Set on the banks of the Piscataqua River, the port city of Portsmouth in New Hampshire is packed with plenty of fantastic places to celebrate romance. From hip bistros serving delicious tapas and craft beers to historic candlelit taverns that offer traditional New England cuisine, the charming city has a spot for every occasion. Stroll through the riverside gardens and boat docks of Prescott Park before heading to one of these fabulous restaurants for an intimate dinner.
Moxy is a contemporary restaurant that serves traditional tapas and other modern American cuisine alongside creative cocktails, fine wines, and craft beers. Drawing inspiration from the energy, spirit and style of Spanish dining, Moxy serves an array of tapas such as chili salt fried clams, buttermilk ranch spicy green beans, toasted garlic bread, marinated beets, and seasoned ranch beef tartare, along with entrées of corned beef brisket, local pollock fresh corn polenta, crispy Rhode Island calamari, and roasted pepper Pomodoro. The cuisine is accompanied by a curated selection of fine wines from around the world, craft beers on tap and by the bottle, top-shelf spirits, and classic cocktails. Moxy is open for dinner, seven days a week.
106 Penhallow St, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Phone: 603-319-8178
© Anneke Jans
Anneke Jans is a popular neighborhood bistro in Kittery Foreside that serves European-influenced American cuisine and craft cocktails in a classy, cosmopolitan setting. Owned by longtime restaurateur Jason Canty and wife, Moira, the restaurant exudes a warm and welcoming atmosphere and is the perfect place for a quiet romantic evening. Guests can dine in the main dining room or fireside in the elegant lounge and enjoy a variety of farm-to-fork cuisine such as Wild Maine Mussels, Coriander Crusted Tuna, Roasted Statler Chicken with Scallion Polenta, House Made Scallion Gnocchi, and Grilled Swordfish with Spinach Artichoke Puree. The cuisine is accompanied by a selection of global wines, craft beers on tap or by the bottle, high-end spirits, and classic cocktails. Anneke Jans is open for dinner, daily.
60 Wallingford Square, Kittery, ME 03904, Phone: 207-439-0001
© Atlantic Grill
Located on the Foyes Rotary in Rye, close to Downtown Portsmouth, the Atlantic Grill is a comfortable and contemporary restaurant with a full-service bar and a charming patio with lush greenery that specializes in fresh seafood and locavore fare. The restaurant boasts a well-appointed dining room with high vaulted ceilings, a 75-seat bar with high-top tables, and expansive wrap-around windows that flood the interior with natural light. A spacious outdoor patio is ideal for alfresco dining in the summer, and a casual lounge with a tall, tubular jellyfish tank is an excellent spot for relaxing with a signature cocktail before dinner. Market-driven menus feature fresh farm-to-table cuisine such as creamy Clam Chowder brimming with clams, scallops, lobster, shrimp, and white fish, French-style Prince Edward Island mussels, Seared Yellow Fin Tuna, Bouillabaisse, and the signature Five-Star Reserve “Cowboy” Ribeye Surf and Turf. The cuisine is accompanied by a selection of global wines, craft beers on tap or by the bottle, high-end spirits, and classic cocktails. The Atlantic Grill is open for lunch and dinner, daily.
5 Pioneer Rd, Rye, NH 03870, Phone: 603-433-3000
4.Black Trumpet Bistro
© Black Trumpet Bistro
The Black Trumpet Bistro is a family-owned eatery and wine bar in the heart of Portsmouth’s historic old port that is renowned for its cozy and romantic ambiance and outstanding cuisine. The intimate bistro features comfortable dining on the first floor with exposed brick and wooden beams and soft flickering candlelight, and a casual, pleasant wine bar on the second floor with a vibrant atmosphere. Seasonal menus market-driven cuisine prepared with fresh locally sourced ingredients features dishes of mezze platters, crispy pork belly, homemade meatballs, house-made fettuccine, shrimp and poblano etouffee, chicken-fried pork steak, seafood paella, and gourmet burgers. An assortment of wines, craft beers, and classic cocktails are available from the bar, and the bistro is open for dinner, nightly.
