Dolphin Chowder House & Marina
Hidden far off the beaten path—at the end of a country road in South Harpswell, this family-run marina-side restaurant may appear nondescript, but its fish chowder is a well-guarded local secret. The creamy haddock-laden soup has long had lobstermen’s nets in a twist, and since the restaurant opened in 1972, more than a few locals have learned to speak of the unusually rich, smoky soup in hushed tones—in fear that too many visitors “from away” will ruin a good thing. The chowder (as well as a respectable lobster stew) comes with wonderful home-baked muffins made with small tart Maine blueberries. The simple menu also includes standard dockside fare like rolls and fried scallops—but with chowder this good, why bother? And the best part: there’s not a tourist in sight.
Directions: From the intersection of Mountain Road, head south on Route 123 for 5.5. miles. Take a right onto Ash Point Road, then another right onto Basin Point Road. Go two miles to land’s end.
Insider Tip: For the best view in the house, grab a seat by one of the far picture windows that overlook the buzzing docks, summer cottages on Pott’s Point, and a lighthouse.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.