There are many great things to do in Bar Harbor.
Couples can dine at quaint waterfront restaurants in the city's historic downtown district and enjoy excellent Maine cuisine, highlighting lobsters and locally-sourced seafood catches. Many area hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts feature signature restaurants, many of which showcase live music performances and other special events throughout the month.
Havana is a fine American dining destination located conveniently near beautiful Acadia National Park, offering nightly dinner service for more than 20 years. The restaurant works with a wide variety of regional purveyors and producers, including Mandala Farm and its own downtown organic produce farm facility, to bring diners the freshest locally-produced American fare possible each evening. Entree options include delectable seafood paellas, filet mignons, and flank steaks, with sustainably-harvested fresh fish daily specials available with creative preparations. Shareable appetizers for two include charcuterie plates, lobster cakes, and empanadas. The restaurant has been the proud recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence since 2004, one of only two Maine restaurants to receive the prestigious distinction. Its newly-added outdoor tapas bar and grill, Parrilla, is open seasonally and serves up clever small plates and Sunday brunch events during the summer months. Browse best places to visit in Maine on vacation.
318 Main Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-2822
2. Bistro On Eden
© Bistro On Eden
Bistro On Eden is a lovely casual dining destination at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel and Event Center, offering spectacular views of nearby Frenchman Bay from its gorgeous dining room and patio and deck dining spaces. The bistro is open daily for dinner, with intimate dining room seating creating the perfect romantic ambiance for meals for two. Local and international cuisine options include a selection of excellent creative flatbreads, featuring ingredients such as scallops, pear, grilled steak, and Gorgonzola cheese. Land and sea entrees range from Maine lobster dinners and fresh lobster rolls to favorites such as steak au poivre, bouillabaisse, and pan-roasted salmon. Shareable charcuterie boards are available, along with decadent pub fare such as bistro burgers and fish and chips platters. A children's menu is offered for diners traveling with children in tow, along with a selection of high-quality desserts such as tiramisu, Maine blueberry pie, and seasonal cheesecakes.
119 Eden St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-5801
3. Burning Tree Restaurant
© Burning Tree Restaurant
Burning Tree Restaurant is a unique seafood and vegetarian-focused dining experience, originally established in 1987 and operated by owners and chefs Allison Martin and Elmer Beal, Jr. The low-key restaurant is open to the public for dinner service Thursdays through Tuesdays, offering a wide variety of fare crafted from locally-sourced ingredients from producers throughout Mount Desert Island and the surrounding mainland. Menus are frequently updated to reflect the region's bounty, featuring approximately a dozen high-quality seafood entrees paired with two chicken and three vegetarian options. Typical entrees include fillet of grey sole, broiled halibut, pan-sauteed monkfish, lavender-roasted free-range chicken breast, and minted edamame wontons in miso broth prepared with shiitake summer squash and grilled tofu. Appetizer options range from homemade flatbreads to Thai-style chicken wings, perfect for sharing with a date. A full-service bar features craft cocktails, while a diverse wine selection features options for diners on a budget. Reservations are highly recommended.
69 Otter Creek Dr, Otter Creek, ME 04660, Phone: 207-288-9331
4. Cafe This Way, Bar Harbor, Maine
© Cafe This Way
Cafe This Way is an artsy eatery tucked away on side street within downtown Bar Harbor, housed within a renovated cottage space that showcases retro and contemporary design elements. The coffee house and dining destination offers breakfast and dinner service daily, offering casual gourmet fare with global influences. A wide variety of land and sea fare is served up nightly, including chorizo arepas, lamb kofta, bahn mi duck sliders, Jamaican jerk salmon, and pecan-crusted fish cakes. Vegetarian and vegan entree options are also available, including paneer tikka masala, Southwestern-style shepherd's pie, and Kung Pao chickpeas prepared with a spicy soy glaze. At breakfast, diners can choose from build-your-own omelette options, country breakfast platters, and Monte Cristo sandwiches or enjoy pancakes prepared with real maple syrup and wild Maine blueberries.
