Waterville, Maine is not exactly known for its amazing food, but if you explore closely enough, you’re sure to find some classic and unique dishes that will keep you coming back. As college students, my friends and I always find ourselves not wanting to eat at the dining hall, which is a good excuse for us to eat out in Waterville!
1. “Angel Hair Pancakes” from 18 Below
I had heard about this dish from a friend, and it was everything I could ever want and more… seriously. Who doesn’t love pasta, especially when it’s fried and perfectly presented in a triangle? This dish comes with tofu and veggies, so you don’t have to feel totally bad about eating a mound of angel hair.
2. “Famous Cheese Dip” from The Last Unicorn
When I say this might be the best dip I have ever had, I am not lying. It’s honestly the only thing I look forward to ordering when I go here and probably one of the only reasons I go back. Order it for the table (or just yourself) and prepare to be blown away by the cheesy goodness.
3. “Lobster Mac & Cheese” from Joseph’s Fireside Steakhouse
Okay so you can’t come to Maine and not get something with lobster. Instead of deciding between your go-to pasta dish or an entire lobster, gorge on this meal that combines what may be the two best things ever, lobster AND pasta.
4. “Caprese Melt with Avocado” from Selah Tea Cafe
To say I have eaten this sandwich a lot would be an understatement. I go to Selah Tea an embarrassing amount (the women in there know my order by heart), and this is my favorite thing to order. It might seem simple, but the ciabatta bread is perfectly firm and soft at the same time. A homemade pesto sauce covers the tomatoes and mozzarella… YUM. Ask for it EXTRA pressed with avocado and chicken and you won’t be able to get anything else when you go again. Trust me.
5. “Hot Chai” and “Breakfast Burrito” from Jorgenson’s
Ok so to be honest every time I’ve been to Jorgensen’s I’ve ordered the wrong thing or just something that wasn’t really doing it for me on a Sunday morning when I really was craving those extra carbs. UNTIL… I ordered the breakfast burrito, which I could customize myself (so of course I asked for some avocado, cause why not?). I also ordered a warm chai. It really made a difference and changed my opinion on the whole burrito for breakfast thing. Plus, who doesn’t love a good homemade chai?
6. Brunch from Riverside Farm Restaurant & Wine Market
In the fall especially, this was the go-to place every Sunday (and Friday and Saturday… if we’re being honest). I usually always get a chai, but I decided to mix it up one Sunday and order the Pumpkin Spice latte that our nice waiter was suggesting. This was no basic Starbucks latte, this was a fab, delicious, sweet but not too sweet, slice-of-heaven-in-a-mug type of drink. On Sundays the brunch menu has so much to offer. You can’t go wrong with anything from quiche to eggs Benedict!
7. “The Big G’s Special Sandwich” from Big G’s
My cousin graduated from Colby in 2005, and one thing she told me before I arrived was: “Big G’s, you gotta go, it’s amazing.” Well, I decided to go, and realized quickly why my cousin urged me to check it out. These aren’t just typical sandwiches… these are giant sandwiches, overflowing with cheese, meat, and anything you can think of, really. I will warn you, their size is overwhelming at first, but they are 100% worth the messy experience. You can either get one all for yourself (like me) and embrace the feast, or you can grab a friend and split one.
Keep in mind these are only seven of the best foods at my favorite hot spots that I have discovered in my little college town so far, but I am only a sophomore so there’s still plenty of time. Even though Waterville is no Portland, Maine with what seems like 100 restaurants per block, there are still tons of hidden gems to be discovered. Enjoy!