Kennebunkport’s culinary scene has been rapidly gathering momentum, with nationally renowned chefs, gourmet catering companies and award-winning food artisans flocking to the area. Throughout the town, laid-back shacks and ice-cream stalls rub shoulders with fine-dining restaurants and upscale eateries. Led by a local guide, you’ll meander from Dock Square across into the Lower Village, tasting Maine’s finest seafood and artisan delicacies along the way.
Coastal Kennebunkport is renowned for its freshly shelled lobster, which features on most menus. However, the town has also witnessed a growth in boutique restaurants producing innovative farm-to-table fare. Your guide will explain some of the local culinary history while steering you toward one of the town’s claims to fame ― whoopie pies ― as well as ice-cream stalls, craft breweries and lobster straight off the boat.
In a small group, guided by a fellow food lover, you’ll spend three hours exploring the culinary highlights around the town and meet some of the passionate resident gourmands. Leaving Dock Square, you’ll quickly come face-to-face with a counter full of miniature treats: lines of neatly presented tiny doughnuts filled with lemon meringue, chocolate, blueberry — the official state fruit — and more.
You’ll slowly wander toward the Lower Village, passing the rickety Clam Shack which you can often identify simply by the long line of people standing outside it. And for good reason. They serve one of the best lobster rolls in the region using catch that’s come straight from Kennebunkport’s dock. All the ingredients, even down to the butter, are locally sourced. You’ll learn about local lobster fishing and cooking methods before enjoying a roll alfresco on wooden benches and crates.
Aside from lobster, the town is also celebrated for its clam ‘chowdah’. You can sample this hearty broth on the site of Kennebunkport’s 19th-century shipyards, followed by a tasting at one of Maine’s original brew pubs. An expert beermaker will guide you through the brewing process and you can sip some of the local ales and sodas.
For a more up-to-the-minute brewing experience, try some of Kennebunkport’s lightly honeyed meads. In its aim of reintroducing this fermented-honey-and-water beverage to the area, this meadery has been evolving since 2007. It spices this traditional alcoholic drink with different tastes, including lavender, cranberry, wild Maine blueberry or chai.
Kennebunkport has also attracted a host of enterprising roasters. You can taste some of the daily blends and freshly roasted beans before soaking up the Lower Village’s European ambience with a steaming cup of coffee and a macaroon. Your guide will also give you an opportunity to sample the official state treat, the whoopie pie. Originally created using leftover batter, this sweet treat consists of two fluffy chocolate cakes hugging a frosted filling.
To conclude your gastronomic journey, you’ll visit one of Kennebunkport’s many ice-cream holes-in-the-wall. Select from a menu of unusual handmade ice creams, from sweet avocado and garam masala to goat’s cheese and guava, before winding back toward the shingled storefronts and boutique cafés of Dock Square.
Starting late morning, each tour varies slightly, as your guide will cater to your group’s preferences, tastes and size.
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