New Hampshire

Restaurants in New Hampshire

For the best restaurants in New Hampshire, get ready to dive into the backwoods. The state is small, but the roads are picturesque and carry you to many classic New England diners and cafes that may not look like much from the outside, but offer all the traditional charm of a small town. The Friendly Toast is a kitschy slice of Americana decked out with 1950’s memorabilia and vinyl chairs, but the maple syrup-soaked pancakes and lobster rolls are nothing to laugh at.

Some New Hampshire restaurants look as good as they taste and offer a delightful story to go with their setting. The Black Trumpet in Portsmouth is a family-owned bistro and wine bar where diners are treated to spectacular views of the Piscataqua River. The hand-hewn beams in the bar have names carved in them from the early 19th century when this brick building housed a ship’s chandlery that sold wares to the colonial ships using the harbor.

Not all the nicest New Hampshire restaurants are in Portsmouth. The tiny town of Walpole (population 3,387) is the headquarters of chocolatier Larry Burdick. L.A. Burdick’s restaurant is a former grocery turned into a Provençal bistro with chalkboard menus listing specials like ricotta cavatelli or honey-roasted duck breast. And don’t forget the pièces de résistance, Burdick’s chocolate. Order the Harvard Square: ganache and dark chocolate with walnuts. This is certainly one of the sweetest restaurants in New Hampshire.

"Lexie's is a little burger place with a great philosophy and an admirable commitment to cooking from scratch. Their burgers aren't the typically obscene American flesh bombs--you can have one with french fries, fried pickles, and beer and still stand up afterward.

Have a dress-up dinner (roasted duck is the specialty) at this Spanish Renaissance hotel restaurant.

This casual steakhouse is part of the NH-based Common Man chain.

Dive into ribs or fried seafood at this laid-back joint. All of the fresh lobster, scallops, and oysters are hauled from the water each day.

The menu features beer brewed on-site, brisket and ribs, and wood-fired pizza.

Pick up baked goods or have a pre-hike breakfast (oatmeal pancakes, creamy polenta).

The Burger: Murphy’s on the Green is a classic Yankee college town tavern fraternized in equal number by tweedy Dartmouth professors, honor roll students, and townie regulars.

Black Trumpet Bistro, in a 19th-century ship's chandlery on the town harbor, posts an international menu that changes every six weeks to capitalize on fresh ingredients.

After biking around the trail, stop in for warm popovers and chai.