Eateries Either Side of the Access Road

By Gabrielle Martin

August 30, 2021

Life is full of little choices, and although spending time at Sugarloaf—whatever the reason, whatever the season!—is no doubt a no-brainer, perhaps the most difficult of all decisions can come down to where to turn at the end of the Access Road when pursuing off-mountain eateries.

access road sign


  • Backstrap Bar and Grille, located in scenic Stratton and overlooking a bend in Stratton Brook, opened its doors in December 2018; this casual bar and restaurant prides itself on serving top-notch food and drinks with uncompromised service to locals and visitors alike in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. This is the hidden gem of the Sugarloaf area dining scene: awesome appetizers (pictured above as this blog's delicious-looking header), homestyle cooking, small town service—and their house made desserts are the cherry on top!

    Unique to This Venue: Backstrap also has a seafood and meat shop that sells live or cooked Maine lobsters and steamer clams, lots of different fish, scallops, shrimp, premium cuts of beef, game sausages, lamb, and pork.

    Get in Touch:
    161 Main Street in Stratton, Maine
    (207) 246-0102
    Backstrap Bar & Grill | Facebook
    Backstrap Bar & Grill (

  • The Coplin Dinner House is a 1896 converted farmhouse-turned-restaurant 6 miles north of Sugarloaf. This venue is the perfect blend of comfortable, classic, and elegant; their menu is expansive and varied, with Chef Tony putting great attention to detail while creating dishes that are as pleasing to the eye as the palate, while the interior features communal seating, local artwork, restored hardwood floors, and rustic tin ceilings, evoking a peaceful pastoral ambiance.

    Coplin Dinner House
    By Gabrielle Martin.

    An evening at the Coplin Dinner House is an invitation to enjoy culinary creations and guaranteed good service; you’ll also want to get a drink at the newly-renovated Tigerlily Pub, a laid-back locals’ favorite.

    Get in Touch:
    8252 Carrabassett Road (Rt. 27) in Stratton, Maine
    (207) 246-0016
     The Coplin Dinner House | Facebook
     Coplin Dinner House (

  • The Flagstaff General Store is a family-owned business in the heart and soul of Stratton, providing a visitors with a selection of convenience items and souvenirs as well as beers, wines, and spirits—and as for on-site eats, their kitchen is always busy producing something incredible, including homemade baked goods. The Flagstaff General Store is proud for their reputation of keeping a wide selection on their menu while simultaneously being known for regularly adding something new to the mix.

    When I lived in the Netherlands, there was a store in town whose name roughly translated to English as “Everything Under One Roof” because it stocked anything you could possibly require—and like Everything Under One Roof, the Flagstaff Store is a staple in the community, a one-stop shop with the same undeniable charm and convenience: 24/7 fuel pumps, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, cold weather gear, and gift items all in one place!

    Get in Touch:
     108 Main Street in Stratton, Maine
    (207) 246-2300
     Flagstaff General Store | Facebook
     Flagstaff General Store (

  • The Looney Moose Café is a one-of-a-kind, down-home type of place where you’re welcome to sit at the local’s table—if you dare! As their website explains, their “goal is to try and make everyone that enters the Café feel like they just walked into their best friend’s house,” and so you’ll find that when dining here, you’ll experience the wonders of Western Maine hospitality paired  the delights of delicious home-cooked food.

    Savory Suggestion: Their onion rings are nothing short of divine.

    The Looney Moose Café is, however, temporarily closed with a projected opening something in September; check their Facebook page, linked below, for the latest.

    Get in Touch:
    9 Main Street in Stratton, Maine
     Looney Moose Cafe | Facebook

  • Located at the Cathedral Pine Campground for a limited-time only (through September 2), Mandy’s Diner Food Trailer is a combination of owner Amanda “Mandy” Brochu’s love of all things vintage and wanting a 50s-style diner. She opened Mandy’s Diner Food Trailer last summer after running the Flagstaff General Store in Stratton for 10 years; when he decided to sell, Brochu knew she wanted to keep cooking!

    Mandy’s specialty milkshakes are the food truck’s best-seller, and pairs perfectly with the most popular item on their menu, the Mandy’s Burger: topped with American cheese, bacon, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard, onions, and pickles. If you’re feeling feisty, make it a double—it’s huge, just like their 10” fried dough, hand-stretched and topped with cinnamon sugar. Then again, as best said by Brochu, “Everything at Mandy’s is huge. You will not leave here hungry.”
    Get in Touch:
    Cathedral Pines Campground at 945 Arnold Trail in Eustis, Maine
    Mandy's Diner Food Trailer | Facebook

  • The Tea Pond Lodge is a self-described “off-the-beaten-path” restaurant and pub on the shores of Tea Pond serving killer brunch—everything from avocado toast to “Dutch Baby” pancakes, even the glorious creation that is Breakfast Poutine or their Whiskey King Burger (yes, for breakfast).

    Tea Pond Lodge
    Photo by Cat's Eye Photography.

