AREA GUIDE and LINKS
Acadia Park Kayak Tours
 

Here you will find links to and descriptions of some of the best places to visit in Bar Harbor and the immediate and greater Downeast Maine area including restaurants, shops, and activities from the perspective of a local who knows the area well and has done it all.

Unlike most website guides for the area no one is paying me to be listed here and the recommendations are based solely on merit.

If you choose to patronize any of these organizations please let them know you found their information on my website.



30 Rodick street

Bar Harbor, Maine 04609

(207) 288-9669

Restaurants
Eden Vegetarian Cafe is no longer in business but may return at some point in the future.  For now the former owner and chef is working at Sassafras catering in Bar harbor which is an excellent catering company.

Eden Vegetarian Cafe- 
One of the only vegetarian/vegan restaurants in the state with food everyone will enjoy featuring local and organic produce.  Mark and Lynn Pacek who run Eden could undoubtedly run a successful restaurant anywhere they chose, so to find vegetarian/vegan food of this caliber in Bar Harbor is a real treat.  I am not a vegan and this is my favorite restaurant.
Eden is located at 321 Maine street in Bar Harbor.

Eden Vegetarian Cafe is no longer in business but may return at some point in the future.  For now the former owner and chef is working at Sassafras catering in Bar harbor which is an excellent catering company.

Eden Vegetarian Cafe-

One of the only vegetarian/vegan restaurants in the state with food everyone will enjoy featuring local and organic produce.  Mark and Lynn Pacek who run Eden could undoubtedly run a successful restaurant anywhere they chose, so to find vegetarian/vegan food of this caliber in Bar Harbor is a real treat.  I am not a vegan and this is my favorite restaurant.

Eden is located at 321 Maine street in Bar Harbor.

Siam Orchid- 
A great thai restaurant located on Rodick Street in Bar Harbor.  It is the only place in Bar Harbor that serves sushi.

The food is not nearly as haute cuisine as most of the other places suggested for dinner here but on those days that you are craving sweet, salty, savory food it hits the spot. 


Siam Orchid-

A great thai restaurant located on Rodick Street in Bar Harbor.  It is the only place in Bar Harbor that serves sushi.

The food is not nearly as haute cuisine as most of the other places suggested for dinner here but on those days that you are craving sweet, salty, savory food it hits the spot.

Morning Glory Bakery-
Located on Rodick street in Bar Harbor a great and affordable place for breakfast or lunch.  One of the only places in town to serve not only local organic produce but also local organic meats. This is my favorite lunch place in town and a good place to get a sandwich or snack to bring on your kayak tour.

Morning Glory Bakery-

Located on Rodick street in Bar Harbor a great and affordable place for breakfast or lunch.  One of the only places in town to serve not only local organic produce but also local organic meats. This is my favorite lunch place in town and a good place to get a sandwich or snack to bring on your kayak tour.

A&B Naturals-
A&B Naturals on cottage street in Bar Harbor is the place to buy all the natural foods you could need, including groceries, all organic produce, eco friendly household goods, and an excellent selection of supplements and bodycare items.

A&B also has hot soup and an assortment of great organic sandwiches, salads, and other prepared foods that you can take to to go.

A&B Naturals-

A&B Naturals on cottage street in Bar Harbor is the place to buy all the natural foods you could need, including groceries, all organic produce, eco friendly household goods, and an excellent selection of supplements and bodycare items.


A&B also has hot soup and an assortment of great organic sandwiches, salads, and other prepared foods that you can take to to go.

See also Valley of the Stars Farm & Tinder Hearth Bakery and the Atlantic Brewing Company in the activities section below

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Cafe This Way-
They are both a breakfast and a dinner place.  They are located in Bar Harbor across from the town green down a side street.  They describe themselves as “an exceptional dining experience” and they are.  
In the height of the busy season their open floor plan seating feels a little crowded to me so I most enjoy going there in the early or late parts of the season.

