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15 Iconic Dishes That Scream Maine

These are the foodstuffs of lighthouse-filled dreams.

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classics week logoFor Classics Week, a collection of 15 of the state's iconic dishes. Some are prototypes: blueberry pie is known as a "Maine" dish, so lots of places make it with varying degrees of success. Other iconic dishes are specific to individual chefs or restaurants. You'll find examples of each here, and they are all at the top of their game. You'll disagree with the selections or gasp at the omissions, and that's okay — the comments are for sharing your picks, and perhaps influencing a future version of this map.

Note: the map is ordered roughly south to north.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Owls Head General Store

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2 South Shore Drive
Owls Head, ME 04854
(207) 596-6038
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Seven Napkin Burger: A notoriously messy burger drives local and national traffic to this unassuming spot. Go see what all the fuss is about. [Photo: Tom Minervino]

2. Red's Eats

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16 Water St., Wiscasset
ME, 04578
(207) 882-6128
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Lobster Roll: The line for this classic shack's lobster roll doesn't let up until Red's closes for the season. Swallow your pride and brave the wait.

3. Amato's

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71 India St
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 773-1682
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Italian: For better or for worse, Amato's is the "Home of the Real Italian," a famous local take on a grinder, hoagie, sub, or whatever other regional term you've heard for a sandwich on a long roll. Salt, pepper, and oil?

4. Two Fat Cats Bakery

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47 India St
Portland, ME
(207) 347-5144
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Whoopie Pie: The whoopie pie looms so large in Maine's culinary canon, it was recently named the official state snack. Two Fat Cats' take, up to and including the seasonal pumpkin version, is where you will begin to truly appreciate the cakey treat.

5. Dot's Bakery

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1233 Rt. 32
Round Pond, ME 04564
(207) 529-2514
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Blueberry Pie: The blueberry pie is Maine's official state dessert. Does that make Dot's the official state bakery?

6. Five Islands Lobster Co.

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1447 Five Islands Rd
Georgetown, ME 04548
(207) 371-2990
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Steamed Lobster: Critic Bill Addison called its picturesque setting overlooking Sheepscot River "the Maine of the imagination." Picking apart a freshly-caught, freshly-steamed lobster on a picnic table is all part of that pretty picture. Don't forget to tuck in your bib.

7. Fore Street

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288 Fore St.
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 775-2717
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Wood Oven-Roasted Mussels: Portland's seminal farm-to-table restaurant is home to one of the state's best sea-to-table dishes. A delicate touch with a hot oven is a beautiful thing.

8. Wasses

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2 N Main St
Rockland, ME
(207) 594-7472
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Hot Dog: Wasses' hot dogs don't even need the region's signature red casings to stand out. Peanut oil as cooking fat is one secret to the popularity of these dogs.

9. Bob's Clam Hut

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315 US Route 1
Kittery, ME 03904
(207) 439-4233
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Fried Clams: Original or Lillian-style — where the clams are dipped in a milk wash before frying — is no choice at all. Order them both ways and enjoy.

10. Silly's Restaurant

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40 Washington Ave
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 772-0360
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The Hippy Dippy Shake: The menu at Silly's is all over the map, and the name of this incredible milk shake — which involves peanut butter and crunchy pretzels — embodies the wacky deliciousness at work.

11. Street and Co.

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33 Wharf St
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 775-0887
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Scallops in Pernod and Cream: A beautifully sweet and herbal preparation. Owner Dana Street told a critic he's thought about replacing this dish, but can't bear to disappoint his customers.

12. Gilbert's Chowder House

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92 Commercial St
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 871-5897
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Clam Chowder: Sometimes, a name is just a name. When it comes to Gilbert's Chowder House, the name says it all. Try the clam chowder and see.

13. Muddy Rudder Restaurant

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1335 US Rte 1
Yarmouth, ME 04096
(207) 846-3082
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Rudder Chips: "House chips" are enough to get most diners excited. Muddy Rudder continues down a dark and delicious path, topping its chips with shrimp or chicken, parmesan cream, and bacon.

14. Dolphin Marina & Restaurant

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515 Basin Point Road
Harpswell, ME 04079
(207) 833-6000
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Fish Chowder: Open only half the year and self-described as "off the beaten path," Dolphin Marina and Restaurant lives and dies by its views and its fish chowder, a standout in the state.

15. A1 Diner

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3 Bridge St
Gardiner, ME 04345
(207) 582-4804
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Blueberry Pancakes: Do things just taste better in diner cars? Dotted with Maine's most famous fruit, A1's pancakes are worth going out of your way for.

