A Brunswick Hodgepodge

Bowdoin's Quad
Bowdoin’s Quad

I’ve been remodeling the city guide feature of the website lately, and as I’ve been working on that I’ve realized there are a lot of miscellaneous places from different cities that I have yet to blog about but have been meaning to for quite some time. So, today brings a hodgepodge of places in Brunswick that are worth checking out if you’re in the area. (Brunswick was also just featured in this Boston Globe article in their travel section).


One of the most exciting signs of spring in my mind is when all of a town’s seasonal businesses reopen, and Brunswick has been seeing a few of these gearing back up for the spring and summer seasons. Fat Boy, a drive-in fast food restaurant recently reopened. Their burgers and milkshakes are great, but as I’ve mentioned before, watch out for the rogue seagull that will try to steal your food. Wrappers is part of a food truck “cohort” on the Brunswick Mall on Maine Street. They were the first to reappear this year, and Danny’s (which I haven’t been to yet but hope to try one of their hot dogs soon) recently joined them. I just tried Wrappers for the first time a few weeks ago and had some of their lemonade after a run outside: it was good, but a bit pricy for just a lemonade.

I’ve mentioned Sea Dog and Frontier briefly before, but these two restaurants right on the Androscoggin have good food and great views. Sea Dog is both a brewery and a traditional American restaurant (I recommend their garlic burger). Frontier is my favorite restaurant in Brunswick. The Frontier Burger is great and their fries, which come in generous portions, are awesome. Frontier also has a little theater inside and they show some interesting documentaries (such as Blackfish and The Act of Killing) and films in there from time to time.

For Greek and Italian, head to Enoteca Athena. The food here is hearty and flavorful, and I’ve liked everything I’ve ordered. There’s a nice inside with the dark lighting and the restaurant’s wooden tables. Flipside probably has the best pizza in town. It’s not a bad idea to call ahead with an order though because they can get pretty backed up.


There are two bookstores along Maine Street in town: Gulf of Maine Books and The Book Barn. Gulf of Maine is a small independent bookstore that’s filled with books. It can be a little more expensive, and their inventory isn’t huge, but it’s pretty good. The Book Barn is a used book and “antique” shop. They have pretty irregular hours, and I’ve only been once, but I’ve heard that people have found some interesting things here.

There are a few library options in the center of town as well. The Curtis Memorial Library is a nice space on Pleasant Street and a rather large library. It’s a good place to go do work as well. Hawthorne Longfellow Library on Bowdoin’s campus offers Guest Borrower Cards for an annual fee to people looking to use the library (these are free for alumni and family, though). Finally, there’s a new Free Lending Library* on Coffin Street which a Bowdoin professor started. Here, people can drop off a book and browse through the selection and take what they would like. When I’ve checked in the past there have been mostly French books, but there are others as well.


I’ve talked about Bowdoin’s Museum of Art before, but I have yet to mention the Peary-Macmillan Arctic Museum. This museum is free and open to the public and has a wealth of information on, you guessed it, the Arctic. There are some great polar bears and caribou on display, as well a narwhal tusk which visitors are invited to touch. The museum showcases both art and nature from the Arctic to give a glimpse into MacMillan’s career exploring the north. I’ve been meaning to spend some more time investigating this museum, so more to come soon.

Image 6Eveningstar Cinema is another place which I’ve really only mentioned in passing, but this small, independent movie theater is fantastic. They only show one movie at a time for about a week or so (they’ve been showing The Grand Budapest Hotel lately), and their movies are usually a little more offbeat. Admission is cheap (only $7 for students), and the theater is right in the Tontine Mall on Maine Street. Inside the theater, there are traditional seats but also couches and rocking chairs in the front if you want to get a little more comfortable. It’s a really nice theater, and I’ve used it a lot this year. There’s a Regal Cinemas in Cook’s Corner, but you just can’t beat Eveningstar.

If movies aren’t quite your thing, there’s also good bowling at Yankee Lanes, the former Spare Time. They turn on the blacklights at night, and Thursdays are free for Bowdoin students.

Finally, Local and adjoining Wyler’s are good gift/food shops. Local has some Maine food products while Wyler’s is more of a stationary store with some tchotchkes, toys, and cards. There are some other stores on Maine Street, and Nest is a favorite for my mom and sisters.

Get there:

If you’re looking to get to Brunswick, the Amtrak runs a Downeaster service from North Station in Boston to Maine Street in Brunswick (with several stops in between). The train is nice, but I recommend Concord Coach Lines. The bus leaves from the visitor center next to the train station and only stops in Portland before going to South Station and Logan Airport in Boston. As a side note, if you catch the bus from Portland they give you free bags of pretzels and water. The bus and train cost about the same, but I’d recommend the bus because it’s faster and has fewer stops.

*4/28/2014: Since this post was published, the Free Lending Library may have disappeared. More to follow.

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