Where to Find the Best Fancy Restaurants in Portsmouth NH

by Alex DiBacco

Visiting Portsmouth for a day is one of my favorite things to do in the area.  I probably spend way too much time restaurant hopping, but there’s such a cool array of food that it’s hard to resist.  A lot of the best spots have amazing water views, cool decor, and yummy cocktails.  Whether you live in the area or are just visiting, I recommend trying some of these Portsmouth NH restaurants!

Rudi’s Wine Bar

A super cozy one room wine bar, Rudi’s is definitely one of my favorite spots.  You can eat some really good Italian food at the small wood bar or hangout with a glass of wine in the upscale, plush chairs clustered around the room.  The cocktails are actually pretty good (especially for a wine bar), there’s occasionally live piano music, and they even have Sunday brunch.

Row 34

A super upscale raw bar, Row 34 is a nice place to go if you want well-made martinis, oysters, and gourmet small bites.  It’s a little on the pricier side but is also one of the trendiest fancy restaurants in Portsmouth NH with really fresh food.

The Portsmouth Brewery

If you’re into local brews this is a good place to start.  Sure, it isn’t one of the incredibly fancy restaurants in Portsmouth NH, but it’s New Hampshire, and you have to try a brewery. There’s an array of options on tap (not just from their own brewery) and the servers are pretty knowledgable.  The food is an array of classic dishes (the fried calamari and nachos are my favorite) and the decor is cozy and wood based with brick walls.

The Flatbread Company

If you haven’t tried Flatbread then you’re missing out!  They have tons of different pizza toppings; they create and bake the pizza right in front of you in the huge stone oven.  It’s perfect for a winter night because the room is always so toasty!  The vibe is a little more hipster.  They have a few basic drinks and wines, amazing Vermont maple syrup sweetened lemonade, and literally the best brownies of all time.

The Friendly Toast

The funky, artsy vibe coupled with simple yet delicious food options causes The Friendly Toast to have up to 2 hour long waits on the weekends.  Get here early to put your name in then do some shopping!  I usually eat here for brunch (the Bloody Mary’s and Eggs Benedict are awesome) but their food is great all day!

Portsmouth Book and Bar

The Book and Bar is a cool mix of a bookstore, coffee shop, and restaurant.  You can choose to relax and read with a coffee or grab a beer and a sandwich.  The food is mostly cafe-like with breakfast options, and drinks are a mix of local beers and wines.  They do have a Bloody Mary and Mimosa for brunch.

British Beer Company

Even though the British Beer Company is a chain, it’s still a really cool place to grab a bite in Portsmouth.  It totally has the New Hampshire vibe (tons of draft beers with woodsy decor) and lots of easy finger foods like truffle fries and chicken tenders.  They also have weekly trivia and happy hour during the week days.

Surf Restaurant

Surf is a gorgeous seafood restaurant right on the water.  The views are awesome year round (the sunset is literally amazing) but I especially love eating here during the summer when you can sit outside – the deck is right above the water.  The cocktails are pretty well done and there’s tons of food options even if you’re not a seafood fan. Surf is a great fancy restaurant in Portsmouth NH that still has a fun, outdoorsy vibe.

Martingale Wharf

Right near Surf, Martingale’s is a little more upscale with the same awesome views.  It’s one of the most well-known fancy restaurants in Portsmouth NH, but you can definitely wear nice jeans and get away with it. The food is generally smaller portions with a super gourmet touch (shrimp cocktail, mussels, seared Ahi Tuna, etc).  The martinis are really good and the bar is super pretty.  I usually stop here for a drink and an appetizer but it would be one of the best fancy restaurants in Portsmouth NH for a big night out.

Latitudes at the Wentworth

Definitely one of the more upscale (and expensive) Portsmouth NH restaurants, Latitudes is located in the Wentworth by the Sea and is seasonal (spring and summer).  The food is country club-ish with classic drinks (the mojitos are really good) and an impressive wine list.  There’s also the Latitudes Sky Bar for a more casual but insanely scenic experience.

If I’ve missed any great fancy restaurants in Portsmouth, please share in the comments and I’ll be sure to try them out!

xo, Alex


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