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Photograph: Courtesy Visit New Hampshire

The best restaurants in New Hampshire

You're spoiled for choice when it comes to the Granite State's dining scene

Written by Gerrish Lopez in association with Visit New Hampshire.

The best restaurants in New Hampshire come in all shapes and sizes, from casual, low-key joints to some of the best regional eats New England has to offer. Many of these spots focus on local ingredients, whether farm-to-table or fresh from the sea. As you’re touring around New Hampshire along scenic byways and checking out the best things to do in the state, these top restaurants are perfect for refueling or relaxing. While lobster rolls may come to mind first when thinking about New England cuisine, these New Hampshire restaurants demonstrate the diversity of flavors and approaches you can find in the state.

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Polly's Pancakes: part of the 'How I Live Free' series by Visit New Hampshire.

This Manchester gem serves farm-to-table Mediterranean fare with locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant is committed to serving local, and their partnership with local farmers and artisans comes through in each dish. A thoughtful wine list provides perfect pairings, and the laid-back, art-filled environs make for a friendly, memorable meal.

First came the butchery, then the tavern to showcase the butchery’s amazing products. This rustic tavern serves creative, upscale pub fare starring fresh ingredients and butchery faves. Local beers are on tap, with an extensive wine list too. Be sure to take home some specialty meats from the butcher on your way out.

Casual yet elegant, this oceanfront restaurant and raw bar is located on Rye Beach. The upscale American menu features fresh seafood dishes, house-made pasta and comfort fare. Cozy seating, a fireplace, and ocean views make The Carriage House a popular destination for dining, while a strong take-out menu serves locals well.

Housed on the third floor of a historic mill just ten minutes from Portsmouth, the intimate Stages serves Progressive New England cuisine. Featuring foraged, fished, and farm-fresh ingredients, plus inspiration from global cuisines, the 8-10 course prix fixe menu reflects what is available and is always creative, sometimes surprising.

As its name suggests, this small-plates spot has plenty of character and determination. Acclaimed chef-owner Matt Louis (who has received multiple awards and nominations, trained at the French Laundry, and was part of the team at Per Se) infuses his modern American tapas with exceptional flavors using traditional New England ingredients. Stylish and bustling, it’s the perfect spot for sharing or celebrating.

You can’t get more New England than pancakes in a rustic carriage house on an 1830s farm with mountain views. The late Bill and Polly Dexter opened a tea room to showcase their maple products, and the Parlor has been going strong ever since. Pancakes, waffles, and sandwiches with meats from a nearby smokehouse are the star. Antiques adorn the walls, and there’s a shop where you can buy the famed pancake mix to take home. 

Manchester’s Historic Millyard District is home to this charming neighborhood eatery with an upscale bent. Inventive cocktails and martinis deemed the best in New Hampshire set the stage for eclectic American comfort fare prepared with local ingredients by award-winning chef/author Jeffrey Paige. Inviting and romantic, it’s a top destination for a friendly and sophisticated dining experience.

If you’re looking for New England seafood, the friendly, inviting Surf is a top choice. Working with local fishermen, you know the seafood here is the freshest. From the raw bar and sushi to clam chowder, lobsters, and fried fish platters, all dishes are exquisitely prepared by capable hands to showcase the freshness. 

From the elegant dining room to the cozy outdoor patio, The Wentworth Inn’s restaurant offers contemporary American cuisine with stunning views of the White Mountains. Locally-sourced ingredients shine, with the freshest of produce, seafood, and meats.

Located at the base of the White Mountains, this popular brewery serves casual, filling pub fare. In addition to brewing award-winning beers, it’s the perfect spot to fuel up for an adventurous day with pancakes, benedicts, and hearty egg plates or unwind after a long day in the mountains. Live music adds to the lively atmosphere.

Irish whiskey and elevated pub grub draws crowds to this spot in historic downtown Concord. With a vibrant atmosphere and friendly service, it’s a go-to spot for award-winning burgers, fries, mac and cheese, beef stew, and other comforting favorites. A good selection of craft brews and cocktails completes the menu.

Open and welcoming, Copper Door in Salem is a place for families, friends, and anyone looking for a straightforward good meal. New England seafood, premium steaks, hearty salads, and dishes cooked in a stone oven are classically prepared to please.

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