Bar Harbor, Maine, is a culinary treasure trove renowned for its deliciously unique local eateries. For those inquiring, “Where do the locals eat in Bar Harbor, Maine?” we at Salt Air Properties have put together a comprehensive guide to ensure you enjoy the best gastronomic experiences in the region.
Living Like a Local
Bar Harbor transforms seasonally, with many of the best-known restaurants closing. This list includes a few of these seasonal staples but focuses primarily on the places the locals count on year-round.
Cafe This Way is more than a traditional American café—it’s an experience. Serving breakfast, brunch, and dinner, it caters to your culinary needs at any time of day. The fine-casual atmosphere provides the perfect backdrop to their eclectic menu, showcasing dishes that are as creative as they are delicious. Dine outdoors in the warm Bar Harbor air or enjoy the intimate indoor setting. Their inclusive menu, featuring vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, makes it a favorite for every food lover.
Open from May through October, Thrive Juice Bar & Kitchen is the go-to place for a quick, healthy meal in Bar Harbor. They offer a wide variety of plant-focused dishes, making it perfect for vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters alike. From cold-pressed juices to superfood smoothies and wholesome salads, Thrive’s offerings ensure that eating healthy never means compromising on taste.
As the #1 rated classic Maine lobster shack, Rose Eden Lobster offers a mouth-watering seafood experience. Renowned for its local cuisine, this is the place to get an authentic taste of Maine’s famed lobsters. While the focus is on seafood, their menu also features vegetarian and gluten-free options, ensuring every visitor can indulge in a piece of Maine’s culinary heritage.
Emphasizing the native ingredients of Maine, The Stadium takes the farm-to-table concept to new heights. You’ll find owner Rich handcrafting everything from popover batter to blueberry pie filling. And it’s not just about food—The Stadium also boasts the Coffee Hound, offering lattes, cappuccinos, and mochas made from locally roasted beans. Add to this a retail section offering specialty gifts and clothing, and The Stadium becomes more than a restaurant—it’s an experience, a slice of Bar Harbor’s rich history and culture.
With a motto like “Eat, Drink, Live Like a Local,” Side Street Cafe promises and delivers an authentic Bar Harbor experience. This family-run spot has a warm, welcoming atmosphere and a menu filled with fresh and creative comfort food. It’s well-known for its award-winning mac & cheese, lobster rolls, and impressive margaritas. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, you’re sure to feel at home here.
Imagine dining on a terrace with fresh air and coastal views, savoring local Maine cuisine—that’s exactly what The Terrace Grill offers. With a prime location next to the town pier, this outdoor restaurant is a favorite for casual lunches and dinners. The menu, brimming with fresh seafood options, healthy salads, and hearty sandwiches, is only elevated by the extensive selection of local brews. For a smaller bite, you can enjoy appetizers by the fire pit in an Adirondack chair.
A day in Bar Harbor should start with breakfast at Jeannie’s Great Maine Breakfast. They specialize in homemade breakfast classics made with the freshest ingredients. Fan favorites include their oatmeal bread with strawberry rhubarb fruit spread and blueberry pancakes. They also offer vegan and gluten-free breakfast choices, showing their commitment to catering to every customer’s dietary needs.
Jordan’s Restaurant, a beloved Bar Harbor institution since 1976, is rounding out our list. This local diner is famous for its wild Maine blueberry products, offering a taste of Maine in every bite. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, Jordan’s warm and welcoming ambiance is sure to make you feel right at home.
Locally known as “The Whale,” this eatery has been a part of the Bar Harbor fabric since 1988. It’s the perfect spot to soak in the vibrant, friendly blend of locals and tourists while enjoying delicious food and genuine hospitality.
What sets The Thirsty Whale apart is its dedication to serving generous portions of fresh local seafood. From the signature fried clams—widely recommended for first-time visitors—to the touted best lobster rolls and chowder in town, every dish promises an authentic taste of Maine.
But The Whale is about more than just great food—it’s about a casual, comfortable atmosphere that makes everyone feel at home. The doors are open seven days a week, serving food until 8:30 PM, and the lively bar remains open until 10 PM-1 AM, depending on the season.
In addition to being a hot spot for evening fun, The Thirsty Whale prides itself on being kid-friendly. While there’s no specific kids’ menu, the offerings include child favorites such as chicken fingers, fish and chips, grilled cheese, and burgers. Each meal comes with a choice of side—french fries, coleslaw, or pasta salad—and they’re always equipped with crayons and coloring sheets to entertain the young.
Enjoy Your Stay In Maine
We at Salt Air Properties are committed to ensuring you enjoy the best of Bar Harbor. Enjoy the culinary delights our beautiful town offers, and don’t forget to check out our other guides for a truly unforgettable Maine experience. Bon appétit!