Shortlist: Eight Restaurants In Damariscotta (ME) That Locals Love!

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Last updated on December 1, 2022 by Wandering our World

Damariscotta is a small town right next to the Damariscotta River which flows into the Atlantic, which means one amazing thing in the culinary world: Lots of amazing, fresh, seafood.

That’s right, this town has a great selection of restaurants from bars and cafes to Thai places and Pizza joints, but most of them celebrate and showcase the local seafood, which is a treat to taste. So, if you’re a seafood fan then this town could be your new favorite spot.

But don’t worry if you aren’t, many restaurants feature non-seafood dishes as well and we’ve made sure to list places that do both and do both well.

So go forth and experience all that Damariscotta has to offer! But beware: the food scene is impressive here, and you may end up leaving a little heavier than when you arrived…

Chef opens oysters in the restaurant.
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The Best Restaurants In Damariscotta, ME: Food Worth Waiting For!

1. King Eider’s Pub

Popular pub that’s been a part of the community for over 20 years! Serving great food, with a unique atmosphere and friendly staff.

If you want to experience Damariscotta through the ages and visit a place that’s steeped in the town’s history then a trip to King Eider’s Pub should be on your agenda.

An icon and beacon for locals and tourists alike, this restaurant defines what it means to be Damariscott-ian. So, live life like the locals and head on over to one of the most iconic restaurants in Damariscotta and see the community in action.

The interior is absolutely magical, like something out of Harry Potter. With mugs hanging from the ceiling, exposed brick walls, and wooden floors. The imaginative décor adds to the charm and allure that the place exudes, and the wooden elements give it a warmth and comfort that you feel instantly when you step inside the pub. Even if you come as a stranger, you’ll probably leave like family, that’s just how things are there. There’s even outdoor seating with heaters that you can enjoy all year round!

As for the food, they serve a whole range of amazing seafood, from mussels to oysters and everything else in between. So, this is definitely one of the best spots in town to try the local seafood. You could even ask for the daily specials or recommendations about what to get from the servers and they’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

Their extensive drink selection should also be explored, from ales to whiskeys they have it all, so make sure to order some if something catches your fancy.

King Eider’s Pub is open Sunday to Thursday 11:30 am to 8 pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, it’s open from 11:30 am to 9 pm, making it a perfect place for lunch or dinner so make sure you go to sample their finest.

Address: 2 Elm St, Damariscotta, ME.

Mussels and fries display
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2. Damariscotta River Grill

An upscale restaurant family owned and operated by locals, specializing in seafood with an award-winning wine list.

If you’re looking for a reason to get all dressed up and hit the town’s more sophisticated and chic eateries then we highly recommend checking out Damariscotta River Grill. Their trendy ambiance, flavorful food, and efficient staff will have you returning more than once. One of the best restaurants in Damariscotta deserves multiple visits, don’t you think?

With a warm, rustic, and chic décor, with oceanic-themed elements and ornaments, this establishment is one of the finest places the town has to offer. From the murals on the walls to the centerpieces on the table, everything is done just perfectly, creating a relaxing environment, perfect for date nights!

As one of the most popular restaurants in Damariscotta, they do appreciate that you reserve a table or call ahead before coming, especially if you’re a large gathering. So make sure you do, so they can save you space.

Everything on the menu is prepared by professional chefs, creating a culinary experience quite unlike any other. Whether you try their Seafood, burgers, or salads, locals rave about all equally, so you’re in good hands no matter what you order.

We also recommend checking out their dessert menu because they are popular items that people swear by. Mouthwatering food and sublime dessert? Sounds like heaven.

Damariscotta River Grill is closed on Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, it’s open from 4 pm to 8 pm while on Fridays and Saturdays it’s open from 4 pm to 8:30 pm, making it a great dinner spot.

Address: 155 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME.

3. Oysterhead Pizza

A magnificent local Pizza joint with a Damariscottian twist! Wonderful ambiance, efficient service, and outdoor seating options.

Sometimes the only comfort food one craves when away from home is Pizza and for that reason, we have one of the most exciting places on our list.

Oysterhead Pizza does a fantastic job keeping a balance of good old-fashioned pizza options and some interesting new ones that you might want to try! A great place for the entire family or a night out with friends.

