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My Favorite Lobster Pounds in Maine

Updated on October 7, 2013
The Pier and picnic tables at Perry's Lobster Shack, Newbury Neck, Surry, ME with a view of the harbor and the mountains of Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park in the distance
The Pier and picnic tables at Perry's Lobster Shack, Newbury Neck, Surry, ME with a view of the harbor and the mountains of Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park in the distance | Source
Roadside sign and flag, Pelican Seafood, Bucksport, ME
Roadside sign and flag, Pelican Seafood, Bucksport, ME | Source

The Lobster is the Lobstah

Heading to Maine for vacation? I'm sure that eating lobster is high on your list of "must do's". For that real Maine experience, get your live lobster at a lobster pound.

There are countless "lobster pounds" in Maine. It would be impossible to list or review all of them.

Here are some of the places I head to when I want lobster with a view. A few are classic lobster pounds with great vistas, but aren't easy to find. Some are right near the highway. There is even one you can only reach by boat. You won't be disappointed with any of them. After all, it is all about the lobster.

What is a Lobster Pound? Click on the link to find out more about lobster pounds.

My Favorite Classic Lobster Pounds:

  • Perry's Lobster Shack

Perry's Lobster Shack, 1076 Newbury Neck Rd, Surry, ME (1-207-667-1955), right next to the Surry Town Beach.

The Lobster Shack is a shack, with a canvas over awning the lobster tanks, and a pier with picnic tables. Perfect! It is not easy to find, but certainly worth the effort. Perry's is a short drive from my camp, but is more fun to motor over on my friend's boat. We tie up at the float and walk up to the pier for lunch.

I prefer the whole lobster with an ear of corn and a side of mussels. My friend prefers a crab roll (crabmeat rather than lobster on a kaiser roll). We enjoy our lunch watching the lobster boats in the harbor, the sailboats on Western Bay, and the mountains of Mount Desert Island in the distance (picture above). As great as the lobster and the views are, Perry's may be better known for their deserts. Save room for ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, or chocolate chip cookies, all homemade.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tied up on the float for lunch at Perry's.Perry's Lobster Shack, Newbury Neck, Suryy, METhe lobster tanks foreground and cook shack in the background.The lobster in their tank.Perry's Lobster Shack from the PierFishing on the float.View across Western Bay to Mount Desert Island and mountains.Shore next to the Lobster ShackCove and Surry Town Beach
Tied up on the float for lunch at Perry's.
Tied up on the float for lunch at Perry's. | Source
Perry's Lobster Shack, Newbury Neck, Suryy, ME
Perry's Lobster Shack, Newbury Neck, Suryy, ME | Source
The lobster tanks foreground and cook shack in the background.
The lobster tanks foreground and cook shack in the background. | Source
The lobster in their tank.
The lobster in their tank. | Source
Perry's Lobster Shack from the Pier
Perry's Lobster Shack from the Pier | Source
Fishing on the float.
Fishing on the float. | Source
View across Western Bay to Mount Desert Island and mountains.
View across Western Bay to Mount Desert Island and mountains. | Source
Shore next to the Lobster Shack
Shore next to the Lobster Shack | Source
Cove and Surry Town Beach
Cove and Surry Town Beach | Source
  • Thurston's Lobster Pound

Thurston's Lobster Pound, Steamboat Wharf Road, Bernard, ME (1-207-244-7600) on Mount Desert Island overlooking Bass Harbor. The screened double decks look out on a working harbor with lobster boats and the Swan's Island Ferry coming and going during your meal. While Thurston's has a walk up window for ordering, it does have a rather extensive menu that includes chowders, chili, salads, chicken, and burgers. They also offer a selection of beer and wine. Next time you are in Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, take a ride over to the quiet side and enjoy a lobster at Thurston's.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Thurston's Lobster Pound, Bernard, METhurston's Lobster Pound overlooking Bass HarborBass HarborBass Harbor next to Thurston's Lobster Pound, Swan's Island Ferry Terminal in the background.
Thurston's Lobster Pound, Bernard, ME
Thurston's Lobster Pound, Bernard, ME | Source
Thurston's Lobster Pound overlooking Bass Harbor
Thurston's Lobster Pound overlooking Bass Harbor | Source
Bass Harbor
Bass Harbor | Source
Bass Harbor next to Thurston's Lobster Pound, Swan's Island Ferry Terminal in the background.
Bass Harbor next to Thurston's Lobster Pound, Swan's Island Ferry Terminal in the background. | Source
  • Five Islands Lobster Co.

