Wondering where to eat in New Hampshire? The Granite State offers plenty of restaurant options for hungry residents and visitors alike. Here are our picks for the best dining in Best Dining in New Hampshire for 2016. Best Cocktails: Cotton, Manchester Owner/chef Jeffrey Paige serves upscale American fare—ruby-red tuna tataki and a perfectly dressed Caesar salad […]
By Yankee Magazine
May 01 2016
Best Pub Grub With Music |
Harlow’s Pub, Peterborough
Owner/chef Jeffrey Paige serves upscale American fare—ruby-red tuna tataki and a perfectly dressed Caesar salad spring to mind—while hunks of chunky bread are companions to any one of a surfeit of award-winning martinis. Candy-colored celebrations—Flirtinis, Bellinis, Cosmopolitans—sashay by. Satisfy your curiosity with a sampler under the gaze of a wall-size, black-and-white Audrey Hepburn. Lunch: from $8.95. Entrées: from $15.95. Cocktails: from $8.
75 Arms St. 603-622-5488; cottonfood.com
The Franklin Oyster House, Portsmouth
Abenaki, Little Grizzly, and Fox Point, piled on heaps of ice, greet the traveler who wanders off busy Market Street and steps inside this shimmery ode to the oyster. The modern, iridescent décor feels like the inside of an oyster shell, but when you plunk down at the horseshoe-shaped bar to order grilled “Oysters Off the Hot Line” and a side of pumpkin fritters, you do so knowing that the guys you crossed paths with in the doorway were dropping off something fresh and briny. There’s also plenty to eat besides oysters. Small plates: from $7. Entrées: from $18.
148 Fleet St. 603-373-8500; franklinoysterhouse.com
Best Pub Grub With Music:
Harlow’s Pub, Peterborough
What started as a small cheese shop has morphed over the years into a full-blown, family-friendly pub with craft brews on tap, a Celtic music jam every Tuesday, open-mic nights on Wednesday, and weekends of toe-tapping, wide-ranging music. You can never fail with lunchtime veggie chili or a thick “Turkey Thang” sandwich, but at night the sizzling diablo chicken makes a perfect complement to the bands that rock everything from Jamaican ska to “chamber art-pop.” Lunch: from $6. Entrées: from $13.95.
3 School St. 603-924-6365; harlowspub.com
Miller’s Café & Bakery, Littleton
When the Food Network crisscrossed the country to find the best sandwiches in every state (tough job), they flipped over the “Yankee Flip Pot Roast” here: juicy meat stuffed into tandoori flatbread, with garlic potatoes and greens overspilling the borders. You, too, can tackle the full roster of breakfast, lunch, and dinner sandwiches and conduct your own taster’s challenge, preferably on the pretty riverside deck. Sandwiches: from $5.25.
16 Mill St. 603-444-2146; millerscafeandbakery.com
Best French Fare:
Mise En Place Restaurant, Wolfeboro
When then-president Nicolas Sarkozy was feeling homesick for France, he pulled up une chaise at this fine eatery a few tangled blocks away from Main Street and Lake Winnipesaukee. Chef/owner Terry Adrignola seasons her gourmet American dishes (like seared sea scallops and lobster/jumbo lump-crab risotto) with French-style flair—good enough for Sarkozy, while giving you a little taste of France without the jet lag. Entrées: from $26.
96 Lehner St. 603-569-5788; miseenplacenh.com
Parker’s Maple Barn, Mason
Out here in the middle of nowhere, the parking lots are mobbed and eager eaters queue up like hopeful lottery winners. Will it be buttermilk or blueberry–buckwheat? Or “Pancake of the Month”? The wait today, a Sunday, is 70 minutes (it’s a lot shorter during the week), but there’s plenty to fill your time: Sample maple jellybeans at the bustling gift shop, or try a maple doughnut by the sugarhouse. IMHAPY2 reads one license plate, as a helicopter lands nearby. “It’s not unusual,” smiles the doughnut-stand lady. “We have regulars who fly in for breakfast.” Pancakes: from $3.99.
1316 Brookline Road. 603-878-2308; parkersmaplebarn.com
Best New Indian Restaurant:
The Spice Chambers, Keene
Ooh, those vegetable pakoras, dipped in chickpea batter and sizzled to crunchy perfection, with some sort of fresh minty sauce that kept us dipping way past the saturation point … Executive chef Madan Rathore brings spice to Keene, with lamb, seafood, and vegetarian options. We’re off to a fine start with creamy navrattam korma (vegetables in sauce), punctuated by a delectable malai kofta (cheese-and-veggie dumplings in curry), plus a puff of garlic–cilantro naan for good measure. But with specialties from all over India, we may have to travel the entire menu, top to bottom. Entrées: from $13.
8 Winter St. 603-352-9007; spicechambers.com
Tim-Bir Alley, Littleton
Unassuming and lovely, with beautiful dishes like Moroccan chicken and blue-corn-crusted tilapia—but owners Biruta and Tim Carr are famed for their swoon-inducing desserts. Save room for white-chocolate coconut cheesecake with toasted coconut–caramel sauce or chocolate hazelnut pâté. Really. Entrées: from $19.95. Desserts: $7.95.
7 Main St. 603-444-6142
Best Bakery Dish:
Umpleby’s Bakery & Café, Hanover
Comfort and finger food, rolled into one. Charles and Carolyn Umpleby’s savory pies aren’t much bigger than a generous hockey puck, but they’re juicy reminders of the heights that a pie can achieve in the hands of a master. Chicken curry; artichoke; stuffed with eggs, bacon, mushrooms, or leeks … We just like saying pie. Savory flavors, engulfed by flaky crust, handed over in a waxed-paper wrapping. Since 2007, they’ve been baking up these hearty, old-fashioned treats, reinterpreted, deliciously, for modern times. Pies: from $4.25.
3 South St. 603-643-3030; umplebys.com