The “eat local” movement is flourishing in Maine, making the state one of the best places on the planet for locavores. Here is where you can dine at hundreds of restaurants on a meal of all farm-to-table ingredients, or buy and cook your own fare from dozens of farmers’ markets, independent grocers, or even some of the better supermarkets.
As blogger Alison LePage wrote for a publication of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), “It wasn’t that long ago that everyone ate local foods. Grocery stores didn’t even exist until 80 years ago.” LePage and her family decided shortly after moving here to go on an “all Maine” diet.
Nationally known food writer Molly Watson explains why Mainers are on the right track in promoting locally grown foodstuffs. “Eating local foods is better for you, for the environment, and most importantly, for your taste buds,” she says.
It’s actually difficult to find an eatery in Maine that doesn’t boast about serving at least some locally grown meats and produce. From casual Miguel’s in Bangor, where locally raised meats and fresh-from-the-garden salad greens are the rule, to the all-organic menu at Kennebunkport’s Earth, where the chef uses ingredients hand-picked from an onsite garden, to Café Miranda in Rockland, where vegetables come directly from chef Kerry Altiero’s own farm, Maine restaurateurs realize that diners’ tastes are definitely moving toward the homegrown.
Other restaurants often recommended for their bias toward local foods include Robert’s Maine Grill (Kittery), Arrows (Ogunquit), Fore Street (Portland),
Joshua’s (Wells), Primo (Rockland), and the Early Bird Café (So. Berwick).
There are several organizations across the state dedicated to connecting farmer to diner. One such group is the Eat Local Foods Coalition of Maine (ELFC). That group’s mission is to “put more Maine food on more Maine tables more often.” The Maine Locavore organization is another group working to spread the gospel of locavorism. They post profiles of more than 200 farms on their website, and allow browsers to target places to purchase everything edible from meats to sweets, or to visit farms for a chance to get up close and personal with what goes on their dining table.