29 Ceres St, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Phone: 603-431-0887
5.Bridge Street Bistrot & Wine Bar
© Bridge Street Bistrot & Wine Bar
The Bridge St. Bistrot & Wine Bar is a small, chef-owned café and wine bar in the heart of the historic seaport of downtown Portsmouth that serves traditional French-style cuisine and young, drinkable table wines from around the world in cozy, stylish surroundings. Formerly known as Café Mirabelle, the Bridge St. Bistrot & Wine Bar is owned by Chef Stephan Mayeux and his wife Christine who specialize in authentic Parisian and country French cuisine. The charming café transports diners to France with chic décor, hanging lights entwined with branches and an intimate ambiance, and a menu of classic dishes such as Crêpe Aux Champignons, Magret of Duck, crab, and lobster stuffed salmon, and desserts like crème brulée and chocolate cake with crème anglaise. The full-service bar features over 30 casual wines by the glass, bottled and draft beer, top-shelf spirits, and signature cocktails. The Bridge St. Bistrot & Wine Bar is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
64 Bridge St, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Phone: 603-430-9301
6.Cafe Mediterráneo Ristoranti Italiano
© Café Mediterráneo Ristoranti Italiano
Café Mediterráneo Ristoranti Italiano is a lively Italian restaurant with a full-service bar and a friendly, a classy bistro-like ambiance. Open for lunch and dinner, Café Mediterráneo is owned by chefs and co-owners Mounsif Ghninou and Adel Semmar and serves a notable menu of modern Italian cuisine such as lobster ravioli, New Zealand rack of lamb, roasted half duck with golden sherry reduction sauce, and housemade pastas like Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina, Tortellini Al Proscuitto, and Primavera. The wine menu features vintages from Italy, Spain, and France, and classic cocktails are prepared using organic herbs, and top-shelf spirits. Café Mediterráneo Ristoranti Italiano is open for lunch and dinner, daily.
119 Congress Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Phone: 603-427-5563
7.Cava Tapas & Wine Bar
© Cava Tapas & Wine Bar
Established in 2008, Cava Tapas & Wine Bar is a Mediterranean-inspired bistro that serves delicious tapas, small plates and a tasting menu along with casual wines. Located in the heart of historic downtown Portsmouth, the rustic-chic bistro and wine bar is owned by Chef Gregg Sessler and John Akar and features a beautiful vertical garden and native outdoor living wall under which guests can dine in the summertime. The bistro also features two wine bars that serve a diverse selection of over 50 wines from around the world that can be enjoyed by the glass, along with a wide range of Spanish tapas and sharing plates. Cava Tapas & Wine Bar is open for dinner, seven nights a week and lunch on Saturdays.
10 Commercial Alley, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Phone: 603-319-1575
Located at the corner of State and Penhallow Streets in historic downtown Portsmouth, Cure is a cozy brick-walled restaurant with a refined but elegant ambiance that is the perfect spot for a romantic dinner. Owned by award-winning chef, Julie Cutting, the bistro serves contemporary American menu of farm-to-table New England cuisine with dishes like crisp-skinned chicken and lobster bisque, maple-glazed salmon, pan-roasted duck breast, beef ribs slow-braised in red wine, and horseradish-sour-cream mashed potatoes. Served with virtuosic flair in a cozy 36-seat dining room, the cuisine is accompanied by a selection of classic cocktails, a curated list of fine wines, imported beers, including non-alcoholic Beck’s, and high-end spirits. Cure Restaurant is open for dinner, seven nights a week.
189 State Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Phone: 603-427-8258
9.The Dolphin Striker
© The Dolphin Striker
Set in a historic building steps away from the Portsmouth Harbor, The Dolphin Striker is an iconic dining destination at the core of Portsmouth’s dining scene. Ideally located on the corner of Ceres and Bow streets, the fine-dining restaurant is the perfect spot for a romantic dinner with outstanding cuisine, world-class wines, impeccable service and hospitality, and a stylish and sophisticated ambiance. Chef/Owner Scott Massidda creates a thoughtfully crafted menu of contemporary cuisine prepared with fresh locally sourced ingredients and the region’s freshest bounty, boasting flavors from all over the world. Signature dishes include Seafood Chowder, Maryland Crab Cakes, Lobster Mac & Cheese, and Seafood Fra Diavlo, and an assortment of acclaimed wines, craft beers and classic cocktails made with high-end spirits are available from the bar to accompany the cuisine. The Dolphin Striker is open for dinner seven nights a week, and lunch and dinner on the weekends.