The vibe of the place is fun and lively with a mesmerizing mural on the façade of the restaurant that everyone loves taking pictures of – everything about this place makes you smile. The interior also carries that sense of lightness with wooden elements, plenty of seating, and bright windows. The staff is buzzing around efficiently and professionally, making sure everyone has a great time.

Their Pizzas deserve a standing ovation! The most popular and recommended dishes are their calzones, their sandwiches, and of course, their pizzas. Their wings are also handmade, so get some for the table.

Plus, they have a wood-fired oven making the flavors authentically Italian. You can defintely taste the difference.

Oysterhead Pizza is open From Wednesday to Saturday from noon to whenever they sell out, so make sure to go early to grab everything while it’s still in stock. On Sundays, they open for a breakfast service from 8 am to 11 am and then are open till whenever they sell out.

Address: 189 Main St, Damariscotta, ME

wood fired pizza on table
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4. The Lobster Haul

Quaint local restaurant serving a variety of seafood and other options, with outdoor seating and friendly staff.

Looking for a not-so-touristy place that captures the essence of town? Then The Lobster Haul is the perfect hidden gem for you.

Their fresh seafood is locally sourced and super fresh, making the entire dining experience a dream, so if you’re in the mood for a homestyle meal served with love, head on over!

The interior is classically done with red and white checkered tablecloths covering wooden tables, with bench or chair style seating options, large windows, and flowers on the table, the quaint décor makes you feel warm and welcome as soon as you step inside.

Plus, their hospitality also extends to a generous outdoor area that’s perfect for alfresco dining. Soak up the sun while you enjoy some amazing food. What’s not to love?

The most popular items on their menu are their signature rolls and their seafood tacos but if someone from your party wants something other than seafood, they also make hotdogs, hamburgers, and mac and cheese, making it the perfect, holistic place to go to if you all have different personalities and tastebuds.

The Lobster Haul is closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays. It opens Sunday to Thursday from 11 am to 3:30 pm, making it one of the most popular lunch restaurants in Damariscotta. On Fridays, it’s open from noon to 7:30 pm and on Saturday it again opens from 11 am to 3:30 pm.

Address: 115 Elm St, Damariscotta, ME.

shrimp tacos
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5. Metcalf’s Submarine Sandwiches

A family-owned sandwich shop known for the best subs in town, with takeout and dine-in options.

For days when you’re looking for a light meal to go while you’re out sightseeing, Metcalf’s Submarine Sandwiches can be a godsend.

Light, delicious, and tasty, this eatery does the best sandwiches you’ve probably ever had. So whether you want to grab ‘em and go or stop to eat, Metcalf’s provides the perfect healthy solution.

The restaurant is a classically styled place with the menu handwritten on a big chalkboard, that immediately draws your eyes and makes your mouth water. Their tables and chairs are neatly arranged in a small cozy lounge with delicious specials and desserts showcased on shelves and bars. So, make sure that before ordering you take a look at their fresh desserts and get some with your order.

Whether you choose a sandwich from their traditional menu or build your own sandwich, the flavors and seasoning will be perfect, the ingredients will be fresh and the bread will be exquisite. An altogether wonderful culinary experience awaits you at Metcalf’s so don’t miss the opportunity to taste some of the town’s best subs.

Metcalf’s Submarine Sandwiches is open Monday to Saturday from 10:30 am to 3 pm, making it a lunch-only option. So, keep that in mind while planning your day! They also can get crowded at times as they’re one of the most popular lunch restaurants in Damariscotta and sometimes have a wait time, so plan accordingly. Just a heads up!

Address: 49 Main St, Damariscotta, ME.

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6. Reunion Station

A family-style restaurant serving classic American cuisine and fresh local seafood with outdoor seating and a separate kids’ menu.

Reunion Station is another iconic landmark in Damariscotta that you must visit at least once on your way passing through town. It’s a railroad and train-themed place that has a great interior full of original and creative decorative elements and friendly staff that usually know all the locals by name.

If you’ve got little ones, they’ll be in awe of all the railroad and train-themed décor they have in the place. They also do up the restaurant according to whichever holiday is coming up, so it’s a visual feast. Apart from that, the restaurant is clean, simple, and elegant, creating a relaxing atmosphere to unwind and chill in.

They are known for serving the most delicious Fried Seafood Platter and Baked and Stuffed Haddock, so make sure you try those when you go. Apart from that their pies and Raisin Bread Pudding are also a great way to end a scrumptious meal, so we recommend trying those out as well.