Five Islands Lobster Co., 1447 Five Islands Road, Georgetown, ME (1-207-371-2990), at the end of Route 127 off of U.S. Route 1, north of Bath. The drive on Rt.127 is part of experience. The scenic ride winds through old mixed forests, skirts coves, crosses waterways, and passes by old homes and small cemeteries as you make your way to road's end.

Because of recent national articles including one in the Wall Street Journal, there can be a traffic jam around the parking lot and lines for ordering. Located on the fishing village islands of Georgetown, the picnic tables of Five Islands claim to overlook "the prettiest harbor in Maine". From their "Lobster" Building they serve the traditional lobster pound fare. From the "Love Nest" grill Five Islands serves fried seafood baskets and onion rings, burgers, hot dogs, chicken tenders, and even, cheese steak sandwiches. Finish up with some of Anabelle's ice cream at the "Ice Cream Building".

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Five Islands Lobster CoFive Islands deck and picnic tables overlooking Georgetown Harbor Popularity of Five Islands leads to a small traffic jam.View of Five Islands Lobster Co from a distance on shore.
Five Islands Lobster Co
Five Islands Lobster Co | Source
Five Islands deck and picnic tables overlooking Georgetown Harbor
Five Islands deck and picnic tables overlooking Georgetown Harbor | Source
Popularity of Five Islands leads to a small traffic jam.
Popularity of Five Islands leads to a small traffic jam. | Source
View of Five Islands Lobster Co from a distance on shore.
View of Five Islands Lobster Co from a distance on shore. | Source

All of these great lobster pounds are off the beat path. They will take some effort to find, but you won't be disappointed with the lobster, the views and a real Maine experience. Thurston's serves alcohol, but Perry's and Five Islands are BYOB.

While you can drive to all of these lobster pounds, as most people do, you can also get to them by boat. Thurston's is the only one on a bus route. The Southeast Harbor/Tremont loop of the Island Explorer (the free bus on Mount Desert Island/Acadia National Park), includes Thurston's as its last stop.

Other Great Lobster Pounds

  • Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound, 1237 Bar Harbor Road (Route 3), Trenton, ME (1-207-667-2977), just before the bridge. Serving lobster to locals and visitors for over 50 years, it is one of the oldest and most popular lobster pounds. It is easy to find as you head south on Route 3 from Trenton to Bar Harbor. A traditional lobster pound with a classic menu, they still cook your lobsters and clams outdoors in seawater over wood-fired cookers.
  • Downeast Lobster Pound, 1192 Bar Harbor Road, Trenton, ME (1-207-667-8589) on the other side of Route 3, not far from Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound. A classic lobster shack with the usual traditional menu plus chicken tenders and hot dogs. No napkins here. Rolls of paper towels are on every picnic table.
  • Carrier's Mainely Lobster, 10 Route 46, Bucksport, ME (1-207-469-1011) at the intersection of U.S. Route 1 and Route 46 just north of Bucksport. This place hasn't been around many years, but it is making a name for itself. It has expanded (structure and menu) from live and cooked lobster to include fried seafood baskets, chicken, and much more. It now offers indoor and outdoor seating and a limited selection of alcoholic beverages including craft brews. Near the intersection of two highways, it doesn't offer much of a view.
  • Day's Lobster Pound and Take-Out, 1269 U.S. Route 1, Yarmouth, ME (1-207-846-3436) just off I-295, Exit 17 (north of Portland and south of Freeport). Enjoy your lobster overlooking Cousin's River in Yarmouth. In addition to lobster, Day's serves fried seafood baskets and sandwiches and crab or lobster salad. The lobster pound is not open after 5PM (2PM on Sundays) so go for lunch or an early dinner. This is a great place stop after shopping at L.L. Bean or to pick up live or cooked lobster to take back home.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
View of Western Bay and Mount Desert Island near Trenton Bridge Lobster PoundTrenton Bridge Lobster Pound and outdoor wood-fired lobster cookersDowneast Lobster Pound SignDowneast Lobster PoundCarrier's Mainely Lobster, Bucksport, MELobster bouys from lobsterman that provide lobster to Carrier's Mainely LobsterCarrier's lobster potDay's Lobster Pound and Take-Out, Yarmouth, ME
View of Western Bay and Mount Desert Island near Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound
View of Western Bay and Mount Desert Island near Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound | Source
Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound and outdoor wood-fired lobster cookers
Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound and outdoor wood-fired lobster cookers | Source
Downeast Lobster Pound Sign
Downeast Lobster Pound Sign | Source
Downeast Lobster Pound
Downeast Lobster Pound | Source
Carrier's Mainely Lobster, Bucksport, ME
Carrier's Mainely Lobster, Bucksport, ME | Source
Lobster bouys from lobsterman that provide lobster to Carrier's Mainely Lobster
Lobster bouys from lobsterman that provide lobster to Carrier's Mainely Lobster | Source
Carrier's lobster pot
Carrier's lobster pot | Source
Day's Lobster Pound and Take-Out, Yarmouth, ME
Day's Lobster Pound and Take-Out, Yarmouth, ME | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Red's Eats at the corner of Water Street and US Rt. 1 in Wiscasset, ME with the Sheepscot River in the distance.Red's Eats dining deck with view of the Sheepscot River in the distance.Red's Famous Lobster Roll and fries.
Red's Eats at the corner of Water Street and US Rt. 1 in Wiscasset, ME with the Sheepscot River in the distance.
Red's Eats at the corner of Water Street and US Rt. 1 in Wiscasset, ME with the Sheepscot River in the distance. | Source
Red's Eats dining deck with view of the Sheepscot River in the distance.
Red's Eats dining deck with view of the Sheepscot River in the distance. | Source
Red's Famous Lobster Roll and fries.
Red's Famous Lobster Roll and fries. | Source