15 Bow Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Phone: 603-431–5222
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10.Durbar Square Restaurant
© Durbar Square Restaurant
Durbar Square Restaurant is a homey Nepalese restaurant in downtown Portsmouth that serves traditional Nepalese fare in a cozy atmosphere. Named for a landmark in Kathmandu, Durbar Square is owned and operated by Bhola Pandey and features Nepalese art on the walls and a bar serving non-alcoholic drinks like strawberry and mango lassis, however the restaurant is BYOB so guests can bring along their own beers and wine. The bi-level eatery serves a menu of Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine with other Middle and Far Eastern influences like choila, a vegan Gundruk soup, paneer and spinach, Chinese steamed dumplings stuffed with lamb, chicken, vegetables, and a selection of Indian and Nepalese curries known as takari. Durbar Square Restaurant caters for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike, and is open for lunch and dinner, daily.
10 Market St, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Phone: 603-294-0107
11.Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro & Bar
© Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro & Bar
The Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro & Bar offers vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike a welcoming spot for mindful dining. Established by chefs and owners Dan Sriprasert and Bob Wongsaichua, the Green Elephant serves Asian-inspired vegetarian cuisine prepared with locally sourced and regional produce and boasting global tastes and flavors from exotic countries like China, India, Malaysia, and Thailand. In addition to delicious Pan-Asian cuisine, the restaurant also offers a variety of casual wines, craft beers by the bottle, creative cocktails, hand-mixed teas, and locally roasted coffee. The Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro & Bar is open for lunch and dinner, daily.
35 Portwalk Pl, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Phone: 603-427-8344
© Latitudes Restaurant
Based in the luxurious Wentworth by the Sea, A Marriott Hotel & Spa, Latitudes Restaurant is contemporary-chic eatery that celebrates the Portsmouth region's culinary bounty with an innovative bistro-style menu of New American cuisine and classic cocktails. Boasting breathtaking views of the ocean from large windows and a stunning waterfront deck, the seasonal restaurant focuses on locally sourced ingredients and produce from farmers, fishermen, and artisans to create sublime dishes like New England Clam Chowder, Maine Lobster Salad, Local Fish Tacos, Latitudes Surf & Turf, and Pan Seared Atlantic Halibut. An assortment of fine wines, craft beers, and classic cocktails are available from the bar to pair with cuisine. Latitudes Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, daily.
588 Wentworth Rd, New Castle, NH 03854, Phone: 603-373-6592
13.Martingale Wharf Restaurant & Bar
© Martingale Wharf Restaurant & Bar
Martingale Wharf Restaurant & Bar is a casual-yet-sophisticated restaurant with a relaxing atmosphere that caters for gourmet dining experiences. Located at 99 Bow Street, the elegant restaurant features a beautifully-appointed dining room and a sprawling waterfront deck with spectacular views and serves inventive menus of contemporary New American cuisine. Signature dishes range from fresh seafood and prime USDA steaks and chops to house-made pasta, fresh salads, and vegetarian dishes, and the cuisine is accompanied by a curated selection of fine wines from around the world, craft beers on tap and by the bottle, top-shelf spirits, and classic cocktails. Martingale Wharf Restaurant & Bar is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
99 Bow St Suite W, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Phone: 603-431-0901
Massimo brings the quintessential Italian dining experience to Portsmouth with a contemporary menu inspired by the regional cuisines of Italy. Owned by Massimo Morgia, the bi-level restaurant is stylish and sophisticated with modern décor and a full-service bar and lounge, offering two distinct dining experiences – a tuxedo service formal dining experience at Ristorante Massimo or a more casual, relaxed dinner at Upstairs at Massimo’s. Market-driven menus feature traditional Italian cuisine of fresh seafood, prime meats and chicken, housemade pasta and from-scratch sauces, and organic, locally sourced herbs, salads, and vegetables. An impressive wine list boasts unique Italian wines from small boutique Italian winemakers and world-renowned estate, along with vintages from California, Spain, and South Africa. Massimo is open for dinner, Monday through Saturday.
