Warm weather makes Maine food taste better. Or perhaps it’s simply the supreme summer ambience that makes eating a lobster roll feel so life-affirming, or a hot dog feel like heaven.

It’s these summer foods — at locations with airy decks or patios overlooking a marina, a lake or an ocean — that we crave all winter long. By spring, our hunger has worked itself into a frenzy.

But now is the time to satisfy our appetites as our favorite seasonal eateries open their doors for the summer. Here’s a sampling of some of the dining spots we GO writers have been starving for:


No shock here. Red’s Eats is an icon in Maine. Food magazines rave about it, and diners willingly wait in line for an hour or more for one of their signature lobster rolls. The shack sits roadside on Route 1, and the seating around back will allow pleased eaters to rest their legs after all that patient waiting.

41 Water St., Wiscasset. 882-6128


The Lobster Shack at Two Lights is a beacon of Maine eating, partly because of the lighthouses and climbable rocky coast, but also because the views from this restaurant are the kind that lure tourists from states away. Even the gulls are known for sweeping in for their share of lobster.

225 Two Lights Road, Cape Elizabeth. 799-1677; lobstershacktwolights.com


Most folks don’t accidentally happen upon Hills Beach, which is what makes Buffleheads such a treasured find. Many of the meals are inspired by what is growing in their garden, and one GO writer called their brownie sundae “award winning.” The outdoor picnic tables, with views of the Atlantic, are postcard perfect.

122 Hills Beach Road, Biddeford. 284-6000; buffleheadsrestaurant.com


Forget drive-thrus; Frye’s Leap Cafe is a boat-thru — and a typically busy one at that. Plenty of boaters on Sebago Lake take advantage of the water-accessible store and waterfront dining area for ice cream or a cold beverage. The cafe also serves up lobster quesadillas, crab cakes, pizzas and signature sandwiches. It’s accessible from the island, of course, but if you’ve got a boat, use it.

1 Sunset Road, Frye Island. 655-4256; fryesleap.com


Hello lobster, ice cream and homemade blueberry pie. Fox’s Lobster House serves up the Maine fare, and diners get to eat under picnic table umbrellas with Nubble Light as a dining companion. The place has been there in one form or another since the late ’60s — for good reason.

8 Sohier Park Road, York Beach. 363-2643; foxslobster.com 


Fill up on Maine seafood while watching local fishermen and lobstermen haul in the day’s catch at this marina restaurant. The food can’t get any fresher than that. The marina stays busy with interesting activity, and the views are quite picturesque.

515 Basin Point Road, Harpswell. 833-6000; dolphinmarinaandrestaurant.com


Lobster eaters are welcome to grab and go from the lobster pound at Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster Co. But it’d behoove them to settle into a picnic table outside the wharf’s end dining room, gaze out at the water, and crack into something fresh.

36 Main St., South Freeport. 865-4888; harraseeketlunchandlobster.com


There’s no shortage of memorabilia to keep the eyes busy inside the Ramp Bar & Grill, but when the weather’s good (and during a Maine summer it usually is), the action is outside, with live music, outstanding drinks and, oh yeah, the view. For summer cocktails, the Ramp is a no-brainer.

77 Pier Road, Kennebunkport. 967-8500


They’ve got an outdoor deck sandwiched between the bustle of Commercial Street and rows of docked boats — the outdoor bar ain’t too shabby either (See Eat and Run review). The lobster rolls come highly recommended and can be capped off with a local brew and nightly live music.

180 Commercial St., Portland; 775-2112; www.portlandlobstercompany.com


The lobsters here are nothing to sneeze at, but it’s the steamers that get the big nod. One GO writer, in addition to noting the “really good steamers,” said she best liked the informal atmosphere and the giant wood cutout of a lobster that people can stick their head through. Seafood and photo ops make a great pair.

Route 302, Naples. 693-6580


Fresh lemonade is like liquid sunshine, and at Aunt Marie’s, it’s squeezed fresh while you wait. It’s the smallest of establishments, quite literally a hole in the wall tucked between boutiques on Ocean Avenue. But the crowd milling about slurping down tart lemonade will give the place away every time.

10 Ocean Ave., Kennebunkport. 967-0711

Staff Writer Shannon Bryan can be contacted at 791-6333 or at:

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