Cafe This Way-

They are both a breakfast and a dinner place.  They are located in Bar Harbor across from the town green down a side street.  They describe themselves as “an exceptional dining experience” and they are. 

In the height of the busy season their open floor plan seating feels a little crowded to me so I most enjoy going there in the early or late parts of the season.

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Leary’s Landing Irish Pub
The best pub in Bar Harbor staffed by an assortment of characters working behind the bar.  
Leary’s has a great atmosphere and can be rented out if you are planning an event in the area.

Leary’s Landing Irish Pub

The best pub in Bar Harbor staffed by an assortment of characters working behind the bar. 

Leary’s has a great atmosphere and can be rented out if you are planning an event in the area. 

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On Mount Desert Island
Outside of Mount Desert Island from closest to farthest
Cleonice
A vibrant addition to the bustling heart of Ellsworth.
Since 2002, Chef Richard Hanson has presented the cuisine of the Mediterranean prepared from the finest local ingredients. Cleonice – pronounced in the Southern Italian fashion “Cleo-Niece” – offers lunch, dinner and the only Tapas bar north of Portland. Cleonice offers both delicious cuisine and affordable selections in the casually sophisticated atmosphere of the landmark Lucini Building.

Cleonice

A vibrant addition to the bustling heart of Ellsworth.

Since 2002, Chef Richard Hanson has presented the cuisine of the Mediterranean prepared from the finest local ingredients. Cleonice – pronounced in the Southern Italian fashion “Cleo-Niece” – offers lunch, dinner and the only Tapas bar north of Portland. Cleonice offers both delicious cuisine and affordable selections in the casually sophisticated atmosphere of the landmark Lucini Building.

You really wanna eat one ah them red bugs?  I guess tourist will eat anything.

So, where is the best place to eat lobster?

I always get asked this question but here is the thing about lobster...it taste the same wherever you eat it (assuming it is not overcooked).

My suggestions will be based on what you are looking for.

If you want to eat lobster that is the cheapest lobster you will go to one of the lobster pounds.  
There are several in Trenton right before you get onto Mount Desert Island and there are three real Lobster pounds on the island where you can sit down and eat a meal indoors, Thurston’s, Beal’s, and Abel’s.
If you want relatively inexpensive lobster in Bar Harbor and don’t mind getting it to go or eating it at a picnic table outdoors you should go to either C-Ray’s Lobster on route 3 a few miles before you get into downtown Bar Harbor near Sweat Pea’s farm, winery, and cafe and across the street from the Hadley Point Road or to Parson’s Lobster on the Eagle Lake road near downtown Bar Harbor.  Both places will be cheaper than any of the restaurants in Bar Harbor and are closer to Downtown Bar Harbor than the lobster pounds at which you can eat indoors.
The cheapest lobster pound is usually the Downeast Lobster Pound in Trenton.  
All of these lobster pounds will be reasonably priced and are locally owned.
Real Lobster pounds are going to have a very limited menu.  They will have lobster and corn on the cob and probably some beer and soda and that might be it.  They sometimes have clams and other fish and different pies for desert
There are several places in Bar Harbor that call themselves a lobster pound but they are not lobster pounds, they are usually overpriced tourist traps (not that you have to call yourself a lobster pound to be one of those).
One of them uses all disposable plates and silver wear for every meal and has a guy dressed up in a lobster costume harassing people on the street.

If you are looking to eat lobster with the best view of the water then you want to go to Thurston’s in Southwest Harbor.  More than 50 lobster boats work that harbor and Thurston’s pier sits right next to the mooring field for the lobsterman’s boats overlooking the harbor.
Some people think that the view from Abel’s lobster pound overlooking Somes Sound is just as nice which it just may be but be warned that Abel’s is consistently the most expensive pound in the area.