59 Penhallow St, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Phone: 603-436-4000
Located in Portsmouth’s historic Strawbery Banke with beautiful views of the Piscataqua River and Prescott Park, Mombo is renowned for serving internationally-inspired cuisine and classic cocktails in a stylish and sophisticated atmosphere. The restaurant exudes grace and charm with a wood-beamed ceiling, elegant wrought-iron chandeliers and a fashionable patio lounge with awe-inspiring views where guests can dine alfresco-style in the summer months. Mombo serves a menu of contemporary New American cuisine with global flavors ranging from fresh seafood, prime USDA steaks and chops, fresh, locally sourced salads and vegetables, and decadent homemade desserts. Mombo is open for dinner, Tuesday through Sunday.
66 Marcy St, Portsmouth, NH 03802, Phone: 603-433-2340
© Rudi's Portsmouth
Rudi’s is a classy and contemporary American spot with white-tablecloths and gleaming silverware that serves classic New American fare, innovative cocktails, and live jazz in an elegant and refined atmosphere. Boasting an eclectic mix of downtown charm and uptown polish, the restaurant focuses on using the freshest ingredients from local farms and New England bounties to create inventive dishes such as lobster and corn beignets, Niman Ranch Bone-in Pork Chop Cutlets, Caprese Gnocchi, and Atlantic Swordfish. Sundays offer popular Jazz Brunches and live music is hosted on Saturday nights, and the full-service bar offers a wide variety of libations from global wines to top-shelf spirits. Rudi’s is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday and Sunday brunch.
20 High St, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Phone: 603-430-7834
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17.SALT Kitchen & Bar
Located in the elegant Wentworth by the Sea, A Marriott Hotel & Spa, SALT Kitchen & Bar is one of Portsmouth’s top restaurants and offers an unrivaled dining experience. Seamlessly blending sleek, contemporary style with historic charm, the modern restaurant features four distinctive dining areas, including the main dining room, an elegant lounge, a live chef’s bar, and cozy enclaves perfect for intimate parties. The restaurant serves seasonal menus of farm-to-table cuisine prepared with prime ingredients fresh from the garden and the sea. Signature dishes include Tuscan Chicken Liver Pate, Lobster Bisque, Rustic Hand Rolled Gnocchi, Maine Lobster Ravioli, and Pan-Seared Northern Harvest Salmon, and a curated selection of fine wines from around the world, craft beers on tap and by the bottle, top-shelf spirits, and classic cocktails are available from the bar. SALT Kitchen & Bar is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, daily.
588 Wentworth Rd, New Castle, NH 03854, Phone: 603-373-6566
© Surf Restaurant
Helmed by Chef and owner Michael Buckley, Surf Restaurant specializes in fresh, exquisitely prepared seafood served in imaginative ways. Offering a stylish combination of outstanding cuisine, fine wines, and gracious hospitality and service with a relaxed and inviting atmosphere, the restaurant has a sterling reputation for serving creative, coastal cuisine with global accents using only the very freshest fish and shellfish. The restaurant has a lovely outdoor deck with spectacular ocean views for alfresco dining in the summer, and the adjacent Surf Room offers several spaces with 180-degree views of Portsmouth Harbor for private events and functions. Surf Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Thursday through Sunday and dinner only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
99 Bow St, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Phone: 603-334-9855
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© The Franklin
Dating back to 1867, the Franklin Oyster House in Portsmouth is a contemporary tavern and oyster bar that has been serving fresh oysters and seafood for over 150 years. The historic tavern serves seasonal, progressive menus of seafood-centric tapas, house-made charcuterie, fresh vegetarian plates, and a variety of locally-harvested oysters, along with handcrafted cocktails, fine wines, craft beers, and top-shelf spirits. Signature dishes include baked oysters with a BBQ flavor, whale cakes, spice-rubbed shrimp, and pineapple and crab meat, and the full-service bar offers new twists on cocktails such as A Smoke and A Pancake. The Franklin Oyster House is open for dinner, daily.
