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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Best Local Restaurants and Bars in Rockport, Maine

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Aubree Norman
Aubree Normanhttps://mainelocalnews.net
Aubree is a journalist for Maine Local News.Β  Aubree focuses on local Maine news and current events.

Being a food lover, I’ve explored Rockport, Maine’s culinary world. This town is not just any place. It’s a beautiful spot by Penobscot Bay, recognized as one of the prettiest in the U.S. by Forbes. Here, you find stunning views and delicious food made from local seafood and fresh ingredients. The chefs here are very talented, expressing their creativity.

Rockport has everything from simple seafood spots to elegant dining places. These top restaurants are perfect for any mood or occasion. You can enjoy a romantic evening, a fun family dinner, or a quick meal on the run. There’s something for every taste.

The restaurants in Rockport focus on using fresh, local foods. They partner with nearby farmers and fishermen. This ensures every dish is made with the best ingredients. The result is food that bursts with flavor and looks amazing on the plate.

What makes Rockport unique is the passion of its chefs. They serve a wide variety of foods, always bringing something new to the table. These chefs have learned from the best around the U.S. They add their own touch to every meal, promising a memorable eating experience.

Next, I’ll guide you through Rockport’s top restaurants. We’ll visit places like 18 Central Oyster Bar & Grill, known for its harbor views and romantic setting. Nina June offers dishes inspired by the Mediterranean, while Ports of Italy takes you to the heart of Italy. Join me as we explore Rockport’s finest dining spots!

Introduction to Rockport’s Dining Scene

Rockport, Maine, is a beautiful town by the water. It’s known for its relaxing vibe and strong art community. Tourists love to visit, especially in the warm months. Despite being small, Rockport has a great dining scene. It offers fancy meals and tasty choices for everyone.

Rockport's charming waterfront dining scene

Rockport has many places to eat, from oyster bars to Italian spots. You can enjoy a quick snack or a fancy dinner. There are lots of places for families and nice dining. They all serve local and global food.

Restaurant Cuisine Rating
Whale’s Jaw Cafe Seafood 9.8
Hong Kong Kitchen Chinese 9.4
Feather & Wedge International 9.2
The Lobster Pool Seafood 9.0
Delisi’s Red Skiff Breakfast & Lunch 8.8

The table shows that Rockport has many good restaurants. People love the seafood spots. But you can also find Chinese food and global dishes. This shows how varied Rockport’s food scene is.

“Rockport may be small, but its dining scene is anything but. From the moment you step into one of our restaurants, you’ll be transported by the delightful ambiance and treated to an unforgettable meal crafted with the freshest local ingredients.”
– Sarah Thompson, Rockport Tourism Board

Rockport’s eateries focus on fresh, local produce and great service. There’s something for everyone here. Make sure to try the amazing food at the town’s many top restaurants. They all add to a memorable dining experience in Maine.

18 Central Oyster Bar & Grill: A Rockport Favorite

18 Central Oyster Bar & Grill is a top pick in Rockport, Maine, for special times or a romantic evening. It’s known for its stunning views of Rockport Harbor. These views make any visit memorable.

18 Central Oyster Bar & Grill dining room with harbor views

Stunning Harbor Views and Romantic Ambiance

Walking into 18 Central, you feel the cozy charm. The dining room looks out to Rockport Harbor’s beauty. This view, along with soft lights and lovely decor, is perfect for a romantic night out.

Exceptional Raw Bar and Artfully Crafted Entrees

The raw bar at 18 Central is a highlight, offering fresh, local oysters. These oysters are a treat for those who love seafood. The menu also features amazing entrees that are like pieces of art.

Dishes such as hanger steak with bone marrow butter and wood-grilled scallops are popular for good reason. They display amazing flavors and ingredients in each bite.

