I will be driving to from NYC via St John, NB to Nova Scotia and back in a couple of weeks. travelling mostly on I95 due to limited time. I will have an overnight in Plymouth Mass on the way up to St John and an overnight in Mathias (Downeast) with a second overnight break on the way back to be determined. Really looking for good food (diners, seafood, pie, anything delicious) along the I95 corridor in Maine and NH, think I am mostly covered with options southward, although if there are supergood asian places in Mass or RI along my route that would be great (I have stopped in the past in Lowell and Providence but would have to look up where. No drinking, I will be a solo driver here, trying to stay awake.
whizzing down mostly 95 from the Canadian Border/Downeast Maine
Tasty Dumplings, Market St, Lowell MA
Soup dumplings, chive pockets, noodle dishes. A good spot for a bite
Quick service, outside dining if you that counts.
@JenKalb That’s quite a drive for “whizzing down” and back plus a detour in Plymouth. 15 hours or so?
Anju Noodle Bar in Kittery ME is one of our favorite places.
I am driving up to Plymouth MA where my brother lives on the way to Nova Scotia. I will stay there night 1 and then caravan with him to St. Johns NB staying there 1 night, taking the morning ferry to NS, I stay in NS for about a week, for a conference and nature touring then we split up, i driving home to NY alone, staying in Machias ME 1 night (for a morning pelagic cruise) en route, then getting back to NYC in 1.5 days max. not a lot of time to enjoy Maine or other intervening points since I have to get back so fast, but will need to eat on the way, both directions Pies, good doughnuts, anything good to stop for really would be helpful for getting through the long drives.
I’ve had some limited success in using https://roadfood.com/restaurants/ for this kind of thing.
Please report back on the entire trip, sounds great!
We spent a week last September in Eastport, Maine, in a waterfront rental facing Campobello Island. We were unfortunately too late for the wildlife cruises but we hope to go back soon, and add in NS or at least NB perhaps. Didn’t make it to Machias but we enjoyed two fabulous eateries in Eastport on Water St, Bocephus and tapas at the Phoenix Wine Bar. Best crab/lobster rolls ever (we have lived in Boston for over 30 years, so we have lots of experience with those) at Bocephus and the tapas at Phoenix were amazing. Very reasonable prices at both places.
If you find some good food in Machias, please post that as well!
wondered if that was still useful. so many places have closed. thanks I will check
wondering how long it takes to get over to Eastport. We will have limited time going up and havent decided where to stop on our way to St John. thinking about Lubec/quoddy point or other options for a stop in that area and will have to backtrack to get to the Canadian side. Ahy further thoughts from your experience?
I can’t offer help with sweet baked goods but other places where you and your bro might be able to grab very good bagels: Rover Bagel or further up north Maples in New Gloucester, both with the caveat that they tend to sell out so you would be at the mercy of missing out.
Lots of reports on places in Portland. If you’re a pizza eater, Micucci (will probably be quick) or Slab (not-so-quick). There’s been recent chatter about Portland doughnuts on the Greater Boston board (Hifi vs. Holy).
I don’t think it’s worth trying to go to Eastport from Machias, where you need to be for the nature cruise (which sounds fascinating). The travel times by car are long because of the geography. We didn’t get to Lubec because the ferries had stopped by the time we got to Eastport in mid-September and the driving time was too far. We took the Northern, fastest route to Eastport from Boston without meandering through the more scenic southern coastal areas.
I mentioned those two great food opps in Eastport case others see it as a Downeast topic. We had a two bedroom, two bath rental facing Campobello Island for $1,000 for a week just off season in September in 2022, so that was a bargain. https://thecommonseastport.com/rental-suites/
The food on our trip from Boston to Eastport was completely uninspiring except for those two places in Eastport. Bangor has an fun statue of Paul Bunyan and we had a decent lunch at a brewery there, can’t remember the name.
This might help:
We did cross over the Canadian border in Calais from Eastport so our son could use his passport for the first time, which was an important thing for him. Our 2-4 hours in Canada was unimpressive, but the milestone being cleared to cross the border was a big deal for him. Next time I hope we can spend time in New Brunswick. It will take some research to figure out where. Our travel options are limited due to son’s tolerances (adopted from foster care at age 7). On the other hand, the Eastern Townships in Quebec are not such a long drive from Boston, so we may consider that.
You have a great adventure ahead of you! Enjoy!
Yes the travel looks very involved - I havent looked into the local ferries in that area. I was musing about Eastport thinking about it as a northward stop between Plymouth and St. Johns, where we should have a couple of hours to meander somewhere. It turns out I will not stay in Machias on the return but farther S at Milbridge nearer where the Acadia Puffin Cruise takes off. Not expecting much foodwise in that area. I will have more to say about NB after driving through the Southern tip by Fundy. A lot of the inland area is pretty boggy and bland, tho there are some nice towns and nice coastline up near PEI. We really have liked the Eastern Provinces, with the big hills and french food, though not sure what to recommend at this point in time.
Rover in Biddeford is on our list for our upcoming trip! Biddeford has become quite the foodie mecca.
Moonbat City Bakery in Belfast is TO DIE FOR - limited hours (maybe just Friday and Saturday?)
Used to do summer Maritimes road trips on the regular but haven’t been since 2019 and many of our old standbys have closed or changed hands. Pretty sure these are still open:
In Maine, if you take I-295 through Portland instead of I-95 around you’ll have good access to many board favorites. My crew likes Po’ Boys & Pickles on Forest Ave both for their sandwiches and their macaroons. It’s also not in the busy Old Port / downtown and has parking.
Further north and close to the I-95/I-295 split is the A1 Diner in Gardiner (also on Facebook), an actual diner car perched on a bridge right in the middle of town. They offer a good standard diner menu with generally excellent specials and desserts. One caveat is that it’s small so best to avoid peak hours.
Hoping to get out to NS and PE this year and will be researching new options. In NB I enjoyed stopping at the Saint John City Market, and in Moncton both Tide & Boar Gastropub and Tony’s Bistro & Pâtisserie had great food and look to still be going strong.
Strong second for Po’ Boys and Pickles. Several coffee options on Forest Ave as well.
ETA image of deep-fried cauliflower po’ boy. So good!
I’ll third Po’ Boys. Also Susan’s Fish & Chips (what we had for dinner last night ) which is across the street from Po’ Boys.