clock menu more-arrow no yes

24 Classic Restaurants Every Mainer Must Try

Follow this map to great rewards.

View as Map

In honor of Classics Week, an indispensable guide to 25 of the state's oldest, most notable eateries.

From fine dining to diners, pizza places to lobster shacks, red sauce Italian joints to throwback taverns, here are 25 of Maine's classic restaurants. Most of them have been around at least 20 years, many for much, much longer. Each has a unique history, and each is worth a trip. The order is alphabetical.

Did we miss your favorite Maine classic? Let us know in the comments.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Fore Street

Copy Link
288 Fore St.
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 775-2717
Visit Website
Opened in 1996, Fore Street is largely responsible for putting Portland dining on the map and sparking the rustic vibed, farm-to-table revolution that's taken hold since.

2. Street and Co.

Copy Link
33 Wharf St
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 775-0887
Visit Website
Fresh, simply prepared seafood dishes have been the hallmark here since the doors off cobblestoned Wharf Street opened in 1989.

3. DiMillo's on the Water

Copy Link
25 Long Wharf
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 772-2216
Visit Website
Opened in 1982 on a 200+ foot former car ferry, the floating restaurant continues to serve fresh seafood and classic Italian fare while also featuring one of the most underrated bars in the city.

4. Back Bay Grill

Copy Link
65 Portland St
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 772-8833
Visit Website
A fine dining outpost in the Bayside neighborhood since 1988, BBG continues to offer one of the best culinary experiences in the city more than a quarter century later.

5. Becky's Diner

Copy Link
390 Commercial St
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 773-7070
Visit Website
The waterfront diner has become a Portland institution since opening in 1991. Sure, the tourists have discovered it, but it's the local blue-collar crowd that you'll find there when the doors open at 4 a.m.

6. The Great Lost Bear

Copy Link
540 Forest Ave
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 772-0300
Visit Website
Many argue that Portland's original beer bar is still the best. Opened in 1979, the Bear — which changed its name from The Grizzly Bear years ago — now has over 70 taps serving craft beers from near and far. The food menu is extensive as well.

7. Espo's Trattoria

Copy Link
1135 Congress St.
Portland, ME 04102
(207) 774-7923
Visit Website
This family-run Italian joint has served heaping plates of red sauce classics since 1972.

8. Muddy Rudder Restaurant

Copy Link
1335 US Rte 1
Yarmouth, ME 04096
(207) 846-3082
Visit Website
Overlooking the Cousins River, the Rudder has been a local favorite for fresh seafood since 1976.

9. Maria's Ristorante

Copy Link
337 Cumberland Ave
Portland, ME
(207) 772-9232
Visit Website
Maria's, run by the Napolitano family since 1960, continues to serve up fine renditions of the Italian classics in a throwback atmosphere.

10. Pizza Villa

Copy Link
940 Congress St
Portland, ME 04102
(207) 774-1777
Visit Website
About as old school as it gets, the Regios brothers carry on the tradition that their dad started in 1965 and still use the same oven to bake their 10" pies, which should be washed down with a mini pitcher from the attached bar.

11. Tortilla Flat

Copy Link
1871 Forest Ave
Portland, ME 04103
(207) 797-8729
Visit Website
Occupying its perch on outer Forest Ave for over 30 years, Tortilla Flat may not be authentic Mexican but it offers up fresh, inexpensive food and drinks in a friendly environment.

12. The White Barn Inn & Spa

Copy Link
37 Beach Ave
Kennebunk, ME 04043
(207) 967-2321
Visit Website
Opened in 1973, the White Barn Inn pretty much sets the bar for Maine fine dining. How fancy is this place? For its 40th anniversary a couple years back, it offered a $40,000 cocktail containing a 4-carat ruby.

13. Brunswick Diner

Copy Link
101 Pleasant St
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 721-1134
Whether it's breakfast for locals or late-night/early-morning sustenance for Bowdoin College students, this old converted railcar has served a vital role in the community since opening in 1946.

14. Gritty McDuff's

Copy Link
396 Fore St
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 772-2739
Visit Website
Portland's original post-prohibition brewpub, founded in 1988, remains a great spot to grab a pint and some solid pub food.

15. Moody's Diner

Copy Link
Rt. 1
Waldoboro, ME 04572
(207) 832-7785
Visit Website
Family-run for over eight decades, Moody's plies midcoast residents and tourists alike with simple, homemade meals and world-famous pies.

