At the very center of town, on the South end of the bridge, lies a little place called the Clam Shack.
The Bush family frequents this place..... If it's good enough for George & George, it's good enough for me.
Favorite Dish: For about $12, you'll receive a soft, buttered roll, full of two full Lobster tails!! It's probably the best roadside food I've ever encountered.
They also serve clams in a little takaway cup. They gave me a few, and they were delicous too.
Let's see, when you associate New England with ice cream, you're bound to come up with Ben & Jerry's. Vermont-based, this brand is loved throughout the USA, and boasts colorfully named flavors of extremely rich and creamy frozen treats. (Note, please see my Vermont pages and check out our visit to the Ben & Jerry's factory in Waterbury, Vermont)
Anyway, if you're going to have an ice cream cone, Ben & Jerry's is a great choice, and that's what's featured at the Port Scoop Shop.
Favorite Dish: My favorite B&J flavor is "Cool Brittania", but they didn't have that one here. So, I settled for another winner..."Chunky Monkey", which has banana flavor, bananas, nuts and coconut. Good stuff.
My wife had the much beloved "Cherry Garcia", which was named in honor of the late Jerry Garcia, lead guitarist for the Grateful Dead.
Cape Porpoise is a small "lobstering" village about 2 miles north of Kennebunkport. It's a great place to go and see the lobster fleet in the harbor, and to get the feel for a place where people truly still earn their living from the sea.
Right at Cape Porpoise is the Cape Pier Chowder House. It's main feature is, SURPRISE.....chowder(s). There are other seafood items, as you'd guess.
The food is good, but the atmosphere is genuine New England fishing village stuff. Definitely worth an afternoon stop.
Favorite Dish: Well, the chowder was very good. Of course, if you are a "chowder house", you'd better know your way around the bowl. And, the folks at Cape Pier do a fine job of making gooooood clam "chowda".
Bartley's Take-Out is located just on the "lower Kennebunk" side of the tiny drawbridge at Kennebunkport. Leaving Kennebunkport, it's on the left side just after you cross the bridge.
This is nothing fancy, they have very little space for sit-down dining, other than a few picnic tables. What they DO have is fresh and tasty clams, fish, scallops and lobster rolls. It's just another great place to get some local flavor while you're enjoying the villages.
Favorite Dish: The haddock is especially tasty and fresh. The french fries are good, as is the cole slaw.
The Old Salt's is both a delicatessen and a small grocery market. It's owned by a fellow, John Belyea, who calls himself "the old salt".
Basically, this is a good place right in the center of town where you could find yourself a sandwich, a bagel, a muffin or a nice little snack for nibbling between gift shops. Also, they have nice, hot coffee ready to knock off the chill of a Maine morning.
In the grocery market portion, there are the making of sandwiches and snacks, and a few local gift items. (Maine blueberry jams, etc.) FWIW, you'll probably get a slightly better price for such items as jams and syrups here than at the more gifty type places.
Favorite Dish: Didn't have much here, but the folks were very friendly. The hot cup of coffee and the muffins were tasty.
If you've decided to drive south of the Kennebunks, in the direction of Kittery, perhaps to scout out the outlet malls, you might want to know about "York's Best" Seafood and Roast Beef. This is just a little local restaurant, with indoor picnic-table type seating for about 60 people. They don't have table service, you order your food as you would at Wendy's or Burger King. You'll get a number and they'll call you up when your order is ready. They cook it up fresh when you order it, so it'll take about 7-10 minutes.
This is just one of those local places that will stay in your mind long after you've left the area. There are probably hundreds of great little "joints" to eat in the southern coastal area of Maine. This is the one that I will always remember.
A few menu items and prices:
Roast Beef sandwiches
Super $4.50 Large $3.50
Roast Beef plates (with fries AND onion rings)
Single $3.10 Double $4.10
Cheeseburger plate $6.55
Double cheeseburger plate $7.75
Haddock sandwich $5.10
Lobster roll $10.75
Clam chowder $ 3.50
Combo (haddock, scallops, shrimp, clams)
plate $ 13.95
Clam strip plate $ 9.65
Favorite Dish: I had the clam plate, and my wife had the fresh haddock "fish and chips". Both food items were terrific....fresh and hot. And, the orders are HUGE. Folks, I can eat, believe me! I could barely finish half of my $9.65 clam strip plate.
But THE thing that I remember are the onion rings. Fresh and sizzling hot, and HOMEMADE. Real onion rings, battered and fried up to your order. Good stuff.
Alissons Restaurant, right at Dock Square in Kennebunkport, is basically somewhere between a local "American" cuisine eatery and a pub. They have a large array of moderately-priced items. There's seafood, salads, chicken and meat dishes.
