Top 10 Restaurants In Manchester, New Hampshire

Photo of Culture Trip
9 February 2017

Those who visit the historical New Hampshire city of Manchester will be greeted by a delightful array of delicious cuisine. Discover the 10 best restaurants in Manchester here.

© AlexiusHoratius/WikiCommons

Hanover Street Chophouse

Restaurant, American, Seafood, $$$
Replete with distilled elegance, the Hanover Street Chophouse is the choice destination for diners in search of impeccably cooked and presented dishes. Although not the most economical of destinations, the restaurant has an impressive breadth of choice. The menu features items including the eponymous chops and other delectable meats. Enjoy slithering into a cozy leather booth, which is surrounded by refined wood panelling. Gaze at the grand landscape paintings that adorn the walls, which give the dining space a feeling of depth and expanse. It’s an apt garnish to the delicious food. The chophouse is famous for its enormous wine list, with more than 200 different varieties to choose from. There is also a fully stocked salon-style bar where one can retire to swill a lovingly crafted after-dinnerdrink.


Bar, Pub, European
Located in the upmarket Millyard District of Manchester in the skeleton of a former mill dating back to the 1840s is Cotton. This is the ideal choice for the casual yet discerning muncher. Begin by quaffing one of Cotton’s award-winning martinis, which are served with gratifying grace. Highly recommended are the tantalizing pan-seared scallops, framed with freshly sourced mixed greens and rich blue cheese oozing on top. The range of mains is satisfyingly diverse from the spicy Louisiana classic, Creole jambalaya, to the restaurant’s famed almond-crusted turkey schnitzel. The restaurant is well-lit and richly decorated. Ample space between tables allows diners the privacy and comfort. Cotton benefits from a contiguous bar where frequenters can convene for a pre- or post-dinner beverage. Although indoor tables may be reserved in advance, for a seat on the expansive patio, diners are seated on a first come, first served basis. So, ensure you get there early.

Puritan Backroom

Restaurant, American, $$$
Thrust your foot across the threshold of one of Manchester’s oldest restaurants – the Puritan Backroom has been rustling up sumptuous American dishes since 1917. The restaurant was founded and reared by Arthur Pappas and Louis Canotas. Their cheery faces adorn the walls in a selection of tastefully arranged photographic portraits. This Manchester relic, still run by the Pappas and Canotas families, is the home of the ‘fried chicken tender’. This dish is succulent fried chicken coupled with crispy layers of coconut or spicy breading, or with a heavenly blue cheese dressing trickling playfully down its side. Browse the extensive menu, which includes freshly caught seafood, carefully constructed sandwiches, and palate-cleansing salads. The Puritan Backroom promises vivacious evenings of red-faced laughter and hearty meals. The interior exudes fin de siècleAmerican authenticity with low, atmospheric light emanating from brass chandeliers. To ensure a seat in this venue, booking is advised.

The Shaskeen

Pub, Irish, American, $$$
Polish up your Irish flute and restring your fiddle, The Shaskeen is a traditional Irish pub opened by Irish musicians. Since 2010, it has been run by a group of friends: Nathan Sheridan, Josh Ames and James Pliakos. Enjoy the regular live music evenings that take place at least four nights a week. This friendly place plays host to a menu that’s anything but the standard ‘pub grub’ affair. Options range from the obligatory but delectable bangers and mash option, topped with luxurious Guinness gravy, to more daring and diverse options such as the feta and pepperoncini stuffed chicken. The interior of the pub is pleasantly dark but not dingy. This lends the establishment that sought-after public house authenticity that so many foreign-export taverns sorely lack. The Shaskeen is an excellent choice for those looking for a bit of cultural immersion without the hefty price tag.