Great Lobster Rolls but Not a Lobster Pound

Red's Eats

Located at the corner of Water Street and U.S. Route 1, Wiscasset, ME (1-207-882-6182) it is just up from the Sheepscot River. Red's lays claim to "Maine's #1 Lobster Roll". It has stories and accolades published in Fodor's and USAToday among countless others to prove it.

Red's has a great, simple, classic, lobster roll; a 'ton' of lobster meat (more than that from one single 1 to 1 1/4 pound soft shell lobster) on a hot dog roll. Melted butter and mayo are on the side. They also offer fries, crab cakes, fried shrimp and clam baskets, a blueberry desert, etc. All of the traditional staples of a Maine Lobster Pound.

They do have outdoor seating on a terraced patio with tables covered by umbrellas. The seating overlooks the water, sort of. The Sheepscot River is across the street and off in the distance.

But, Red's Eats is not a lobster pound. It is a take-out shack. Based on the size of the building, there is no way they have a lobster holding tank or lobster cooker on site unless the building has a large underground basement. You cannot get a traditional whole lobster dinner at Red's. Their lobster is cooked and shelled off-site. Not that this is bad. You still get a great lobster roll overflowing with tender lobster meat at Red's.

If you want a great (maybe even the best) classic lobster roll from a seafood take-out shack, Red's is the place for you. You can pick up beer or wine from the store next door and ice cream for desert from any number of shops nearby. Before or after your meal you can stroll around the wonderful stores nearby.

If you are traveling between Portland and Camden on U.S. Route 1, Red's is a great place to stop for a bit to eat.

Union River Lobster Pot and The Chart Room

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Union River Lobster Pot, Ellsworth, MELet me tell you about this lobster.How's this one?Union River lobster cookersThe Chart Room, Hulls Cove, MEView of Hulls Cove, low tide.
Union River Lobster Pot, Ellsworth, ME
Union River Lobster Pot, Ellsworth, ME | Source
Let me tell you about this lobster.
Let me tell you about this lobster. | Source
How's this one?
How's this one? | Source
Union River lobster cookers
Union River lobster cookers | Source
The Chart Room, Hulls Cove, ME
The Chart Room, Hulls Cove, ME | Source
View of Hulls Cove, low tide.
View of Hulls Cove, low tide. | Source

Seafood Restaurants that Serve Lobster

Union River Lobster Pot, 8 South Street, Ellsworth, ME (1-207-667-5077), just across the Union River Bridge from downtown Ellsworth. Behind Rooster Brothers and overlooking the Union River is this wonderful seafood restaurant offering a full menu and bar service. While seating options include traditional restaurant and covered screened areas, you can still watch them cook your lobster in their outdoor kettles.

