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Craft Beer and Local-Inspired Cuisine in New Hampshire
If you are looking to spoil more than just your taste buds, come to New Hampshire where it’s all about the full dining experience. Sit down in a home-like atmosphere to locally sourced seafood and famed recipes like Collins Brothers Clam Chowder. Many New Hampshire restaurants pair local brews with made from scratch entrees in a variety of culinary delights. From eclectic vegan dishes to traditional New England cuisine, French-style bistros and Japanese grills, you’ll be singing your praises of New Hampshire’s food and spirits throughout your adventures in the granite state.
Portsmouth is remarkably known for its diverse dining options downtown and extraordinarily fresh seafood experiences along the coast. New Englanders’ drive for hours to fill their coolers at Rye Harbor Lobster Pound which offers both dine-in and pack to-go seafood options. Renowned for their award-winning sherry buttered lobster rolls and creamy, mouthwatering bisque, this is one stop that you don’t want to miss on a food lover’s trip through New Hampshire.
Downtown, in Portsmouth, there are over 75 restaurants to choose from. Topping the list of ‘Must Visit’ is the iconic restaurant, The Friendly Toast. This casual dining restaurant features a delectable breakfast menu and specialty sandwiches in a retro dining atmosphere. Enjoy homemade bread and locally farmed vegan or bacon omelets among Formica tables and quirky accents. The Friendly Toast has been a staple in Portsmouth, tempting locals and tourists alike, for over 20 years.
Other notable dining spots in Portsmouth include Jumpin’ Jays Fish Café, notable for local seafood, a raw bar and premium Moscow mule. Gilley’s is a favorite of the locals that’s easy on the wallet. Named for a former employee who served hot dogs, burgers and fries for over five decades, it is housed in a 1940s era lunch cart and has been officially awarded the title of, ‘A Hidden Jewel in New Hampshire’.
For beer enthusiasts, Great Rhythm Brewing Company is in city limits or you can drive the short distance on Route 4 to Redhook Ale Brewery & Restaurant in the Northwest end of Portsmouth for popular suds like the Long Hammer IPA. The brewery offers group tours where you can learn about the brewing process and sip on samples of Redhook ESB, Copper Hook and variety of seasonal beers. Each year in August, headlining bands like the Blues Travelers perform concerts in an outdoor music festival on the breweries expansive grounds.
Tucked away in the small town of Walpole, in the Southwest part of the state, the restaurant at Burdicks has been referred to as, ‘a little piece of the big city in a historically well-heeled tiny country town’. The renowned French Bistro is a popular spot for brunch, lunch and dinner serving locally sourced food that changes seasonally in the traditional French style. If you are traveling during the summer, be sure to reserve a table for the annual Bastille Day Celebration or come to dine among colorful New England foliage while celebrating Oktoberfest annually at the end of September. The best part? The restaurant owns the chocolatier next door and provides a gift shop, so you can take hand-made goodies home.
In Concord, the legend has it that ‘Digger’ is a local gravedigger with a wife who had a dream of opening a restaurant. Who knew that Diggers Dinner would win the award for the ‘Best Burger’ in Concord the first year that it opened? Today, you can order a Coffin Burger from the lunch menu or stop in for breakfast to see why people are raving about one of the best breakfast diners on this side of the Appalachians.
Speaking of mountains, if you're spending time near White Mountain National Forest, The Beal House Restaurant in Littleton offers American tavern fare, in a rustic setting with a slightly sophisticated twist. Dine on lamb meatballs, a classic burger or seared scallops followed by house-made Crème Brule or Cider Doughnut Holes with salted caramel.
In North Conway, New Hampshire, Cresh’s Italian Country Kitchen is a great restaurant for families. With a surprisingly elegant interior, the restaurant offers group seating, casual dining and truly authentic Italian in the heart of Mt. Washington Valley.
Come to play; stay to dine. Residents of New Hampshire have long been spoiled with varied and delectable dining options, from sea to land and everything in between.