If you are looking to eat a lobster in downtown Bar Harbor or are looking to go someplace where some people in your group can get a lobster but there are other choices on the menu then you want to go to the West Street Cafe on West street or to Galyn’s on Main Street near the corners of West and Main or to the Side Street Cafe on Rodick Street.  All are locally owned places that serve good food at reasonable prices for what you get.
West street cafe is a very casual family style place and the cheapest of the three.  They have an early evening lobster dinner special.
Galyn’s is a little fancier and a little pricier.
Side Street Cafe has a hip eclectic atmosphere and as a relatively new eatery is quickly becoming another local favorite.  Side Street Cafe has one of the best lobster rolls in the area.

If you are wanting a lobster late at night the place that usually serves lobster the latest is the Finback restaurant on Cottage street.

You really wanna eat one ah them red bugs?  I guess tourist will eat anything.


So, where is the best place to eat lobster?


I always get asked this question but here is the thing about lobster...it taste the same wherever you eat it (assuming it is not overcooked).


My suggestions will be based on what you are looking for.


If you want to eat lobster that is the cheapest lobster you will go to one of the lobster pounds. 

There are several in Trenton right before you get onto Mount Desert Island and there are three real Lobster pounds on the island where you can sit down and eat a meal indoors, Thurston’s, Beal’s, and Abel’s.
If you want relatively inexpensive lobster in Bar Harbor and don’t mind getting it to go or eating it at a picnic table outdoors you should go to either C-Ray’s Lobster on route 3 a few miles before you get into downtown Bar Harbor near Sweat Pea’s farm, winery, and cafe and across the street from the Hadley Point Road or to Parson’s Lobster on the Eagle Lake road near downtown Bar Harbor.  Both places will be cheaper than any of the restaurants in Bar Harbor and are closer to Downtown Bar Harbor than the lobster pounds at which you can eat indoors.

The cheapest lobster pound is usually the Downeast Lobster Pound in Trenton. 
All of these lobster pounds will be reasonably priced and are locally owned.

Real Lobster pounds are going to have a very limited menu.  They will have lobster and corn on the cob and probably some beer and soda and that might be it.  They sometimes have clams and other fish and different pies for desert

There are several places in Bar Harbor that call themselves a lobster pound but they are not lobster pounds, they are usually overpriced tourist traps (not that you have to call yourself a lobster pound to be one of those).

One of them uses all disposable plates and silver wear for every meal and has a guy dressed up in a lobster costume harassing people on the street.


If you are looking to eat lobster with the best view of the water then you want to go to Thurston’s in Southwest Harbor.  More than 50 lobster boats work that harbor and Thurston’s pier sits right next to the mooring field for the lobsterman’s boats overlooking the harbor.

Some people think that the view from Abel’s lobster pound overlooking Somes Sound is just as nice which it just may be but be warned that Abel’s is consistently the most expensive pound in the area.


If you are looking to eat a lobster in downtown Bar Harbor or are looking to go someplace where some people in your group can get a lobster but there are other choices on the menu then you want to go to the West Street Cafe on West street or to Galyn’s on Main Street near the corners of West and Main or to the Side Street Cafe on Rodick Street.  All are locally owned places that serve good food at reasonable prices for what you get.

West street cafe is a very casual family style place and the cheapest of the three.  They have an early evening lobster dinner special.

Galyn’s is a little fancier and a little pricier.

Side Street Cafe has a hip eclectic atmosphere and as a relatively new eatery is quickly becoming another local favorite.  Side Street Cafe has one of the best lobster rolls in the area.


If you are wanting a lobster late at night the place that usually serves lobster the latest is the Finback restaurant on Cottage street.

Mount Desert Island Ice Cream

This is by far the best ice cream in Bar harbor or on MDI.  
It is also the hardest to find ice cream shop.    
One of the more well known ice cream stores sells a somewhat famous lobster ice cream but let me save you the trouble if you are curious...it taste horrible.
Mt. Desert Island Ice cream makes a large variety of unique and unusual ice cream flavors that are delicious.  Here is the description from their website-

“MDI Ice Cream makes premium homemade ice cream, sorbet and other fine frozen desserts in very small batches with the finest ingredients - no more than 5 gallons at one time.

