The Nine Best Restaurants in Newburyport
From Mexican restaurants to swanky seafood spots, the North Shore's postcard-pretty seaport has an excellent dining scene.
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Whether you’re visiting the North Shore for a weekend day trip or just looking for new dining-out ideas in the ‘burbs, here are a handful of standouts serving everything from Mexican cuisines to swanky seafood spots and funky doughnut shops to the self-proclaimed “first oyster, crudo and chop bar” in New England.
Updated October 2023; check back for periodic updates.
The Angry Donut and Cafe
Why so angry, donut? You’re delicious, after all—scratch-made, squishy-brioche goodness that comes covered in strawberry glaze, strewn with toasted coconut, or studded with Fruity Pebbles. And in the heart of downtown Newburyport, you also serve scones, cinnamon buns, and sandwiches, too? Buck up, peanut-butter cup, things aren’t so bad.
44 Inn St., Newburyport, 978-255-1026
Sweet, floral saffron is sprinkled throughout the menu at Bar 25. The prized Persian spice is used to marinate the chicken, to enliven basmati rice mingling with grilled tomato and heirloom carrots. That said, it’s just one selection from the very full spice rack employed at Iran native Reza Rahmani’s second restaurant—the original Bar 25 is in Ayer—which turns out polished Middle Eastern-inspired cuisine and similarly sophisticated cocktails.
38 State St., Newburyport, 978-255-3322, bar-25.com.
Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the beefy burgers are a big hit at Black Cow, especially one signature patty topped with bacon-onion jam, Cajun onion strings, and Alabama-style white BBQ sauce. But when the Newburyport mainstay moved to a new, larger location by the waterfront a few years ago, it also expanded its seafood offerings: a 28-foot-tall sailboat mast in the center of the room has been repurposed as an oyster bar, and there’s quite a selection of sushi, sashimi, and nigiri to go along with all the elevated expressions of New American gastropub cuisine.
40 Merrimac St., Newburyport, 978-499-8811, blackcowrestaurants.com.
Speaking of seafood, the oysters and crudo that anchor the menu at Brine—recently relocated to downtown Newburyport—make it the perfect place to kick back with a “Power Tower” of raw and poached shellfish, as well as a refreshing cocktail, after a day at Crane Beach. Landlubbers aren’t overlooked, though, and restaurateur Nancy Batista-Caswell (the force behind Oak + Rowan in Boston’s Fort Point) offers plenty of top chops, too. See: the 16-ounce, bone-in ribeye, perfect for pairing with fries dipped in a malt vinegar aioli.
17 State St., Newburyport, 978-358-8479, brineoyster.com.
Loretta is a people pleaser. That’s not always a good thing, as a responsible therapist might remind one. It is, though, when you’re talking about a place like this—a place to go as a foursome of friends for a nice-but-not-fussy Tuesday night out, and for filling up on shrimp scampi, lemon scallops, or filet mignon with a port-wine demi and mashed potatoes. You’ll split the chocolate mousse. Wine will flow. It will be fun, what you expected, and exactly what you were looking for.
15 Pleasant St., Newburyport, 978-463-0000, lorettarestaurant.com.
This full-service, mostly-Mexican restaurant, spun off from a popular food truck, is housed at the Newburyport commuter station. That makes it a perfect stop for inbound and outbound riders: The former find delicious burritos, tacos, and ‘ritas waiting as soon as they arrive, and the latter can snag great takeout for a train snack (it certainly beats a crushed bag of chips excavated from the bottom of your bag). This cantina is a deserving destination all on its own, though; keep an eye out for the Metzy’s truck out in the wild.
5 Boston Way, Newburyport, 978-255-7347, metzys.com.
Mission Oak Grill
Housed inside an old church, Mission delivers praise-worthy American-steakhouse stuff with a bit of global flair. Starters cover classic scallops-and-bacon and sweet chili-glazed Thai ribs; mains range from Ritz-crusted baked haddock to chicken parm to Churrasco served with chimichurri. The abridged bar menu is also reliable fare, with half price specials from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays through Fridays.
26 Green St., Newburyport, 978-463-9009, missionoakgrill.com.
Once you try the chicken tikka masala, lamb vindaloo, chow chow noodles, or rajma tarkari, we think you’ll agree that yes, the curries and Himalayan herbs are spicy here. It’s the super-warm hospitality, though, besides the reliably excellent Indian and Nepalese cuisine, that has made the place a local mainstay for (many) years.
140 High St., Newburyport, 978-465-8600, misterindiacuisine.com.
The place looks swanky, modern, clean crisp—it’s got that breezy, Pacific Coast kind of thing going on. No surprise: Restaurateurs John and Laura Wolfe kicked off their career in La Jolla, California more than 25 years ago, and previously imported its vibe to The Cottage, their restaurant in Wellesley. Their newer venture, the Poynt, builds on the Cali-New England mashup but takes it in an even more urbane direction, serving wood-fired pizzas, sushi, fish tacos, and prawn scallop linguini with pine nuts and lemon cream sauce, all in particularly sharp style.
31 Water St., Newburyport, 978-358-8501, poyntnewburyport.com.