Best Restaurants in Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, Maine

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Best Restaurants in Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, Maine

Seasonal seafood shacks, delicious pastries from Zuni Café alums, amaro carts and more.

Kennebunkport has been one of Maine’s most popular vacation destinations for over 100 years. The historic fishing village offers the idyllic vacationland experience that visitors expect: mornings stroll the historic Dock Square, afternoons laze on Gooch’s Beach, and evenings stroll along Ocean Avenue, where you stop to smell the beach roses – and of course the Bush Discover Compound (if that’s your thing).

While there’s no shortage of venues to enjoy the quintessential Maine holy trinity—chowder, lobster roll, whoopie pie—there’s much more here than just the usual holiday fare. Chefs with rich resumes and restaurants with nationwide presence are choosing to set up shop in KPT, while other long-established businesses continue to adapt and expand their menus and concepts. And some just keep doing what they have done perfectly over the years. Here are 10 must-try places for your next visit.

Batson River Brewing & Distilling location in Kennebunk. / Free photo

Batson River Brewing & Distilling

There’s no shortage of craft beer in Maine, and Batson River brews some of the best. While the group now has properties across the state, the Kennebunk location is the original one. With a large outdoor area and two floors inside, the bar and restaurant is a hotspot all year round. The menu features seasonal and unique beers, cocktails and popular dishes like duck fat cornbread and a smash burger with Boursin cheese. Holiday fans won’t want to miss the seasonal overlay as the space transforms into a richly decorated winter wonderland with themed drinks.

12 Western Ave., Kennebunk, Maine, 207-967-8821, batsonriver.com.

Top view of plates with partially eaten pastries, a cup of floral tea and a glass teapot.

Pastries and tea at Bev’s Cafe & Market. / Nicole Wolf Photo

Bev’s Café & Market

Founded by two longtime members of San Francisco’s famous Zuni Café, Bev’s serves breakfast, lunch, and a delicious selection of pastries five days a week. With exceptional sandwiches and more, the sunny spot has quickly become a neighborhood staple since opening in summer 2023. Co-owner Nate Norris greets regulars while clearing tables from the steady stream of guests throughout the day, and the hospitality in general is exceptional. The menu changes and specials are noted on post-its at the register, but co-owner Annie Callan’s giant cinnamon rolls never go out.

41 Main St., Kennebunk, Maine, instagram.com/bevs_cafe.

The Shell Hut

The Clam Shack is easy to find: you’ll spot the line from the city center. The Clam Shack is located on one side of the bridge over the Kennebunk River and is open seasonally. In operation since 1968, it is the best place for fried seafood. There are other signature Seafood Shack favorites like lobster rolls and clam cake burgers, but nothing says “summer in Maine” like seared scallops and clam strips.

2 Western Ave., Kennebunk, Maine, 207-967-3321, theclamshack.net.

A restaurant's rustic dining room features a log wall, brown leather lounge seats, and wooden tables and chairs.

Soil at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport. / Free photo

Earth at Hidden Pond

Despite the name, landing on Earth for the first time at Hidden Pond feels like landing on another planet. As you drive down the quiet road to Hidden Pond, one of Maine’s most luxurious resorts, you may wonder if you’re in the right place. To take local sourcing to new levels, the team grows many ingredients locally to showcase them in both dishes and drinks. The warm dining room is stunning, merging the exterior with the interior, complete with numerous hardwood accents on the walls and a chandelier made from a restored apple tree. The menu is available as a three, four or five course menu with a few options per course. You can’t go wrong unless you skip the iconic sassafras and sarsaparilla glazed donuts served with vanilla ice cream. If you want to treat yourself to a stay on the property, you can even have a meal from the restaurant delivered straight to your door. (Note: The resort is open seasonally, but the restaurant is open year-round.)

