Cook’s Lobster House, Bailey Island
What to expect: Come for the views, the lobster dishes, and the steamed mussels. Cook’s also ships lobsters anywhere.
Check it out: 68 Garrison Cove Road (on H.S.Route 24); 207/833-2818 or cookslobster.com
Bayview Lobster Restaurant, Camden
What to expect: The excellent clam chowder at this friendly place on Camden Harbor’s busy boardwalk makes a fine prelude to a deliciously unadorned lobster roll.
Check it out: (16 Bayview Landing) Camden Harbor, 207/236-2005 or bayviewlobster.com
Cappy’s Chowder House, Camden
What to expect: Oh, if only we could only have a cup of Cappy’s creamy, thick, peppery, clam-filled, soul-warming chowder now. The seasonal nightly lobster specials are always a good deal.
Check it out: 1 Main Street; 207/236-2254 or cappyschowder.com
The Lobster Shack at Two Lights, Cape Elizabeth
What to expect: Good chowder and lobster rolls. Scenic oceanside setting with outdoor picnic tables at the Cape Elizabeth Light.
Check it out: 225 Two Lights Road; 207/799-1677 or lobstershacktwolights.com
The Captain’s, Cape Porpoise
What to expect: Comfort food, pure and simple. Fried clams make a special trip worthwhile. So do The Captain’s freshly baked pies and cakes. Operating hours are seasonal.
Check it out: 1 Pier Road, 207/967-2341
The Clam Shack, Kennebunkport
What to expect: High-toned Kennebunkport dearly loves this dowdy little takeout hut at the Kennebunk River bridge in the center of town. Try the fried clams or the lobster roll.
Check it out: (Open May – October) 2 Western Avenue (U.S. Route 9); 207/967-2560 or theclamshack.net
Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound, Trenton
What to expect: This family-run place cooks lobsters and clams in big seawater pots in front of the building.
Check it out: 1237 Bar Harbor Road; 207/667-2977 or trentonbridgelobster.com
Billy’s Chowder House, Wells
What to expect: Large portions, fresh chowder, lobster, and stuffed haddock, plus nice views of a tidal marsh.
Check it out: 216 Mile Road; 207/646-7558 or billyschowderhouse.com
Red’s Eats, Wiscasset
What to expect: Enormous lobster rolls from a red-and-white stand at the Sheepscot River bridge. Cash only.
Check it out: 41 Water Street (Route 1); 207/882-6128
Fisherman's Catch, Wells
What to expect: Enjoy fresh haddock on a toasted bun and pretty marsh views. Open May through mid-October.
Check it out: 134 Harbor Road; 207/646-8780 or fishermanscatchwells.com
Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier, Kittery Point
What to expect: The garlic-kissed, totally fresh steamed mussels taste even better in this quaint, woodsy setting. The “dining room” (a brightly painted collection of picnic tables, some shaded and some not) really does sit on a pier over peaceful Chauncey Creek, where boats pass on their way to and from the tidal Piscataqua River.
Check it out: 16 Chauncey Creek Rd.; 207/439-1030 or chaunceycreek.com
Thurston's Lobster Pound, Bernard (Mt. Desert Island)
What to expect: Pick a live lobster and choose a dinner. “Plain” comes with corn on the cob, slaw, roll, and blueberry cake. Pair it with locally brewed Bar Harbor Real Ale or Blueberry Ale. With a vantage point high above Bass Harbor, diners can watch lobster boats rumble in with the day’s catch.
Check it out: 1 Steamboat Wharf Road; 207/244-7600