Welcome back to Food Crawls (or in this case, Booze Crawls), a series in which Eater Boston staffers guide you (virtually) on various food and booze crawls in the Boston area.
When we go out, we often find ourselves wanting to try more than one restaurant (or bar) at a time — a drink and a snack here, another drink and perhaps a dessert there — and want to share our favorite multi-stop combinations with you. These crawls are meant to be relatively walkable, and the amount of food and drink is meant to correspond roughly to a couple of average appetites (so bring a friend), although your mileage may vary. Email us if there’s a particular theme, specific dish or drink, or neighborhood you’d like to see covered in a future installment.
What do you get when you combine a Jersey Shore aesthetic, a bunch of Quebecois on holiday, and that “Live Free or Die” attitude? Well, you get Hampton Beach in summer, of course.
This stretch of beach and commerce in New Hampshire’s Seacoast region is a trip, and a visit should be on the summer checklist for anyone who’s close enough to make it happen. Go during the day and pack onto the beach with thousands of sweaty others; stay through the night for drinks and some most excellent people watching. (And while you’re at it, you might as well spring for an airbrushed T-shirt with, like, a dolphin riding a motorcycle painted across the chest.)
Make sure you’ve got a designated driver for this one, or that you’ve rented a room at one of Hampton Beach’s, er, finest motels.
- Total stops: 4
- Cheap domestic beers swilled: 4
- Frightening bikers avoided: All of them
- Dive bars patronized: There are non-dive bars on Hampton Beach? Kidding, just two.
- Distance traveled: A few hundred yards, maybe
A Very Boozy Mixed Drink at the Sea Ketch
127 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, NH 03842
The Sea Ketch is a bit of a meet, so it’s not for everybody, but there are some pretty great beach views — and people-watching perches — on its several decks. The bartenders here make a stiff mixed drink, making this a good first stop: Get that buzz going nice and early.
A Beer at Ashworth by the Sea
295 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, NH 03842
The Ashworth by the Sea has been in Hampton for more than a century — it’s one of the oldest hotels on Ocean Boulevard, in fact. Have a beer (or two) there, and feel like you’ve stepped back in time for half an hour or so. The best part about the Ashworth bar is that you’re bound to share a drink with folks that span several generations.
Another Cheap, Light Beer at Wally’s Pub
144 Ashworth Ave., Hampton, NH 03842
Wally’s Pub is without a doubt one of the more bizarre places this writer has ever been. It used to be a full-blown biker bar, then transformed into a meeting place slash concert venue slash beer pong hall slash place to get lobster rolls (I mean, I probably wouldn’t eat the lobster roll). But it is still kind of a biker bar. You’ll want to experience this place, but you’ll want to do so as quickly as possible. Slam a Bud Light, and head out to the night’s final watering hole.
A Couple More Cheap Beers at Charlie’s Tap House
9A Ocean Blvd., Hampton, NH 03842
Exit Wally’s and run as fast as you can to Charlie’s Tap House for a couple more cheap beers. And for some karaoke. This place used to be called Stacy Jane’s, a bar that was beloved for its karaoke nights. Thankfully, Charlie’s has kept up the tradition.
If you’re craving a bit of food after all that drinking, Ocean Wok is but a minute or two walk from the karaoke stage. Word to this wise: It closes at 11 p.m. It’s worth cutting the drinking a bit short for that crab Rangoon life, though.