With an ever-expanding food scene, you’ll need our food lover’s guide to Rockland, Maine. With close to 100 eateries along an 8-mile stretch from Rockport to Rockland to Camden, you’ll find everything from lobster shacks to fine dining establishments. And the good news is that many are within walking distance of our romantic inn in downtown Rockland’s historic district. But you’ll find many more just a short drive away. And if you’re a true foodie, it’s definitely an asset to have a guide to the best of the best along the Rock Coast.
What makes a restaurant special? It can be so many things. The locale, the décor, and the service all add to the dining experience. But in the end, it’s the food. Whether it’s simple comfort food, cutting-edge, global cuisine, or farm-to-table, what appears on your plate must not only impress but satisfy you. So many chef-owned restaurants pride themselves on sourcing locally, and the result features prominently on their menus.
So, let’s dig deep and examine some of the choices found along MidCoast Maine, beginning with our local favorites.
- Ada’s Kitchen, 449 Main Street | Fresh homemade pizza and pasta, plus a truly creative cocktail list.
- Archer’s on the Pier, 58 Ocean Street | Featuring “a creative spin on Maine classics” in a stunning waterfront location.
- Café Miranda, 15 Oak Street | Take your fussy eaters here because there’s something for everyone at this internationally-inspired eatery.
- Eclipse of the Pearl, 273 Main Street | Located a stone’s throw from the former Pearl Restaurant, offering daily specials emphasizing seafood.
- Home Kitchen Café, 650 Main Street | “Everything made from scratch and crafted in our own kitchen and bakery.” That about sums it up.
- In Good Company, 415 Main Street | Their motto says it all. “One must eat and drink only good things that are genuine and simple.”
- North Beacon Oyster, 421 Main Street | The place to get fresh Maine oysters and a curated menu of small and large plates.
- Park Street Grill, 1 Park Drive | Known for great Margaritas and an interesting twist on Mexican fare.
- Primo, 2 Main Street | Taking farm-to-table to new heights, Primo is headed by a 2-time James Beard award-winner.
- Rock Harbor Pub and Brewery, 416 Main Street | A true brew pub with pub grub food and craft beer.
- Rustica, 315 S Main Street | Often chosen “the best of the best” for Italian cuisine by the locals.
- Suzuki’s Sushi Bar, 419 Main Street | Serving only the freshest local fare available in an esthetically pleasing atmosphere.
- Trackside Station, 4 Union Street | Dine in Rockland’s historic train depot “where food and fun collide.”
- Waterworks Restaurant, 7 Lindsey Street | A comfortable, casual atmosphere perfect for a light bite with friends or family.
- 40 Paper, 40 Washington Street | Contemporary in design but classic in flavor, it’s the place to go for great Italian food.
- Cuzzy’s Restaurant, 21 Bayview Street | Offering “good food and good fun,” Cuzzy’s is a great spot for casual dining with good friends and family.
- Franny’s Bistro, 55 Chestnut Street | Featuring Southern favorites, seafood specials, and French classics in a warm and cozy atmosphere.
- Fresh and Co., 1 Bayview Landing | A truly international dining spot, adventurous eaters will swoon at the ever-changing menu.
- Long Grain, 20 Washington Street | This intimate dining spot in downtown Camden brings an Asian flair to the food scene.
- Natalie’s Restaurant, 83 Bayview Street | A fine dining establishment overlooking Camden Harbor sets the scene for a romantic date night.
- Peter Ott’s, 16 Bayview Landing | Located on the water, with options to dine inside or out, this restaurant features lobster in all its iterations on the menu, along with great American fare.
- Waterfront, 48 Bayview Street | This warm and casual waterfront restaurant serves lunch and dinner, just as its name promises, on the water overlooking Camden Harbor.
- Wolfpeach, 50 Elm St | A unique new addition to the food scene in Camden, this chophouse is getting rave reviews.
Maine Lobster Fest
If you happen to be traveling in early August, set your sights on the Maine Lobster Fest. This 5-day extravaganza promises fresh, local lobster, live entertainment, cooking contests, and more. Serving a Maine Shore Dinner under the tent overlooking Penobscot Bay, feast on steamed clams, clam chowder, a 1 1⁄4 pound lobster drenched in drawn butter, and corn on the cob. The nearby Lobster Café features lobster bisque, lobster rolls, lobster mac-n-cheese, and lobster-stuffed risotto balls. This annual event is always held on the first weekend in August and attracts a crowd, so book your accommodations early to secure your spot for the festivities.
“Cooking and eating food outdoors makes it taste infinitely better than the same meal prepared and consumed indoors.”
― Fennel Hudson
A true sentiment, indeed! Dining al fresco adds an element of casual elegance to even the most humble fare. Fortunately, Rockland excels at outdoor dining. Casual restaurants, pizza joints, burger bars, and the omnipresent seafood restaurants all strive to create an outdoor seating arrangement for warm-weather diners. It may be a porch or patio, a rooftop deck, or a true waterfront location, but the appeal is the same. Dine among the fresh ocean breezes, under a starry night sky, or lulled by the soothing sounds of the seashore.
The Other “B” in B & B
If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it stands to reason that a bed and breakfast would shine in this arena. Such is true for the Berry Manor Inn in Rockland, Maine. Served between the hours of 8:00 and 9:30 AM, sit down to a multi-course meal at individual tables. 24-hour coffee and tea service mean you won’t have to wait for breakfast to get your morning cup of java. But we’re pretty sure the aroma of freshly baked bread and pastries wafting through the Inn will awaken even those who prefer to sleep in. Alternating between sweet and savory options, the menu is posted nightly. And, with a little advance warning, those with a food allergy or special dietary restrictions can always be accommodated.
After a big meal at one of our local dining establishments, you may not have room for dessert. No worries. Our 24-hour guest pantry stays stocked with fresh fruit pies and ice cream so that a midnight craving can easily be sated. That’s just how we roll at our romantic inn in Rockland, one of the “coolest small towns in America.”
So the next time you need a little help deciding where to eat in Maine, just consult our food lover’s guide to the Rock Coast of Maine. If you’re a foodie, you’ll want to visit us soon and often.
Published June 2023