354 Goose Rocks Rd., Kennebunkport, Maine, 207-967-6550, Earthathiddenpond.com.

Mabel’s lobster claw

A Kennebunkport staple since the 1950s, Mabel’s is a casual, seasonal restaurant serving all the staples: fried clams, lobster rolls and the famous baked stuffed lobster. The porch is the perfect place to enjoy the warmer summer days. Plus, you never know who you’ll see: Martha Stewart has been known to dine here – and if it’s good enough for Martha, it’s good enough for us.

124 Ocean Ave., Kennebunkport, Maine, 207-967-2562, mabelslobster.com.

Nunan’s lobster shack

Nunan’s is a no-frills seasonal seafood bar that serves lobster in almost every classic way you could want: steamed, in a roll, in a stew—and the list goes on. Lobster is a family business, the Nunans not only cook it but also catch it. This is the perfect, relaxed spot for a quintessential Maine meal of chowder, steamers and lobster with a surprisingly large selection of local beers to top it all off. Don’t miss the selection of homemade cakes and cobblers for dessert and don’t forget cash – no cards are accepted.

9 Mills Rd., Kennebunkport, Maine, 207-967-4362, nunanslobsterhut.com.

A scoop of pink sorbet lies on panna cotta, with a cocktail garnished with cucumbers in the background.

Rococo dessert bar in Kennebunk. / Photo by Michael D. Wilson Photography

Rococo

Rococo has been making unique ice cream flavors in Kennebunk for years. The urban grocery store recently relocated from its original location and, as part of the move, added a glamorous dessert bar to its operation. Here you’ll find all the classic flavors – like goat cheese blackberry Chambord – as well as sundaes, boozy milkshakes and cocktails. Looking for a hit on the go? There is also a seasonal shovel shop.

8 Western Ave., Kennebunk, Maine, 207-360-0804, rococoicecream.com.

Empty interior of an upscale restaurant with dark blue-gray walls, counter seating next to an open kitchen, and light wood accents.

Rosella in Kennebunk. / Free photo

Rosella

This popular, sustainable sushi spot from New York’s East Village expanded to the Grand Hotel in Kennebunkport in summer 2023 and focuses on using locally caught fish and shellfish, particularly neglected species. The sushi and sashimi selection is the highlight of the menu, with options like Rhode Island porgy, Massachusetts scallops and Maine amberjack. But don’t miss other dishes like smoked laksa eel or the Kennebunkport Cali Roll, made with Jonah crab, radishes, avocado and jalapeño. For dessert, treat yourself to Eggs Galore, a strange combination of tamago, caviar and maple syrup.

1 Chase Hill Rd, Kennebunk, Maine, 207-967-6540, rosellakpt.com.

An empty elegant restaurant bar area.

About Sophia by the Sea in Kennebunk. / Free photo

About Sophia by the Sea

Just outside of downtown Kennebunkport, Via Sophia by the Sea is the place to go for homemade pasta and Italian specialties. The space is chic and a perfect choice no matter the temperature, with a huge fireplace in the dining room and plenty of patio space for warmer weather. Don’t miss the freshly baked focaccia, cavatelli with Italian sausage and the impressive amaro cart.

27 Western Ave., Kennebunk, Maine, 207-967-6530, viarestaurants.com.

A rustic-chic barn dining room features a huge picture window.

White Barn Inn Restaurant in Kennebunk. / Free photo

White Barn Inn Restaurant

You’ve probably seen photos of the 50-year-old White Barn Inn Restaurant before: the dramatic picture window in the center of the dining room is perfect for extremely photogenic seasonal scenes, be it a giant pumpkin or a collection of wildflowers or snowy pine trees. The romantic Forbes five-star restaurant in the 150-year-old White Barn Inn is undoubtedly one of the area’s best-known restaurants and is popular with both local regulars and hotel guests. Luxurious tasting menus include one focused on lobster. For guests looking for a more relaxed option, Little Barn is located next to the dining room and acts as a laid-back companion – don’t miss the ray wing schnitzel.

37 Beach Ave., Kennebunk, Maine, 207-967-2321, auberresorts.com.