Where to Eat in Mount Desert Island, ME
Where to Eat in Mount Desert Island, ME
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If you talk to any frequent traveler, there are a few things that are guaranteed to be discussed: How they got to their destination, the vast difference in culture from where they are originally from, and the best food from the trip.
Food just has a giant impact on so much about a place. A lot of entertainment revolves around it, economies are developed from it, and it tells a story about a culture’s history and geographic location. It’s no wonder why it’s an often discussed topic among friends and family alike.
For example, seafood is popular on coasts and near rivers and lakes because it is abundant. The spices of Louisiana seafood are going to be majorly different from that of the Caribbean variety. This is all because of the geographic location and what’s available to those people.
Then culturally, you see that the fishing industry thrived in these locations, drawing people to them who were interested in pursuing such ventures. Thus the culture of the location was cultivated from that.
Even psychologically food is important to humanity and comfort. The term “comfort food” exists for a reason. When you taste something from your childhood, it brings you right back to a specific memory. Smell is similar, and good food smells good. It only makes sense that this goes further: Good food smells good and brings back good memories. There's scientific reasoning with how the human brain is structured to do that, but it requires a bit more schooling to fully understand at a deeper level.
That’s also why it’s so incredibly important to know the best places to grab some grub when you’re on an adventure in a new place. Have no fear, for this article is here to introduce some of the all time best places to get food in Mount Desert Island, Maine.
Photo courtesy of thurstonforlobster.com
The Freshest Lobster Around
One of the top culinary attractions in all of Maine is the fresh lobster. So we’re starting strong with the best lobster around at Thurston’s Lobster Pound. The lobster is seriously so fresh that you will get seated for your meal and look out the window to see the lobster wharfs coming in with the food you will be eating in a few minutes. It doesn’t get fresher than that. One of the coolest aspects about Thurston’s though, is that it is family owned and operated going back about five generations now. The majority of the menu revolves around crabs and lobster, all of it is about the seafood though. Starting with steamed mussels will just prepare you for the tough decision of hard shell versus soft shell lobsters. Neither is the wrong choice, but try and save room for Mason’s Best Blueberry Cake. If you don’t, it’s okay to save it for breakfast.
Photo courtesy of colonelsrestaurant.com
Cozy is the Way
Sometimes you don’t want to crowd up on the seaside and you need a cozy meal. That’s where The Colonel’s Restaurant and Bakery thrives. Don’t worry, a cozy vibe and not being seaside doesn’t mean The Colonel’s is slacking in any way at all. When you are still wanting to get a full hearty meal, start off with the Loaded Chili and a fresh loaf of French Bread. Honestly, that could be a meal by itself, but it’s so much nicer to share with friends. For your main course, enjoy a delicious Lobster Roll or a Fried Clam Plate. Or you can opt for a pizza because a bakery knows how to bake a grand pizza. Regardless of the route you take, keep in mind it’s a bakery too and you are almost legally required to get some baked goods for dessert.
Photo courtesy of abelslobstermdi.com
A Reinvented Classic
Way back in the day, 1939 to be exact, someone had a great idea to open a lobster restaurant in Maine. That resulted in Abel’s Lobster, which sadly went belly up. Then, in 2020 it was reopened as a sister company to Bar Harbor Catering Company. Since then, the place has been booming. It’s only open seasonally, because lobster season is not year round, and Abel’s settles for nothing less than the best food they can create. They offer a unique lunch and dinner menu, which means you have to keep going back to try it all. Or go all out and get The Grand Plateau to try it all. Just make sure you know the time of year you’re going to make sure you get the best seat. And don’t worry, there’s boat parking too.
Photo courtesy of petertrouts.com
Campy Kitschy Maine Vibes
This might be the most unique restaurant in all of Maine. Located on the west side of Mount Desert Island, the quiet side if you desire that moniker, sits Peter Trout’s Tavern and Inn. It’s not flashy and touristy, but it does get to be popping (slang by kids these days for “busy”). Seriously though, Peter Trout’s can get crazy busy when the weather is perfect. They offer some of the best views with their outdoor seating, so try to get in a little early to really capitalize on that. Peter Trout’s offers a bit of a southern comfort twist to the typical Maine menu you find in the more touristy areas. Enjoy a Fried Chicken and Waffle for brunch, just like the nearby states to the south. Come dinner time, you will be faced with possibly the hardest decision of your life by choosing between the Nashville Style Hot Fried Chicken Sammy and a Market Fish Sandwich. The good thing is you have Thursday through Sunday to snag them both.