14 Mt Desert St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-4483
5. Restaurants in Bar Harbor: CherrySTONES
CherrySTONES is a clever fine dining restaurant operated by the Fish Maine Restaurant Group, which also oversees regional favorites such as Bar Harbor Beer Works, the One-Off Pub, and Jalapeños Cantina and Mexican Grill. The lovely seasonal restaurant, which is located within Bar Harbor's historic downtown district, offers a casual ambiance and upscale entrees, including fine flatbreads prepared with toppings such as fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, smoked sausage, and gouda cheese. Excellent seafood entrees include steamed Maine lobsters, sesame-crusted tuna, baked haddock, and surf and turf platters, while land fare ranges from fine strip steak to pan-roasted chicken with herb au jus. Lighter lunch fare ranges from lobster rolls and fried haddock sandwiches to chicken avocado clubs and prime rib sandwiches. A selection of craft beers is available to complement meals, along with fine wines and housemade cocktails.
185 Main Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-801-2290
Galyn's is a traditional Downeast-style restaurant housed within a former Victorian-era boarding house since 1986, offering up a delectable menu of fresh seafood entrees and hand-cut steaks. The family-owned restaurant, which is operated by married duo Gail and Rick Leiser, is overseen by executive chef Larry Jones and showcases five separate dining room spaces, which are all decked out in eclectic artwork and decor elements. Fresh Maine lobster dishes include lobster enchiladas, fisherman's feast platters, and whole boiled lobsters, while creative seafood fare ranges from Maine-style crab cakes and shrimp Lafayette to daily fresh fish catches prepared with rice and seasonal vegetables. Steak options include petite filet mignon, prime rib, and stuffed pork chops, while land entrees range from pan-seared duck breasts to roasted cauliflower steaks served with homemade kalamata olive tapenade. At lunch, diners can choose from a variety of seafood-forward sandwiches or share appetizer plates such as lobster biscuits, oysters Rockefeller, and bacon-wrapped scallops. Local Maine draft beers are available on tap, along with craft cocktails and mocktails and wines served by the glass or bottle. Additional bar snacks and drinks are served at the restaurant's Galley Lounge.
17 Main St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-9706
7. Restaurants in Bar Harbor: La Bella Vita
La Bella Vita is a delightful Italian-style restaurant in Bar Harbor, focused around ideas of local cooking, community gathering, and health-conscious produce and oils infused in a variety of excellent traditional entrees. Dinner service focuses on classic rustic dishes such as veal parmigiana, chicken saltimbocca, and veal scallopini, served up alongside land and sea plates such as rustic shellfish stew, braised boneless short ribs, steak frites, and Old World-style bella filet duos. Diners can also enjoy quattro formaggi or margherita brick-oven pizzas and specialty paninis or create their own pasta entrees from a variety of pasta, sauce, and topping options. An extensive handcrafted cocktail program is available from the restaurant's bar, along with regional and national craft beers and a variety of non-alcoholic mocktails. Two Bar Harbor locations are offered, including restaurants within the Harborside Hotel, Spa, and Marina and the beautiful Bar Harbor Regency.
55 West Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-5033
8. Mama Dimatteo’s
© Mama Dimatteo’s
Mama Dimatteo’s is a delightful chef-owned Italian restaurant in Bar Harbor, serving up classic and elevated pasta dishes and entrees seven days a week since 1985. The restaurant, which opens at 4:30pm for happy hour and dinner service, highlights a wide variety of rustic and traditional Italian fare, including excellent spaghetti marinara, fettuccine alfredo, chicken saltimbocca, and eggplant parmesan available customizable with diners' choice of meats. Land entree options range from tender duck confit to sumptuous Gorgonzola steaks, while sea choices include crab and spinach-stuffed shells, coral vodka scallops, and mussels fra diavolo. Vegetarian fare includes baked cheese pastry puffs and gourmet macaroni and cheese entrees prepared with Gorgonzola, parmesan, and sharp cheddar. A full bar serves up craft cocktails and prosecco drinks, while a gourmet dessert menu features freshly-baked favorites such as tiramisu, carrot cake, and crème brûlée.
