Saturday, January 23, 2016

Matsumoto Joe: My Go-to Cafe in Bar Harbor, Maine


After the disappointing dearth in cafes outside of Portland, Maine, I was ready to declare Dunkin Donuts to be the best coffee east of the Androscoggin river. Then I went to  Bar Harbor, which looks deceptively like any other sea-side tourist town but maybe three times larger.

I found this cafe purely by chance. I was returning to my car after lunch to grab my laptop and head to the Jesup Memorial Library and write. I had been thinking about wanting a latte but was unsure where to go. I was going to check Yelp recommendations from the library, when I spotted two people carrying lattes as they turned the corner from the road where my car was parked. The short walk brought me to a sign in Japanese that I must have missed before. I went in without hesitation and had the best latte in all of Maine. The café is called Matsumoto Joe, named after the town of Matsumoto, Nagano, where the American owner lived for seven years before starting a café in Bar Harbor, Maine. This place is so authentic that I was instantly reminded of one of my Go-to cafes in Japan, such as Insomnia in Matsue, or Blue Bird in Hiroshima. 



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