Dish Description
Hanger Steak Tender steak served with decadent bone marrow butter
Wood-Grilled Scallops Perfectly grilled scallops paired with roasted delicata squash
Butterscotch Bread Pudding Indulgent dessert with rich butterscotch flavor
Parsnip Cake Unique and delightful dessert featuring the subtle sweetness of parsnips

Unique House-Made Cocktails

18 Central also stands out with its creative cocktails. The drink menu is full of unique choices. There’s something for everyone, whether you like adventurous or classic drinks.

“18 Central is my go-to for a special night out. The winter half-price raw bar on Monday and Thursday is an added plus. The food is consistently excellent with a variety of special offerings. The wait staff is always friendly and attentive.”

Keep in mind, there’s a 1.5-hour table time limit. Since it’s a popular place in Rockport, booking ahead is wise. This ensures you get to enjoy the fine experience they offer.

Tomi Sushi & Noodle Bar: Sushi and Thai Delights

In Rockport, Maine, Tomi Sushi & Noodle Bar brings a mix of Japanese and Thai food to its guests. The name “Tomi” means luck and riches in Japanese. It has a wide sushi selection, including nigiri, sashimi, and maki rolls. Some top picks are maguro (tuna), lobster, and ebi (shrimp). For those who don’t eat seafood, there’s kappa maki (cucumber) and sweet potato maki.

Tomi Sushi & Noodle Bar interior

Thai cuisine at Tomi includes classic soups and dishes like pad thai. You’ll also find favorites such as crab rangoons, tempura, and seaweed salad for starters. This spot aims to please everyone’s taste buds.

The chef at Tomi is Vee, who once worked at Boston’s highly awarded New Ginza. Vee works with his family and friends to make Tomi popular. Their dedication to quality shines through the fresh and well-prepared meals.

Menu Item Price
Hot Dumpling Soup $5.75
Hot and Sour Soup $5.25
Miso Soup $3.00
Crab Rangoons $6.75
Gyoza $6.95
Chicken Wings $6.95
Ramen $14.05
Curry Noodle $13.05

Tomi Sushi & Noodle Bar also delivers with the help of Uber Eats. You can order from home and enjoy free delivery with Uber One. They also offer unique gift options, from sushi kits to gift cards. This makes sharing Tomi’s experience easy.

“We are thrilled to bring our passion for Japanese and Thai cuisine to the Rockport community. Our goal is to provide a memorable dining experience that showcases the flavors and traditions of these incredible culinary cultures.”
– Vee, Owner of Tomi Sushi & Noodle Bar

When in Rockport, be sure to visit Tomi Sushi & Noodle Bar. They’re open every day for lunch through dinner. With its warm setting and delicious food, it’s a top choice in mid-coast Maine.

Nina June: A Culinary Adventure with Weekly Changing Menus

In the heart of Rockport, Maine, you’ll find Nina June. It’s a special place offering a new menu every week. This menu is made with care by the chef, using the best local ingredients.

Nina June restaurant in Rockport, Maine

When you dine at Nina June, get ready for a surprise. The menu changes every week, reflecting the season’s flavors. A typical meal starts with soup or salad, then moves to a choice of meat or seafood, ending with a seasonal dessert.

Fresh, Locally Sourced Ingredients

When you dine at Nina June, you can be assured that you are getting from fresh seafood to local veggies available. By sourcing their food locally, they are able to provide a truly unique dining experience that is not only delicious but also supports the local farmers and artisans in the area. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

One of the highlights of dining at Nina June is tasting flavors that you may have never experienced before. With their commitment to using the freshest ingredients, they are constantly introducing new dishes that showcase the best of what the local farms have to offer. Each bite is a delight for the taste buds, as you savor the real flavors of the ingredients for the first time.

Apart from their mouthwatering appetizers and savory entrees, Nina June also offers a wide selection of refreshing and healthy fruit smoothies. Made with the juiciest fruits available, these smoothies are the perfect thirst quenchers on a hot summer day. Sip on a strawberry banana blend or try their exotic mango pineapple mix, and you’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated.

Mediterranean-Inspired Cuisine by Chef Sara Jenkins

Chef Sara Jenkins leads the team at Nina June. She loves Mediterranean cuisine and brings a mix of flavors to the table. She has traveled to many Mediterranean countries to learn about their food.

