If you’ve ever traveled around MDI, you know that gas stations/convenience stores are a nice part of the local landscape. They are typically locally owned and you can count on certain things being there: gas, ready made food like chips and soda, as well as more homemade or warmer options like freshly brewed coffee or baked goods made in small batches.

What a lot of people don’t realize is each store has its own feel, specialties, and of course, location is everything. If you find yourself driving around, check out one of our many locally owned convenience stores with delicious food you may not have been expecting.

Steamboat Landing

At the head of the island (the first place you will see when you drive onto Mount Desert Island), Steamboat Landing once saved me as being the only place serving food after 10 pm on a Friday when my family had just gotten to town for a visit. Their  pizza and sandwiches are very popular among the nearby campgrounds, so I’m sure I’m not the only one whose blood sugar has been restored by Steamboat Landing.  Even though it looks like a gas station from the exterior (and interior), it may be one of the best places for takeout on the whole island.  One helpful tip: call and put your order in advance so you don’t have a long wait as they are a small gas station with just a couple employees working at a time.

Everyday Joe’s

In downtown Bar Harbor, this gas station also has a breakfast/lunch counter and convenience store. According to Kelly Pai Roos, they have great breakfast bowls. I am a fan of their GIANT $4 breakfast sandwiches on somehow the largest English muffin you can imagine (and it helps that it’s a block from my office.)  It is a very clean establishment that does not serve tobacco or alcohol and does not sell lottery tickets.  With a good amount of seating, it is a very family-friendly place to grab a meal without emptying your children’s college funds.

On The Run/Somesville Onestop

Newly renovated and housing a Freshies, there is some of what you’d expect in a grocery store (you can hot dogs but no salad fixings, if that gives you any indication), this is at the center of the island in Somesville. Mark Messer says they have a lovely deep dish pizza by the slice for under $2. They did rise you national fame a few years ago when some missing scallop guts were accidentally put in the wrong car. (video really starts at 0.55)

Main Street Variety

A landmark of Northeast Harbor (and open year round) with breakfast staples and lunch specials like shepherd’s pie and meatball subs served 11 am to 1 pm or ‘until we run out.’ They are actually good at posting them to their Facebook page.

Erika Mitchell swears by the red snappers, a famous type of red hot dog that is a signature Maine dish. (A total aside: You can buy them online here if you really have a hankering.)

Hulls Cove General Store

Located in Hulls Cove (across the street from the Chart Room Restaurant), multiple friends including Andy Begin swear by the Hulls Cove General Store’s breakfast sandwiches but we’ve also heard good things about their pizza.

Gott’s Store

In Southwest Harbor, Gott’s has a cult-like following. Jenny Racicot says their pumpkin chocolate chip whoopie pies are great. Jennifer Mitchell says their chocolate cake with white frosting lasts 2-3 days but ‘man is it good!’

Lacey Sinclair says every once in a while they have this Mac and cheese pizza that is ‘the bomb’.  Sarah Norwood says she votes Gott’s as having amazing pizza for the ‘sheer amount of volume’ (a 20″ pizza!?!)

A few years ago, the Barn Arts Collective made this commercial for their favorite convenience store:

Hansen’s Outpost

Heather Pellegren mentioned this market (which I had never heard of) in Bass Harbor as having ‘pizza, subs, fried chicken, breakfast sammies and awesome soups!’  Look for their daily specials that often include popular deli staples like Reuben’s or their popular homemade Mac ‘n Cheese.

Do you have specialties to add? Did we miss a place? Let us know in the comments!

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