34 Kennebec Pl, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-3666
9. McKays Public House, Bar Harbor, Maine
© McKays Public House
McKays Public House is an elegant public house located within an historic Victorian-era building in Bar Harbor's beautiful downtown district, showcasing original design and decor elements such as oak wainscotting and ambient fireplaces along with an intimate wine bar space and fully-stocked copper first floor bar. The restaurant, which is open for dinner service Wednesdays through Saturdays, serves up locally-sourced and organic cuisine options year-round, working with regional producers and purveyors to highlight Maine's natural bounty. Upscale pub fare is showcased, including gyro lamb burgers, Impossible burgers with melted Chao vegan cheese, and homemade beer-battered fish and chips platters. Land and sea entrees include lobster with pancetta cream, seafood cioppino, sage-roasted chicken, and thick-cut butcher's pork chops with chipotle-blueberry barbecue sauce. Couples can share appetizers such as charcuterie boards, Korean beef nachos, and locally-caught mussels sauteed with garlic and white wine sauce. Fine wines are available by the bottle or by the glass, along with a selection of house and dessert wines.
231 Main St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-2002
10. Paddy's Irish Pub and Restaurant
© Paddy's Irish Pub and Restaurant
Paddy's Irish Pub and Restaurant is a casual modern Irish-style pub and restaurant housed within Bar Harbor's West Street Hotel, showcasing excellent Irish-American pub fare in a beautiful waterfront setting overlooking Frenchman's Bay. The restaurant, which is open to the public for breakfast, lunch, and dinner service daily, is known for traditional pub favorites such as corned beef and cabbage, pub-style fish and chips, and Irish-style steak frites served up alongside fine entrees such as kettle-steamed whole Maine lobsters. A glass-enclosed display kitchen prepares rotisserie dishes for diners, including pork racks, ribeyes, and whole chickens. Diners can choose from a wide variety of burger and sandwich options, including hot corned beef sandwiches, Maine lobster rolls, and backyard garden burgers. Delicious bakery desserts such as wild Maine blueberry pie are served up alongside Irish coffee drinks prepared with Bailey's Irish cream liqueur. Live music performances are showcased the restaurant throughout the week.
50 West St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-801-3786
11. Restaurant in Bar Harbor: Project Social Kitchen and Bar
© Project Social Kitchen and Bar
Project Social Kitchen and Bar is a restaurant and cocktail bar located adjacent to downtown Bar Harbor's Village Green within the lovely Acadia Hotel. The restaurant strives to create a romantic, cozy ambiance for diners, offering an open-air dining area and deck and a small indoor bar and lounge. Shareable small plate service is available all day, highlighting selections such as charcuterie boards, fresh local oysters and mussels, Mediterranean-style dip platters, ahi poke tuna rolls, and lamb bruschetta. Lunch options include prosciutto, salmon, lamb, and pork belly crepes and pita pockets, while land and sea entrees include fresh pastas, lobster crepes, and chef's cut fish and steak options. An extensive cocktail program highlights options such as the blackberry-and-thyme-infused Midnight or the Hace Calor, which features blood orange liquor, mole chocolate bitters, and house-infused habanero tequila. For dessert, couples can choose from Nutella crepes, chocolate pot de creme, or affogatos prepared with salted caramel ice cream and espresso.
278 Main St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-412-3932
12. The Reading Room Restaurant
© The Reading Room Restaurant
The Reading Room Restaurant is a casual oceanfront dining spot at the gorgeous Bar Harbor Inn, overseen by executive chef Louis Kiefer since 1998. The seasonal restaurant, which offers up beautiful ambiance with views of nearby Frenchman's Bay, focuses on Downeast Maine cuisine options at breakfast and dinner daily, including delectable land and sea entrees such as chargrilled petit filet mignon paired with Maine lobster tail, Frenchman's Bay seafood cioppino, basil pistachio-crusted native Maine halibut, roasted rack of New Zealand lamb prepared with red currant jus, and baked chicken Florentine stuffed with artichoke and spinach. All entree options are available with suggested fine wine pairings for an additional charge. At breakfast, diners can choose from delicious house specialties such as cinnamon roll French toast or enjoy Downeast favorites such as Maine lobster Benedict and wild Maine blueberry pancakes. Reservations and business-casual attire are strongly recommended.
