Portsmouth, New Hampshire is much more than just a neighbor of Portland, Maine. The quaint coastal town and its historical cobblestoned streets are home to a booming restaurant scene. Whether you’re looking for a day trip (combine it with a visit to neighboring Kittery to get the most bang for your buck) or for a pit stop on your way north to visit Vacationland, Portsmouth is worth a visit. Here are 15 places to relax and refuel once you get there.Read More
15 Restaurants Worth the Drive to Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Head up to this neighbor in the north for hackleback caviar, all the oysters you can eat, and botanical beers
This cozy, waterfront bistro uses locally sourced produce and meat, and menu items feature house-made condiments and preserves. A James Beard Award semi-finalist, chef Evan Mallett purchases whole animals to butcher in-house, and recently opened Stock + Spice next door, selling Black Trumpet spices and blends.
This coffee shop has been in business for over twenty years in Portsmouth and has a loyal following. Enjoy the shop’s Middle Eastern vibe with Turkish coffee, cookies, and music piped from overhead.
You’ll be transported to the Mediterranean when you dine at Cava, where the Old-World atmosphere and wine list complement the menu of traditional tapas like patatas bravas and char-grilled baby octopus.
Ceres Bakery, while named for the street of its original location, also honors the Roman goddess of agriculture. Bakers turn the fruits of Ceres’ harvest into breads, cookies, and pastries, and also offer daily selections of soup, salads, and sandwiches.
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This small, intimate restaurant is led by Julie Cutting, one of the few female chefs in town. Try the liver pate to start and don’t miss the fan favorite espresso-stout braised short ribs.
Earth Eagle Brewings
Head down a small alley to find this cheery brewery’s tasting room, which serves unusual beer styles with a focus on gruit, the name for brews that feature a bevy of botanicals in place of hops. The food menu is equally eclectic, with pub fare like spicy pickled eggs and alligator jambalaya.
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La Maison Navarre - Pastry, Bistro, Wine Bar
This new French bakery already has visitors raving about the authentic croissants, macarons, and crepes. Enjoy savory selections on house-made baguettes or crepes, as well as a wine list and charcuterie plate specials offered Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights.
Massimo's - Ristorante Massimo
The restaurant downstairs is thoroughly classic Italian, comforting in its familiarity. The more casual Upstairs at Massimo’s offers small plates, charcuterie, and a small selection of entrees.
Sample hackleback caviar, wagyu gyoza, and half a dozen sushi rolls at this new Japanese spot in the boutique Hotel Thaxter. The food is worth the visit but the craft cocktails and midcentury interior design lend themselves just as well to a happy hour meetup.
Raleigh Wine Bar + Eatery
This cozy wine bar offers the charm of a neighborhood restaurant and the innovative cuisine of an urban hotspot. Guests can dine a la carte off the dinner menu or enjoy a four course tasting experience from executive chef Jeremy Glover.
Stop into Street for a taste of global fare without having to dust off your passport. This casual eatery offers small plates of street food from around the world, like pozole, sticky rice bowls, and Korean fried chicken.
Head down to the waterfront for fresh local seafood with a view at Surf. Styles of cuisine run the gamut, but they all showcase Seacoast-caught seafood where possible. Pop into Surf Sushi Bar next door for even more fresh fish.
From Matt Louis — also the chef/owner at local favorite, Moxy’s — this raw bar offers a bounty of New England oysters, as well as some from Canada and Washington. Don’t miss the house-made charcuterie or Happy Hour, Tuesday-Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m., when select oysters are $2 a pop.
The Wilder kicks comfort cuisine up a notch with staples of truffle and duck fat cheddar popcorn and kimchi aioli potatoes. The rotating craft cocktail list features unexpected ingredients like African bird’s eye chili and plum-infused Japanese whiskey, and the late-night eats menu is available until midnight, a rarity in town.
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This jaunty cantina’s owners take pride in serving locally grown and organic produce where possible, and even make their own tortillas using local heirloom corn. And you can thank chef/owner David Vargas’s wife Erika — a farmer and native Granite Stater — for the inspiration for the thoughtful vegan offerings.