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The Maine Meal: Where to Eat in the Pine Tree State

Make the most of Maine with these 15 iconic regional dishes (and the best places to try each one).

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Photo: Hello Neighbor Designs

The Best Meals in Maine

If you visit Maine thinking lobster is all there is to eat, you're missing out on a bounty of classic dishes and drinks with roots that range from Canadian to Colonial. The state's natural bounty stretches from the sea — haddock, clams and the famed crustacean — inland to towering maples, blueberry bushes and potato fields. But don't worry, lobster lovers: We have plenty of tips for you, too.

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Photo: Knack Factory

Clambake: Eventide Oyster Co. (Portland)

In Maine, a celebration calls for a clambake. Shellfish is steamed over layers of seaweed, building flavors of sea on sea. Eventide Oyster’s clambake features sweet Bangs Island mussels and plump steamers from nearby Casco Bay, plus lobster tail, Maine potatoes, salt pork and an egg, all snug in a seafood nest. Why an egg? Traditionally, it was added as a temperature monitor: Once the egg was cooked hard, it was time to eat. This tiny Portland gem lets you dine at a picnic-style table, but without having to wade into the water to fish out the mollusks first.

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Photo: Maine Diner

Lobster Pie: Maine Diner (Wells)

Each lobster pie at the Maine Diner includes nearly 5 ounces of locally caught tail, claw and knuckle meat, capped with a buttery Ritz cracker and lobster tomalley topping. The owners’ family recipe is one of its most-popular dishes: On some days the kitchen bakes more than 100 pies. There’s often a line for a seat in the summer and on weekends, but, thankfully, the owners also ship the pies in single-serve ramekins.

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Photo: Crissy's Breakfast & Coffee Bar

Blueberry Pancakes: Crissy's Breakfast & Coffee Bar (Damariscotta)

Maine’s official fruit is the wild blueberry, prized for its antioxidant power. The state is the largest supplier of the nation’s low-bush blueberries, which are smaller and more flavorful than their cultivated cousins and perfect for baking. Crissy's Breakfast & Coffee Bar packs as many tiny Maine berries as possible into their billowy pancakes, serving the dish with organic maple syrup from Strawberry Hill Farm in Skowhegan.

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