Jenkins became a top chef in Boston. There, she learned how to mix Mediterranean dishes with Maine’s fresh items.

Jenkins uses her travels to make food that’s delicious and unique. Every week, she creates a menu that shows her cooking skills. Her goal is to transform simple ingredients into amazing meals.

To see what’s new at Nina June, check their Facebook and Instagram. They often share pictures of their weekly menus. This gives you a preview of the delicious food waiting for you.

Day Soup/Salad Entree Dessert
Monday Gazpacho Grilled Swordfish with Tomato-Olive Relish Lemon-Thyme Panna Cotta
Tuesday Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan Braised Lamb Shank with Rosemary Jus Olive Oil Cake with Mascarpone Cream
Wednesday Minestrone Soup Pappardelle with Mushroom RagΓΉ Affogato with Housemade Gelato

In the culinary world, trends constantly change. However, Nina June is a consistent bright spot. It combines weekly changing menus, local ingredients, and Chef Sara Jenkins’ creativity. This creates an experience that always leaves guests wanting to return.

Ports of Italy: Authentic Italian Dining Experience

Located at the top of Mount Battie, this cozy spot provides stunning panoramic views of the picturesque town and the breathtaking coastline. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, Ports of Italy is a must-visit destination for foodies craving delicious traditional Italian cuisine.

What sets Ports of Italy apart is its commitment to creating an authentic dining experience. The menu is carefully crafted to showcase the rich flavors and culinary traditions of Italy. From classic pasta dishes like spaghetti carbonara and lasagna to mouthwatering seafood risotto and tender chicken marsala, every dish is prepared with love and attention to detail. Vegetarian dishes are also a highlight at Ports of Italy, with options like eggplant parmesan and spinach and ricotta ravioli, ensuring that every guest’s dietary preferences are catered to.

Ports of Italy restaurant interior

Homemade Pasta, Breads, and Desserts

One standout at Ports of Italy is their homemade pasta, which is freshly made daily. This pasta, made by chefs Sante Calandri and Leo D’Alessi, does not include eggs. It’s made with semolina flour for an unbeatably authentic taste. Their menu includes freshly baked bread and irresistible desserts.

Whole Branzino Fish from Italy

If you’re looking for something special, try their whole branzino fish. It comes directly from Italy, and the serving process at your table is quite a show. This dish highlights the restaurant’s dedication to quality and genuine Italian cuisine.

Sunday Brunch Options

Ports of Italy is known for its impressive Sunday brunch. It’s a great time to enjoy the company of your loved ones. They serve unique breakfast items like frittatas and breakfast pizzas. It’s all served in a cozy atmosphere.

Opening Hours Open 7 days a week, all year round
Lunch: 11:30 am – 3 pm
Dinner: 4:30 pm – close
Price Range $10 – $32
Private Room Capacity Up to 40 people for various events
Special Occasion Fixed Menu $65 per person for parties of 15 or more
Reservations Recommended
Call 207-236-1011

With a focus on fresh, local ingredients and true Italian dining, Ports of Italy has graced top lists, like Food & Wine. Whether you’re from the area or just visiting, this place promises an amazing experience. From the food to the service, it’s all about a rich Italian tradition paired with a welcoming atmosphere.

Rockport Diner: Classic American Comfort Food

Step into the Rockport Diner and travel back to the 1950s in its themed dining area. This classic diner offers a wide range of favorite dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s the best place to enjoy a good, affordable meal with your loved ones.

Rockport Diner serving classic American comfort food

Begin your day right at the Rockport Diner with breakfast choices like omelets, pancakes, and eggs made just how you like them. Their special breakfast meals will give you the energy for exploring Rockport and mid-coast Maine.

At lunch and dinner, try the homemade chowder or go for a burger, sandwich, or wrap. They also have fried seafood dishes from the area’s fresh catch. Looking for comfort food? The meatloaf or fried chicken with sides are a great pick.

