The 22-room Bayview Hotel overlooking Frenchman Bay in Bar Harbor has operated as a fully vegetarian establishment since 2019, and its owner says the number of visitors to Maine seeking plant-based accommodations is growing.

“The demand for vegetarian lodging is increasing every year,” said Kimberly Swan, who owns the Swan Agency Real Estate firm and many commercial properties, including the Bayview Hotel and the all-vegetarian Pomegranate Inn bed and breakfast in Portland’s West End.

Both properties note their vegetarian and vegan food options on their websites. The Pomegranate Inn site informs guests that the morning vegetarian meal could include breakfast banana splits, grilled peaches, housemade granola with yogurt, or blueberry waffles with plant-based sausage. At the Bayview Hotel, breakfast is similar, while Bar Harbor guests can also relax in the hotel’s luxurious Rusticator Room, open to the public and serving drinks paired with vegetarian small bites from 3 to 9 p.m. every day. The current menu includes margherita flatbread, caprese salad, and a grazing board with hummus, nuts, olives, local cheeses and fruit.

The Rusticator Room inside the all-vegetarian Bayview Hotel in Bar Harbor serves drinks and vegetarian small bites daily. Photo by Francois Gagne

Demand for plant-based lodging has been on the rise internationally for years. Last year, the New York Times published a story headlined “Vegan Travel: It’s Not Fringe Anymore.”

Kim Giovacco has experienced that firsthand. She has run the Asheville, North Carolina-based Veg Jaunts and Journeys vegan tour company for six years and is bringing a sold-out tour group to Maine for the first time in September. They’ll stay at rented houses on a 100-acre organic property in Searsport, where Mark Cerkvenik, a Food for Life-certified chef who runs the Let’s Eat Great business with his wife, Lorrie, will cook their meals. The group will spend a day at a lake, take a schooner ride and visit Rockland, Rockport and Acadia National Park.

Giovacco, who’s visited Maine often, said most of coastal Maine remains a vegan desert. Deserts, however, hide oases.


Musicians Justin Maseychik and Carla Renzi of Darshan Music perform in the dining room at the all-vegetarian The Ledges by the Bay hotel in Rockport during a recent yoga retreat. Photo courtesy of The Ledges by the Bay

One such oasis can be found at The Ledges by the Bay hotel in Rockport, the largest all-vegetarian hotel in Maine, with 41 rooms and one cottage. Brothers Amit and Nick Patel bought the property, which is perched high above Penobscot Bay, in 2016. Three years later, sisters-in-law Deepa and Krishna Patel opened the all-vegetarian Namaste Indian restaurant inside the hotel. It’s a takeout restaurant, where diners and hotel guests can enjoy the food in the ocean-view dining room, outside on the deck, or on the lawn picnic tables. Dishes, many of them vegan, include pakora, samosas, aloo gobi, vegetable biryani and stuffed paratha.

In early June, Deepa Patel, a vegetarian, capitalized on the property’s plant-based status to host the hotel’s first-ever all-vegetarian, mostly vegan yoga retreat. A similar yoga retreat will be offered in October. The retreat food is different from the usual Namaste menu.

“At the retreat, we focused on sattvic food from Ayurveda,” said Patel, who has also catered many vegan weddings in the Midcoast. “Sattvic is easy to digest, balanced. Extra butter and extra sugar is imbalanced. Our retreat is focused on energy healing. Energy from the food, energy from your body, energy you absorb from other people.”

Associated with the practice of yoga, sattvic food includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, nuts and dairy products from cows that were allowed to nurse their calves. Onions and garlic are typically avoided, while sprouting and spices are emphasized.

Two of Maine’s all-vegetarian guest houses are dedicated yoga retreats, the Sat Manav Yoga Ashram in Industry and the Sewall House Yoga Retreat in Island Falls.

In the four years since I last wrote about veg lodging options in Maine, the number of options has slowly but steadily grown. More non-vegetarian hotels have added vegan and vegetarian dishes; both the Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth and the Craignair Inn in Spruce Head, for instance, are leaders when it comes to offering high-quality vegan eats for guests.


While Maine’s tourism bureaus have been slow to catch on to this travel category, many vegan travel blogs have profiled Maine and Portland in recent years, including Lindsay Nixon of the Happy Herbivore blog; Maria Giurcan of the Vegan World Trekker blog; Diana Edelman of the Vegans, Baby travel blog; and Crystal Pang of the Vegan Eats NYC travel site. In addition, members of the Facebook group Vegan Maine answer a steady series of inquires from vegan travelers headed to Vacationland.

The longest-running all-vegetarian bed and breakfast in Maine is the Three Pines Bed and Breakfast in Hancock, which the vegetarian owners Karen and Edward Curtis, who are retired aerospace engineers, opened in 2003. Many of the plant-based accommodations in Maine are small, farm-based properties, such as at the vegetarian Frinklepod Farm in Arundel, home to a vegan market and plant-based cooking school, which also offers an Airbnb rental; and the veganic Sweet Dog Farm in Brooksville, which provides three on-farm rentals and one lakeside rental through Vrbo.

Atelier Farm owners Austin and Cecelia Baum Mandryk with their two children and their grandparents inside the all-vegetarian Airbnb the Mandryks rent on their oceanfront Beals Island property. Katherine Emery photos

Another farm-based vegetarian rental can be found at Atelier Farm on Beals Island, located east of Mount Desert Island, where Austin and Cecelia Baum Mandryk and their two young children offer a rustic, wood-paneled bunkhouse inside the antique, oceanfront barn. The Mandryks moved to the property in 2021 and are working to get their fruit and vegetable farm up-and-running. They hope to eventually offer on-farm activities and educational events for visitors.

The farm’s listing on Airbnb states: “Please note the house rules of vegetarian food (no meat on premises) and no alcohol.” This along with wi-fi that “isn’t great” and no TV has not deterred visitors, the couple says.

“We get some people who are vegetarian or vegan and are really excited to have an Airbnb that is vegetarian,” Cecelia said. “Then there is another group of people who are not and who report that it is really neat to have a vegetarian diet for a week. There’s probably a third much smaller group who maybe didn’t read the rules and are surprised.”

Vegetarian breakfast choices have long been the norm at the vast majority of Maine lodging properties, according to Swan. Now, the vegan and vegetarian choices are spreading to lunch and dinner menus at the small but growing group of fully vegetarian lodging options in Maine.

Avery Yale Kamila is a food writer who lives in Portland. Reach her at

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