There are hundreds of thousands of restaurants in the country, and as it turns out, Maine is home to one of the very best!

Get our free mobile app

It really is no exaggeration. There are so many restaurants in the United States.

According to, before 2020, the National Restaurant Association estimated that there were more than 1 million restaurants operating in the United States. However, as of 2023, it's estimated that the number is closer to 750,000 restaurants in total in the country.

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash
Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

With all of that being said, it really should be no surprise that Maine has one of the best.

Our Pine Tree State is known globally for its food and the unique culinary offerings found in and around Maine. From our official State Crustacean, the lobster, to our official State Berry, the wild blueberry, to our official State Treat, the whoopie pie, and everything in between, Maine has no shortage of iconic snacks to choose from. Even our official State Soft drink, Moxie, is important to our identity. We don’t mess around with our nourishment.

Credit: James Fitzgerald on Unsplash
Credit: James Fitzgerald on Unsplash

Yes, while Maine is certainly known for its food, which restaurant, in particular, is the one that is getting this recognition?

Well, every year, Yelp releases a list of their ‘Top 100 Restaurants’ for that given year. The 2024 list was recently released, and yes, Vacationland had some representation.

Photo by Keith Luke on Unsplash
Photo by Keith Luke on Unsplash

To give some added context, after looking through ‘Yelp’s Top 100 Restaurants 2023,’ there were zero Maine restaurants listed. So it’s good to see our state finally getting some recognition for the food that we take so seriously.

'Yelp’s Top 100 Restaurants 2024' list has some heavy hitters, but coming in at #42, we have ‘Shannon’s Unshelled’ in Boothbay, Maine.

Credit: Nicolas Depauw / Google Maps
Credit: Nicolas Depauw / Google Maps

The article by Yelp had the following to say about Shannon’s Unshelled:

When Boothbay’s popular lobster shack opens for the season this spring, locals and visitors alike will be lining up for its famous lobster rolls—crowned by Yelpers as “absolutely one of the best in the state of Maine, along with fried clams, homemade chowders, and a host of local favorites. Owner-operator Shannon Schmelzer sources lobster meat right out of the local harbor. “What we order [from local purveyors] is what we order, and when we sell out, we’re out for the day,” she says.

It’s easy to see how fresh the catch is at Shannon’s—the lobster shack just celebrated 10 years in business and its best year yet. In addition to lobster, Shannon’s offers a variety of fried-fish baskets, including fried claims made with gluten-free batter, as well as burgers and hot dogs. Add an only-in-Maine option to your order, such as blueberry soda, Maine Maple Whoopie Pie, or coleslaw dressed up with blueberries from Shannon’s family farm. It all adds up to an unforgettable taste of the Pine Tree State. “I definitely think [our guests] get this huge Maine feeling and vibe when they come to Shannon’s. Everything we do is about Maine and supporting our industry and community,” she says.

Shannon’s Unshelled will reopen for the season in spring 2024.

After their newly addressed success, we’re looking forward to Shannon’s Unshelled opening back up in the spring!

Maine's 5 Most Mouthwatering Spots for Breakfast Pizza, According to Yelp

"They all look sinfully delicious!"

Gallery Credit: Jadd

32 Maine Restaurants That are Worth a Long Drive to Get to

Thanks to our great listeners we were able to compile a list of many of Maine's great restaurants, cafes, pubs and bakeries that are worth a long drive to get to.

These great spots can be found across the state and waiting for you to give them a try.

How many have you been to?

Gallery Credit: Chris Sedenka

These 5 New England Spots Were Featured on Yelp's 'Top 100 US Restaurants 2023' List

Gallery Credit: Megan

The 20 Best Places In Maine To Get Your French Fry Fix

Got a craving for fries? These are the absolute best of the best places in Maine!

Gallery Credit: Arlen Jameson

According To Yelp Reviews These Are Maine's 20 Best Restaurants

If you are a Maine foodie, you can get some great ideas from this list!

Gallery Credit: Arlen Jameson

2024 Maine Savings Amphitheater Summer Waterfront Concerts Lineup

Here are the performers who will be coming to the Maine Savings Amphitheater on the Bangor Waterfront in the summer of 2024!

Gallery Credit: Jordan Verge

More From