Maine Diner

Diner | Seafood
Worth driving from anywhere!

In 1983 Bruce and Myles Henry of Drake’s Island bought an old diner in Wells, and spiffed it up. They devised a menu of Yankee shoreline cooking – the kind of food travelers crave when traveling the Downeast coast. The menu has expanded in recent years to include much landlubber fare as well as flawlessly executed comfort-food classics, but the main Maine attractions still headline.

Fried clams, for instance, are vigorously oceanic, just a wee bit oily, so fragile the crust seems to melt away as your teeth sink into them. And lobster, most especially a hot lobster roll that the menu immodestly describes as “FANTASTIC!” The menu is not exaggerating. It is what we have always thought of as a Connecticut-style roll, meaning that it is hot, as opposed to a lobster-salad roll, which is served cold, with mayonnaise. You get nothing but plump, resilient chunks of lobster meat spilling out of a grilled weiner bun with plenty of butter to pour on as desired. Once buttered, it is impossible to eat with one’s hands like a sandwich, because the bun disintegrates under the weight of its filling. But you do eat it with your hands, and fingers glisten as they pick smooth strips of claw and knobby knuckle meat, and occasional shreds of butter-sopped bread. Cool lobster salad rolls also are available.

The lobster roll is glorious, but the most amazing lobster dish, and one of the best regional dishes we’ve eaten anywhere, anytime, is the Henry brothers’ grandmother’s lobster pie. Of all the good Downeast things you can eat along the coast, this casserole, elegant yet elementary, is one that mustn’t be missed. Your ceramic dish contains plump sections of lobster – soft claw and chewy tail meat – drenched in butter, topped with a mixture of cracker crumbs and tomalley. It is a strange-colored dish, monstrous green and brown and pink, shockingly rich.

What to Eat
Maine Diner, Lobster Pie
Lobster Pie
A signature dish, lobster pie is made from a family recipe. For lobster lovers, it is unspeakably savory. And by the way, those mashed potatoes in the background are the real McCoy.
Maine Diner, Lobster Roll
Lobster Roll
Here is one great lobster roll, presented in a toasted bun with plenty of butter for drizzling on as you need it. Note how glistening moist and hunky the lobster is.
Maine Diner, Seafood Chowder
Seafood Chowder
The wall behind the counter at the Maine Diner is crowded with blue ribbons won by this seafood chowder. It is butter-rich, creamy, and loaded with shrimp, clams, and hunks of fish, just about the best we've ever had.
Maine Diner, Baked Beans
Baked Beans
Maine Diner, Indian Pudding
Indian Pudding
Our favorite New England dessert: Indian pudding, made from cornmeal and molasses, served warm and topped with ice cream.
Maine Diner, Muffin
Here's top o' the mornin' to you: a warm cornbread muffin, ready to be buttered.
Maine Diner, Corn Chowder
Corn Chowder
Fortunately, I remembered to take a picture before totally polishing off this excellent bowl of corn chowder. Like the Maine Diner's celebrated seafood chowder, it is butter-rich.
Chicken pot pie
Codfish Cakes and Beans
Maine Diner, Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Cake
A fine, not-too-decadent chocolate cake. With a few cups of coffee, it makes an ideal conclusion to a Maine Diner meal.
Blueberry pie
Fried Haddock
Directions and Hours
open now
Sunday7am - 9pm
Monday7am - 9pm
Tuesday7am - 9pm
Wednesday7am - 9pm
Thursday7am - 9pm
Friday7am - 9pm
Saturday7am - 9pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
5 stops | 274 MILES | 5 hr 3 min

Indian pudding is vintage New England comfort food, an ochre samp of slow-cooked cornmeal and molasses that smells like caramelized roasted sweet corn. Traditional diners serve it as dessert with ice cream melting on top, but it also makes a fine warm breakfast cereal.

8 stops | 378 MILES | 7 hr 19 min

For a mouthwatering summer road trip to sleeves-up joints surrounded by magnificent scenery, you can’t beat a seafood-eating expedition along New England's coast. At waterside picnic tables and roadside drive-ins, in diner booths and vintage shore dinner halls, the good eats include whole lobsters, lobster rolls, and lobster pie, chowders both briny-thin and cream-sweet, and clams either crisp-fried or…

9 stops | 438 MILES | 8 hr 29 min

The northeast has four main kinds of clam chowder. Manhattan is tomato-red and full of vegetables, rarely served northeast of New York City. South Coast, a specialty of Connecticut and Rhode Island, has neither tomatoes nor cream, but is clear and brothy with salt-pork savor and potatoes. Rhode Island (a rarity these days) is light…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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  • Woodman’s of Essex

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