The Chart Room Restaurant, 585 Eden Street (Route 3), Bar Harbor, ME (1-207-288-9740) on Hulls Cove just north of the Acadia National Park Visitor's Center and Bar Harbor. In business for over 20 years, this full service restaurant and lounge offers traditional and chef-prepared seafood dishes and more. Try to get a table on their pier (or at least near a window) over looking Hull's Cove, Frenchman Bay, and Schoodic Peninsula in the distance.

Taste of Maine Seafood Restaurant, 161 Main Street (U.S. Route 1), Woolwich, ME (1-207-443-4554), just north of Bath, ME. In business over 30 years, this full service restaurant and lounge not only offers an extensive menu of traditional and chef-prepared seafood and meat dishes, it often has live entertainment to enjoy while dining or relaxing. Dining on the deck offers gorgeous views of Pleasant Cove and Hanson Bay. Easy to find, on U.S. Route 1, don't drive by this one.

The Harbor Gawker Restaurant, 26 E. Main Street, Vinalhaven, ME (1-207-863-9365), about 2/3 of a mile from the ferry terminal. Open for over 35 years and owned by the 4th generation of Mortons, the Harbor Gawker offers traditional seafood favorites plus a selection of sandwiches, wraps, salads, burgers, chicken and even Mexican and Vegitarian options. The best tables are at the back of the restaurant next to the windows overlooking Carvers Pond. You can only get here by boat, an enjoyable 75 minute ferry ride from Rockland.

Taste of Maine and Harbor Gawker Restaurants

Click thumbnail to view full-size
My wife's lobster roll at Taste of MaineTaste of Maine, Woolrich, MEView of Pleasant Cove from the deck, Taste of Maine RestaurantHanson Bay as viewed from the deck, Taste of Maine RestaurantThe Harbor Gawker Restaurant, Vinalhaven, MePlace your order here at the Harbor Gawker.Tables next to the windows over looking Carvers Pond, The Harbor Gawker Restaurant.Carvers Pond and the back of the Harbor Gawker RestaurantHomes along Carvers PondAdvice in the men's room of the Harbor Gawker Restaurant.Carvers Harbor Vinalhaven, MEFerry coming into port Vinalhaven, MEFerry in Port, Vinalhaven, ME
My wife's lobster roll at Taste of Maine
My wife's lobster roll at Taste of Maine | Source
Taste of Maine, Woolrich, ME
Taste of Maine, Woolrich, ME | Source
View of Pleasant Cove from the deck, Taste of Maine Restaurant
View of Pleasant Cove from the deck, Taste of Maine Restaurant | Source
Hanson Bay as viewed from the deck, Taste of Maine Restaurant
Hanson Bay as viewed from the deck, Taste of Maine Restaurant | Source
The Harbor Gawker Restaurant, Vinalhaven, Me
The Harbor Gawker Restaurant, Vinalhaven, Me | Source
Place your order here at the Harbor Gawker.
Place your order here at the Harbor Gawker. | Source
Tables next to the windows over looking Carvers Pond, The Harbor Gawker Restaurant.
Tables next to the windows over looking Carvers Pond, The Harbor Gawker Restaurant. | Source
Carvers Pond and the back of the Harbor Gawker Restaurant
Carvers Pond and the back of the Harbor Gawker Restaurant | Source
Homes along Carvers Pond
Homes along Carvers Pond | Source
Advice in the men's room of the Harbor Gawker Restaurant.
Advice in the men's room of the Harbor Gawker Restaurant. | Source
Carvers Harbor Vinalhaven, ME
Carvers Harbor Vinalhaven, ME | Source
Ferry coming into port Vinalhaven, ME
Ferry coming into port Vinalhaven, ME | Source
Ferry in Port, Vinalhaven, ME
Ferry in Port, Vinalhaven, ME | Source
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Lobster by the Pound

Pelecan Seafood sells soft shell and hard shell lobster, mussles, and clams on U.S. Rt. 1, not far from my camp. They offer it at great prices. They don't cook the seafood, they aren't on the ocean, and they don't have much of a view, but it is still a great place to get lobster if you want to take it home and cook it yourself.

Wood's Seafood in Bucksport, ME can cook the lobster for you, but they don't offer meals or have a place to eat them. They are closer to the little league fields than the ocean, but it is also a great place to get live or cooked lobster to take home.

Most of the lobster pounds mentioned above will sell lobster and other seafood, fresh or cooked, to go. Easy to reach from I-295, I'll often stop at Day's to pick up some cooked lobster to take back home with me to Pennsylvania.