“I love coming to the Rockport Diner for a taste of nostalgia and some good old-fashioned comfort food. The prices are easy on the wallet, and the portions are generous, making it a great spot for families and budget-conscious travelers.”

Featuring affordable meals and a wide menu, the Rockport Diner is a key stop for classic American meals. If you live nearby or are visiting, the diner provides a memorable experience. You’ll surely want to come back for more.

Bleecker & Greer: From Butcher Shop to Cafe

In a cozy, historic one-room schoolhouse, Bleecker & Greer started as a local butcher shop. It grew into a favorite spot for many. Now, it’s known for its grocery, deli, bakery, and cafe. The place’s old-fashioned charm makes it popular among both locals and visitors in Rockport.

Bleecker & Greer cafe interior

Quality and local ingredients are key at Bleecker & Greer. They get their meat from small farms in Maine. This means they control the process from farm to table. You can enjoy various meats, like grass-fed beef, pork, lamb, and poultry.

Homemade Breads, Pastries, and Deli Sandwiches

The bakery and cafe are a food lover’s paradise. You’ll find homemade breads, pastries, and deli sandwiches. The skilled bakers make treats that people love to eat.

Weekly Bread Specials

At Bleecker & Greer, each day has a special bread. Here’s the weekly lineup:

  • Tuesdays: Cheese bread
  • Wednesdays: Olive sourdough
  • Thursdays: Classic sourdough
  • Fridays: Semolina sesame bread and country rye sourdough
  • Saturdays: Fruit and nut sourdough
  • Sundays: Seeded whole wheat

Cozy Atmosphere in a Historic Schoolhouse

Bleecker & Greer’s cozy setting is ideal for coffee or tea. They also serve horchata, a unique Mexican drink. With only 10 indoor seats, it’s perfect for a quiet moment alone or with friends.

Local Butcher Shop Rating Number of Reviews
Bleecker and Greer 4.1 15
Curtis Custom Meats 3.7 11
Wiggins Meat Market 4.1 10
Riverside Butcher 4.8 13
Emery’s Meat & Produce Brewer 4.9 8
Acadia Provisions 3.9 16
W A Bean & Sons 4.6 8
Bisson’s Meat Market 4.7 27
Charcuterie 4.8 19
Josephs Market 4.8 5

Executive chef Derek Linker leads the team, ensuring growth and excellence. Bleecker & Greer focuses on quality and a friendly vibe. This strategy has made it a top choice for those who enjoy good food in Rockport.

PORTS Pizzeria: Italian-Style Pizza Perfection

In every town, there’s a go-to pizza place. In Rockport, that spot is PORTS Pizzeria. They make their pizza with simple ingredients like just flour, yeast, salt, and water. This makes their dough perfect for crafting Italian-style pizzas.

These pizzas have a crispy outside crust. Inside, they are tender and delicious.

Italian-style pizza at PORTS Pizzeria

PORTS Pizzeria serves up a wide range of flavors. This includes classics such as Margherita, and more daring options like diavola. This one has salami, arugula, and prosciutto.

Or try the barese, which has mushroom and sausage. The ortolana comes with pepper, zucchini, and olives. And if you love carbonara, you’ll enjoy the one topped with caramelized onion, pancetta, and fontina cheese.

The carbonara pizza at PORTS is a must-try, with its perfect balance of savory pancetta, sweet caramelized onions, and creamy fontina cheese.

If pizza’s not your thing, PORTS has more to offer. Their menu includes:

  • Meatballs
  • Chicken parmigiana
  • Lasagna
  • Wings
  • Garlic knots
  • Caesar salad
Pizzeria Address Rating
PORTS Pizzeria 139 Commercial Street, Rockport, ME 04856 2.8 (11 reviews)
Camden House of Pizza 12 Mechanic Street, Camden, ME 04843 4.3 (134 reviews)
Cuzzy’s 133 Camden Street, Rockland, ME 04841 3.5 (146 reviews)

In Rockport, Maine, the average rating for pizzerias is 3.5. PORTS Pizzeria surpasses this. It’s a local favorite that offers tasty Italian-style pizzas and classic dishes in a friendly setting.

