Belfast, Maine food resources

This is a joint report written by me with reporting from a couple of friends. Between the three of us we have visited Belfast collectively about 5 times in the past 12 months, staying an average of 3 or 4 days.

Darby’s. Looks like a kind of hippy throwback pub but does all scratch cooking, much of which is really good. Their salads in particular rock – all fresh local produce, even in the dead of winter (from a hoop-house farm nearby) and house-made dressings. Between us, we have logged 6 or 7 dinners since last October and several lunches, all solid, some spectacular. One friend still raves about a roast beef pot pie he had here last fall. Service is always delightful although there is often an empty hostess stand when you walk in and you end up standing around for awhile.

Chase’s Daily. This is a long-time institution in Belfast, serving vegetarian food mostly from their own farm. I have had a couple of takeout items that I have loved – a cheese and tomato tart lingers fondly in my memory. My friends have eaten in several times and tell me that they never miss the meat. They say the kitchen seems to take inspiration from around the world but adapts recipes to local produce. They have good GF choices.

Daily Soup. My friends report wonderful fresh soups made every day from fresh ingredients. Mostly takeout with a couple of tables.

Delvino’s. My friends report wonderful Italian food, very nice wine selection, excellent GF pasta, cozy atmosphere. When they stayed in Belfast for several days they alternated dinners here and at Darby’s.

Eat More Cheese. My friends love this place for cheeses and wines. I can report that having told them we’d be having lamb chops for dinner, they turned up with two wonderful cheeses and a bottle of wine that went perfectly before dinner and a splendid bottle of wine to go with the lamb chops. They said they just walked in and said we’d be having lamb chops for dinner. Pretty good!

Moonbat City Bakery. My friends and I were laughing that every single time any of us had tried to go to this tiny bakery it was closed. So I could not believe my luck on Saturday when for the first time ever I saw the sign saying Open. I got a ham and gruyere croissant, fresh out of the oven, handed over my $4.59 and thought, this better be good. It was, it was beyond good, it was truly amazing.

Belfast Co-op is larger than some of the others and has a terrific selection of produce, meats, cheeses, yogurts and many bulk items, as well as some prepared foods and a small deli. You can easily put together a picnic to go or a lavish dinner if you have kitchen facilities. It is one of my favorite co-ops up and down the coast. Plus they sell Backyard Chicken (the magazine).

Belfast Farmer’s Market, Fridays 9:00 to noon (just outside of town, heading north in High Street). This is a large and wonderful farmer’s market with terrific local music (two weeks ago a band with no fewer than 6 fiddlers, 2 mandolins, a guitar and keyboard playing beautiful complicated songs without sheet music – amazing). The water buffalo folks are here, a seafood vendor, lots of produce, a food truck making crepes and several craftspeople. Fun market.

United Farmers Market of Maine, Saturdays 9:00 to 1:00. New in 2017, this is a Boston Public Market-type venture, indoors, with permanent stalls, refrigeration and so on. It is on Spring Street down by the waterfront. Lots of parking. There are farmers selling produce, cheeses, meats (including charcuterie), and everything else you’d find at a farmer’s market, plus a couple of seafood vendors and several stalls selling prepared food ready to eat (I saw awesome-looking Jamaican food, gorgeous veggie Chinese dumplings, a Laotian and Thai food stand, a Cajun stand, ice cream, fresh-made donuts and more). There is a huge room with tables for eating with a gorgeous view of the harbor and live music. There are also craftspeople, mostly at the high end, including a very nice silversmith. There was a lively trade the last two weeks but it didn’t feel too crowded to enjoy and there is loads of seating in the dining area. There is some talk of opening Wednesdays as well. I can see where there might be some friction between this and the traditional farmer’s market but to me it is apples and oranges. I would and will happily go to both.

Belfast Bay Inn. To keep this food-related, this small inn on Main Street serves wonderful cooked breakfasts every day as part of the tariff, in your room when inclement and on the patio weather permitting. The couple that own the inn do most of the cooking, supplementing with baked goods from Chase’s Daily. They are good about catering to dietary restrictions although not so good about adhering to my request to serve a small breakfast – it was huge and varied and temptingly delicious every day.

Would love to keep this thread going over time with additional Belfast resources.

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Truly enjoyed Chase’s Daily on our last visit. Delish vegetarian! The co-op and United Farmers Market, too…Thanks for posting. Looking forward to our next visit in August.

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Went back to the United Farmer’s Market (the inside one) yesterday. It was bustling but not over-crowded with tons of great produce, cheeses and other dairy products, crafts of various sorts and cooked food. I had purposely skipped breakfast so I could try a couple of the food stalls. First up, a Jamaican beef patty from the Jamaican food stall. Absolutely delicious, a very nice yellow (from annatto I think) crisp pastry crust with a very spicy beef filling, extremely hot temperature-wise. I snarfed it down while listening to some very nice live music in the huge dining area with water views. Later on I had a couple of the beautiful Chinese dumplings which are steamed to order. I chose the vegan version which had various veggies and tiny cubes of tofu – I was enticed by the shitakes in the description but didn’t taste them in the dumplings. I will go back and try again, they have some interesting combinations and you can get 2 for $3 or 5 for I think $6 or 7 so it makes a nice snack. I also picked up some gorgeous purple daikon, watermelon radishes and triple crème cheese, as well as some more of the wonderful kimchi I had liked so much in July. One of the vendors told me that the other side of the building is being built out as a commercial kitchen and hydroponic growing area. The idea of opening a second day in the week seems dead for now but they do plan to stay open year round – or at least through Christmas. Saturdays, 9 to 2.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold