Where to Dine
In the words of James Beard award winning chef Melissa Kelley, Primo is a "full circle restaurant." What started with a garden and a few hens and pigs has become a true farm-to-table, Italian-inspired dining experience. Portions are hearty and the flavors are distinct and divine.
Lipstick red chairs, fringed drum lights and white tablecloths. You'll step into Natalie's and think you've been transported to a chic European city. Romantic fine dining is on the menu here. Flavors are fresh, some familiar, some surprising, always locally sourced, and brought together with extraordinary results.
Meanwhile in Belfast
The crust here is truly heavenly, maintaining a wonderful flavor and perfect balance of crispy to chewy, and quality of the toppings follows suit. The “Hot Summer,” is laden with hand-crushed San Marzano tomatoes, spicy salami, fresh mozzarella, and Taggiasche olives. At lunchtime, you an even get yourself one of the Puglia’s famous wood-fired sandwiches, Puccia, done with a variety of toppings.
McLaughlin's Lobster Shack
Open from April-October, if you're looking for fresh, tasty seafood, a stop here is sure to satisfy. Try one of their various seafood baskets or stick to the classic lobster roll.
Rollie’s Bar and Grill
A lively, no frills sports bar. Rollie's offer a full range of draught selections which are perfect alongside a plate of their beer-battered chicken strips or a plate of their chicken wings.
Salt Water Farm
Located in the beautifully restored Union Hall building, Salt Water Farm uses simple, traditional cooking methods to create menus inspired by the locale. All of the ingredients are locally sourced, with many coming straight from the restaurant's eponymous farm in nearby Lincolnville, which also houses a cooking school.
If it's seaside dining you crave, you can't get any closer than here. Open seven days a week, Waterfront buys from local fisheries and farmers, serving up classic and casual New England cuisine. In the colder months, we love to cozy up inside by their roaring fireplace.
The Drouthy Bear
This new pub's menu offers up hearty pub classics, as well as an incredible selection of near 60 whiskies from around the world which are available as a sample or a dram (full pour). We recommend the rarely seen in Maine Japanese whiskey Nikka Taketsuru and locally-made New England Gunpowder rye.
While Rockland is about as far as you can get from the Bay of Tokyo, you wouldn't know it from the fresh sushi and steamed dumplings offered at Suzuki. An expert team of female sushi chefs uses innovative techniques to transform the daily catch from the Gulf of Maine into tiny morsels of deliciousness.
Sea Dog Brewing Company
Classic pub fare, with a variety of seafood and of course, a strong draft list.
In the running for the best Asian food in Maine, Long Grain takes Thai and Vietnamese street food to another level. Tiny (30 seats) and always buzzing, it's a great spot for an early or late lunch. The best thing? Long Grain refuses to dumb down flavors for American palates. Try the Spicy Night Market Noodle Soup with Ground Pork & Peanuts.
Located on coastal Route 1, this seasonal lobster shack dates back to the 1920's. It has since undergone renovations to expand seating and add on a gift shop but still continues to uphold its tradition.
Dubbing their lobster roll as "Rockland's Finest Kind," this eatery serves up a fantastic offering of seafood like their lobster burger, crab cakes or grilled salmon sandwich.
We recommend Chase's for breakfast. Think farm eggs, cooked perfectly so that when broken, the rich yolks saturate thick slices of toast from freshly baked bread, along with tender, crisped potatoes. In addition to the café, they are also a bakery, a gallery, a florist, and, in growing seasons, a small farmers market. They do maintain fairly tight hours, so plan accordingly.
A locals favorite go-to for cold and tasty ice cream. They offer Round Top Ice Cream from Damariscotta in flavors like Apple Pie and “Indian Summer” as well as the usual suspects.
This midcoast institution is a small, cozy bistro with a seriously large menu. Serving generous portions of fresh and flavorful food, you'll find everything from meat & potatoes to Thai to Mexican and everything in between.
Sharing a chef/owner with Shepherd's Pie of Rockport, Francine offers French cuisine with that certain "je ne sais quoi" in a quaint and cozy bistro setting. Come prepared for a hearty farm-to-fork dining journey.
Acclaimed chef Brian Hill leads the charge at this warm and welcoming bistro. A meal here is a full experience of the senses. Moody lighting with candles and twinkle lights, great wine (served in the best stems), terrific service and, of course, exceptional cuisine. The menu changes daily, but if you spy them, the rabbit ravioli, duck confit or slow smoked pork ribs are musts.
Laan Xang Cafe
A tall, sweet, vividly-colored glass of Thai Iced Tea – nothing goes better with a plate of their Laotian sausage, Sai-Ghock, flecked with garlic, lemongrass, and lime leaves, served with a small basket of sticky rice and housemade chili sauce for dipping. Other home-style favorites include Mok Pla, a Laotian preparation of steamed fish pockets with curry, served on a bed of banana leaves.
Graffam Bros Seafood Shack
Stop here for a lobster roll (or another seafood staple) and order some live lobster to be shipped to your house –the perfect Maine souvenir!
Fresh and Co.
For a quieter and more refined dining experience, Fresh is located on the harbor but tucked into a small space away from the foot and car traffic. Their mission is to serve the freshest food possible using locally-sourced and seasonal ingredients in a naturally beautiful setting. Choose from their globally-inspired menu as you take in harbor views from their outdoor seating area.
18 Central Oyster Bar & Grill
At 18 Central, you can indulge in locally sourced oysters with a variety of sauces like wood grilled tomato cocktail sauce, red wine mignonette, or their daily special sauce. Their menu offers dishes from both land and the sea and don't forget to order a side of garlic herb frites and goat cheese mashed.