I’ve rented a house with some friends steps from Arcadia mid-September. I’d love to know where I can go to buy seafood to make our own boils/raw bar as well as some great places for food/drink. I want to stay away from the tourist spots and eat where the locals go. Willing to travel if necessary to nearby islands or harbors. Give me your not to miss places!
Just spent a week in Acadia in August. We were staying near Southwest Harbor, so many of the places we went are near there. A few places I’d recommend:
Common Good Soup Kitchen https://commongoodsoupkitchen.org/. This is a soup kitchen in Southwest Harbor. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings they serve popovers and oatmeal to the public on a pay-what-you-want basis, with all proceeds going to their charitable work. The popovers and oatmeal are both excellent. There is live music, and seating is outdoors in a nice garden area. Check open hours before you go, I’m not sure how late they go into Sept. but if they are open you should definitely go.
Pie! We got an excellent blueberry pie from Islandbound Treats, and an amazing apple pie from Quietside Cafe and Ice Cream, both in SW Harbor. The pies at Islandbound sell out fast each day so you need to get there early.
These two don’t meet your criteria for non-touristy, but I’ll mention them anyway since we really enjoyed both:
We had an excellent breakfast at 123 Main in Northeast Harbor. Some nice egg dishes and excellent baked goods, and great coffee.
We really enjoyed a dinner at Parilla, a tapas place in Bar Harbor. https://www.havanamaine.com/parrilla
Enjoy your trip.
We were there in June, ate at Copita in Northwest Harbor and enjoyed it very much.
Sat at the bar and ordered several appetizers. Nice cocktails, and beer selection.
We also grabbed food from 123 Main, and thought it was good.
And Beal’s lobster pound in SW Harbor. Touristy but good food.
Have a good trip
I also just spent a week in Acadia. Had a wonderful time. Have some young children, so didn’t explore inside, sit-down places. But here’s some hopefully helpful experiences/things I’ve learned:
Bar Harbor - to me, everything is touristy there
We enjoyed Havana outside dining. Good drinks and some really good dishes. Standouts were the stuffed poblano and pork adobo.
Enjoyed the breakfast at 2 cats. Blueberry pancakes, eggs and hash and breakfast burrito were awesome.
Milk & Honey was great and definitely seemed mostly visited by locals. Hours are challenging, but sandwiches and baked items were excellent.
If it’s nice weather, would definitely recommend grabbing some food and hanging out by the picnic benches by the working harbor.
- Had some lackluster experiences here, which was disappointing. Will say that Peter Trouts was a real treat. The heirloom tomato sandwich was one of the highlights of the trip for us, but probably not in season in mid-September. Fried chicken items and crab cake were also really good. And the staff is incredibly friendly and helpful. Hours are challenging here too.
- Not sure worth a trip, but also found Maine-ly Delights to be wonderfully pleasant and local. If you’re in the area, would recommend the milkshakes and Oh-Boy Doughboy.
Hitty’s Cafe on Great Cranberry was okay, but the Pastrami sandwich was legit.
We really enjoyed Islesford Restaurant on Islesford/Little Cranberry. Not sure it’s hands down better than a lot of seafood restaurants on Mt. Desert, but it was really good. I would caution that the mosquitos are incredibly vicious on the island, so be careful if you go and decide to walk around the island.
Other - we stayed near the narrows, so here are some spots in that area
Sweet pea’s was really good and the outside ambience was really cool. Good apps and good pizza.
Mother’s kitchen was great for sandwiches (would often order in the morning to have as our lunch for hiking/biking).
All of the lobster places are varying degrees of pretty good and too expensive. All generally touristy. Can’t really recommend any that are stand-outs over others and, in particular, more visited by locals.
As for doing your own boil, I know there are places you can order/go for live lobster (we didn’t do it, so can’t recommend any), but we did learn from an island resident that Bar Harbor Oyster Company allows you to buy direct live oysters directly from them. I see if you send them a note on Facebook, you might be able to get some a couple of days later. We heard from the island resident that the owners allow you to buy direct from their driveway (don’t know where that is). So want to try this when we go back.
Hope this is helpful somehow.
Lobster prices are really high this year, FYI. Haven’t traveled all the way up to Bar Harbor, but everywhere we have gone in Massachusetts and Maine the market price for lobster is higher than I have ever seen before.
Definite sticker shock if you’re accustomed to the prices of summers past.
@umam-yeah As a frequent visitor to Maine, this is great information! Welcome to Hungry Onion. Looking forward to more contributions from you.
Welcome to Hungry Onion and thanks for a great post!
First I should have said welcome and thank you for sharing your generous intel! So useful for your fellow fans of all things Maine.