Don’t You LOVE A Good Maine Diner?

by | Jan 15, 2020

Food trucks, restaurants & cafés. Diners, drive-ins & dives, oh my!  Maine has its share of them all, but the local diners are a favorite of mine!

From Southern Maine all the way up the coast and inland as well, old school diners are gathering places for locals, and attractions to tourists who are often called “people from away,” wanting to experience a little local flavor!  Most have an interesting history with the business being in the family for years. Fishermen can be found in these establishments in the early hours of the morning while college students enjoy diners after late night studying or being out on the town. From hearty breakfasts to daily comfort food specials to mile-high pie, you are sure to find something to satisfy your palate. I’d suggest you bring your appetite or even consider skipping the meal and just eat PIE!  Guy Fieri has even visited some of Maine’s Greasy Spoons for his Diners, Drive-ins & Dives TV show including The Maine Diner in the summer of 2010!

The Palace Diner in Biddeford, Maine’s oldest diner, opened in 1927, and only seats 15 people! It is one of two existing Pollard dining cars. The other is the Riverside Diner in Bristol, NH, built in 1926.   A few other iconic Maine diners are The Maine Diner in Wells, Miss Portland Diner & Becky’s Diner, a great spot to have breakfast after visiting Portland Headlight for sunrise, the unusual A1 Diner in Gardiner, The Brunswick Diner in Brunswick, and Moody’s Diner in Waldoboro. I love the framed photos in Moody’s with stories of the booths where you are sitting.

During an August Mid-coast Photo Experience at Ocean Point Inn, I bribed the photo participants with the chance to have breakfast at Moody’s Diner if they would get up at 3:30 a.m. to drive to Pemaquid Lighthouse for sunrise. Both the sunrise AND the breakfast were worth it!

On a recent trip to Lubec, we stopped at our favorite diners on the way up Route 1:  Moody’s in Waldoboro for lunch and Helen’s in Machias for lunch after spending the night in Bar Harbor and working up an appetite photographing sunrise on top of Cadillac Mountain.

We did have breakfast at Two Cats in Bar Harbor, an awesome café that you don’t want to miss when in the Acadia area!

After seeing my FB posts & pictures, a friend told me we needed to go for the Trifecta of Maine Diners so on a rainy morning in Lubec we set out to get our hat trick and headed to WaCo Diner in the easternmost city in the U.S., Eastport, Maine. The WaCo Diner in Eastport opened as a food cart in 1924 and has been in the same spot sine the 1930s. A structure was built in the 30s and the current building has been there since 1967. Unlike the Texas town of Waco, this diner which is pronounce “Whacko,” was named after the two original owners, Nelson A. Watts and Ralph T. Colwell thereby naming it WaCo Diner.

Do you have a favorite Maine Diner? What’s your favorite meal? If you haven’t visited any of these epicurean delights, loosen your belt and put it on your list for your next visit!

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