Freeport, Maine is a quaint little town on the Atlantic coast, just twenty minutes north of Portland, Maine’s largest city. Freeport is, like the name suggests, a port town, though the actual port is in the neighboring village of South Freeport, so it feels more like just a small town in the Maine woods. Freeport is perhaps best known for its shopping opportunities. With several major retail outlets on the small, charming main street of town, it looks and feels like a small town, but offers big city fashions and merchandise. The most popular of Freeport’s outlets is the L.L. Bean flagship store, as well as its catalog outlet center and national headquarters. L.L. Bean draws shoppers from all over the East Coast, all over the country, and all over the world. And when the shoppers who come to Freeport have found all the items they were looking for, they usually will have worked up quite an appetite. True to form, Freeport provides for its guests and has a wonderful selection of restaurants from which to choose.
Jameson Tavern is just across a small side-street from the L.L. Bean Flagship store; it is tucked away in a charming old 19th century home that doubles as a cozy inn where travelers can stay with all the shopping right outside their front door. Jameson Tavern has its several dining rooms in each of the downstairs rooms of the inn, with the old living room, parlor, and dining room of the house serving its guests. Hard wood floors, lace curtains, and tastefully decorated tables with white table cloths and a formal wait staff makes Jameson a great place to go for supper after shopping, for a long, lazy lunch, or for a formal dinner celebration. The food is a combination of American traditional and of course, Maine seafood. Visitors will enjoy Jameson Tavern; it makes one feel like he is definitely in the heart of old New England.
Just a few buildings down from Jameson Tavern, on the same side of the main street is the Azure Cafe. The Azure Cafe is set in an old fashioned New England home, but the decor is tastefully modern. Outside in the front is a patio where diners can sit in the summer months. The menu at Azure Cafe is award winning and decadent. With a Mediterranean Italian cuisine, the Azure Cafe delights guests with its pastas, steaks, seafood, salads, antipasto, and poultry. The wine list is competitive and the dessert menu is unmatched. The clam chowder offered at the Azure Cafe has won several local awards; a feat not easy to accomplish in the state of Maine, where clam chowder can be found nearly everywhere.
The Broad Arrow Tavern is set in the historic Harraseeket Inn, at the top of the main street, and about two blocks from L.L. Bean. The Harraseeket is a luxury inn and the Broad Arrow Tavern fits that luxurious promise. At Broad Arrow, lunch and dinner is available, and the chefs use only organic and naturally raised foods. The beef is from the local Wolfe’s Neck Farm where all the livestock is organically grown, and all the produce is grown locally, as is the seafood and milk. The goal of the Broad Arrow is to serve the finest meals possible, while buying only Maine products first. The Broad Arrow Tavern is also aesthetically pleasing, as it is decorated like an old hunting lodge with dark, wood-paneled walls, dark carpet and furnishings, and various wild game mounted on the walls and ceiling.
Freeport has many other fine restaurants that will delight even the most picky palate, including Conondrum’s, Cricket’s, China Rose, and the Mediterranean Grill; but Freeport also offers less expensive restaurants such as Friendly’s, as well as several fast food establishments including McDonald’s and Subway. Even these common chain restaurants are in keeping with Freeport’s charming aesthetics; they are housed in New England style houses and fit right into the town’s quaint decor. The next time you decide to take your family to the coast of Maine for a shopping trip, or even just a fall foliage drive, stop in Freeport when the clock says it’s time for dinner. You will be glad you did.