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1. Owls Head General Store

2 South Shore Drive, Owls Head, ME 04854
Seven Napkin Burger: A notoriously messy burger drives local and national traffic to this unassuming spot. Go see what all the fuss is about. [Photo: Tom Minervino]
2 South Shore Drive
Owls Head, ME 04854

2. Red's Eats

16 Water St., Wiscasset, ME, 04578
Lobster Roll: The line for this classic shack's lobster roll doesn't let up until Red's closes for the season. Swallow your pride and brave the wait.
16 Water St., Wiscasset
ME, 04578

3. Amato's

71 India St, Portland, ME 04101
Italian: For better or for worse, Amato's is the "Home of the Real Italian," a famous local take on a grinder, hoagie, sub, or whatever other regional term you've heard for a sandwich on a long roll. Salt, pepper, and oil?
71 India St
Portland, ME 04101

4. Two Fat Cats Bakery

47 India St, Portland, ME
Whoopie Pie: The whoopie pie looms so large in Maine's culinary canon, it was recently named the official state snack. Two Fat Cats' take, up to and including the seasonal pumpkin version, is where you will begin to truly appreciate the cakey treat.
47 India St
Portland, ME

5. Dot's Bakery

1233 Rt. 32, Round Pond, ME 04564
Blueberry Pie: The blueberry pie is Maine's official state dessert. Does that make Dot's the official state bakery?
1233 Rt. 32
Round Pond, ME 04564

6. Five Islands Lobster Co.

1447 Five Islands Rd, Georgetown, ME 04548
Steamed Lobster: Critic Bill Addison called its picturesque setting overlooking Sheepscot River "the Maine of the imagination." Picking apart a freshly-caught, freshly-steamed lobster on a picnic table is all part of that pretty picture. Don't forget to tuck in your bib.
1447 Five Islands Rd
Georgetown, ME 04548

7. Fore Street

288 Fore St., Portland, ME 04101
Wood Oven-Roasted Mussels: Portland's seminal farm-to-table restaurant is home to one of the state's best sea-to-table dishes. A delicate touch with a hot oven is a beautiful thing.
288 Fore St.
Portland, ME 04101

8. Wasses

2 N Main St, Rockland, ME
Hot Dog: Wasses' hot dogs don't even need the region's signature red casings to stand out. Peanut oil as cooking fat is one secret to the popularity of these dogs.
2 N Main St
Rockland, ME

9. Bob's Clam Hut

315 US Route 1, Kittery, ME 03904
Fried Clams: Original or Lillian-style — where the clams are dipped in a milk wash before frying — is no choice at all. Order them both ways and enjoy.
315 US Route 1
Kittery, ME 03904

10. Silly's Restaurant

40 Washington Ave, Portland, ME 04101
The Hippy Dippy Shake: The menu at Silly's is all over the map, and the name of this incredible milk shake — which involves peanut butter and crunchy pretzels — embodies the wacky deliciousness at work.
40 Washington Ave
Portland, ME 04101

11. Street and Co.

33 Wharf St, Portland, ME 04101
Scallops in Pernod and Cream: A beautifully sweet and herbal preparation. Owner Dana Street told a critic he's thought about replacing this dish, but can't bear to disappoint his customers.
33 Wharf St
Portland, ME 04101

12. Gilbert's Chowder House

92 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101
Clam Chowder: Sometimes, a name is just a name. When it comes to Gilbert's Chowder House, the name says it all. Try the clam chowder and see.
92 Commercial St
Portland, ME 04101

13. Muddy Rudder Restaurant

1335 US Rte 1, Yarmouth, ME 04096
Rudder Chips: "House chips" are enough to get most diners excited. Muddy Rudder continues down a dark and delicious path, topping its chips with shrimp or chicken, parmesan cream, and bacon.
1335 US Rte 1
Yarmouth, ME 04096

14. Dolphin Marina & Restaurant

515 Basin Point Road, Harpswell, ME 04079
Fish Chowder: Open only half the year and self-described as "off the beaten path," Dolphin Marina and Restaurant lives and dies by its views and its fish chowder, a standout in the state.
515 Basin Point Road
Harpswell, ME 04079

15. A1 Diner

3 Bridge St, Gardiner, ME 04345
Blueberry Pancakes: Do things just taste better in diner cars? Dotted with Maine's most famous fruit, A1's pancakes are worth going out of your way for.
3 Bridge St
Gardiner, ME 04345

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