The Best Maine Seafood Chowder (Restaurants + Our Gourmet Recipe)

When you think of authentic New England cuisine, what comes to mind? For us at Grey Havens Inn, Maine seafood chowder is always at the top of our list. Whether you are near our far from our oceanfront bed and breakfast, read on to discover the best lobster and seafood chowder in New England. Below, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite restaurants. You’ll also find our chef’s special recipe so that you can make savory seafood chowder in your own kitchen!

For more recommendations on dining in Midcoast Maine, you can also view our complimentary Destination Guide. We’re happy to send you a copy filled with suggestions on the wineries, restaurants, activities, and more.

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The Ultimate Maine Seafood Chowder Guide

Restaurants You Need to Try

1. Blue at Grey Havens Inn | Georgetown, ME

At Blue, harborfront views, warm hospitality, and authentic North Atlantic cuisine combine to evoke the elegance and charm of historic, old Maine. New England seafood chowder, local mussels, fresh-caught fish, garden salads, and artisan desserts are just a few of our most requested dishes. Our award-winning chef, Esau Crosby, creates each menu seasonally to take advantage of the freshest, local ingredients. To complete your dining experience, join us at The Bar at Blue before or after dinner.

2. Five Islands Lobster | Georgetown, ME

The lobster chowder at Five Islands Lobster is a personal favorite of our innkeepers, Eve and Dick. When it comes to lobster, this unique Maine shack prides itself on serving only the freshest catches supplied by local lobstermen. Coastal Living Magazine named this eatery one of the best seafood dives in the state, and also gave the shack recognition as home to one of the best lobster rolls in Maine. Although Five Islands Lobster does not serve alcohol, visitors are welcome to fill up a cooler with their favorite beverages. Savor a meal, and enjoy beautiful views of the open sea.

3. Rockland Cafe | Rockland, ME + Out-of-State Shipping

Rockland Cafe is the quintessential Maine dining experience. This quaint cafe has served up hearty comfort foods and great seafood options since 1992, and everything is homemade. However, their seafood chowder has made them famous across New England. Their rich and creamy recipe is filled with haddock, scallops, shrimp, and clams. And, if traveling to Rockland isn’t an option for you, then you can still get a taste! Their chowder is so popular that the cafe now offers shipping as far as New York and Chicago. If you’d like to place an order, give them a call at  (207) 596-7556.

Chef Crosby’s Famous Gourmet Seafood Chowder Recipe

Chef Esau Crosby has lived in many places, and his cooking style reflects his confidence in using ingredients and recipes from various regions and cultures. Growing up in a military household allowed him to travel near and far, and his traveling experiences color every meal at Blue Restaurant. While our restaurant is closed during the winter, you can enjoy this classic recipe all year round.

Ingredients

  • ½ lb applewood smoked bacon, cut into small pieces.
  • 1 medium onion, diced.
  • 5 stalks celery, diced.
  • ½ stick butter.
  • 2 pounds of diced potatoes, any type you prefer. (For reference, three medium russet potatoes is typically one pound).
  • 1 ½ quarts of half-and-half or heavy cream or milk.
  • 1 cup of milk.
  • 1 ½ lbs of fish or seafood of your choice. (Note:  No salmon, bluefish, or any other oily fish)
  • ½ to ¾ cup rice flour.

Preparation

  • In a large soup pot, cook the bacon to your desired doneness.  
  • Add the diced onions, celery, and butter to the pot. Saute until onions are translucent.
  • Add diced potatoes and heavy cream to the pot. Cook until the potatoes are al dente.
  • Add the seafood of your choice to the pot.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the rice flour and milk well. 
  • Stir in rice flour and milk mixture to the soup pot. Stir constantly for 2 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy!

For more culinary inspiration by Chef Esau Crosby, watch Portland Maine’s WMTW ABC-TV Channel 8’s “Morning Menu” for his apple and beet fall salad recipe.

Stay & Dine at Grey Havens Inn in the Heart of Midcoast Maine

dining area for weddingIf you’re craving a relaxing New England culinary getaway, our oceanfront bed and breakfast makes perfect sense.Whether you’re planning a date night or an overnight stay, we’d love for you to dine with us at our signature restaurant, Blue. You can always look forward to seasonally inspired dishes, the freshest catches, and the best seafood chowder in Maine.

We offer our guests a variety of dining experiences, and our Wine Dinners are among the most popular. Sign up for our newsletter, and be the first to know about our dining events. Or, give us a call at (855) 473-9428 to make your dinner reservation. Our inn and restaurant is open from May through October, so visit soon!