The true icon of Maine may very well be the lobster, and you should know where to get it. Many, many restaurants around the state offer lobster in various forms but real Mainers know where to go when they want this delicacy — and usually at a good price, too. I will outline here the top places for lobster, whether it be rolled, stewed, or steamed.
There is simply no other place to go for a steamed lobster than Five Islands Lobster Company located in Georgetown. Five Islands is located at the very tip of a penninsula of land which juts into the harbor. Their prices are inexpensive and dining is al fresco. You will not find a fresher lobster, as the restaurant is essentially a summer lobster dock, and the lobsters are brough straight to the dock. A soft shell lobster will run you $6.50/lb and a hard shell 1 to 1.5 pound lobster is $10.50. This is served with butter. You can order fresh boiled baby red potatoes and corn on the side as well. The prices are all very reasonable, but the setting is priceless. You sit on a dock at picnic tables, surrounded by water and islands. Lobster trap buoys bob happily on the surface amidst the lobster boats. It is the most picturesque and ideally “Maine” place to enjoy a lobster. In addition to the steamed lobster, there is a food shack that serves haddock, sandwiches, french fries and that sort of fare, if you have a non-lobster eater in your midst. For dessert, there is an ice cream stand. The perfect afternoon!
Surprisingly, you have to travel inland for this delicacy. The very best lobster stew in the state is located at the aptly named Lobster Trap, which sits on the banks of the Kennebec River in Winslow, Maine. The broth is milky, but not too thick or creamy which can oftentimes overpower the taste of lobster. The stew is chock full of lobster meat and you certainly get your money’s worth. Although it isn’t located on the ocean, you can request outside seating and sit on the deck which overlooks the river. The menu includes many other seafood dishes as well as some other options, so everyone will find something tasty here. But above all, be sure to get the stew.
Okay, everybody in Maine knows about this place, and you should too. It doesn’t look like much, but Red’s Eats in Wiscassett is the busiest lobster shack in the state. At most hours of the day, an enormous line stands alongside the red shack, waiting for a taste of the most desirable lobster roll in the entire state. In a single lobster roll you will find an entire tail, at least two or three claws, and additional meat. Due to the high turnover, these rolls are probably the freshest you will find. They are still warm and the rolls are served with a side of drawn butter. These will run you around $13.95, but it is well worth the price since you are getting more than one whole lobster in the roll, already picked for you. You could order a “lazy man’s lobster” which is commonly found in more upscale restaurants, and pay a much higher price and not receive as much meat. An added bonus of this location is that you get to sit outside on their deck, which overlooks the bridge and ocean which lead to Boothbay Harbor.
If you are looking for a candlelit dinner opposed to a shorefront casual experience, the place to go is Street & Company in Portland. There is a lobster dish for two served here, which could easily serve three. It goes for around $38, but comes with more seafood than you can imagine, served in a huge pan straight from the kitchen. A lobster is split in half amidst marinara sauce, pasta, mussels, scallops, and other assorted seafoods. It is a true feast, and truly delicious.
Now you are prepared to take a lobster excursion covering much of the state of Maine. Enjoy the sights and sounds of Maine, but most of all, enjoy the flavor.