Downeast Maine, which spans from Searsport to the Canadian boarder, is perhaps the final stretch of undeveloped coastline on the entire US eastern seaboard. Beyond Bar Harbor, most of the coastal towns in this part of Maine are authentic working lobster fishing villages where tourists are welcome but the communities aren’t based on tourism. My home town, Cutler, has no restaurants or gift shops, just a beautiful harbor filled with lobster boats and salt-of-the-earth fishermen who are usually happy to engage visitors in conversation as they unload their daily catch.
While Downeast Maine is less developed than other parts of the state, there are still a plethora of places where you can dine on delicious-tasting lobster. Bar Harbor, Northeast Harbor and Southwest Harbor in the Acadia region (Mount Desert Island) have a variety of seafood restaurants, ranging from rustic lobster shacks to fine dining restaurants. Further Downeast, in towns like Lubec and Eastport, you’ll find less white table cloth dining but no less quality in the flavor of lobster.
Where To Eat Lobster In Downeast Maine
Downeast Maine Lobster Shacks
If you are visiting Mount Desert Island (MDI), Abel’s Lobster Pound and Thurston’s Lobster Pound both offer delicious lobster rolls and dinners ‘in the rough’ with beautiful coastal views. Bagaduce Lunch in Brooksville is a great no-frills take out with excellent lobster rolls, a variety of fried seafood baskets and views of the tidal river in Brooksville. If you manage to make it waaayyy Downeast, Quoddy Bay Lobster in Eastport is a fantastic, family-run fish market with views of the harbor and lovely fresh lobster rolls.
Fine Dining and Unique Lobster Experiences in Downeast Maine
Fine dining restaurants are thin on the ground in Downeast Maine compared to the rest of the state but they do exist. Aragosta (‘lobster’ in Italian) in Stonington is a wonderful farm-to-table restaurant which often features lobster ravioli and steamed lobster. On MDI head to the Asticou Inn’s restaurant for lobster poutine and lobster omelets. You can also enjoy lobster ice cream (yes, ice cream with real lobster in it) while you’re on MDI at Ben and Bill’s Chocolate Emporium. If you are passing through Machias, both Helens and the Bluebird Ranch serve lobster dinners in relaxed settings. In Lubec, Water Street Tavern often has a lobster entrée on the menu. If you come to Downeast Maine in August, the Winter Harbor lobster festival is worth a visit. The beautiful island of Frenchboro also hosts a small lobster festival to celebrate the Maine lobster season. A lunch time ‘lobster dinner’ is a focal point of both these events.
Buying Fresh Lobster in Downeast Maine
If you want to buy live lobster while you’re Downeast or have it shipped to you try Dorr Lobster Co. in Milbridge, Greenhead Lobster in Stonington or Lyon’s Seafood on Beals Island. In Cutler, Little River Lobster Company sell lobster to visiting tourists. Local fishermen in the quaint fishing villages of Stonington, Winter Harbor, Corea, Jonesport, Beals, Lubec and Cutler might be willing to sell you a few fresh lobsters when they come in to dock and unload their catch – just be mindful that they’ll likely want to sell those lobsters for the going market price vs. the boat price.