also. Nice selection of craft beers. Open seven days for lunch and dinner in season. They have really great prices because there is no middle man. They also offer our guests a very generous special discount – ask your innkeeper how to claim it. 207-809-1974
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.
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.
Waterman’s Beach Lobster
343 Waterman’s Beach Road, South Thomaston 207-596-7819
Open mid-June (Father’s Day weekend) to Labor Day, Wednesday to Sunday, 11-7pm. Beautiful location right on the water. Bring your binoculars and peer out at the islands, the lobstermen hauling their traps and many types of shorebirds and seals. Menu is steamed lobsters, clams, lobster & crab rolls, hot dogs, salads, beverages – no alcohol (but BYOB is fine) and freshly baked homemade pies. Restaurant has won a James Beard award!
Lobster Pound Restaurant
US Rt 1, Lincolnville Beach 207-789-5550
Opens sometime in May until mid-to-late October. Restaurant is right on Lincolnville Beach with gorgeous views of Penobscot Bay! There are 260 seats inside and 40 on the patio. They of course specialize in lobster (all sizes – all styles), other fresh seafood (both fried and broiled), chicken, sandwiches and steak. Smaller portion and children’s menus available.
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. In season, they do serve a basic lobster dinner for limited times on limited days, ask your innkeeper to help with the arrangements as we do a lot of packaging with them. Lobsters are also available to pack and ship.
McLoon’s Lobster Shack
315 Island Road, South Thomaston, Maine 04858
Enjoy super fresh lobster dinners, lobster or crabmeat rolls, 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. 207-593-1382
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 unlimited number of combinations to find the perfect one for you. The shop also has specialty foods, accessories, cruets and gift boxes.
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
Tillson Avenue, Rockland
In the spring of 2014, Rockland will become home to Bixby & Co., which produces handmade candy bards with organic fruit and nut candy bars with all natural or organic and free of GMOs. Products use only Rain Forest Alliance Certified chocolate. Yummy! You will not want to miss visiting this jewel in Rockland culinary tour.
Rock City Roasters
252 Main Street, Rockland
Hand-crafted, small batch coffees predominately from sustaionable 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.
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
Terra Optima Farm Market
218 South Main Street, Rockland 207-593-8132
This local grocery store features farm products from the local area including fresh pork, homemade sausage, chicken, chicken pot pies, baked goods and produce. An ever changing selection.
Fresh of the Farm
495 Commercial Street, Rockport
Fresh of 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 more 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
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 year after year as the best in the area by the locals. The 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, cooked to eat at picnic tables on the wharf or for take out; or 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.