The % of butter fat is high and the air churned in is kept to a minimum, the end result is a product that is super dense, creamy and fresh tasting. If we make a vanilla ice cream, we scrape the beans. If we make chocolate, we use real chocolate chunks. If we make a lemon sorbet, we squeeze the lemons We're keeping it real!

We have three retail stores and we also sell wholesale.”

Mount Desert Island Ice Cream


This is by far the best ice cream in Bar harbor or on MDI. 

It is also the hardest to find ice cream shop.   

One of the more well known ice cream stores sells a somewhat famous lobster ice cream but let me save you the trouble if you are curious...it taste horrible.

Mt. Desert Island Ice cream makes a large variety of unique and unusual ice cream flavors that are delicious.  Here is the description from their website-


“MDI Ice Cream makes premium homemade ice cream, sorbet and other fine frozen desserts in very small batches with the finest ingredients - no more than 5 gallons at one time.


The % of butter fat is high and the air churned in is kept to a minimum, the end result is a product that is super dense, creamy and fresh tasting. If we make a vanilla ice cream, we scrape the beans. If we make chocolate, we use real chocolate chunks. If we make a lemon sorbet, we squeeze the lemons We're keeping it real!


We have three retail stores and we also sell wholesale.”

A Quick Summary



Best lobster pound with a great view and reasonable prices-

Thurstons


Best lobster places that serves more than just lobster and/or is in downtown Bar Harbor-

West Street Cafe (casual), Galyn’s (a little fancier) Side Street Cafe (fun)


Cheapest lobster in the area-  The lobster pounds in Trenton right on the road leading to the island.  The Downeast lobster Pound is the cheapest and the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound has the nicest view.

Cheapest lobster close to downtown Bar Harbor if you don’t mind taking it to go or eating outside at a picnic table- Parsons Lobster on the Eagle Lake Road or a few miles out on route 3 C-Ray’s Lobster


Best lobster rolls- Side Street Cafe, C-Ray’s Lobster, Thirsty Whale


Best places for breakfast-

Cafe This way, Morning Glory Bakery


Best places for lunch-

Morning Glory Bakery, Siam Orchid, A&B naturals, Side Street Cafe, West Street Cafe, Gringos


Best places for dinner on MDI or close to it-

Eden Vegetarian Cafe, Mache Bistro, Cleonice (in Ellsworth), Cafe This Way, Siam Orchid, Side Street Cafe, Havana


Best bar/pub-

Leary’s Landing Irish Pub


Best ice cream-

Mt. Desert Island Ice Cream


Best bread-

Tinder Hearth (not on MDI)


Best beer-

Atlantic Brewing Company


Grocery-

A&B naturals, Eden Farmers Market, Beech Hill Farm Stand, Smith Family Farm Farm Stand

Additional Suggestions


Breakfast-

For a diner style breakfast that is good and the cheapest breakfast place in town go to Main Street Grill at the far end of Main street.

For a second fancy breakfast place to try after you have gone to Cafe This Way go to Two Cats on Cottage street.


Lunch-

For an additional inexpensive lunch place you might try Gringos  which serves mainly burritos and is next to Siam Orchid and across from Morning Glory on Rodick street.

You could might also want to try The Thirsty Whale for a basic hamburger and fries lunch spot which is also one of the most reasonably priced places in Bar harbor and a favorite of the locals.  It also has great lobster rolls.


Late night food-

If you are out late the Finback restaurant has a late night menu that includes lobster.

If you are out really late and need some grub the Dog and Pony bar serves food until 1 or 2 am.


Beer-

If you are a beer connoisseur after you go to the Atlantic Brewing Company you should go to Jack Russells’s Steakhouse and Brewery on rout 3/Eden street just as you are entering the downtown area.  They brew their own beer, Maine Coast Brewing Company, and their restaurant is the only place to get it.

