Orono's restaurants provide a great variety in food choices. The restaurants in the area are among the most popular. Most of the restaurants are also unique to both the local area or to Maine. Very few franchises exist in Orono outside of fast food restaurants. The Black Bear Bucks program can be utilized at several of the area restaurants, but students must be aware of usage charges that the restaurants may apply for use of the card. The MaineCard funds may also only be used for on-campus deliveries, so don't expect to pay with it when you eat in the restaurants.
Many of the restaurants also have great bars that the residents find as appealing as the students do. Margarita's has a great bar and late-night lounge that offers a quiet and relaxed atmosphere, which can be interrupted by special nights such as Full Moon Madness, which offers students an excellent opportunity to crowd in and act a little rowdy. The Bear Brew also provides a very relaxed social atmosphere with friendly service and a nice bar. The food is among the best in Orono, but don't be in a rush, service is often slower than it is at other local restaurants. The Market Café is one of the most popular restaurants in the area, yet it is often overlooked because of its family diner-style appearance and location. The Market Café has an excellent selection of Greek food and some of the best pizza around. For a quiet night out, in a dining room overlooking the Stillwater river rapids near the dam, this is the place to relax.