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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: July 8, 2015

Ultimate Maine seafood guide: Where to eat & how to buy lobsters, clams & fish (lots of recipes, too!)

We’ve got a seafood restaurant recommendation for everything from entertaining Aunt Martha to proposing marriage, markets where you can buy fish just off the boat, guides to oyster bars and lobster shacks … and more.

Written by: Susan Axelrod

Summer in Maine is prime seafood-eating season. Whether it’s a pristine piece of the freshest fish prepared by an expert chef, a bucket of crispy fried clams from the window of a seafood shack, a dozen briny oysters washed down with cold local beer or a lobster dinner enjoyed at a picnic table overlooking a picturesque harbor, now is when those of us who love fish and shellfish look to source as many of our meals as we can from that beautiful blue ocean that borders our state. And of course Maine has a bounty of ways to get our fix.

Here in one place, is your ultimate guide to Maine seafood: Where to eat it, where to buy it, and how to cook it at home.


A seafood restaurant for every occasion in Portland
Entertaining out-of-towners or trying to woo someone special, there’s a seafood restaurant in Portland for you.

21 top lobster shacks in Maine
Noteworthy seasonal lobster shacks from Kittery to Quoddy Head offer an authentic lobster dinner experience right on the water.

5 awesome oyster bars in Portland
Indulge in the briny treats, what French poet Leon-Paul Fargue famously said was like “kissing the sea on the lips.”

Old-Fashioned Fun: Cabbage Island Clambakes
Before you think that taking a boat to an island for a clambake is just for tourists, it’s actually a great time.

Free steamer clams, if you’re willing to dig
You can dig clams for free, anytime you want at Maine’s state parks. It’s not hard and you leave with a “free” meal.

The best way to make Maine lobster: A stovetop clambake anyone can do
Layer seaweed, clams, corn, new potatoes and lobsters in a large pot with a bit of saltwater.

Portland-area fish markets offer the freshest selection
Knowledgeable staff will help you choose what’s freshest and best and even offer cooking suggestions.

Grilled Halibut with Pistachio Butter
The cookbook, “Where There’s Smoke,” provides inspiration and recipes for a meal made almost entirely on a Weber kettle grill.

French-ish Baked Cod from Salt + Sea
This recipe will work beautifully with any mild, flaky fish, but seasoning is important: don’t skimp with the salt and pepper.

Grilled tuna two ways
Sturdy tuna steaks stand up to the grill for a salad with eggplant and chickpeas, and on their own, topped with sweet and sour pepper relish.

From our mothers’ kitchens: Mama Joan’s Fish Sandwich
“Invented” at the Jersey Shore, this simple dish depends on a cast-iron skillet, the freshest fish, plenty of garlic and lots of lemon.

Cooking for One: Quick Pad Thai with Shrimp
This flavorful dinner comes together in a flash when you want something cozy and noodle-y, but fresh and healthy.

Seared Maine scallops in orange-chipotle-bacon glaze
Scallops over baby spinach, with a salty-sweet glaze

Marinated Jonah crab claws
This recipe is adapted from Emeril Lagasse, who ate these crabs as a child growing up in Mass.

Rainbow Chard-Wrapped Flaky White Fish
Make this recipe with cod, haddock, cusk, hake or pollock.


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