Bar Harbor’s Eden Farmers Market

This farmers market meets in the parking lot of the YMCA from nine am to noon every Sunday.

Bar Harbor’s Eden Farmers Market


This farmers market meets in the parking lot of the YMCA from nine am to noon every Sunday.

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Mache Bistro

Mache Bistro describes themselves by saying-  
We are “a small, casual, neighborhood bistro in downtown Bar Harbor, Maine. We serve rustic French food cooked with the finest produce, freshest seafood, and organic & natural meats available.”
They are one of the local favorites and with their quiet and intimate atmosphere one of the most romantic eateries in town.

Mache Bistro


Mache Bistro describes themselves by saying- 

We are “a small, casual, neighborhood bistro in downtown Bar Harbor, Maine. We serve rustic French food cooked with the finest produce, freshest seafood, and organic & natural meats available.”

They are one of the local favorites and with their quiet and intimate atmosphere one of the most romantic eateries in town.

Beach Hill Farm Farmstand

The farmstand for the small organic farm run by College of the Atlantic.  This farm is not in Bar Harbor but over towards the west of side the island in Mount Desert.

Beach Hill Farm Farmstand


The farmstand for the small organic farm run by College of the Atlantic.  This farm is not in Bar Harbor but over towards the west of side the island in Mount Desert.

Grocery
Smith Family Farm

“The farm stand is open from 3-6. Monday and Friday and Saturday 9 – 12.
From the dairy ; chocolate milk, milk, greek yogurt, herbed yogurt cheese, and a full range of yogurts are in stock.
For produce we have beets, salad greens, cabbage and carrots.
Our own natural raised pork, and a full selection of summer grilling meats will be available.”

Their products are available at the framers market and at A&B.
You can find their farm stand by turning left onto the Crooked road in Hulls Cove across from the Chart Room restaurant if you are driving out of Bar Harbor towards Trenton.  The address is 317 Crooked Road. The stand is just a few miles down the road on the right as pictured above.

Smith Family Farm


“The farm stand is open from 3-6. Monday and Friday and Saturday 9 – 12.

From the dairy ; chocolate milk, milk, greek yogurt, herbed yogurt cheese, and a full range of yogurts are in stock.

For produce we have beets, salad greens, cabbage and carrots.

Our own natural raised pork, and a full selection of summer grilling meats will be available.”


Their products are available at the framers market and at A&B.

You can find their farm stand by turning left onto the Crooked road in Hulls Cove across from the Chart Room restaurant if you are driving out of Bar Harbor towards Trenton.  The address is 317 Crooked Road. The stand is just a few miles down the road on the right as pictured above.


Side Street Cafe
Side Street Describes themselves by writing-
“Side Street Cafe is part cozy restaurant, part bumping bar, part year-round local hang-out and part tourist haven - located in the heart of Bar Harbor. It is a family and locally owned business that cares deeply about atmosphere, quality and fun. What began in 2009 as a small single dining room converted home has grown into a 2 dining room and 2 deck establishment - creating some of Bar Harbor's BEST food and award winning drinks. Live music is often featured and local art is always on the walls, the ingredients are always fresh and the cocktails are always creative.”

My friends and I have enjoyed many fine meals here since they opened.  I have to agree with others in saying that they have the best Lobster roll in town.

Side Street Cafe

Side Street Describes themselves by writing-

“Side Street Cafe is part cozy restaurant, part bumping bar, part year-round local hang-out and part tourist haven - located in the heart of Bar Harbor. It is a family and locally owned business that cares deeply about atmosphere, quality and fun. What began in 2009 as a small single dining room converted home has grown into a 2 dining room and 2 deck establishment - creating some of Bar Harbor's BEST food and award winning drinks. Live music is often featured and local art is always on the walls, the ingredients are always fresh and the cocktails are always creative.”


My friends and I have enjoyed many fine meals here since they opened.  I have to agree with others in saying that they have the best Lobster roll in town.

