If you’re a devoted foodie, you make it your mission to journey the earth looking, looking high and low, for the most authentic regional dishes, the hottest chefs that magically finesse tradition and fusion onto a single plate, and the most divine drinks one can indulge in. To find these special places before the crowds do makes the experience even sweeter. While Maine may be nestled at the most northeastern corner of the United States, it’s a budding scene for culinary vacations.
You may be thinking that the only culinary expertise that Maine has to offer is the iconic lobster and Allen’s coffee flavored brandy. While Maine is known for lobster and the people are mad for coffee brandy– don’t be deceived by what you think you know.
Why You Should Go
Maine is a beautiful state that has access to impeccably fresh seafood, grows a bounty of fresh vegetables and seasonal fruits, raises grass-fed animals on expansive farms, and grows heirloom grasses that are milled into flour for creating outstanding traditional baked goods. While Maine chefs take the quality of their ingredients very seriously, Maine brewers and winemakers are just as diligent and passionate about their products. If you love the farm-to-table movement, Maine is the ideal place for you to visit this summer.
If you go to Maine for a culinary excursion, you must stop in Portland. Maine’s largest city is growing quickly, with exciting restaurants and breweries popping up seemingly every day. When you’re ready to enjoy the solace of village life, travel up to the Mid-Coast area where you will find rolling green hills dotted with quaint New England towns and the famous, rugged Atlantic shoreline.
Where You Should Stay
In Portland, opt for the Danforth Inn, situated in the heart of the West End, if you want the ability to walk to a myriad of restaurants and boutiques. Build in 1823, the renovated and renewed luxury bed and breakfast offers sophisticated suites with crisp linens, plush beds, and in-room fireplaces for nights when the ocean air may bring a chill.
When traveling up the coast, stay at the Danforth’s sister accommodations, the Relais and Chateaux Camden Harbour Inn. The beautiful waterfront boutique hotel can’t be missed! Recognized as one of the World’s Best by Travel and Leisure Magazine, the inn offers highly personalized amenities and detail-oriented service to transform each stay into a memorable experience.
Where You Should Eat
If you want that famous Maine lobster and shellfish, stop by Eventide in the East End. Although it’s relatively new on the scene, the extensive raw oyster bar carved out of a giant hunk of granite has become a big hit among locals and tourists alike to get a taste of the local seafood or get a brown butter lobster roll. Stop by the James Beard Award nominee, Central Provisions in the Old Port for small plates, farm to table, seasonal fare. If you stay at the Danforth Inn, then you must eat at the award winning Tempo Dulu, a masterful fusion of elevated Southeast Asian cuisine, inspired cocktails, and beautifully paired wines.
At Natalie’s restaurant in Camden, you will experience a culinary journey to remember, in an idyllic location. Executive Chefs Chris Long and Shelby Stevens have created a Modern New England menu that honors the region while still demonstrates creativity and innovation. Don’t miss Chef Long’s interpretation of Maine’s famous lobster roll. The restaurant also offers an exquisite selection of wines carefully chosen by the in-house sommelier and a garden inspired designer cocktail menu.
What You Should Do
Eating and drinking your way across the state of Maine can certainly be a vacation enough, but there are plenty of activities to do and places to visit. You can experience Portland’s trendy food scene, spend a whole weekend tasting on brewery tours, visit the arts district or enjoy live music at one the many venues. With hardly any effort, you can take advantage the great outdoors. If you stay along the coast, you can go sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, island hopping, or hop on a boat and join a lobster tour. If you travel to the state’s interior, you will find incredible hiking trails, bike paths, lakes to swim in, rivers to fly-fish, and so much more.
Whether you stay for a long weekend or a full week, the state of Maine is the ideal destination for your next culinary vacation or road trip. Be sure to get a table at Natalie’s by booking online today!