1 Newport Drive, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 844-814-1668
13. Testa's Restaurant, Bar Harbor, Maine
© Testa's Restaurant
Testa's Restaurant is a charming institution in Bar Harbor's historic downtown, located along Main Street at its historic location since 1921. The restaurant is known for its fresh fish and shellfish offerings, including dishes prepared with Maine lobsters sourced straight from the boat. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served daily, along with cocktail lounge service upstairs featuring craft cocktails, beers on tap, and a selection of fine wines. Diners can choose from excellent land and sea entrees such as seafood shepherd's pie, honey barbecue pork belly spare ribs, lollipop lamb chops, and haddock almondine or enjoy ocean-to-table delicacies such as twin lobster tails, seafood Newburg, fisherman's platter, or the restaurant's signature Downeast clambake platter. At lunch, a variety of burgers and rolls are offered, including classic lobster rolls, scallop and crab rolls, and the restaurant's 52 Main Street Burger, prepared with apple cider-smoked bacon and a fried egg. Breakfast options range from clever sandwiches and craft omelettes to fruit-focused pancake stacks and interesting eggs Benedict dishes.
53 Main St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-3327
14. Restaurants Near Me: The Chart Room
© The Chart Room
The Chart Room has been a Bar Harbor institution for more than two decades, located minutes from the city's downtown district in nearby Hulls Cove. The beautiful waterfront restaurant is an excellent choice for couples stopping through the region on trips to nearby Acadia National Park, offering indoor and outdoor pier seating and serving up a full menu of high-quality land and sea fare. House specialties include macadamia nut-crusted halibut, blackened yellowfin tuna, Maine-style scampi, and two, three, and four-pound boiled Maine lobsters prepared to order. Excellent pasta dishes are also available, along with fried seafood platters featuring diners' choice of shrimp, scallops, haddock, or clams. Shareable appetizers include bang bang shrimp, fresh Maine-style crab cakes, and locally-caught mussels and steamers.
565 Eden St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-9740
15. The Looking Glass Restaurant
© The Looking Glass Restaurant
The Looking Glass Restaurant is an elegant fine dining option within Bar Harbor's Bluenose Inn, offering breakfast and dinner service daily for inn guests and traveling diners. The restaurant has been the recipient of Yankee magazine's "Best Breakfast with a View" award for its spectacular outdoor dock dining area, which offers stunning views of nearby Frenchman's Bay. Excellent entree options include lobster stew, grilled filet mignon, chicken piccata, and Gulf of Maine lobster and salmon platters, with charcuterie boards available for sharing with a romantic date. At breakfast, diners can choose from options such as wild Maine blueberry pancakes, eggs Benedict, smoked salmon platters, or the restaurant's signature Beehive breakfast bowl. The restaurant is one of only a few restaurants in Bar Harbor to consistently receive the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for its fine wine list, with selections available by the glass or by the bottle.
50 Eden St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-5663
16. Restaurant Near Me: The Terrace Grille
© The Terrace Grille
The Terrace Grille is one of Bar Harbor's finest outdoor dining destinations, housed within the lovely Bar Harbor Inn and offering unparalleled views of Frenchman's Bay and the nearby Porcupine Islands. The seasonal restaurant features spectacular front lawn seating at lunch and dinner daily, with seating available on a first come, first served basis. Delicious entrees include pan-seared mojito lime Atlantic salmon, chargrilled prime sirloin, Frenchman's Bay bouillabaisse, and grilled Atlantic swordfish, with full lobster bake meals also serving up five-course platters featuring New England clam chowder, steamed clams and mussels, and fresh-baked blueberry pie alongside boiled Maine lobsters. Lighter lunch fare includes lobster rolls, fish tacos, and pub burgers served with hickory barbecue sauce and Vermont cheddar cheese. During inclement weather, menus are served at the adjacent Reading Room Restaurant.
