Mid-Coast Maine Summer 2020

Heading to Midcoast this weekend and staying just outside Damariscotta. Our primary goal is to look at a few vacation properties. Not far behind is, of course, is eating and drinking well. @GretchenS are you still headquartered thereabouts? On our list of possibilities right now are all repeats - Muscongus Bay Lobster (can’t wait for a lobster roll on their homemade rolls), Contented Sole, Odd Alewives. Places we didn’t get to last time include Shuck Station, Oysterhead Pizza, Bet’s Fish Fry. Old favorites like Newcastle Publick House or a savory pie to-go from Dot’s. Plus, the falafel truck in Belfast, Maine Kebab, taco night at Up In Smoke (although I don’t think we’ll make it Rockland on this short jaunt). Egads. We won’t have time to fit all of these but we’ll do our best.

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Still here in Round Pond. It’s been fascinating to watch the seasonal businesses gradually reopening.

On your untried list I can offer the following intel:

Oysterhead Pizza is very good but I’d suggest sticking to the red pizzas - my one venture into white (something with various mushrooms that sounded great) was a mushy disaster although to be sure that could have been a one-off. Many, many good red pizzas kept me happy this winter plus order-ahead (by Wednesday morning) bagels on Fridays only that are fabulous! - the best bagels I’ve found up here, have had an ever-renewing freezer stash all winter.

Bet’s Fish Fry is only open 11-2 Tuesday-Saturday. So, so good. If you go you are right near the Mid-Coast Botanical Gardens which are truly world-class and always worth a visit.

The falafel truck in Belfast, to my great sorrow, does not appear to have made it. No FB activity since October and when I was in Belfast 2-3 months ago the structure wasn’t there. Hopefully just a winter hiatus but…

Maine Kebab in Waldoboro has been on a mysterious “winter break” for several months. Their newer Rockland location seems to be active. Not, IME, at the same level as other places you are considering.

Not sure if you are coffee drinkers but I have become very enamored of Barn Door Bakery in Damariscotta. You’d never know it from their website but they have an interesting small menu of breakfast and lunch items, great coffee, and many bakery goodies. Fabulous homemade biscuits and English muffins.

Round Pond Coffee has much the same on a much smaller scale, open 7 days a week across from Granite Hall.

Hope you have a great visit and find what you are looking for!!!

ETA: super basic but very, very good is Larson’s Lunch Box up by Hannafords. They do their lobster and crab rolls as kits to go if you have an expedition planned. Cannot speak to quality of lobster or crab there (damn shellfish allergy) but it sure looks good and locals are clearly big fans. Can vouch enthusiastically for their haddock chowder and burgers. Excellent local produce used. Lunch only (10:30-2:30) and closed Sunday and Monday.

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Adding this for a friend who will be visiting the area soon. Please add to it, especially where I have nothing.

Good independent coffee places in the Mid-Coast.

Wiscasset -???

Boothbay Harbor - ???

Damariscotta - Barn Door Bakery (next to bookshop), Cupacity - both on Main St in “downtown” Damariscotta.

Thomaston - Flip Side, next to small grocery on Main St in “downtown” Thomaston.

Rockland - Atlantic Baking Company, Rock City Café - both on Main St in “downtown” Rockland.

Rockport - Maine Street Meats has a small café.

Camden - Zoot Café, just as you come into “downtown”.

Lincolnville Beach - Dot’s, just before you get to the beach (heading North)

Belfast - ???

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We’re fans of Café Crème (“Front and Centre”) in Bath and make a point of stopping there before and after pretty much every mid-coast trip. Great coffee, excellent baked goods both sweet and savory (love the hand pies), and a nice variety of smoothies if caffeine is not on the agenda. The staff have always been wonderful too.

The eponymous café crème (espresso with steamed cream) is my favorite afternoon pick-me-up.

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I’ll add a +1 for Rock City in Rockland where we like to get morning coffee before “brunch” at Up in Smoke (which is only getting better, thanks so much for posting about them here).

Two places I don’t have recent experience with:
Boothbay Harbor - got good coffee from Red Cup Coffeehouse in 2019.
Belfast - Bell the Cat coffeeshop made good coffee and sandwiches as of a couple of years ago.

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Thanks so much for filling out the list. None of these had been on my radar, much appreciated!

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

― Jonathan Gold