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Maine Diner in Wells, Maine: Regional Cuisine, Diner Food at its Best

The Maine Diner is Wells, Maine, is one of the best diners in New England, according to VisitingNewEngland.
Maine Diner, Wells, Maine.

by Eric J. Hurwitz. Article updated on Aug. 19, 2017.  All photos by Eric unless otherwise noted.

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I regard the Maine Diner as the best diner in New England. That’s extremely noteworthy, given the tough competition. Each and every time, the Maine Diner just seems to embody every element that makes a diner great. Consistency matters, especially when the quality of the food and service are set to top-notch status.

Sure, the Maine Diner could have easy "gone Hollywood" with its celebrity sightings, gift shop merchandising, borderline restaurant look, and an ambitious marketing plan. Is that any way a diner should act? I say, "Why not?"
The Maine Diner might have a better grasp of the 21st century than your typical diner, but there are enough superb diner dishes, some of the nicest waitresses you'll ever meet, neon, counter, booths, and local conversation to call this a real diner -- and a great one, at that. The Maine Diner taps into the coastal dining scene with some real seafood gems like lobster pie, lobster rolls, lobster salad seafood chowder, crab cakes fried clams (all as good, if not better than some of the nearby waterfront restaurants, and often at cheaper prices), but I always like to go with the basics -- or as the Maine Diner puts it, "World Famous Food Like Grandma Used to Make!" 

Lobster salad from the Maine Diner in Wells, Maine
Lobster salad from the Maine Diner.
Some recommendations: the fluffy blueberry pancakes loaded with blueberries, Yankee pot roast, homemade chili, chicken pot pie, mac and cheese (they do have a yummy lobster mac and cheese version, too!), and the “Diner Special” with two eggs, bacon, ham or sausage, and corned beef hash, home fries, toast and jelly. For dessert, I always go with either the blueberry pie (amazing, you can taste the blueberries unlike some of the artificial-tasting pies served elsewhere) or homemade Indian pudding.

Maine Diner blueberry pie, Wells, Maine. Photo source: Maine Diner Facebook page.
Homemade blueberry pie from the Maine Diner. Photo source: Maine Diner Facebook fan page at

The Maine Diner is a relative newcomer to the diner scene having started in 1983, but 7,000,000-plus million customers later and a convenient location near many southern Maine beaches helps make the Maine Diner a landmark diner. We just love it here!

Lobster roll from the Maine Diner in Wells, Maine. Photo source: Maine Diner Facebook page.
Lobster roll from the Maine Diner.

Interesting Maine Diner tidbits: Maine Diner General Manager Jim MacNeill reports that former Boston Red Sox pitching great Luis Tiant is a huge fan of the Maine Diner, and eats there up to four times a week! Tiant is such a fixture at the Maine Diner that he goes to their Christmas parties and always finds time to talk with the waitresses, cooks and customers, according to MacNeill. He adds that, although not commonly known, the Maine Diner has stacked away signed pictures of Tiant for his fans -- just in case anyone asks.

CBS sports anchor Jim Nantz has a plate named for him: the award-winning Seafood Chowder served with a choice of the Maine Diner’s famous hot or cold lobster roll. Apparently, Nantz loves this combo when visiting the Maine Diner!
The delicious lobster pie -- huge chunks of fresh lobster meat topped with delicious crumbs and then baked to perfection in a casserole dish -- has been featured in The Cook's Magazine May/June in 1985; Good Food, Road Food August in 1986; Eat Your Way Across The USA; NBC's Today Show in 1997, and Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in 2010.

The Maine Diner is located at 2265 Post Rd. (Route 1), Wells. Tel. (207) 646-4441. Web site:

This article is from The Best Diners in New England ebook. Read it today!

Related articles:

The best seafood restaurants in New England
Great lobster rolls in New England

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Books by Publisher Eric Hurwitz

Massachusetts Town Greens -- Discover New England's first travel attractions: town commons!

The Best Diners in New England -- If you love classic diners, New England has them! In my book, I write in detail on 50 top local diners.

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