If you’ve never been to Camden because you’re under the impression its streets are only to be trodden by the well-heeled, I’m here to adjust that misconception.
Sure, plenty of celebrities and millionaires from around the world have second homes here, or at least spend a few weeks in town. But there’s a Camden for everyone—food, lodging, and dining to fit every budget if you know where to look.
And the latter of those three is what we’re going to learn about in this writeup—everything from come-as-you-are pubs to acclaimed fine dining, right here at your fingertips.
Map of the Best Camden Restaurants
This map of Camden eateries is perfect for planning your next dinner out:
Peter Ott’s on the Water
Fresh, simple fare made from scratch is what you can expect at Peter Ott’s—and presented beautifully, I might add.
The menu is seafood-forward at this seasonal spot, with a fair number of other items as well, including a kid’s menu.
There are plenty of sandwiches, burgers, and salads to choose from for lunch and dinner—and there are six extra entrees added to the mix for after 4 p.m. (such as the Lobster Fettucine Alfredo, which I wholeheartedly recommend).
There is indoor seating (including at the bar) as well as dining on the deck, where you’ll be treated to gorgeous harbor views.
Location: 16 Bay Vw Lndg, Camden, ME 04843
Website: Peter Ott’s on the Water
Open year-round, The Waterfront features casual indoor and outdoor dining with an elevated comfort food menu.
As with most restaurants in the area, you’ll find seafood is predominant here—and they do it well (don’t get me wrong—their landlubber options are fantastic, too).
The Blackened Haddock Tacos are spectacular, if you like a bit of zip—and if you prefer your fish prepped old-school style, go for the Atlantic Haddock Fish & Chips. Bonus: All of their breads and desserts are made fresh, in-house.
Location: 48 Bay View St, Camden, ME 04843
Website: The Waterfront
The resourceful folks at this elegant year-round bistro source almost all of their ingredients locally—which means their exciting menus are always changing.
Almost everything can be prepared gluten-free, and many items are vegan. Expect gastronomic wonders like the Osso Bucco (braised bone-in pork shank, root vegetable puree, local vegetables, parsley, and lemon).
Oh, and be sure to save room for scratch-baked, dessert delights, all of which are gluten-free. The craft cocktails at 40 Paper are also not to be missed—true works of libation art.
Location: 40 Washington St, Camden, ME 04843
Website: 40 Paper
Fresh & Co.
Inspired by culinary revelations during worldwide travel experiences, the owners and chefs at Fresh & Co. utilize local ingredients to create international flavors.
Family-owned and -run, this warm, welcoming, seasonal spot offers a lively panoply of entrees and small plates from all points of the globe, like Korean BBQ, Stuffed Eggplant, Brazilian Moqueca Stew, or Rigatoni a la Vodka.
The wine list is extensive as is the local beer menu, and the cocktails here are delightful.
Location: 1 Bay View St, Camden, ME 04843
Website: Fresh & Co.
Featuring a dining room, bar area, and porch seating, Cuzzy’s is an uber-casual dining option that fits every budget.
You’ll find delicious pub fare, a great happy hour, and plenty to do here—ping pong and pool tables, ring toss, darts, and a jukebox keep things lively, as do the frequent live music events and karaoke nights.
With plenty of brick oven-fired pizza, huge steak burgers, and boatloads of seafood on offer, you and the family can settle in for a few hours of relaxation and entertainment without breaking your vacation budget.
Location: 21 Bay View St, Camden, ME 04843
Website: Cuzzy’s Restaurant
Often referred to as a “hidden gem,” Franny’s is quite a find. The intimate setting and eclectic, funky décor only make it feel all the more precious—and then the food arrives and blows it all out of the water.
Presentation, quality, flavor…the fare here has it all.
I recommend starting with the Shrimp Dumplings and then moving on to the Portuguese Seafood and Linguine…and leaving room for the Chocolate Terrine for dessert.
