Dock Square Coffee House
Dock Square is at the heart of Kennebunkport, filled with oodles of small businesses and quaint shops. Dock Square Coffee is the stop for a caffeine fix: Coffee and espresso is brewed with award-winning beans by Portland’s Coffee by Design, and it partners with locals for all pastries like Little Spruce Baking Company of Biddeford and Ogunquit’s Bread & Roses. (Boulangerie, up the road, is Kennebunkport’s go-to for more homemade treats.) Dock Square Coffee also serves seasonal, fresh-squeezed juices and smoothies. Take me there.
Overlooking the Kennebunk River on Ocean Ave., The Boathouse serves up lunch and dinner daily with no reservations. On the menu, Maine classics meet Asian influences, such as Steamed Maine Mussels with lemongrass, tomato, tamarind, ginger, and garlic. But if we’re truth-telling, our favorite bite is the Big Fish Sandwich. Classically beer-battered haddock with homemade tartar, it pairs fittingly with the nautical vibes and waterfront views. Pro tip: don’t miss happy hour on weekdays from 3 to 5 p.m. Take me there.
Nunan’s Lobster Hut
Nestled in the fishing village of Cape Porpoise, Nunan’s Lobster Hut has been around since the ’50s in devotion to Maine’s crown jewel. Have it your way: simply steamed, lobster stew, salad, lobster roll. Pair with gluten-free, homemade clam chowder or some steamed clams to round out the seafood feast, and wash it all down with canned Maine Craft Distillery cocktails (we love the Blueshine Lemonade). What makes this spot so special is not only are the lobsters prepared to order, but the crew is also who goes out on the water to catch them. As such, Nunan’s operates seasonally from Memorial Day weekend through mid-October. Be sure to bring cash—no credit cards accepted here. Take me there.
Batson River Brewing & Distilling
Batson River has really made its mark on the southern Maine drinks scene since its Kennebunk flagship opened in 2018: The craft-beverage maker now has locations in Biddeford, Portland, and Wells where all the production magic happens. In downtown Kennebunk, it’s a two-level, hunting lodge-chic brewpub offering full service, including on the front-deck patio. (There are fun “Fish Shacks” reservable out there for small groups in the wintertime, too.) Batson River makes limited-run spirits like vodka, gin, rum, and bourbon as well as craft beers spanning the full range of styles, matched with shareable dishes, pub fare, and weekend brunch. Take me there.
Earth at Hidden Pond
For an unforgettable, extraordinary, and luxe dining experience in Kennebunkport, look no further than Earth at Hidden Pond. Taking the farm-to-table concept to the next level, Earth sources much of the menu’s produce from lush organic gardens onsite; and partners with other local purveyors to offer a hyperlocal experience. The dining room itself is simply gorgeous: walls built from the trees cleared for the space, a preserved apple tree suspended high above the floor. The opulent affair continues if you explore the unreal accommodations at Hidden Pond in the Goose Rocks neighborhood. Take me there.
Via Sophia by the Sea
Just on the other side of the bridge from Kennebunkport, Via Sophia by the Sea brings modern Italian cuisine to Kennebunk. Open year-round, this elegant yet comfortable restaurant lets the best ingredients sing in scratch-made pastas and seafood dishes, such as Crudo of salmon with black garlic, avocado, and crispy potato; Porcini Risotto with taleggio; and Lobster Agnolotti with sherry cream, asparagus, and oyster mushrooms. It also serves weekend brunch. In addition to coastal Kennebunk, Via Sophia has locations in Washington D.C. and Bethany Beach, Delaware. Take me there.
Ryan’s Corner House Irish Pub
Belly up to Ryan’s Corner House where the beer is cold and the list of Irish whiskeys is extensive. Covered walls-to-ceiling in dollar bills and license plates, this delightful dive bar is ideal for a post-dinner pint of Guinness, or casual comfort food like Fish & Chips and Poutine. Whether inside amongst the memorabilia or on the outdoor patio for people-watching; maybe you’ll catch some impromptu live music. This friendly spot is casual, comfortable, and a bit of a haven in tony Kennebunk. Take me there.