    Their main fare menu has of a wide selection of appetizers, sandwiches, and I can’t not mention their house specialty, Sandy’s famous meatloaf, topped with homemade gravy, served with garlic mashed potatoes and the veggie of the day. I already gave a meatloaf lovers shoutout, but I’d say there’s plenty of room for both on this list.

    Get in Touch:
    468 Tea Pond Road in Eustis, Maine

  • Speaking of house specials, Trails End Steakhouse has been famous for their Prime Rib, served the same way for 30 plus years, every Thursday and Saturday. At Trails End, all of their steaks are Certified Angus Beef hand cut to order and cooked over an open flame grill on-site, bringing out the flavors in every piece of meat they cook.

    Located on the North Branch of the Dead River Reservoir, Trails End is a lovely destination dining option where you can count on quality food, drinks, and service. Highlights of the lunch and dinner menu at this casual and cozy four-season dining retreat includes burgers, seafood, and spirits.

    Get in Touch:
    59 Eustis Village Road in Eustis, Maine
     Trails End Steakhouse & Tavern | Facebook
  • Located just 8 minutes north of Sugarloaf down Route 27, the White Wolf Inn is “real mountain fare with flair.” This Stratton-based institution is owned and operated by Chef Sandi Isgro: she may be your chef or your hostess—she may even be your waitress!

    Once you’re seated, your eyes will no doubt wanter over to The White Wolf Restaurant’s big board of daily specials. There’s sure to be something for everyone! Aside from specials, the grilled chicken breast with apples and smoked cheddar sauce is a staple menu item that I always enjoy ordering.

    Get in Touch:
    146 Main Street in Stratton, Maine
    White Wolf Inn & Restaurant - Stratton, ME | Facebook
    The White Wolf Inn (


  • Those who frequent the Carrabassett area have no doubt seen the Food Dude’s pop-up taco stand set up along the side of Route 27; based out of Kingfield, this on-the-go eatery opened shop last summer and kept up operations until October. The Food Dude offers an assortment of customizable tacos, loaded nachos, and signature toppings at just-can’t-beat-’em prices. The menu varies depending on the Food Dude’s mood, sometimes switching it up to include Taz’s tacos, which could be Korean or Carne Asana, or Mexican street corn.

    Get in Touch:
    The Food Dude | Facebook

  • Gianni’s Private Dining, located in the antique house at The Inn on Winter’s Hill, boasts a chef-curated and set menu of upscale Italian fare made from scratch; some common dishes offered at Gianni’s include fresh basil focaccia, handmade pasta with ragu, and olive oil cake with gelato. The full bar on-site also serves an assortment of local craft beers plus an elegant Italian wine list and unique cocktails garnished with house-grown shrubs.

    Gianni's Private Dining spread

    Photo provided by Gianni's Fine Dining.

    Reservations are required and must be made in-advance; this allows the restaurant to keep all offerings as fresh as possible. The cost is $49 per person. Each group will be given their own private dining space, meaning that tables are limited.

    Get in Touch:
    The Inn on Winter’s Hill at 33 Winter Hill Street in Kingfield, Maine
    (207) 340-1020,
    Gianni's Private Dining | Facebook

  • Hugs is a mom-and-pop shop specializing in casual fine dining, serving an assortment of Northern Italian cuisine; this restaurant takes great pride in “cooking to order,” and thus their motto is “don’t hesitate to ask!” The menu at Hugs consists of a combination of traditional entrees with a mix of unique specialties in addition to a full bar, sensational service, and unparalleled atmosphere; what once was a sauna back in the 70s has since transformed into one of the most romantic and quaint restaurants in Carrabassett. You can look forward to starting with some pesto bread, can’t go wrong ordering a single main on the menu, and for dessert, traditional tiramisu—served in a cocktail glass, this indulgent Italian dessert is the perfect ending to an amazing evening.

    Hugs Italian Cuisine
    Photo provided by Hug's Italian Cuisine.

    Get in Touch:
    3001 Town Line Road in Carrabassett Valley
    (207) 237-2392
    Hug's Italian (

  • Authentic, rustic, and complete with a rag-tag bunch of regulars, The Kingfield Woodsman is the perfect place to find generous portions of affordable, filling, made-to-order meals. Locals know the Woodsman to be an iconic staple in the area’s dining scene, serving God-tier breakfast sandwiches (I’m serious, the Crosscut is an honest-to-God work of art), Carrabassett Coffee, and even house-made jam—what’s not to like?

    Pro-tip: If you’re in the area at the start of the week, don’t miss out on Meatloaf Mondays.

    Get in Touch:
    372 Main Street in Kingfield, Maine
    (207) 265-4394
    The Kingfield Woodsman | Facebook
    The Kingfield Woodsman (

  • Longfellow’s Restaurant, located on Main Street in downtown Kingfield, first became part of the Sugarloaf scene when this homestyle eatery opened its doors in the 1980s; current chef and owner Christopher Doucette and his wife Melissa took over operations in 2013 and have since worked hard to keep the restaurant in the family.

