Photo Credit : Courtesy of Hartstone Inn & Hideaway
Perhaps one of the most idyllic coastal villages in Maine, Camden is a favorite New England summer tourist spot thanks to its picture-perfect harbor and vibrant downtown. It’s also home to a variety of eateries that please both locals and visitors, with options for fine dining, all-day breakfast, and everything in between. Not sure where to go? Our roundup of favorite Camden restaurants is here to help.
Note: During the busy summer season, it’s wise to make reservations for dinner, since these spots are some of the town’s worst-kept secrets!
This no-frills breakfast and lunch eatery has been a Camden fixture since 1893, back when it was a pharmacy. Today, its all-day breakfast, coffee, and pastries have locals and visitors coming back for more. The menu has all the traditional American classics you’d expect, plus dishes like slow-roast pork tacos and quinoa salad.
Chef Michael Salmon, a Culinary Institute of America graduate who’s cooked at the famed James Beard House, and his wife, Mary Jo, are the hands-on owners of this prettily maintained Victorian on the edge of Camden’s downtown. Salmon not only prepares elegant dinners — choose from a la carte dishes or the chef’s tasting menu, all drawn from local, seasonal fare — but also offers private or group cooking classes. A 2017 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Inn for Foodies.”
Owner and head chef Peter Masin-Peters grew up in Camden and returned to purchase Peter Ott’s in 2006, where he strives to combine intense local flavor with international influences. Our recommendation: For lunch, try a quesadilla (lobster, veggie, chicken, or pulled pork) or a lobster roll; for dinner; tuck into any of the market-fresh seafood.
A commitment to “honest, fulfilling food” shines through at this downtown Camden gem. Chef-owner Steven Steeves and his wife and co-owner, Rada Valkova, work hard to blend Downeast hospitality with vibrant global cuisine. They serve up the results in a comfortable, sleek dining room with a cozy bar area — a perfect companion to their worldly but unpretentious menu.
Gluten-free foodies, rejoice: Many of 40Paper’s dishes can be made to accommodate your dietary need — including handmade pasta and desserts! The eatery specializes in Italian cuisine but infuses the menu with the signature flavors of the Maine coast, making it one of our favorite Camden restaurants.
The Camden Harbour Inn is home to Natalie’s, a premier fine-dining location. Choose from the prix fixe menu, lobster tasting menu, or chef’s tasting menu for a fully immersive dining experience. Don’t miss out on the extensive wine list, either.
As its name would suggest, the Waterfront provides its patrons with seating right on the harbor. The menu is local and fresh; the vibe is local and laid-back. Though seafood is the main draw, there are plenty of other options, too, including vegetarian ones.
What are your favorite Camden restaurants?
This post was first published in 2017 and has been updated.