Salt water Farm and Salt Water Farm Cafe and Market

Salt Water Farm is a recreational cooking school and farm located on the coast in Lincolnville, Maine.  It was founded on the principle that life is celebrated around the table, with plates of nourishing food and good friends.  The business is family-owned and operated on an old sheep farm that looks over the Penobscot Bay.
Our cooking classes explore fundamental skills in the kitchen and in our gardens, emphasizing the pleasure that comes from harvesting food from your own backyard.  Our focus is to honor traditional methods of cooking,

Salt water Farm and Salt Water Farm Cafe and Market


Salt Water Farm is a recreational cooking school and farm located on the coast in Lincolnville, Maine.  It was founded on the principle that life is celebrated around the table, with plates of nourishing food and good friends.  The business is family-owned and operated on an old sheep farm that looks over the Penobscot Bay.

Our cooking classes explore fundamental skills in the kitchen and in our gardens, emphasizing the pleasure that comes from harvesting food from your own backyard.  Our focus is to honor traditional methods of cooking,

Salt Water Farm at Union Hall is a café and market located in Rockport Harbor, Maine. Our establishment is located in a beautifully restored historic building, with a deck that looks over the Penobscot Bay. 
We are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and we offer daily provisions and household wares in our market. Our kitchen prepares simple, nourishing food using ingredients that honor their time and place. 
We believe in traditional cooking methods and resourcefulness in the kitchen. We are advocates for our community’s farmers, fisherman and craftsmen, making their products available in our cafe and market

Salt Water Farm at Union Hall is a café and market located in Rockport Harbor, Maine. Our establishment is located in a beautifully restored historic building, with a deck that looks over the Penobscot Bay.

We are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and we offer daily provisions and household wares in our market. Our kitchen prepares simple, nourishing food using ingredients that honor their time and place.

We believe in traditional cooking methods and resourcefulness in the kitchen. We are advocates for our community’s farmers, fisherman and craftsmen, making their products available in our cafe and market

Primo

After 14 seasons, numerous awards, recognitions and two other locations, Primo - Rockland Maine has matured into what Chef Melissa Kelly calls a "Full Circle Kitchen..." the ultimate farm to table experience.

What started with a garden, a few hens and a couple of pigs has now become an evolution of food; an endless pursuit to accomplish more. Primo is much more than a restaurant, it is about love and respect for food. It is also about creativity. Produce is grown & harvested here and the animals are raised on the property. Nothing is wasted – everything has its place. It is a continuous cycle that occurs throughout the restaurant with, the kitchen, the animals and the gardens. The kitchen uses and savors every little piece. Seasonal to the moment, it is actually the farm and the garden that make the incredible ever-changing menu.

With two greenhouses and acres of produce, each day harvests: honey, fruits, veggies, eggs, edible flowers, micro-greens, fresh chicken and house cured & smoked meats. What is not grown at the restaurant comes from other local and sustainable farms that Chef Melissa Kelly and Price Kushner are proud to support.

Primo


After 14 seasons, numerous awards, recognitions and two other locations, Primo - Rockland Maine has matured into what Chef Melissa Kelly calls a "Full Circle Kitchen..." the ultimate farm to table experience.


What started with a garden, a few hens and a couple of pigs has now become an evolution of food; an endless pursuit to accomplish more. Primo is much more than a restaurant, it is about love and respect for food. It is also about creativity. Produce is grown & harvested here and the animals are raised on the property. Nothing is wasted – everything has its place. It is a continuous cycle that occurs throughout the restaurant with, the kitchen, the animals and the gardens. The kitchen uses and savors every little piece. Seasonal to the moment, it is actually the farm and the garden that make the incredible ever-changing menu.


With two greenhouses and acres of produce, each day harvests: honey, fruits, veggies, eggs, edible flowers, micro-greens, fresh chicken and house cured & smoked meats. What is not grown at the restaurant comes from other local and sustainable farms that Chef Melissa Kelly and Price Kushner are proud to support.