Are you looking for some direction or ideas on your next great vacation? With culinary vacations becoming more trendy than ever, it’s about time that you get on the mouthwatering bandwagon too. Why take a culinary vacation? For starters, you will discover a myriad of new flavors. You will also meet like-minded people discovering the same foodie hot spots. A culinary vacation allows you to immerse yourself into the local culture of where you travel. Maine is foodie heaven. Below we discuss Maine as a premiere culinary vacation destination.
Dining in Maine’s Port City: Portland
We start your trip with a stop in Portland, home to the Old Port, and also fine dining spots galore. The city is packed to the brim with quality eateries everywhere the eyes can see. Below is a small list of some of the top foodie hot spots:
Central Provisions – Featuring a constantly changing small plates menu, knock your socks off drinks, a charming rustic atmosphere, and top notch service, Central Provisions has captured the attention of the nation as they have been featured in magazines like Bon Appetite.
Fore Street – An old port staple, Fore Street helped put Portland’s foodie scene on the national map. Farm to table is almost the norm in culinary speak today, but Fore Street was the first in the city to combine ingredients from local farmers and fisherman. The menu changes almost daily, but anything that comes out of the wood-burning soapstone hearth is guaranteed to leave you satisfied.
Eventide Oyster Co. – Come for the signature cool blue raw bar, stay for one of the country’s best and most innovative lobster rolls drizzled with brown butter vinaigrette. Featuring 20 dish variety’s a night, listed “From Maine” or “From Away” on the chalkboard menu.
Portland is also home to a great craft brewery scene. Brewery tours make for a great vacation day trip. Explore Thompson’s Point which is home to Bissell Brother’s Brewery and Cellardoor Winery’s tasting room as well as a destination for a variety of top-notch food trucks. Don’t miss out on the variety of different farmer’s markets that are sprinkled throughout the city and local area.
Culinary Treasures in a Revitalized Mill Town: Lewiston
Head northwest of Portland and find your way to the Lewiston area, also home to a bounty of first class restaurants. Nestled next to the Androscoggin River, Lewiston’s older textile mills have been transformed into trendy restaurants, but have kept their historic charm. Below we recommend two favorites:
Fuel – Housed in an upscale space in the historic Lyceum Building, Fuel features classic French Cuisine, with a country twist. The house specialty is balsamic-braised pork shank with a bbq fondue, soupe a l’oignon and hangar steak frites. Fuel is not so upscale that it forgot about comfort food, serving up three varieties of mac and cheese. And yes, lobster makes an appearance in one of those.
Lovely Fish Bones – Located in historic Bates Mill, Lovely Fish Bones is anything but run-of-the-mill. Sit at the bar and enjoy a pound of succulent clams steamed with garlic, herbs, and Geary’s ale. Seafood rules at this joint, but don’t be afraid to incorporate steak, as the cuts here are superb.
Shining Seaside Stops on the Mid-Coast- Rockland and Camden
Make your way up the coast to the lovely seaside towns of Camden and Rockport. Known for their breathtaking views and small village charm, both are also home to some culinary gems.
Primo – Primo sits on a four-acre farm in Rockland where 80 percent of the produce that’s used in the summer is grown. The property also features two greenhouses, acres of gardens and beehives for honey. Chef Melissa Kelly, recently named the best chef in the Northeast, has created one of the nation’s most exciting expressions of farm to table. It’s no wonder food writers and chefs flock from across the country to eat at Primo.
Natalie’s – Located in the historic Camden Harbour Inn, Natalie’s menu is inspired by coastal New England, seasonal ingredients, and a touch of worldly flare. Red seems to be the theme here, from the first class decor all the way to the award-winning butter-poached Maine lobster. The restaurant features world-class service and expertise attention to detail, making for an unforgettable dining experience.
Add your own touch to your culinary vacation. Besides all of the award winning restaurants, Maine is home to beaches, trails, state parks and mountains galore. Pack up a picnic lunch and take your food tour outside to explore all of the beauty Maine nature has to offer.