Farm-to-table is so yesterday; in Maine, you don’t even have to leave the farm. At these farm-based Maine restaurants, cafés, pizza ovens, most if not all ingredients are sourced onsite.
The Well at Jordan’s Farm, Cape Elizabeth
Culinary Institute of America-trained chef Jason Williams presides over The Well, a mobile kitchen set amid the fields, greenhouses, and gardens of Jordan’s Farm, a 122-acre third-generation family farm on a land trust. Dining is mostly alfresco, with seats at picnic tables, in gazebos, or at the kitchen counter. Visit the well-stocked farm store before dinner, pick some fresh flowers for the table, and savor a scratch-made farm-fresh meal. Definitely make reservations.
While most places on this list were farms first, Primo, owned by two-time James Beard award-winning chef Melissa Kelly and her partner, Price Kushner, was first a restaurant. Over the years, Kelly and Kushner have cultivated the property, sowing crops and adding gardens, beehives, and livestock. I love arriving early to wander around the produce and tea gardens, view the hives, and visit with the pigs, chickens, and guinea pigs in the pastures. Primo has both a formal dining room and more casual lounges. Definitely make advance reservations for the dining room.
Deer Foot Farm Natural Market and Cafe, Appleton
Veer inland from the Midcoast along the gorgeous (especially in autumn) Georges River Byway, and stop into Deer Foot Farm for lunch any day or breakfast on weekends. This is my back way to Belfast, so I travel it often. And over the years, I watched this farm store grow into a wonderful little cafe with very good food, nothing fancy, mind you, but hearty and healthful and delicious.
Seal Cove Farm, Lamoine
Visiting Acadia? Nose out to Lemoine and watch Nubian goats romp in the field and play king of the rock, while you wait for your personal pizza (~$12) to be made and cooked in Seal Cove Farm’s outdoor oven. Pizza menus vary to reflect what’s currently fresh from the farm, but each is topped with Seal Cove’s various goat cheeses and, if you want, goataroni. Go on a fine day, as there’s no indoor seating. The farm store sells the cheeses as well as goat gelato, when available. The pizza oven operates for lunch Friday through Sunday.
Misty Meadows Organic Farm, Lille
Whenever I’m in the St. John Valley, which edges the namesake river at the crown of Maine nudging New Brunswick, I come here for lunch. Fresh produce, preserves, salted herbs, pickled veggies, baked goods, and even crafts fill the Misty Meadows Organic Farm store, which doubles as a country café. The menu features Maine spuds with all manner of toppings, as well as typical luncheon fare. There are sweets (oh my, the pies!), a barbecue pit (Thursdays), and hearty daily specials, too. There’s seating both indoors and outside. Say hello to Princess the pig, if she’s hanging around outside.
Stutzman’s Farm Stand & Bakery, Sangerville
I try never head north to the Moosehead or Katahdin & Lakes regions without detouring to Stutzman’s, another third-generation family farm with a store stocked with farm-fresh produce and a bakery producing scratch-made breads, pies, pastries, and more. Ahhh, but it’s the café that steals my heart—or maybe stomach. It serves soups, salads, desserts, daily specials, and wood-fired pizzas drawing from the farm’s bounty. The pizza buffet, around $12, is an all-you-can-eat feast with varied pizzas, salads, dessert, and beverage.
Nezinscot Farm Store and Cafe, Turner
Nezinscot, Maine’s first organic dairy farm, is a multi-faceted find. Sited on 250 organic acres edging the Nezinscot River are veggie gardens, farm animals, and a huge farmstead and barn housing a gourmet food shop, cafe and coffee shop, bakery, fromagerie, charcuterie, and a yarn and fiber studio. Go for brunch or lunch, or simply stop in for the fresh-baked pies, doughnuts, breads, and sweets. Make a picnic addiing cheeses and charcuterie, veggies, and other finds. The Cafe, serving meals 8am-3pm Thurs.-Sun., offers a full breakfast menu including crepes, quiche, and even poutine, along with soups, sandwiches, burgers, pizza in season, and specials.
Pietree Orchard, Sweden
Tabitha King, wife of horror maven Stephen, owns Pietree Orchard a hilltop orchard with eye-candy mountain views that are gorgeous anytime but glorious in autumn. The farm store carries produce and house-made baked goods and sweets, including cider doughnuts, but plan a visit around the baked-to-order pizzas cooked in the outdoor wood-fired oven. You can even go home with a tasty souvenir: Depending on the season, fruit-picking opportunities range from strawberries to pumpkins.
Apple Acres Farm, Hiram
The best time to visit Apple Acres Farm is in autumn, when the apple orchard is heavy with fruit and the hills surrounding it are ablaze with color. That said, stop in anytime for apple-cider doughnuts, ice cream, and oh yes, doughnut-ice cream sandwiches, not to mention sandwiches, pies, and—surprise!—even a decent lobster roll.