The Seacoast Gets Cooking

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, has long been a favorite stop for gourmands en route to Vacationland—and a recent influx of hot openings means there’s never been a better time to take a culinary detour. Ahead, the area’s newest can’t-miss spots (plus a couple of equally worthy eats just over the bridge in Kittery, Maine).

where to eat in portsmouth nh

Photograph by Toan Trinh


Named after Lillian Mangos, a 20-year employee of nearby Kittery institution Bob’s Clam Hut, Lil’s neighborhood café serves coffee from Portland-based Tandem Coffee Roasters, as well as a selection of destination-worthy doughnuts (French crullers!), cookies (sea-salt-sprinkled chocolate chip!), and sandwiches.

7 Wallingford Sq., Kittery, ME, 207-703-2800,

where to eat in portsmouth nh

Photograph by Olga Khvan


Part of the new Smuttynose Brewery complex, this rustic eatery touts “farm-style” cuisine, which translates to a mostly meatless menu and a slew of beer-laced specials (think: mussels with ­Imperial Red Beer broth) to pair with the brew list. The Towle Farm property that houses Hayseed is a destination in its own right, and will soon offer an outdoor beer garden and a disk-golf course around the perimeter.

105 Towle Farm Rd., Hampton, NH, 603-601-8300,

where to eat in portsmouth nh

Photograph by Michelle Marino

Anju Noodle Bar

Run by Gary Kim and ­Julian Armstrong, the owners of wholesale kimchi operation SonMat Foods, Anju offers primarily Japanese and Korean comfort food (and, natch, makes its kimchi and hot sauce in house). Offsetting the heat from the bowls of ramen are ice-cold libations from the restaurant’s sister bar next door, which focuses on creative cocktails mixed with locally foraged oddities like seaweed, burdock root, and sweet fern.

7 Wallingford Sq., Kittery, ME, 207-703-4298,

where to eat in portsmouth nh

Courtesy of Row 34

Row 34

This summer, Boston’s hottest oyster-and-craft-beer destination heads north: The team behind Row 34 is launching a second location in Portsmouth. Just blocks from the waterfront, the oyster bar
will showcase favorites from the original menu, complemented by New Hampshire brews and local bivalves.

5 Portwalk Place, Portsmouth, NH, 603-319-5011,

where to eat in portsmouth nh

Photograph by Toan Trinh

Franklin Oyster House

Yet another seafood-focused eatery is coming to Portsmouth. Slated to open this month at press time, Franklin Oyster House is the second venture from Matt Louis (pictured), chef of nearby tapas destination Moxy. Expect oysters with arugula-hazelnut pistou, BLT-style lobster rolls, and heartier options like fried chicken.

148 Fleet St., Portsmouth, NH, 603-373-8500,