Maine has more to offer than seafood shacks and lobster rolls. The state is also known for its quintessential sweets and unique drinks. Growing up in Maine, I’ve tasted a variety of Maine specialties. Whenever family or friends come to visit, I try to share delicious meals with them that aren’t the typical lobster roll.
Although lobster, fried clams, and other types of seafood are essential tourist must-haves on restaurant menus, locals know there is much more of a variety we have to offer. If you’re feeling adventurous, branch out from the usual lobster roll and try some other delicacies.
Lobster bakes are classic summer Maine events. Fires are built on the beach with driftwood and seaweed, then lobster, clams, mussels, and corn are wrapped in foil and cooked on the fire. Another popular way to eat this bright red crustacean is steamed with melted butter and lemon. Guests are treated like kings at restaurants, given a special bib and tools to help crack open the lobster.
2. Lobster Rolls
Of course, you can’t come to Maine without grabbing a lobster roll. Some restaurants dress them up with lettuce, while others keep is simple with a little mayo or butter. The best part about lobster rolls is that the lobster meat is already prepared, so the eater doesn’t have to do any of the hard work.
3. Fried Clams
Another classic seafood shack offering is fried clams. Dip in tartar sauce of ketchup for the perfect flavor combination. Throw in some french fries or onion rings and you have a complete fried seafood shack meal.
Whether cooked with beer or roasted with fresh herbs, mussels are the perfect hearty dish when served with crusty grilled bread. Found anywhere from chowder houses like Gilbert’s to high-end restaurants like Fore Street, mussels are a great option for the table to share or as a single entree.
Oysters are an acquired taste, but when prepared correctly, they are quite the indulgence. There are many offerings in Maine, but Eventide Oyster Co. is the most well-known.
6. Italian Sandwich
The Italian sandwich in Maine isn’t your typical Italian. These loaded subs have the meat and vegetables of your choosing, but one of the key differences between Maine Italians and your usual sandwich is the lack of lettuce. That’s definitely a no-no. Amato’s, the original sandwich shop, now has locations throughout the Northeast.
7. Blueberry Pie
The best way to eat Maine’s famous fruit is for dessert is as a pie. You should add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but it’s equally as delicious on its own.
8. Whoopie Pies
Officially known as Maine’s State Dessert, the whoopie pie is found in bakeries and restaurants across the state. Flavors have become more unique over the years, including pumpkin pie and red velvet, but the chocolate and vanilla cream remains the classic.
9. Maple Syrup
There is no better topping to a stack of blueberry pancakes than pure Maine maple syrup. The popular sweetener is also found in ice cream and donuts. Holy Donut makes an incredible maple bacon donut.
10. Moxie Soda
Moxie’s distinct bright orange can is found throughout New England convenience stores. Its flavors of bittersweet root beer and pine make it an acquired taste for many, but it’s still a popular drink among locals. For fanatics, the company also makes jellies and sauces to have alongside your beverage.