Gaucho's Grill Churrascaria

Bar, Restaurant, Steakhouse, Brazilian, $$$
Gaucho’s Grill Churrascaria is a Brazilian steak house with a menu and food preparation techniques steeped in South American cultural history. Highly recommended is the house speciality: slow-roasted meats cooked in a rotisserie oven in the churrasco style. This style was favored by Brazilian cattle-ranchers, known as Gauchos. Traditional Brazilian sides such as sweet plantain and papa criolla complement the natural juices of the meats. The restaurant’s decor is suitably Brazilian, with bright colors and bold patterns covering the furniture. This complements the lively cuisine flawlessly. The thirst-quenching caipirinhas served at the bar are lovingly prepared and jovially served. They provide the perfect accompaniment for a night of jiving away to Brazilian music. Aside from everything Brazilian, the restaurant offers an array of salad options from the salad bar.

Hooked, Seafood Restaurant

Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
Cast a look into Hooked for the best seafood experience in Manchester. This bijou venue is tucked away on the corner of Hanover Street and is a prime example of urban renewal spreading its wings. The mini interior was completely revamped from musty old dilapidation to high-flying and sleek. It is now a prime spot for delicious seafood in a setting in which one can almost smell the salt in the air. The menu offers seafood classics such as the surf and turf, lobster ravioli, and steamed whole lobster (sold at market price). An efficacious way of sampling the myriad seafood options at the restaurant is to order the seafood cioppino. In this dish are colossal shrimp, sea scallops, tilapia, mussels, and clams, served in an alluring tomato, butter, wine, and fresh Italian herb broth. The waiters are exemplary. Should you be new to the briny world of seafood, they are worth consulting for their ordering suggestions. Hooked always manages to reel in a good catch of customers. The place operates on a first come, first served basis, so ensure you turn up in good time to net yourself a seat.

Szechuan House

Restaurant, Chinese, $$$
Widely regarded as the foremost Chinese restaurant in Manchester, Szechuan House is the quintessence of exemplary Chinese cuisine. Begin your nigh by unwinding with a delicately crafted mai tai while perusing the extensive menu. The excellent value of the food is paralleled only by its quality. All of the ingredients are freshly sourced and the restaurant welcomes customers to customize their orders to suit their palate. General Chao’s white chicken meat is widely regarded as one of the most delicious items on the menu. It consists of deep-fried chicken and hot peppers smothered handsomely in a delightfully sweet hot sauce. Many of the staff have been waiting the restaurant for years and are on hand to offer enlightened advice on the best orders. An atmosphere of tranquillity means Szechuan House is conducive to compelling conversation. Food can be eaten in the restaurant or taken away.

Fratello's Ristorante Italiano

Restaurant, Italian, $$$
Sequestered away in a captivating old mill building, Fratello’s Ristorante Italiano is the pearl inside the urban clam of Manchester, NH. Browse the substantial menu and choose from the appetizing Italian delights on offer. These include pastas, pizza, and an astonishing range of seafood and meats. Begin your culinary romance by sampling Fratello’s own brand of crunchy calamari rings. They are adorned with an artful sprinkling of breadcrumbs and sautéed with a heady mix of cherry peppers, lemon butter, garlic, basil, and white wine. They are served over fresh steaming linguine. Continue with the popular Seafood Sophia dish – maine lobster, shrimp, scallops and pei mussels, served with a velvety smooth lobster sherry cream sauce. These ingredients are then served in bowtie pasta with fresh scallions. Fratello’s has a warm, smile-inducing atmosphere, the air thick with the scent of Italia. For the al fresco-inclined, the restaurant is equipped with a spacious outdoor dining area. Fratello’s welcome bookings made over the phone.

Firefly American Bistro

Indulge in an evening at Manchester’s beacon of delicious American fare, the Firefly American Bistro. Order yourself one of the restaurant’s famed martinis in the lounge bar. This spot, with its clean line aesthetic and modest chic design, makes it the ideal spot for a pre-dinner drink. The dining room itself is the epitome of comfortable dining with warm ambient lighting glancing off the rugged bare brick walls. Scattered tea lights gently illuminate diners as they browse Firefly’s diverse menu. The bacon-wrapped bistro steak is the restaurant’s prize dish. It is a carefully sourced pan-seared steak, glazed in Tennessee bourbon barbecue sauce and served with onion straws, fluffy mashed potato and fresh vegetables. Also on the menu are a variety of meat, seafood, pasta, and vegetarian dishes. To secure a table as this charming American bistro, booking online or by phone is advised.

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