How to Eat Like a Local in Maine

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Mention the name Maine and people will instantly think of seafood and the mouthwatering lobster. The charming resort villages and lighthouses compliments the antique shops, lobster shacks, and B&Bs in the state. People visit Maine for various reasons – pebbly beaches, snowy peaks, pine forests, white-water rapids, or winding roads. But a visit to Maine is incomplete without taking a bite of Maine’s famous lobsters. If you’re wondering where to get the best bites in Maine, here’s a quick guide that will have you eating like a local immediately.

1. Grab that Lobster Roll

There is a myriad of places you can get a Maine-style lobster roll. This is no surprise given the annual Maine Lobster Festival held every August. To feel like a native, take a drive to the peninsula south of Rockland to find the Waterman’s Beach Lobster. This humble lobster shack has two dozen picnic tables scattered around a lawn.

It may seem low-key but it was awarded a James Beard Award back in 2001. Grab yourself lobster and crab rolls and some outstanding homemade pies. You can even enjoy walking around a private beach as you wait for your meal. For another true shack vibe and killer views, order your lobster rolls at Shaw’s Wharf in State Route 32, New Harbor. Beyond the lobster roll, you can enjoy fresh from the boat lobsters in Thurston’s Lobster Pound.

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Take a seat above the harbor to catch the boats returning to the wharf to carry the day’s catch to the restaurant tank.  Get your lobsters in 3 different sizes and your lobster rolls in 2 sizes. It does not get any fresher than that. This makes Thurston’s a favorite of both visitors and locals.

2. Start Mornings with Bread

It may not be the healthiest choice but the cinnamon rolls sold in Standard Baking Co. can instantly brighten your morning. The European-style bakery will lead you to them with their aromatic and delicious morning buns. Their flaky and buttery croissants will have you coming back. Maine may not be known as a bakery town but Standard Baking Co. sends out a message that they are not your typical run-of-the-mill bakery.

Take home some French baguettes after grabbing your croissant and coffee. For the best bagels in town, make a line to Scratch Baking Company. Their salt bagels have the right amount of salt to bagel that will have you begging for more. You can also check out 158 Pickett Street for bagel and bagel sandwiches. Grab a sandwich or two to make your morning so much better.

3. Enjoy Meat off the grill

Maine is not just all about seafood. Carnivores can also head north to enjoy authentic barbeque. For a hipster barbeque experience, go to Salvage BBQ at Congress St. in the West End. The place got its name from their location: the former Portland Architectural Salvage building.Salvage BBQ gives locals and visitors the hipster elements of communal picnic tables, retro lounge sofas and a huge blackboard menu and numbered wooden block for your orders.

It also has a long bar for drinks. Enjoy large trays of expertly smoked meat, tasty sausages, sides like chili and mac and cheese, briskets, and even chickens. Salvage BBQ also have different events at night including bingo on Sundays, Pub quiz on Wednesdays, and live music on Fridays and Saturdays. If you’re craving for pulled pork, Beale Street Barbeque will have that covered. The restaurant even calls it “the only thing you really need to live a happy life”. Everybody wants a happy life.

Just don’t forget the jalapeno cornbread which is also worth the trip. If you’re in Augusta, your best bet would be Riverfront Barbeque and Grille. Since 2007, the place has been serving world class southern BBQ including Memphis dry rub ribs, pulled pork and beef brisket. Mix your plate with fresh seafood and grilled meats to get the best of both worlds.

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