Offshore Restaurant: Seafood and Prime Rib Specialties

Offshore Restaurant is a favorite in Rockport. It’s known for great seafood and prime rib. Families and groups love this place because it’s both casual and affordable.

The menu here is full of choices for every taste. Seafood fans can enjoy local clams, scallops, and lobster. Those who prefer meat will love the steak and prime rib.

Don’t miss the baked haddock and boiled lobster. They’re top picks if you’re in Rockport.

Affordable Family-Friendly Dining

Offshore is great for families and groups. It has a big dining room and friendly service. Plus, prices are good and the menu is varied.

The restaurant also serves pasta, salads, and comfort foods. They pride themselves on quality and fresh ingredients.

Baked Stuffed Haddock and Boiled Lobster Dinner

The baked haddock is a favorite, full of flavor. And the boiled lobster dinner highlights Maine’s best. You get a whole lobster with butter, corn, and coleslaw.

Dish Price Description
Baked Stuffed Haddock $21.99 Fresh haddock fillet stuffed with savory breadcrumbs and baked to perfection
Boiled Lobster Dinner Market Price Whole lobster served with drawn butter, corn on the cob, and coleslaw
Bourbon Steak $26.99 Tender steak grilled to order and finished with a bold bourbon glaze

From chowder to seafood to prime rib, Offshore has something for everyone. The food is great, the prices fair, and the service friendly. This is why locals and visitors keep coming back. Visit Offshore and enjoy Maine’s tasty food without spending too much!

La Bella Vita: Tapas-Style Dining with a View

La Bella Vita is a gem at the Samoset Resort. It offers a fun tapas-style eating where you share with friends. Its patio looks out over the golf course and Penobscot Bay, making every meal special.

Handcrafted Cheese and Charcuterie Platters

Start with the antipasto della casa at La Bella Vita. It’s great for sharing, with cheeses, salami, and more. The big platter is perfect for enjoying the view with friends.

Grilled Filet and Maine Lobster Surf and Turf

Try the surf and turf for an extra special meal. It pairs a juicy filet mignon with lobster scampi. This dish shows off the best of fresh, local tastes.

Don’t miss the meatballs with three cheeses. They’re covered in a delicious cheese sauce. You’ll want extra bread to enjoy every bit.

To make your meal even better, try a fine cordial or a special coffee. It’s the perfect way to end a great night.

Breakfast Delights with a View

For breakfast, La Bella Vita has all your favorites. From omelets to French toast, there’s something for everyone. Enjoy your meal with a view of the course and ocean, a perfect start to the day.

With tapas, great views, and tasty food, La Bella Vita is a top choice in Rockport, Maine. It’s a place you won’t forget.

Best Restaurants in Rockport Maine for Fresh Seafood

Rockport, Maine offers an amazing selection of top seafood restaurants. This beautiful place is known as one of the most picturesque towns in the U.S. It features many locally owned spots. These have become favorite places for their regulars.

You can choose from casual places to fancy ones. They all serve dishes made with fresh seafood from the area. This includes lobster, clams, scallops, and more. OpenTable makes reserving a table easy at many places.

Restaurants like My Place By The Sea and Talise have ocean views. You can eat delicious food and listen to the water. Looking for traditional dishes? Go to 18 Central Oyster Bar & Grill or Offshore. They serve meals like seafood chowder and lobster rolls. Nina June and La Bella Vita offer fancy seafood pasta and fish dishes.

These restaurants meet different food needs. They have gluten-free, vegetarian, and pescatarian choices. Try the lobster mac and cheese from Minglewood Harborside. Or the tuna poke at CK Pearl, and crab cakes at Feather and Wedge. Every place in Rockport serves the best seafood. Chefs here take pride in using local catches to make great meals. With so many options, it’s clear Rockport is perfect for anyone who loves seafood.

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