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The 5 Best Bar Harbor Restaurants on the Water | Bar Harbor, Maine

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Greetings, fellow foodies and coastal cuisine connoisseurs! Pack your bags (and bring your appetites) because we’re setting sail on a delectable journey to the best Bar Harbor restaurants on the water!

Nestled on the northeastern shores of Mount Desert Island, this seaside gem is not just a gateway to the rugged splendors of Acadia National Park – it’s a culinary hotspot where the Atlantic’s bountiful harvest graces the tables of some seriously impressive eateries.

I can’t tell you how the salty, ocean-kissed breeze enhanced the sensory experience as I embarked on my own food adventure in this quaint coastal haven.

Between you and me, I’ve developed a taste for eateries with a view, and Bar Harbor does not disappoint.

The Bar Harbor restaurant scene is as dynamic and varied as the city itself, boasting a blend of vibrant food culture, local delicacies, and (hold onto your lobster bibs) seafood that’s as fresh as a salty sea breeze. 

Each waterside restaurant has its own unique charm, offering not just food but an experience steeped in tradition and the inviting warmth of local hospitality.

Bar Harbor Restaurants on the water

The local chefs are true maestros, composing symphonies of flavor from the bounties of land and sea. 

And my dear friends, it’s the seafood that truly steals the show – the Bar Harbor food stage starlet. From clams to haddock, mussels to the renowned Maine lobster – it’s a seafood lover’s paradise.

Oh, and let’s not forget the ambiance. Picture this: feasting on succulent lobster while watching fishing boats bob gently on the water, the sun setting over Frenchman Bay, painting the sky with hues of pink and orange. That, my dear foodie friends, is the magic of restaurant dining in Bar Harbor.

In the following lines, we’re going to navigate the best Bar Harbor restaurants on the water – where spectacular views, stunning sunsets, and mouthwatering meals come together to create an unforgettable dining experience. So loosen that belt buckle, prepare your palate, and let’s set sail on this tasty voyage!

Visiting Bar Harbor? Check out our other delicious guides:

Top Three Picks of the Bar Harbor Restaurants on the Water

RestaurantTop PickOur Rating
Testa’s Bar & GrillBlackened Fish Tacos5/5
Galyn’sClam Chowder5/5
Reading Room RestaurantLobster Egg Benedict5/5

The Five Best Bar Harbor Restaurants on the Water

Stewman’s Lobster Pound

35 West St., Bar Harbor, ME 04609, United States // +12072880346

You know, it’s funny how the smallest decisions can lead you to the most delightful experiences. That’s exactly what happened when I decided to pay a visit to Stewman’s Lobster Pound.

Ah, Stewman’s – an enchanting, casual gem nestled right on the harborfront. Imagine your nose being tickled by the tantalizing aroma of fresh seafood cooking as the sound of lapping waves provides the perfect coastal symphony. 

The charm of Stewman’s lies in its simplicity. It’s not just a waterfront restaurant; it’s a place where the soul of Bar Harbor comes to life.

When my buddy and I walked into Stewman’s, we were struck by the laid-back atmosphere, as though we were being welcomed into a friend’s seaside home. 

And let me tell you, the lobster roll? Indeed a mouthful of Maine’s spirit! Fresh, succulent lobster, bundled up in a soft, toasty roll – my friend was practically swooning with every bite. His verdict? Absolutely worth every penny.

Meanwhile, I opted for something a little different, a Cobb salad. An odd choice in a seafood haven, you might think, but this was no ordinary salad. 

An explosion of flavors danced across my palate in a tantalizing ballet. It was a testament to the culinary prowess of the chefs at Stewman’s and proof that they do more than just exceptional seafood.

Lobster Roll at Stewman's Lobster Pound - one of the best Bar Harbor restaurants on the water

And hey, here’s a little insider secret for you. If you happen to go on a whale watching or nature cruise with the Bar Harbor Whale Watch next door, make sure to hold on to your tickets. 

Why, you ask? Well, flash those bad boys at Stewman’s, and voila, you’ve got yourself a neat little dinner discount. Knocked about $20 off our total – every little bit helps, right?

As the evening progressed, we found ourselves nestled in high-top seating on the deck, the subtle light casting a warm glow on our faces. 

We sat back, sipped our cocktails, and drank in the spectacular view that unfolded before us. The rhythmic ebb and flow of the tide became our soundtrack for the evening, while the setting sun wrapped the sky in a stunning watercolor masterpiece.

Folks, the magic of Stewman’s Lobster Pound is not just in its seafood or its homestyle fare. It’s in the blending of food, friendly faces, the lullaby of the sea, and a view that’s straight out of a dream. I assure you that the Bar Harbor seafood restaurant experience isn’t complete without a visit.