    Open year-round, Longfellow’s guarantees guests have access to comfortable interior seating as well as tables on their seasonal deck overlooking the scenic Carrabassett River. Their cozy and quaint atmosphere is second only to the restaurant’s heavenly homestyle fare; Longfellow’s has gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options available. Their menu includes a series of staple servings as well as daily specials, which you can find on Facebook page.

    Gabrielle’s Gotta-Try-’Ems: If you enjoy seafood, opt in for their Three Cheese Haddock or my personal favorite, Longfellow’s Scallops Nova Scotia ($19), tender plump scallops tossed in bread crumbs and topped with sweet honey butter.

    Get in Touch:
    247 Main Street in Kingfield, Maine
    (207) 265-4394
    Longfellow's Restaurant | Facebook
    Longfellows Restaurant (

  • The Maine Beer Shed is the place to go when seeking Maine-made craft beer, fresh farm-to-table products, and an altogether unique experience. I guarantee this place is unlike anywhere you’ve ever been before in the best way! This lovely “all local, all the time” business, owned and operated by Brian and Kate Ray, opened their barn-style doors in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic last year; most recently, the Rays expanding their offerings to include a blissful beer garden and quaint community café serving a selection of made-to-order daily specials.

    Maine Beer Shed
    By Gabrielle Martin.

    Visit the Rays’ cabin-style shop on Main Street in Kingfield to revel in the celebratory spirit of buying local, and find yourself warmed by the cheer that comes from sustainably supporting your community. Settle into these late summer evenings with a quality craft cocktail on the Beer Shed’s picturesque porch, or enjoy a heavenly hand pie at their picnic tables.

    Get in Touch:
    394 Main Street in Kingfield, Maine
    (207) 491-2282
    The Maine Beer Shed | Facebook
    The Maine Beer Shed (

  • Alright, I’ll admit it: when it comes to The Orange Cat Café, I am obsessed—and I’m not alone. This quaint café in the mountains of Western Maine has a cult-like following of foodies, and for good reason: their servings and service are both exceptional. I frequent their drive-thru—a service which began in the pandemic and remains implemented for the foreseeable future—for both breakfast and lunch, and if it were open later than 3:00pm (or so) in the afternoon, I would take dinner to go from them, too!

    Their breakfast menu, while small, serves all the staples, from bagels and breakfast sandwiches to life-changing breakfast burritos and homemade pastries. Lunch at the Orange Cat consists of creative sandwiches made with top-notch ingredients and served in generous portions (my favorite being the Surefire, which lives up to its name) as well as salads, homemade soups, and quiches. As for beverages, the Orange Cat makes their own chai and smoothies (I’m an especially big fan of their Mixed Berry blend) in addition to stocking Carrabassett Coffee and Espresso.

    Get in Touch:
    329 Main Street in Kingfield, Maine
    (207) 265-2860
    The Orange Cat Cafe Kingfield | Facebook
     The Orange Cat Cafe Kingfield (

  • Rolling Fatties serves legendary locally-sourced burritos plus Maine-based beers, cocktails, and wines in a rustic old farmhouse full of character and life; located in downtown Kingfield, this joint serves fat burritos—hence the name—though are not exclusively limited to serving delicious and generously-portioned Mexican fare.  According to their website, Fatties “cooks with foot from happy, healthy farms and gardens and serves people with a passion for eating well and having fun,” so if that sounds like you, Rolling Fatties is sure to be right up your alley.

    Rolling Fatties skini bar
    Sniki bar at Rolling Fatties by Gabrielle Martin.

    Awesome App: Get the corn bread, served with a maple glaze, and thank me later.

    As far as Fatties go, you can build your own—all served with organic Mexi oat groats, Maine black beans, fresh salsa, crema, and cilantro rolled in a handmade tortilla—or opt in for a Cheese Burger Fatty, Falafel Fatty, or Freedom Fatty (loaded with the roller’s choice of anything in the kitchen). And trust me, don’t shy away from the groats: they’re tasty! 

    Get in Touch:
    268 Main Street in Kingfield, Maine
    (207) 399-9246
    Rolling Fatties | Facebook
    Rolling Fatties (

  •  The SugarBowl has been impressing customers since their establishment in 2015; this restaurant and sports pub serving pub fare and local craft brews also houses 8 lanes of 10-pin bowling, a large arcade, and a state-of-the-art golf simulator in addition to hosting events from open mic karaoke to Wing Night.

    Settled beside the Sugarloaf Airport, the SugarBowl is a great place to unwind after an afternoon of mountain adventures with a wide assortment of “snack”-style appetizers, from poutine to pretzel bites, as well as burgers, hot sandwiches, and specialty pizzas; you’ll also their well-stocked in seasonal cocktails, ciders, beers, and wines. Family-friendly and plenty of fun, the SugarBowl has something for everyone!

    Get in Touch:
    1242 Carrabassett Drive (Route 27) in Carrabassett Valley
    The SugarBowl | Facebook
    The Sugarbowl: Family Entertainment Center (


When making plans, it's always in your best interest to consult each venue’s website for the most up-to-date hours of operation.