16. Pizza by Alex

Copy Link
93 Alfred St
Biddeford, ME 04005
(207) 283-0002
Visit Website
Hundreds of the 10" Greek-style pies fly out of the ovens daily at this Biddeford institution, opened in 1960. A visit is a bit like stepping back in time, in a good way.

17. Rapid Ray's

Copy Link
189 Main St
Saco, ME 04072
(207) 282-1847
Visit Website
Whether it's lunch, dinner, or late-night, Ray's, which traces its origins back to 1953, serves up fresh, quick food — from burgers and dogs to lobster rolls — at its landmark location on Saco's main drag.

18. Red's Eats

Copy Link
16 Water St.
Wiscasset, ME 04578
(207) 882-6128
Visit Website
Arguably Maine's most famous dining spot, this seasonal take-out lobster shack, at its current location since 1954, attracts huge lines but it's worth the wait as the big ol' lobster roll is worthy of the hype.

19. Ruski's Tavern

Copy Link
212 Danforth St
Portland, ME 04102
(207) 774-7604
The no-frills tavern, opened in 1982, is a West End favorite for burgers and beer and hair-of-the-dog brunches.

20. Silly's Restaurant

Copy Link
40 Washington Ave
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 772-0360
Visit Website
Silly's has moved, expanded, and changed ownership over the course of its near 30-year history, but the eclectic decor and scratch-made menu (which willfully accommodates pretty much any dietary restriction imaginable) has remained steady since the opening in 1988.

21. The Good Table

Copy Link
527 Ocean House Road
Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107
(207) 799-4663
Visit Website
Affluent Cape Elizabeth is a bit of a culinary hinterland, but the Good Table has been a comfort food beacon for the town since opening in 1986.

22. The Maine Diner

Copy Link
2265 Post Rd
Wells, ME 04090
(207) 646-4441
Visit Website
Since opening in 1983, it's become more than a local diner, with tourists flocking to it in the warmer months for chowder, fried clams, and lobster pie.

23. WaCo Diner

Copy Link
47 Water Street
Eastport, ME 04631
(207) 853-4046
Visit Website
Open at the same location since 1924, the WaCo Diner professes itself to be Maine's oldest restaurant. The straightforward menu of diner classics and Maine seafood favorites has proven to be a recipe for longevity.

24. Waterman's Beach Lobster

Copy Link
343 Waterman Beach Rd
South Thomaston, ME 04858
(207) 596-7819
Visit Website
This seasonal lobster shack is known to its devoted followers not just for excellent lobster rolls and fried clams, but also for its homemade pies. Almost 30 years old, it received the James Beard America's Classics Award in 2001, so it has become a summer visitor destination, but this is no tourist trap.

1. Fore Street

288 Fore St., Portland, ME 04101
Opened in 1996, Fore Street is largely responsible for putting Portland dining on the map and sparking the rustic vibed, farm-to-table revolution that's taken hold since.
288 Fore St.
Portland, ME 04101

2. Street and Co.

33 Wharf St, Portland, ME 04101
Fresh, simply prepared seafood dishes have been the hallmark here since the doors off cobblestoned Wharf Street opened in 1989.
33 Wharf St
Portland, ME 04101

3. DiMillo's on the Water

25 Long Wharf, Portland, ME 04101
Opened in 1982 on a 200+ foot former car ferry, the floating restaurant continues to serve fresh seafood and classic Italian fare while also featuring one of the most underrated bars in the city.
25 Long Wharf
Portland, ME 04101

4. Back Bay Grill

65 Portland St, Portland, ME 04101
A fine dining outpost in the Bayside neighborhood since 1988, BBG continues to offer one of the best culinary experiences in the city more than a quarter century later.
65 Portland St
Portland, ME 04101

5. Becky's Diner

390 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101
The waterfront diner has become a Portland institution since opening in 1991. Sure, the tourists have discovered it, but it's the local blue-collar crowd that you'll find there when the doors open at 4 a.m.
390 Commercial St
Portland, ME 04101

6. The Great Lost Bear

540 Forest Ave, Portland, ME 04101
Many argue that Portland's original beer bar is still the best. Opened in 1979, the Bear — which changed its name from The Grizzly Bear years ago — now has over 70 taps serving craft beers from near and far. The food menu is extensive as well.
540 Forest Ave
Portland, ME 04101

7. Espo's Trattoria

1135 Congress St., Portland, ME 04102
This family-run Italian joint has served heaping plates of red sauce classics since 1972.
1135 Congress St.
Portland, ME 04102