17 Main St., Bar Harbor, ME 04609, United States // +12072889706

Alright, now we’re headed to our next stop on the great Bar Harbor waterfront dining tour, and it’s a doozy. Tucked into a cozy corner near the town pier stands Galyn’s – an enchanting eatery housed in a Victorian-era boarding house that’s been serving up delightfully delicious dishes for over 30 years. 

Entering Galyn’s is like stepping back in time, or perhaps into a fascinating painting – a fact that isn’t surprising considering the walls are adorned with captivating artwork that’ll make any art enthusiast’s heart skip a beat. 

Don’t be fooled though – while the atmosphere does whisper of fine dining elegance, the dress code remains wonderfully relaxed. Your comfy jeans and favorite t-shirt will fit right in here.

You’re seated on a wrap-around patio, the fading daylight replaced by the soft flicker of candlelight, illuminating your table as the Bar Harbor night comes alive. 

This is where my culinary journey at Galyn’s started. And let me tell you, the menu was a seafood lover’s dream.

Lobster roll at Galyn's - one of the best Bar Harbor restaurants on the water

Now, when in Maine, one doesn’t just pass up the opportunity to dig into a traditional lobster roll

Freshly caught, perfectly cooked lobster – none of that overly mayo-drenched affair you sometimes get – snuggled into a soft roll, paired with a bowl of their clam chowder

I’m talking about a bowl brimming with a hearty mix of clams, potatoes, and onions. Every spoonful was a little burst of seaside comfort.

But Galyn’s had one more surprise up its sleeve for me – the Indian Pudding. A curious blend of cornmeal, molasses, and vanilla ice cream, it’s an unusual but incredibly tasty dessert that’ll have you scraping the dish clean. Trust me.

Here’s another thing that sets Galyn’s apart; their drink list. It’s an impressive array of local beers, carefully aged wines, and creative cocktails that would satisfy even the most discerning drinkers.

Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a craft beer enthusiast, there’s a pour waiting for you.

Indian pudding at Galyn's - one of the best Bar Harbor restaurants on the water

Let me tell you, folks, the atmosphere at Galyn’s was warm and inviting, and the staff was simply outstanding. Our server was the embodiment of Maine hospitality, making us feel right at home. 

It’s places like Galyn’s that remind us that dining out is not just about filling our bellies; it’s about community, warmth, and stories shared over good food.

So, the next time you find yourself in Bar Harbor, make sure you pop into Galyn’s. Whether you’re a lobster lover or a steak devotee, this place is sure to charm its way into your foodie’s heart.

The Chart Room

565 Eden St., Bar Harbor, ME 04609, United States // +12072889740

Our next restaurant on our Bar Harbor food extravaganza is The Chart Room, a treasure tucked two miles away from downtown, right along the sparkling seaside. 

This place has been making waves (pun totally intended!) in the local dining scene for over two decades, and let me tell you, one bite of their seafood, and you’ll understand why.

Imagine biting into their signature lobster roll – the bun, toasted to golden perfection, cradling generous chunks of fresh, succulent lobster. 

Pair it with a side of perfectly crispy fries, and you’ve got a meal that’ll have you sighing in gastronomic delight. I swear, with every bite, you could almost hear the ocean whispering sweet nothings in your ear.

Speaking of the ocean, the Chart Room’s location offers one of the best waterfront restaurant views you can find on the east coast. 

And with indoor and outdoor seating available, you can choose how you want to enjoy that stunning seascape. 

On a balmy summer day, there’s nothing quite like sitting outside, the ocean breeze teasing your hair as you dig into their hearty offerings.

Lobster roll at the Chart Room - one of the best Bar Harbor restaurants on the water

One thing that really stood out to me was their portion sizes – let’s just say they don’t believe in the concept of “less is more.” 

Whether you’re diving into their prime rib, savoring their blackened fish, or tackling the great surf and turf, expect to leave with your belly contentedly full and your palate singing praises.

Here’s a hot tip. The Chart Room is not just a restaurant but an experience. And it’s an experience that locals and tourists alike swarm to every summer. 

So yes, it can get a bit crowded when the weather’s good. But worry not; plenty of seating is available, and they turn tables quickly. You won’t find yourself waiting for too long, I promise.

I remember strolling in for lunch; the place was buzzing with activity – always a good sign, right? Despite the crowd, service was swift, and our meal was nothing short of delightful.

So here’s the deal: if you find yourself in Bar Harbor and you’re longing for a taste of the sea paired with some incredible views, make your way to the Chart Room. It’s a maritime love affair that’ll leave you coming back for more!

Reading Room Restaurant

1 Newport Dr., Bar Harbor, ME 04609, United States // +12072883351

The next Bar Harbor foodie adventure is the Reading Room Restaurant at the Bar Harbor Inn, a delightful blend of history, class, and deliciousness!