1 Newport Dr, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-3351
17. Veranda Bar at Balance Rock Inn
© Veranda Bar at Balance Rock Inn
Veranda Bar at Balance Rock Inn has been the premiere restaurant of the beautiful Balance Rock Inn since 1998, offering innovative entrees and cocktails in a dining room offering unparalleled views of beautiful Frenchman's Bay. The seasonal restaurant features a carefully-cultivated dinner menu showcasing delicacies such as bistro-style hangar steak, whole rainbow trout, venison with juniper and sweet potatoes, and diver scallops prepared with caramelized fennel and sheep's milk yogurt. Artisanal cheese platters are also available, along with gourmet desserts such as rosemary semifredo, chocolate cremeux, and rose ice cream with frozen cardamom foam. A seasonal cocktail menu highlights fine bourbon, whiskey, rum, tequila, vodka, and gin concoctions.
21 Albert Meadow, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-9900
The 17 Best Restaurants in Bar Harbor, Maine near me today according to local experts are:
Attraction Spotlight: Abbe Museum
Offering two locations in Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island, Maine, the Abbe Museum celebrates the Maine’s Wabanaki Nation, striving to decolonize the museum process and honor the area’s indigenous people. The modern-day Wabanaki Confederacy, known indigenously as the “People of the First Light,” is comprised of five Native American and First Nations tribes that have historically resided throughout the Wabanahkik, or Acadia, area of Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.
Prior to the arrival of Europeans in North America, the Passamaquoddy people inhabited much of what is now Maine and New Brunswick, while the Mi'kmaq, Maliseet, Abenaki, and Penobscot tribes were spread throughout areas in Canada’s Atlantic provinces, including Nova Scotia and the Saint John River valley. The tribes historically spoke Algonquian languages and subsisted in a seasonal hunter-gatherer culture, encompassing territories spanning from present-day Newfoundland to New Hampshire’s Merrimack Valley. Following European colonization of the Americas, the Wabanaki people became historical allies of French and British settlers, partly as a strategic move against the Mohawk people of modern-day New York and New England. In 1993, Wabanaki Confederacy gatherings were revived, expanding to encompass the Métis Nation, and in 2010, non-indigenous environmental and social activists were invited to join Confederacy meetings following the United Nation’s Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The Abbe Museum nonprofit organization was founded in 1927 by American surgeon and radiologist Robert Abbe, who amassed a large collection of indigenous artifacts and archaeological materials throughout his life. In 1928, Abbe opened the first Abbe Museum on Mount Desert Island, conceived as a seasonal trailside museum within Acadia National Park displaying artifacts and exhibits pertaining to the area’s indigenous cultures. In 2001, a permanent year-round Abbe Museum location was opened on the Maine mainland in downtown Bar Harbor, offering more than 10 times the exhibit and programming space of the original facility. In 2009, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, a well-known advocate for museum decolonization, took over as the museum’s CEO
Today, the Abbe Museum is operated as a nonprofit organization and is the only museum in the state of Maine dedicated to the history of the area’s indigenous population. The museum became a Smithsonian affiliate in 2013, the only museum in the state to participate in the program. The original Acadia National Park museum, located at Sieur de Monts Spring, is one of only two private trailside museums remaining within the National Park System today and is open to the public from late May through October. The new downtown Bar Harbor location offers summer hours from May through October, with limited operation hours in November, December, February, March, and April.