8. Muddy Rudder Restaurant

1335 US Rte 1, Yarmouth, ME 04096
Overlooking the Cousins River, the Rudder has been a local favorite for fresh seafood since 1976.
1335 US Rte 1
Yarmouth, ME 04096

9. Maria's Ristorante

337 Cumberland Ave, Portland, ME
Maria's, run by the Napolitano family since 1960, continues to serve up fine renditions of the Italian classics in a throwback atmosphere.
337 Cumberland Ave
Portland, ME

10. Pizza Villa

940 Congress St, Portland, ME 04102
About as old school as it gets, the Regios brothers carry on the tradition that their dad started in 1965 and still use the same oven to bake their 10" pies, which should be washed down with a mini pitcher from the attached bar.
940 Congress St
Portland, ME 04102

11. Tortilla Flat

1871 Forest Ave, Portland, ME 04103
Occupying its perch on outer Forest Ave for over 30 years, Tortilla Flat may not be authentic Mexican but it offers up fresh, inexpensive food and drinks in a friendly environment.
1871 Forest Ave
Portland, ME 04103

12. The White Barn Inn & Spa

37 Beach Ave, Kennebunk, ME 04043
Opened in 1973, the White Barn Inn pretty much sets the bar for Maine fine dining. How fancy is this place? For its 40th anniversary a couple years back, it offered a $40,000 cocktail containing a 4-carat ruby.
37 Beach Ave
Kennebunk, ME 04043

13. Brunswick Diner

101 Pleasant St, Brunswick, ME 04011
Whether it's breakfast for locals or late-night/early-morning sustenance for Bowdoin College students, this old converted railcar has served a vital role in the community since opening in 1946.
101 Pleasant St
Brunswick, ME 04011

14. Gritty McDuff's

396 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101
Portland's original post-prohibition brewpub, founded in 1988, remains a great spot to grab a pint and some solid pub food.
396 Fore St
Portland, ME 04101

15. Moody's Diner

Rt. 1, Waldoboro, ME 04572
Family-run for over eight decades, Moody's plies midcoast residents and tourists alike with simple, homemade meals and world-famous pies.
Rt. 1
Waldoboro, ME 04572

Related Maps

16. Pizza by Alex

93 Alfred St, Biddeford, ME 04005
Hundreds of the 10" Greek-style pies fly out of the ovens daily at this Biddeford institution, opened in 1960. A visit is a bit like stepping back in time, in a good way.
93 Alfred St
Biddeford, ME 04005

17. Rapid Ray's

189 Main St, Saco, ME 04072
Whether it's lunch, dinner, or late-night, Ray's, which traces its origins back to 1953, serves up fresh, quick food — from burgers and dogs to lobster rolls — at its landmark location on Saco's main drag.
189 Main St
Saco, ME 04072

18. Red's Eats

16 Water St., Wiscasset, ME 04578
Arguably Maine's most famous dining spot, this seasonal take-out lobster shack, at its current location since 1954, attracts huge lines but it's worth the wait as the big ol' lobster roll is worthy of the hype.
16 Water St.
Wiscasset, ME 04578

19. Ruski's Tavern

212 Danforth St, Portland, ME 04102
The no-frills tavern, opened in 1982, is a West End favorite for burgers and beer and hair-of-the-dog brunches.
212 Danforth St
Portland, ME 04102

20. Silly's Restaurant

40 Washington Ave, Portland, ME 04101
Silly's has moved, expanded, and changed ownership over the course of its near 30-year history, but the eclectic decor and scratch-made menu (which willfully accommodates pretty much any dietary restriction imaginable) has remained steady since the opening in 1988.
40 Washington Ave
Portland, ME 04101

21. The Good Table

527 Ocean House Road, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107
Affluent Cape Elizabeth is a bit of a culinary hinterland, but the Good Table has been a comfort food beacon for the town since opening in 1986.
527 Ocean House Road
Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

22. The Maine Diner

2265 Post Rd, Wells, ME 04090
Since opening in 1983, it's become more than a local diner, with tourists flocking to it in the warmer months for chowder, fried clams, and lobster pie.
2265 Post Rd
Wells, ME 04090

23. WaCo Diner

47 Water Street, Eastport, ME 04631
Open at the same location since 1924, the WaCo Diner professes itself to be Maine's oldest restaurant. The straightforward menu of diner classics and Maine seafood favorites has proven to be a recipe for longevity.
47 Water Street
Eastport, ME 04631

24. Waterman's Beach Lobster

343 Waterman Beach Rd, South Thomaston, ME 04858