Like Federal Jack's (see other tip), Alissons features several locally brewed beers (and "Shipyard Ales") on tap. And, it's got "aspects" of being a sports bar, too, with several TVs set to various sporting events distributed throughout the restaurant and around the bar.
Favorite Dish: My wife had one of their homemade soups and a salad, and said it was quite good and well-made.
I had a ribeye steak sandwich with the silly name of the "RIBert DiNiro". (Alissons has named many of their menu items after famous people.) It was quite tasty, and I especially liked the garlic mayo accompanying the sandwich.
Note, I've listed the per person price below as $21-30. The truth is that you COULD eat for much less per person at Alisson's It really depends on how much beer or liquor you choose to have with your meal.....or how long you linger watching the game on TV. : )
The word that one would associate with the "White Barn Inn" is pamper. This is one of the best restaurants in the northeastern United States, and the service is impeccable.
Numerous guidebooks all said things like "a meal to remember" and such. This is absolutely true.
I read some negative press indicating that the service was too obstrusive, and that people would feel overwhelmed. This is absolutely not true. The waiters and staff, including the cashiers, parking valets and managers, are all very personable and seem TRULY concerned that you enjoy every aspect of your evening. We did.
Dinner at the White Barn is basically a fixed-price affair. You can choose between four and six course offerings. You do have a choice in each category.....entree, appetizers, intermezzo, dessert, etc. Another very nice choice is to ask for suggested wine pairings for each course. This is always an outstanding enhancement for an already top-notch meal.
Note, gentlemen are requested to wear a jacket, although a tie is optional.
Favorite Dish: We both had the four course dinner, priced at $80 per person. We added the paired wines option, at an additional $32 per person. Added to the 2 glasses of $26 per GLASS champagne, and we DID run up a bill. It's hard to say that a meal that ended up costing $295 for two people, not including tip, is worth the money. But folks, if ANY meal is worth $295, this one was. Like the books say, it was a night to remember...one of the best meals of my life.
Lobster spring roll with daikon (my wife's)
Diver-harvested bay scallops, pan-seared (me)
We both had the butternut squash-apple soup. EXSQUISITE.
Pan-seared Atlantic salmon and wasabi-mashed potatoes (my wife)
Veal medallions and creamy polenta, with wild local mushrooms and sauce (me)
An incredibly rich chocolate and creme mousse with liquer (my wife)
Raspberry souffle with heavy cream and fresh berries (me)
The wines that they suggested (in each case, we had a couple of choices) perfectly complimented and enhanced our experience.
Again, if ANY meal for two was worth $295, this one was.
This is a very nice restaurant. It's a good place to enjoy a quiet and romantic dinner with your partner, right at the water's edge in Kennebunkport.
And, it's not TOO formal, either. Generally, anything other than blue jeans are acceptable to wear for dinner.
The food was a varied and interesting selection of seafood and land-based grub. Everything was very well prepared, and the service was attentive, competent and personable. I think our waiter was kind of the manager, too. He told us that a couple of the items we'd ordered were new menu items, and he really, really wanted our honest opinion of them.
Favorite Dish: My wife had halibut, which was roasted on a plank of cedar. I had the Thai-style lobster, which might be the best lobster I've ever had. Thai-style meant that it was completely shelled ("lazy lobster", as the locals call it...). Also, it had a delightful creamy sauce featuring coconut milk, cinnamon and curry. I'm salivating again as I type this tip. :)
A good place for a basic and tasty meal. It CAN get very crowded at night, so you might want to plan on spending a little extra time sipping a beer while waiting for a table if you dine after about 6:00 pm. Reportedly, this is one of former President Bush's favorite places to eat in town, and he often can be found enjoying a lobster roll and a beer. Apparently, he still skips the broccoli. : )
Federal Jacks also has a nice very of Kennebunkport's snug harbor.
Favorite Dish: All of the food is, or appears to be, very good.
I especially enjoyed the hand-crafted local brews on tap. The Sebago dark was very good. It had a taste similar to Guinness, but it wasn't as thick.
good salad nice lobster rolls variety of sandwiches with cutsy names. The napkins were dark green tea towels with silver ware wrapped inside. Casual dining atmosphere
Favorite Dish: tried tuna salad I know not very daring. But the ruben looked good too.
providing sweet treats for the dessert loving and sweet tooth loving people
Favorite Dish: the awssorted home made fugdes
........ A Lobster Roll! An experiment in simplicity: Lobster, dipped in butter, placed on a warm bun. It was delicious, and worth every penny of the $12.00.