With a whole variety of daily specials and a kid’s menu that you can use to order for your little ones, this restaurant has all the makings of becoming one of your favorite nights out!

Reunion Station is open from 11 am to 8 pm from Monday to Saturday. On Sunday it opens from 11 am to 2 pm only for its brunch service. So, make sure you go at a time and day they are open because you definitely do not want to miss everything Reunion Station has to offer.

Address: 21 Center St Damariscotta, ME.

Seafood and wine
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7. Best Thai Restaurant 

Locally owned by a Thai family, this authentic Asian eatery brings tons of flavor and a great ambiance to Damariscotta, perfect for a family night out.

The fact that the restaurant’s name describes adequately its status in Damariscotta is just the sign you need to head on over to this fantastic little spot. Serving authentic, flavorful, and freshly made Thai food with a side of love and warmth makes this eatery super special. With a great atmosphere and amazing staff, it’s no wonder Best Thai Restaurant ranks so highly on our list.

Thai people consider eating to be a commemoration of life itself, an ongoing search for wellness and peace, and considering this is run by a Thai family, this is just what they bring to the establishment.

A cozy and warm décor welcomes you as you wait for your food with yellow walls, thematic artwork, and numerous elements celebrating Thai culture, you will feel like you’ve stepped into an eatery in Thailand. The attention to detail in the décor and ambiance is just that thoughtful.

The food is colorful, aromatic, and appetizing. Locally sourced ingredients ensure that everything on your plate is fresh from the garden. From their Chicken Pad Thai to their Tum Yum Soup, and from their Crab Rangoon to their Spring Rolls they have everyone covered. Whether you just want to stop by for soup and starters or want to have an entire meal, you’ll leave Best Thai Restaurant feeling full and happy.

The place is open Monday to Saturday from noon to 2:30 pm for their lunch service and from 4 pm to 8:30 pm for their dinner service. Since they’re only open a few hours a day, make sure you plan ahead and go on time.

You can even order takeout for days when you want good food but want to enjoy it from the comfort and luxury of your hotel.

Address:  88 Main St, Damariscotta, ME.

beef pad thai and chicken satay dinner viewed from above
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8. Ann’s Book Bistro

The quintessential corner café with a unique ambiance, amazing outdoor dining options, and a delicious menu made from scratch.

There’s no better way to finish this list with one of the most quaint restaurants in Damariscotta, Ann’s Book Bistro. This little book café is one of the cutest eateries around, with the owners often there to welcome visitors and a menu that plays to its strengths, you’ll be left with a warm feeling in your heart after the very first visit.

The interior is warm and rustic in its aesthetic. Fully stocked bookshelves line the walls of the establishment, so feel free to browse through the books while you wait for your order.

But one of the restaurant’s best features is the way they’ve set up their outdoor dining area, with plants, decorations, and fairy lights, it’s truly a magical space they’ve put together. Definitely worth sitting out if the weather permits!

They are known for their sandwiches and desserts so we’d recommend you try those out. Those desserts are highly rated by locals, especially their Tiramisu and Fresh Strawberry cheesecake, so order those after a meal, or just order dessert with coffee because they do a mean cup of coffee as well! Whatever you end up going with, we’re sure you’ll end up having an amazing time, making a lot of memories to take back home.

Ann’s Book Bistro is closed on Sundays and Mondays, it opens Tuesday to Friday from 5 pm to 9 pm, making it a perfect tea-time or dinner place.

The outdoor setting works as the perfect date night backdrop too, in case you want a special night out! Apart from that, on Saturdays it’s open all day from noon to 9 pm. So, make sure you check their schedule before showing up.

Address: 17 Back Meadow Rd, Damariscotta, ME.

coffee pressed
Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+

The Best Restaurants In Damariscotta, ME: Summing Up

There you have it, our roundup of some of the best restaurants in Damariscotta. The place truly has one of the best blends of homestyle and upscale restaurants that we’ve ever reviewed, making it a great place for anyone to visit and experience.

With a lovely selection of seafood options too, it’s a haven for those that love trying out the fresh, local catch of the day.


  • Wandering our World

    Hi and welcome to Wandering our World! This article was written by one of the Wandering our World team - a team of travel enthusiasts who live around the globe.