America travels on its stomach and we’ve got miles and miles of roads in Maine’s Kennebec Valley, leaving way too many things for us to serve up here. So enjoy some of these suggested bites.
Diners. Something for Everyone
Belly up to the counter, grab a coffee and dig in. These are what diners are supposed to be: the Augusta House of Pancakes, Rebecca’s (a little bit east on Route 17) and The Downtown Diner all rate pretty well, but so does the Hi-Hat in Farmingdale. Try Holly & Doug’s in Norridgewock, Bee’s (near Fort Halifax) in Winslow, and Flatlanda in Fairfield. Gardiner’s Dave’s Diner is as classic as it gets and you can count on a great cup of joe at
Café at 130 in Winthrop. Last but not least, we’ve heard that you can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant in Skowhegan.
Looking for Some Delish Donuts?
Frosty’s is Gardiner’s destination donut shop. Augusta has Doc Hollandaise, with over 30 varieties of crazy-flavored donut concoctions. Bolley’s (Hallowell and Waterville) is also a
recommended donut stop. Dip into Hillman’s in Fairfield as well.
As a rule you shouldn’t skimp on lunch; if you want to go big, hit Big G’s in Winslow, head to Augusta’s Bagel Mainea, or the Red Barn—it’s simply the best fried seafood around. Try Damon’s in Augusta or Day’s Store in Belgrade for a great sandwich. Also try Kel-Mat or Old Mill Pub in Skowhegan. In Gardiner? Stop into Lisa’s Legit Burritos or the Food Co-op as both do lunch well. Try Juiced in Hallowell for some healthy eating.
Road Notes on Places to Stop
Try Thompson’s in Bingham. You can blow by this place and never think twice, unless it’s meal time, because then the street is all parked up. Kniffin’s Custom Meats and Smokehouse in North Anson is the place to stop for some of the best chops and bacon, and it’s a hop, skip and jump from Maine Maple Products on Route 201 in Madison. Jorgenson’s in Waterville has great coffee and treats. We also just learned the mayor of Waterville has taken over the old Barrels Market space and turned it into an excellent Italian deli called Napoli.
It’s Time for Dinner
Gardiner has a tidy little downtown that offers up a few of our favorite dinnertime haunts, including Pastaz, The Depot, and the A-1 Diner—a classically-styled joint that has turned “diner” into “dinner.” With downtown Augusta on the rise, we want to tip our cap in the direction of Charlemagne’s, Downtown Diner, and the Riverfront Barbecue. Sweet Chili (located at the Augusta Airport) surprises for a tasty Thai diner. Finally, Cloud 9 at the Senator Inn & Spa is a retreat from everyday dining.
If you find yourself in Waterville at dinnertime, check out Silver Street downtown—from the Silver Street Tavern and the Last Unicorn to 18 Below for sushi, there is no going wrong here. Amici’s Cucina is a great Italian meal, as is Mexican at Buen Apetito. And while it is technically in Fairfield, make the drive to The Dancing Elephant for spicy and tasty Indian food.
Skowhegan offers up big flavors. Families looking for a tasty table can count on Ken’s Family Restaurant or try the Heritage House. M-Thai, right on Water Street downtown, is always packed. If you are in Belgrade for dinner, head over to the Village Inn for the duck. We also recommend either the Sunset Grill or Wing’s Hill Inn. The Forks only has a few restaurants, but these three are tops: The Kennebec Brewpub, The Boatman, and the Riverside Pub.
Treats for You
Scrummy Afters in Hallowell is the spot for nostalgic sweets. The Bankery in Skowhegan and Waterville’s Holy Cannoli offer up sweets like nobody’s business, and Gifford’s Ice Cream stands in Skowhegan or Waterville cannot be beat. Want a frappe? Try Winthrop’s Fast Eddies (Wednesday is cruise night). Finally, Al’s Pizza in Skowhegan is the spot for a whoopie pie.