The Sieur de Monts building on Mount Desert Island is a rare example of Mediterranean architecture in the Maine area, designed in 1928 by architect Edmund M. Gilchrist as a blend of Spanish Colonial Revival and Italian Renaissance styles. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, noted as one of the state’s earliest buildings intended for housing museum collections. The museum is constructed in a unique octagonal style, designed specifically with Abbe’s personal collections in mind, and still showcases a number of artifacts from Abbe’s original collections today. Featured items include a 2,000-year-old flute, a collection of spear and arrow points, and a powder horn formerly belonging to Penobscot chief Orono. A St. Sauveur: A Meeting of Nations exhibit also chronicles early interactions between Wabanaki people and Europeans.
The Bar Harbor museum features a number of permanent and rotating temporary exhibits, including the flagship People of the First Light exhibit. The exhibit spans more than 12,000 years of Wabanaki history, using oral histories and traditions, artifacts, historical accounts, and multimedia and digital interactive elements to tell the story of the Nation’s culture, conflicts, and adaptation in the modern world. A number of Wabanaki artists, including Maliseet illustrator Gina Brooks, were integrally involved in the exhibit’s design, which is centered around a two-story sculptural ash tree. Rotating temporary exhibits focus on traditional aspects of Wabanaki culture and the works of modern artists, and a number of spaces throughout the museum offer opportunities for quiet reflection.
Ongoing Programs and Education
Guided tours of the Bar Harbor museum are offered for small groups and organizations, including curriculum-incorporated field trip opportunities for elementary and secondary school students. Distance learning classroom programs are also offered, focusing on topics such as native storytelling, comparative economics, and stereotype deconstruction. A variety of public programming is offered throughout the year at both museum locations, including discussion groups, workshops, and demonstrations presented by Wabanaki scholars and artisans.
26 Mt Desert St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-3519
Attraction Spotlight: 1932 Criterion Theatre
The 1932 Criterion Theatre is a non-profit community theater and art house funded and supported by the public. This 1932 theater has brought entertainment to Downtown Bar Harbor with indie movies, live music, children's theatre, comedians, first-run movies, historical tours, opera, and a wide variety of performing arts.
The multimedia theater is popular for its historic space as the building has retained its original decor from the 1930s, which is maintained in mint condition. Along with great interiors, the theatre is equipped with modern technology, such as a state-of-the-art screen, Dolby surround sound system, superior lighting, projector, and other audio-visual apparatus.
· Movies - The theatreplays first-run movies from time to time. Watch Beauty and the Beast, The Lego Batman Movie, Titanic, and many other movies in one of the most classical settings in town.
· Stories - Hear stories of the 1932 Criterion Theatre from some of the initial guests entertained by the theater. Ralph Garber narrates his date stories at the theatre, going back to the 1950s. Take a walk down memory lane with Ralph, who visits the theatre to reminisce in the glorious times spent at the 1932 Criterion with his late wife Barbara Bishop.
· Live Events - The theater hosts a wide variety of live events at the venue to share the space with the general public. These events change every season to feature free vacation camps, weekly children and family events, music, live musical performances, community events, theater, and many more live activities.
Tickets & Reservations
Theater tickets for movies and performances can be purchased online on the theater’s website. A short description of the show and ticket prices can be viewed before making the purchase.
The theatre is available for rental and can be rented out for private events, both corporate and individual.
The theater is solely run on public donations and while there are community partners assisting in the upkeep of the space, the theater accepts public donations in cash and kind.
· Donations - Much of the theater’s recent renovations were made possible with community donations that came in big and small. To continue with its endeavors of improving and preserving this historic glory, the theatre has set up an online gateway to accept donations in amounts ranging from $10 to $500 using a credit card. For donations made via post, one can enclose a check or furnish credit card details on a donation form available on their website.
· Membership Program - Except for a few free camps and events, visitors are required to purchase tickets in order to take part in the theater activities. By purchasing an annual membership to the theater, one can get exclusive entry to all the events while supporting the theater.
· Volunteering - The theater requires volunteers for the positions of ushering, postering, stage crew, ticketing, and concessions. Interested candidates are required to submit an online volunteer form indicating areas of interest so the theater can avail itself of the service of the community.
1932 Criterion Theatre, 35 Cottage St Bar Harbor, Maine 04609, Phone: 207-288-0829