Tucked into a charming 1800s inn, the Reading Room dazzles with panoramic harbor views. Imagine dining while the ocean performs a captivating show just for you!

Chef Louis Kiefer, at the helm since 1998, presents Downeast Maine cuisine with a seasonal flair. 

Fresh halibut and succulent lamb; his menus are a foodie’s dream. Remember to don your smart casuals, as beachwear might feel a little out of place.

Lobster eggs benedict at Reading Room - one of the best Bar Harbor restaurants on the water

My visit? A whirl of lobster eggs benedict happiness while my friend indulged in fluffy Maine blueberry pancakes. Kudos to the wonderful team, especially Chef Patrick, for their culinary prowess!

Throw in some soothing live piano music, and you’ve got an unforgettable experience. So, when in Bar Harbor, don’t miss the Reading Room!

Testa’s Bar & Grill

53 Main St., Bar Harbor, ME 04609, United States // +12072883327

Last on the list is another pearl; Testa’s Bar & Grill! This harbor-adjacent eatery packs a punch with seafood specialties, steaks, sandwiches, and cocktails that’ll leave you craving for more.

My friend and I stumbled upon Testa’s during a quest for a reasonably priced dinner spot, and let’s just say we hit the jackpot! 

From the get-go, we were welcomed by a friendly waitress who was a whiz at answering questions and dropping hot recommendations.

Now let me tell you about the coconut shrimp – a dish that was nothing short of a flavor explosion! 

Imagine plump, juicy shrimp encased in a crunchy coconut batter, all swimming in a blueberry sauce that danced between sweet and spicy. Take it from me, folks; this dish alone is worth the visit.

Coconut shrimp at Testa's - one of the best Bar Harbor restaurants on the water

As a seafood lover, I couldn’t resist trying the blackened fish tacos. Holy mackerel, indeed! The flavors were dynamic and bold; each bite was like a party in my mouth. 

On the other hand, my friend dove headfirst into a bowl of clam chowder, declaring it the best he’s ever had. He was so obsessed he claimed he could’ve eaten two to three bowls for dinner alone! 

He also tried the grilled shrimp, bacon, and avocado Caesar salad – he said every bite was a delight.

So, here’s the inside scoop: Testa’s is a must-visit if you find yourself looking for a waterfront restaurant in Bar Harbor. It’s a place that proves that great food doesn’t always have to come with a hefty price tag. 

Don’t overlook this spot, or you’ll miss out on some serious foodie fun!

Foodies Also Ask

Bar Harbor is a seafood lover’s dream, with many restaurants serving fresh lobster, clams, and local fish. 

However, the culinary scene doesn’t stop there – you’ll also find excellent steakhouses, Italian, Asian, and vegetarian eateries, plus a vibrant farm-to-table scene.

What’s the dress code for restaurants in Bar Harbor?

While some places like the Reading Room Restaurant suggest dressy casual, most Bar Harbor restaurants are fairly laid-back. 

You’ll be comfortable in casual wear at most spots, but it’s always a good idea to check the restaurant’s website if you’re unsure.

What are some must-try dishes in Bar Harbor?

The Maine lobster roll is a classic you won’t want to miss. The coconut shrimp at Testa’s, the lobster eggs benedict at Reading Room Restaurant, and the clam chowder at Galyn’s are all standout dishes. And don’t forget to try a dessert made with local Maine blueberries!

Wrapping Up: The Five Best Bar Harbor Restaurants on the Water

As our culinary journey draws to a close, it’s clear that dining in Bar Harbor isn’t simply about eating – it’s an experience, a spectacle, a feast for all your senses. 

The restaurants we’ve visited, perched on the water’s edge, bring together the beauty of nature and gastronomy in a perfect harmony that’s hard to resist.

In Bar Harbor, the food, much like the scenery, is a celebration of authenticity and diversity. From tantalizing seafood fresh from the ocean to inventive dishes that offer unexpected flavor combinations, the dining scene here is a testament to culinary creativity and local produce.

Whether you’re a dedicated foodie, a seafood enthusiast, or someone who simply appreciates a great meal against a spectacular backdrop, you’re bound to fall in love with what Bar Harbor has to offer. 

There’s something about the mixture of fresh ocean breeze, warm hospitality, and heavenly food that creates a sense of connection – not just to the meal in front of you but to the vibrant culture and spirit of Bar Harbor itself.

So the next time you find yourself in Bar Harbor, I urge you to embark on this delightful waterfront dining adventure. 

Because, trust me, nothing compares to the joy of savoring a delicious meal while watching the sunset over the harbor. Until then, happy dreaming, and bon appétit!

While in Bar Harbor don’t miss out on activities that will help immerse yourself with the city (hurry while they’re hot!):

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