Friday April 18th 2014

Island dining in Casco Bay: Portland’s offshore restaurants offer casual to fine fare

By: Susan Axelrod

One of the cool things about living in, or visiting, Portland is that as amazing as the city is, it’s so easy to escape it — by water. Hopping on a Casco Bay Lines ferry to spend a day on one of the outlying islands can make you feel like you’ve been far, far away.

Whether you go for a bike ride, flop on a beach or wander island trails, you’re bound to get hungry. Here’s a guide to dining options — from places for a quick bite to white-tablecloth restaurants — on Peaks, Cliff, Chebeague and Great Diamond Islands. All are accessible via Casco Bay Lines.

Read more about four restaurants worth the boat trip to Maine islands near and far: Isles of good food via

Peaks Island

Photo: The Peaks Island House

The Peaks Island House

Casual, family friendly dining on a large deck just a short distance from the ferry landing, a favorite spot to watch the sunset.
20 Island Ave. | 766-4400 |
Lunch and dinner 7 days


The Inn on Peaks Island

Popular for weddings, this classic New England Inn has a cozy dining room offering a contemporary American menu with plenty of local seafood. They also brew their own cask-conditioned ale.
33 Island Ave. | 766-5100 |
Lunch and dinner 7 days


The Cockeyed Gull

The island’s most casual dining option has a good-sized deck and a wide-ranging menu from burgers to dishes with an Asian influence.
78 Island Ave. | 766-2800 |
11:30 a.m. to 9/9:30 p.m., 7 days


Great Diamond Island

Photo: Diamond’s Edge Restaurant & Marina

Diamond’s Edge Restaurant & Marina

Sit outside on the lawn rolling down to the water or inside the historic brick building that was once part of Fort McKinley. The menu focuses on seafood and local produce.
766-5850 |
Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday, Sunday Brunch


Cliff Island

Photo: Pearl’s/Facebook

Pearls Seaside Market & Café-Restaurant

Homemade cinnamon rolls, lobster BLTs, fried red hot dogs and pizza are offered at this cornerstone of the Cliff Island community.
11 Wharf Rd. | 766-2312 |
Breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 days


Chebeague Island

Photo: The Chebeague Island Inn

The Chebeague Island Inn

Old-World graciousness — without stuffiness — defines this beautifully restored, circa-1920s inn. White linens drape the tables in the dining room and on the broad porch; you’ll want to dress accordingly.
61 South Rd. | 846-5155 |
Lunch and dinner 7 days

Photo: Calder’s Clam Shack

Calder’s Clam Shack

Nothing fancy, no tables, just a place to grab a sandwich or an ice cream cone.
108 North Rd. | 846-5046 |
Tuesday-Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Photo: Slow Bell Cafe/Facebook

Slow Bell Cafe

A little something for everyone: Breakfast treats, lunch to go; happy hour specials, pub food and a specials menu that might include grilled wild Alaskan sockeye salmon, pulled pork sliders, and watermelon gazpacho.
2 Walker Rd. | 846-3078 |
9:30 a.m. to midnight, 7 days