Haverhill, Massachusetts was first founded by a community of farming puritans in the 1600s, before rapidly expanding into one of the centers of the industrial revolution. The city has undergone a renaissance since the dawning of the 21st century, with a surge in restaurants. Here are 10 of the best.
The Grill Next Door is a small, family owned restaurant that specializes in serving classic comfort food and all-American specialties. The Grill also stocks a fantastic array of craft beers – 36 varieties in total. Serving great food on a daily basis, the restaurant also hosts some great events where visitors can sample all the beers on offer. Food-wise, The Grill Next Door offers a great variety of burgers and other dishes. Options include the spicy bleu cheese burger which comes topped with roasted peppers, and a BBQ burger topped with sticky sweet barbecue sauce, melted cheese and sauteed onions.
Keon’s Bistro is a contemporary American restaurant at the heart of Haverhill. Serving a fusion of French-American cuisine in a bistro setting, Keon’s is also known for the beautiful presentation of its food. Simply decorated, the restaurant is dotted with private booths that are perfect for intimate meals. Specializing in wine, Keon’s also prepares a five-course dinner complete with drinks. At the time of writing, Keon’s wine dinner consists of butter poached lobster, served with a pinot grigio, and seafood chowder, which comes with a glass of chardonnay. There is also an a la carte menu for those not so hungry.
Part of a restaurant duo with Olivia’s below, Krueger Flatbread is run by husband and wife team, Stephen and Susan Petrou. While Krueger describes itself as a flatbread specialist, for the uninitiated, they are talking about pizza. The team of chefs hand spin and roll the dough, before topping with all manner of deliciousness. They can be served in whole or half measures (the flatbreads are huge), and hot or cold. Popular toppings include chicken marsala – sauteed chicken with mushrooms and peppers – and Italian sausage and meatballs. The dessert options are equally impressive, with traditional tiramisu and baked cheesecake on offer.
Olivia's, Haverhill | Courtesy of Barking Dog Ale House
Olivia’s offers more of a fine dining Italian experience than its more casual counterpart. The restaurant is fashionably decorated with open brickwork walls and polished oak tables. Celebrated in Haverhill for its fantastic service and cooking, Olivia’s has won the award for best ethnic food in multiple locations. Dishes include chicken broccoli alfredo, where steamed broccoli and pan-fried chicken are tossed with fettuccine pasta in a creamy alfredo sauce, or veal parmesan and steak Danielle – to name but a few.
With more than 40 different varieties of beer available on tap (and untold quantities of rare bottled beers) the Barking Dog Ale House is the place for hopping-mad beer enthusiasts. Barking Dog also serves some particularly delicious comfort dishes: these include all manner of burgers, grills and sandwiches, as well as some brilliant macaroni and cheese combinations. Unique mixes include smoked gouda and applewood bacon, and also the buffalo mac with chicken, blue cheese and buffalo sauce.
The Wicked Big Cafe in Haverhill has a loyal following of fans, drawn to its friendly atmosphere and reputation for serving great food. Primarily a coffee shop and diner, the Wicked Big Cafe also hosts the work of local artists on its walls, often focusing on landscapes and portrait images. The cafe specializes in both breakfast and lunch dishes, as well as fresh fruit smoothies. For the early risers there are eggs and bacon served with muffins, breakfast panini and fruity porridge available. For those who stay in bed later, the lunch menu is equally delicious. Lobster rolls, meat sandwiches and innovative salads are available daily.
Haverhill Beef has quite the reputation for purveying high quality meat and poultry. Visitors can pick all manner of delicious cuts, which are grilled to perfection (and to any requirement). The delicatessen also serves a range of cheeses, pickles and cold meats which are perfect for on the go eating.
The Essex Street Grille can be found in the historic down-town region of Haverhill, a place packed with beautiful, charming buildings. Starters include chicken tenders with a variety of sauces (including buffalo), nachos and lobster rolls, while main meals include peppered New York Strip steak, mango chicken ricotta stuffed aubergine, which comes with a sweet tomato sauce.
Joseph’s Trattoria has been serving traditional Italian inspired food to discerning guests for many years in Haverhill. As such, the menu is packed out with all the staples of pizza and pasta that are possible to imagine. Specializing particularly in food from the Tuscany region of Italy, Joseph’s Trattoria also serves a great selection of dishes from the grill. These include pork chop with porcini mushrooms and roasted sweet potatoes; lemon roast chicken with potatoes and grilled courgette (zucchini); and even pan-seared salmon with crispy asparagus.
Located a small distance from the main restaurant scene, Butch’s Uptown is a classic interpretation of an American restaurant. Small and cozy, the plates and portions are anything but. Enjoy giant steaks, spicy kebabs (often served with rice) and refreshing salads all play their part in the overall experience, with friendly staff taking guests seamlessly through each course. While the decoration is simple, the taste sensation is anything but and is sure to have guests talking about it for weeks on end.