Got the Lobster? Now What?

Once you get that whole Maine lobster, you have to get it out of the shell to enjoy it. Check out the link to the right for a video and step-by-step directions on how to shell a whole Maine lobster.

What is your favorite lobster pound or seafood restaurant in Maine? Have you ever been to any of these? Leave a comment and let me know. I welcome your thoughts and opinions.

Locations of My Favorite Lobster Pounds and Seafood Restaurants in Maine

show route and directions
A markerPerry's Lobster Shack -
Newbury Neck Rd, Surry, ME 04684, USA
get directions

B markerThurston's Lobster Pound -
Steamboat Wharf Rd, Tremont, ME 04612, USA
get directions

C markerFive Islands Lobster Company -
1447 5 Islands Rd, Georgetown, ME 04548, USA
get directions

D markerTrenton Bridge and Downeast Lobster Pounds -
1237 Bar Harbor Rd, Trenton, ME 04605, USA
get directions

E markerCarrier's Mainely Lobster -
10 Rte 46, Bucksport, ME 04472, USA
get directions

F markerDay's Lobster Pound and Take-Out -
1269 Rte 1, Yarmouth, ME 04096, USA
get directions

G markerUnion River Lobster Pot -
8 South St, Ellsworth, ME 04605, USA
get directions

H markerThe Chart Room Restaurant -
585 Eden St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA
get directions

I markerTaste of Maine Seafood Restaurant -
161 Main St, Woolwich, ME 04579, USA
get directions

J markerThe Harbor Gawker Restaurant -
26 E Main St, Vinalhaven, ME 04863, USA
get directions

© 2012 bankscottage

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    • bankscottage profile image
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      bankscottage 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I don't think I have been to Eaton's (we lived or have spent vacations in Maine since 1994). Union River is nice, but it is more like a restaurant. On RT 3 just before MDI, Trenton is the classic, but I like the one on the other side of the street, Downeast, because it is easy to get in and out of on your way home from a day in Acadia. On MDI, I go all the way to Thurston's in Bernard overlooking Bass Harbor. It is a little like a restaurant, but more like a lobster pound than Union River. We have friend in South Blue Hill, past the falls, and we go with him on his boat to Perry's, Fisherman's Friend, or Thurston's. If you ever get to go to a classic lobster pound by boat, it only makes it that more special.

    • kitkat1141 profile image

      kitkat1141 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you for the detailed directions. I will try to find it next July. Our favorite lobster pound used to be Eaton's on Deer Isle. 3 generations of my family had gone there, until, sadly, they closed about 3 years ago. Now we drive to Stonington to Fisherman's Friend, but it doesn't have the Lobster Shack feel. We also have been to Union River Lobster pot in Elsworth, and the Trenton one. Dreaming of lobster now...

    • bankscottage profile image
      Author

      bankscottage 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      The lobster shack is really easy to find if you know where it is (a Maine type of joke). Turn off Rt. 172 and take Rt. 176 toward Newbury Neck and East Blue Hill. Stay to the left on Newbury Neck Road (and don't follow Rt. 172, Morgan Bay Road to East Blue Hill). After you pass Cross Road, Newbury Neck Road is a dead end road (albeit a long road). Not much further is the Surry Town Beach with the lobster shack just past the beach. Take cash to pay for your meal (the only thing they take). Take your check book if you would like to buy the lobster pound (I believe it is for sale).

      Me, I'll be over on Toddy Pond watching the sunset, but I may see you at Perry's for lunch.

      If you go, let me know what you think.

    • kitkat1141 profile image

      kitkat1141 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I go to Blue Hill Maine every summer, and drive past Surry at least 6 times during our stay. I have never heard of Perry's lobster shack, but will definitely test it out next year. Thanks for the tip!

    • bankscottage profile image
      Author

      bankscottage 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      LostinRevery, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I have heard of the Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster and it often shows up in lists of the best lobster pounds. I have not been to it, but it'll be on my list the next time I go to L.L. Bean. Most of the lobster pounds I go to are further north. I also want to try Red's Eats in Wiscasset.

      How can you tell the lobster is fresh? You put the rubber bands on. (I have a friend that has some non-commercial traps).

    • LostInRevery profile image

      LostInRevery 5 years ago from Maine

      Great article! A favorite of mine is Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster in South Freeport, Maine. It is located on the water at the pier. The lobster boats park right in front of it. You can't give fresher lobster than this!