Location: 55 Chestnut St, Camden, ME 04843
Website: Franny’s Bistro
Located at Relais & Chateaux’s Camden Harbour Inn, Natalie’s has been much-accoladed in the industry, including a four-diamond rating from AAA and an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator.
Natalie’s is the epitome of fine dining; Executive Chef Joseph Nardo utilizes only the freshest local ingredients to craft “distinctively new presentations…showcasing Maine’s bounty.”
Stunning flavor combinations presented in breathtaking fashion await you—such as the Atlantic Salmon with Chickpea Panisse, Black Sesame, and Green Onion—and the long views of Camden Harbor are unmatched.
Location: 83 Bay View St, Camden, ME 04843
Website: Natalie’s Restaurant
One of my favorite Camden restaurants, Long Grain is a true dining odyssey of homemade Asian fare.
Every flavor speaks for itself, every dish is made to order, and every bite is spectacular. And while you may be tempted to opt for something familiar, like their amazing Larb or Pad Thai, I strongly suggest asking your server for some recommendations—you won’t be disappointed.
That’s how I discovered my new go-to, The Spicy Night Market Noodles (rice noodles, roast pork, bean sprouts, pork rind, and hot-sweet-sour broth).
Location: 20 Washington St, Camden, ME 04843
Website: Long Grain
Owned by the same masterminds at Long Grain, BOWA’s (Best of What’s Around) bowls, salads, entrees, and wraps are globally inspired and crafted using local, seasonal ingredients.
Every dish at this seasonal favorite is or can be prepared gluten-free, and many have a vegan option, as well.
My favorite is the Bibimbap—which can be prepared as a traditional bowl or as a wrap.
Location: 31 Elm Street, Camden, ME 04843
Open all year, this popular restaurant serves up house-made brews and fare that will check all the boxes: affordable, plentiful, and delicious.
Serving wood-fired flatbreads, small and big plates, mouthwatering sandwiches and burgers, and fresh salads, Blaze is sure to please even the pickiest member of your group.
For a real Maine meal, order the Fish & Chips: Blaze Beer-Battered North Atlantic Haddock, coleslaw, and house tartar sauce.
Location: 5 Bay Vw Lndg, Camden, ME 04843
Hartstone Inn Restaurant
The restaurant at the elegant Hartstone Inn offers a three-course, fixed-price dining menu as well as a next-level, five-course Chef’s menu.
These spectacular fine dining experiences are available by reservation and feature an ever-changing rotation of locally-sourced fare, such as Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Herb-Seared Cod, Rosemary-Seared Pork Medallions, and house-made desserts like Meyer Lemon Tart and Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta.
Location: 41 Elm St, Camden, ME 04843
Website: Hartstone Inn Restaurant
Sea Dog Brewing Company
Central to all that Camden has to offer, Sea Dog is a quintessential pub-style dining experience.
With locally-themed craft brews (think Wild Blueberry Ale and Owls Head Light that is “Born in Maine, enjoyed all over”) alongside a tavern-fare-forward menu (burgers, sandos, salads, comfort food entrees), folks come to linger in the dining room or on the deck over a great meal, a few fantastic pints, and a laugh or two.
Location: 1 Main St, Camden, ME 04843
Website: Sea Dog Brewing Company
The creative, ever-changing menu at wolfpeach celebrates “the northeast and all the natural bounty it has to offer.”
The chefs here turn to the local fishermen, foragers, and farmers to source the vast majority of the ingredients needed to create the gastronomic wonders you’ll encounter here—which means if it isn’t in season, it’s not on the menu.
You can also take fascinating culinary classes and participate in unique pop-up events at wolfpeach—keep an eye on the website for updates.
Location: 50 Elm St, Camden, ME 04843
Time and space have grown short, and I have to wrap up this round-up. But if you’re looking for a casual, affordable meal, here are a few more great options in Camden.
For spectacular, homemade street food, head to The Jack.
Marriner’s Restaurant and Boynton-McKay Food Co. feature beautiful views and delicious fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and for “good friends, good food, and good service,” go over to Scott’s Place for mouthwatering burgers.