If you've found a beautiful home exchange by the water in New England, and you're dreaming of spending time on the ocean, you just might be thinking about food next. New England is known for having fantastic seafood (especially if you crave lobster or scallops) and whether you're in Boston or Bar Harbor, summer in New England means dozens of seafood restaurants to choose from.
There are upscale, high-end, pricey options aplenty, but on a hot summer day it can be just as enjoyable to go to a small, local establishment where you can eat outside with lots of napkins, shooing away the birds that come for your crumbs. From Maine to Connecticut, here are a few of those seafood dives worth a visit, and worth every calorie.
Best Seafood Dive in New Hampshire
For melt-in-your-mouth lobster in New Hampshire, look no further than Petey's Summertime Seafood in Rye, New Hampshire. Most of the menu items, from the clam chowder down to the onion rings, have won a reader's choice award. Established in 1990, Petey's catches their own lobster, so you can rest assured that you're getting the freshest seafood. You can sit outside with a view of the water while you contemplate the lengthy menu, or pick up some live lobster to make back at your house.
Best Seafood Dive in Maine
If you're staying in Maine, you really can't go wrong with lobster you can get your hands on (provided it is accompanied with plenty of melted butter, of course!). But our personal favorite is Erica's Seafood in Harpswell, Maine. The seafood market overlooks Casco Bay, the prices are good and you can enjoy a bowl of famous seafood chowder (with generous amounts of lobster, shrimp, haddock, scallops and crab) with the sights and smells of the ocean all around. Erica's Seafood provides tips on cooking and eating lobster too, so if you're a newbie, you're in for an educational experience!
Best Seafood Dive in Massachusetts
If you're craving a lobster roll in Massachusetts, Cape Cod Lobster Rolls in Onset, Massachusetts is a must visit. They have many classic dishes with the addition of lobster: lobster mac and cheese, lobster BLT, lobster quesadilla, to name a few. However, their best and most famous menu option is the simple lobster roll: just chunks of lobster served on a buttered, grilled roll. We could eat these every day— they are fresh, flavorful, and unforgettable. Throw in some pickles and Cape Cod potato chips, and you have the best lunch of your summer!
Best Seafood Dive in Rhode Island
When you're ready for a break from lobster, head to Amaral's Fish & Chips in Warren, Rhode Island, a family business that opened in 1984 and serves arguably the best fried fish in the Ocean State. With some Portuguese specialties, including fresh sweet bread and Portuguese soup, the restaurant's bread and butter has always been fried fish and French fries. If it swims in the ocean, Amaral's fries it and serves it on a heaping plate with fries and coleslaw. Choose from fried clams, scallops, shrimp, smelt, calamari, original fried fish, or treat yourself to a combination platter.
Best Seafood Dive in Connecticut
The atmosphere and experience at The Place Restaurant in Guilford, Connecticut, are unlike any other. There are no chairs at The Place, just tree stumps around tables, and all visitors eat outside while watching clams, lobsters, sweet corn and more roasted on the 18-foot wood fire pit. The Place has generous portions and a BYOB policy, providing the ultimate casual, summer dining experience.