148 Fleet St, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Phone: 603-373-8500
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© The Library
Set in an elegant, 1785 mansion with a refined clubby ambiance, the Library Restaurant is a classic, traditional steakhouse that serves authentic chophouse fare and fine wines. Exuding timeless elegance, the restaurant serves a menu of thick house-butchered cuts of USDA choice steaks, free-range chicken and pork, fresh seafood and a range of vegetarian options. The English-style pub has an extensive menu of fine wines from around the world, which can be enjoyed by the glass or bottle, craft beers on tap or by the bottle, and handcrafted cocktails, along with over 140 bottles of vodka and one of the largest scotch and bourbon selections on the Seacoast. The Library Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner only, seven nights a week.
401 State Street #5, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Phone: 603-431-5202
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21.The Oar House
© The Oar House
Located in the historic "Merchant's Row" building at the edge of Portsmouth's old harbor, The Oar House is an elegant restaurant that serves a seafood-centric menu of fresh New England bounty in a casual and relaxed environment. Boasting breathtaking views from large windows and a stunning seasonal waterfront deck where guests can dine in the summer months, the restaurant features contemporary décor and mementos that celebrate the city's long and proud maritime heritage. A full-service bar serves fine wines from around the world, which can be enjoyed by the glass or bottle, craft beers on tap or by the bottle, and handcrafted cocktails, and live music can be enjoyed on Friday and Saturday nights. The Oar House is open for lunch and dinner, daily.
55 Ceres St, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Phone: 603-436-4025
22.The Pointe on Badgers Island
© The Pointe on Badgers Island
The Pointe on Badgers Island is a casual, intimate restaurant located at the water’s edge with spectacular views of the Piscataqua River and Portsmouth. The warm and welcoming eatery serves a menu of creative New American cuisine of fresh seafood and shellfish, prime meats and chicken, farm-raised favorites and vegetarian options, and a curated selection of fine wines from around the world, craft beers on tap and by the bottle, top-shelf spirits, and classic cocktails are available from the bar. Outdoor seating is available for alfresco dining in the summer months, and the restaurant is open for dinner, Wednesday through Monday.
31 Badgers Island W, Kittery, ME 03904, Phone: 207-703-2987
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© The Wilder
Located in the former Coat of Arms space on Fleet Street, The Wilder is a modern New England gastropub that serves New England fare prepared with fresh local ingredients and an innovative, ever-evolving craft cocktail program. Owned and operated by local restaurateurs Julian Armstrong and Michael Pazdon, the family behind Anju Noodle Bar and The Wallingford Dram in Kittery, the Wilder’s kitchen bridges the old and the new, with creative dishes like Duck Bolognese, Seared Gnocchi, Korean BBQ Ribs, and Pan-Seared Panko Chicken. A curated selection of fine wines from around the world, craft beers on tap and by the bottle, top-shelf spirits, and classic cocktails are available from the bar. The Wilder is open for dinner, daily and weekend lunch.
174 Fleet St, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Phone: 603-319-6878
23 Best Restaurants in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
- Moxy, Photo: Moxy
- Anneke Jans, Photo: Anneke Jans
- Atlantic Grill, Photo: Atlantic Grill
- Black Trumpet Bistro, Photo: Black Trumpet Bistro
- Bridge Street Bistrot & Wine Bar, Photo: Bridge Street Bistrot & Wine Bar
- Cafe Mediterráneo Ristoranti Italiano, Photo: Café Mediterráneo Ristoranti Italiano
- Cava Tapas & Wine Bar, Photo: Cava Tapas & Wine Bar
- Cure, Photo: Cure
- The Dolphin Striker, Photo: The Dolphin Striker
- Durbar Square Restaurant, Photo: Durbar Square Restaurant
- Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro & Bar, Photo: Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro & Bar
- Latitudes Restaurant, Photo: Latitudes Restaurant
- Martingale Wharf Restaurant & Bar, Photo: Martingale Wharf Restaurant & Bar
- Massimo, Photo: Massimo
- Mombo, Photo: seksanpk/stock.adobe.com
- Rudi's Portsmouth, Photo: Rudi's Portsmouth
- SALT Kitchen & Bar, Photo: seksanpk/stock.adobe.com
- Surf Restaurant, Photo: Surf Restaurant
- The Franklin, Photo: The Franklin
- The Library, Photo: The Library
- The Oar House, Photo: The Oar House
- The Pointe on Badgers Island, Photo: The Pointe on Badgers Island
- The Wilder, Photo: The Wilder
- Cover Photo: seksanpk/stock.adobe.com