As is well known, the lobsters in Maine they are a real specialty: the cold waters of the gulf are in fact the ideal habitat for these crustaceans, which represent not only one of the most delicious typical dishes of New England but also one of the symbols of its cuisine and lifestyle. Here I am then to tell you about ours tour on the coast of Maine dedicated to lobster, an itinerary that not only contemplates epic eating but a real full immersion in the world of this delicious crustacean!
- Tour Maine: 4 recommended stops to discover the lobster
- 1. Portland Lobster Tour: A Lucky Catch
- 2. We discover the Lobster Shack in Kennebunkport
- 3. Belfast: much more than a Lobster Pound ...
- 4. Near Acadia: affordable lobsters in Lamoine
- Maine Route Map
- Other useful resources
- Online resources
Tour Maine: 4 recommended stops to discover the lobster
As you will have understood on the coast of Maine lobsters abound! There are so many that the state government, since the 90s, has decided to grant all the inhabitants of the state 5 fishing traps without the need for a license. To get an idea of the immeasurable quantity of these crustaceans, look at the sea: anywhere along the coast of New England you will probably notice numerous colored buoys. Well, know that each being is a lobster trap.
The consequence of all this abundance is that the prices are substantially affordable and not comparable to those you find in Spain. So what awaits us is a good feast of lobster at reasonable prices! At the bottom of the article you will find an interactive map that summarizes the itinerary. I hope it will be useful for you to find your way around.
1. Portland Lobster Tour: A Lucky Catch
Do a lobster tour in Maine it does not simply mean stopping in the best places to eat them, but also coming into contact with the lifestyle and the fishing practice connected to them. Here then is a unique activity of its kind, the best to learn more about everything that revolves around this iconic crustacean.
What am I talking about? Of an lobster tour, a boat trip from the pier of Portland hunting for crustaceans accompanied by expert fishermen, who will not only explain all the details of lobster fishing but will also make you participate directly in their catch.
You will be able to fix the baits, close and throw the traps, measure the catch, block the claws (don't worry, it's all within reach of the child) and finally, once caught, you will have the possibility to buy them at an affordable price. You can then take them to the dock at the restaurant Portland Lobster Company, let you cook them and enjoy the goodness of a freshly caught lobster.
During the tour you will pass some historical forts of the civil war and you will have the opportunity to see one of the lighthouses of Maine most fascinating, the Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse, built by George Washington back in 1791. To do this tour we turned to Lucky Catch Cruises, 170 Commercial Street, Portland, which makes 5 departures a day.
2. We discover the Lobster Shack in Kennebunkport
What are lobster shacks? These are simple stalls, often without seats, which sell fresh seafood specialties; usually their specialty is Lobster roll, a typical New England dish, a sort of lobster sandwich with mayonnaise, but you will also find much more.
How to identify the best lobster shack? Very simple, stop at the stalls where you will find a long line! If you want some advice, go south from Portland (about half an hour) to Kennebunkport and try The Clam Shack (2 Western Ave). You will find it on the Taintown bridge.
The kiosk is connected to the Clam Shack Seafoods market and offers catch of the day, lobster-based specialties and the ever-present lobster roll (also available as a kit). The place, despite being a simple kiosk, is very famous, as shown by this episode of the American series Food Wars.
3. Belfast: much more than a Lobster Pound ...
Let's now discover another typical place to eat lobster in Maine. It is a lobster pound, a type of informal place where shellfish are sold by weight. The one where we will stop is called Young’s Lobster Pound and is located in the town of Belfast (4 Mitchell St), continuing along the coast heading north.
This is a large 2 storey red cabin with a nice view over the Passagassawakeag River (right where it enters Penobscot Bay). Upon entering you will immediately notice large tanks with hundreds of lobsters inside. Just choose what you prefer, have it cooked for you, wait for your number to call and finally eat it (I recommend outside, in front of the river).
Young's, for a Lobster Pound, boasts a very wide choice, also selling oysters, shrimp, scallops and fish typical of the area. The specialty, however, are lobsters, served with melted butter and already broken in strategic points to facilitate the feast. During our trip to Maine, my wife and I discovered this place by accident and I must say it was a very pleasant surprise, the ideal stop for those traveling from Portland to Acadia National Park.
4. Near Acadia: affordable lobsters in Lamoine
The cheapest way to eat lobster in Maine is to buy them live by weight, take them home and cook them. If you have an apartment or, as in my case, you can count on the kitchen of good old friends, the "do it yourself" mode is definitely the one I recommend. Alternatively, you can also have them cooked directly on site (in the place that I point out they have 2 pots on purpose!).
We then continue northwards along the coast, near the splendid Acadia National Park, and stop in Lamoine (about twenty minutes away). Here you will find D & J Lobster, a simple shack where we bought some very good lobsters at a very interesting price (if I remember correctly, around 7 euros each).
There are no tables or possibilities to eat them on the spot. You will have to buy them alive (or already cooked), put them in the car and take them home. You will not easily find information about D & J Lobster on the internet: to reach it follow the Douglas Highway (Maine 184), coming from Route 1, after about 1 mile, you will find it on the right (exactly at 319 of Route 184 South).
Note: Like all of New England, Maine is even more beautiful during the fall. Find out the best places to visit during the season in our article on the Foliage in Maine.
Maine Route Map
Other useful resources
If you are thinking of embarking on a New England itinerary, I would like to point out some resources that may be useful for planning your trip.
- Our guide on how to plan a tour of New England.
- Our tips on Country Inn: the best Bed & Breakfasts in the region.
- All you need to know about Acadia National Park, New England's most fascinating natural park.
- Our advice on the city of Boston, a reference point for visiting the region.
- Our section with all the recommended itineraries in New England.
- Visit Maine
- Discover New England