The 10 Best Restaurants In Manchester, New Hampshire

Photo of Graziano Scaldaferri
9 February 2017

Once the industrial capital of a new America, Manchester, New Hampshire, is still New England’s largest city. Here are the 10 best restaurant in Manchester’s exciting dining scene.

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Café Momo

Restaurant, Indian, Asian, $$$
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Those in Manchester seeking adventurous, exotic food will find Café Momo to be the perfect match to their expectations. Café Momo is proud to serve authentic Nepalese food, including such delicacies as the Kathmandu chicken – a chicken breast drenched in almond and cashew flour – or the exquisite salmon fillet marinated with mustard sauce and topped with asparagus and a mix of other vegetables. The veggies at Café Momo are particularly fresh and flavourful, and the menu of vegetarian delights makes this a must-try restaurant for vegetarians. While the atmosphere could use a boost, the food is surprising and an excellent cultural experience in the heart of New Hampshire.


Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
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Housed in what was once a mill, originally constructed in the 1840s, Cotton is a popular and award-winning restaurant in Manchester’s historic Millyard District. Providing an upscale yet casual atmosphere, Cotton’s guests are invited to sample the restaurant’s American cuisine enriched with a touch of sophistication. Start with some delicious Rhode Island calamari (flash-fried calamari, hot cherry peppers and buttermilk herb dip on the side) and go on to the butternut squash ravioli or perhaps the grilled Atlantic salmon for an exquisite, memorable dinner. A large dining room ensures that customers enjoy their meal in a comfortable, romantic setting, but the best bet is to dine on the lovely outdoor patio.

Dancing Lion Chocolate

Chocolate junkies and the visually driven will both fall in love with Manchester’s Dancing Lion Chocolate. This lovely shop sells all sorts of mouth-watering chocolatey treats, from bonbons and truffles to chocolate bars, but most of the delicacies sold here are so beautiful that you might decide to buy them as works of art, or as an original gift (eating them feels like committing a crime). In particular, the shop has a selection of visually mesmerising chocolate bars painted by local artists with colourful still lives, natural landscapes and other subjects. Dancing Lion Chocolate is also a café where guests can stop for a divine cup of chocolate, best enjoyed with a brownie, a fluffy cookie or any other of the shop’s handcrafted sweets.

Dancing Lion Chocolate 917 Elm St Manchester, NH, USA, +1 603-625-4043

Firefly American Bistro & Bar

Bistro, American, $$$
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Firefly American Bistro & Bar celebrates the best of American cuisine, although the menu does include a few international appetisers and mains, and most notably a selection of pastas. Pick your main entrée from the selection of either ‘land’ plates – boneless beef short rib, chicken piccata, veal scaloppini, among others – or ‘sea’ plates – of these, the Mirin-glazed tuna is a recommended choice. The intimate venue, featuring brick walls, dim lighting and booth tables, creates a cosy setting that lets customers concentrate on the pleasure of tasting their food. Firefly also flaunts a lounge bar particularly known for its great martinis.

Hanover Street Chophouse

Restaurant, American, Seafood, $$$
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In Manchester, dining doesn’t get any more elegant than at Hanover Street Chophouse. Probably due to the materials that decorate the venue – the leather of the chairs, extensive dark wood paneling, ambient lighting – Hanover Street Chophouse features an unusually masculine character for a fine-dining restaurant. If it were a person, it would likely be a well-dressed, successful man holding a glass of good whiskey in his hand. Let your palate be tingled by the sumptuous cuisine prepared in the restaurant’s open-view kitchen and your eyes feast on the beautiful paintings adorning walls; and while you feast, take in the live, unobtrusive piano music that fills the Hanover Street Chophouse with an old-school, sophisticated atmosphere.

Hooked Seafood

Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
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New Hampshire’s Manchester is not so far away from the ocean, which makes this city a prime location to find freshly caught, sumptuous seafood. Hooked Seafood proudly stands among Manchester’s contenders for the best seafood restaurant in town. Try their cioppino, for example, which is a heavenly soup of shrimp, scallops, tilapia, mussels and clams which gives a good and delicious overview of what the restaurant has to offer. Completely renovated in recent times, Hooked is now ready to welcome seafood aficionados in a contemporary, sleek ambiance.

Mint Bistro

Restaurant, Sushi, $$$
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Mint Bistro ups the game of Manchester’s dining scene to international levels by offering a well-honed fusion of dishes inspired by global cuisines. Start with a French onion soup or the delicious Asian shortrib nachos from the tapas menu, then choose your main course between the Maine lobster ravioli, the chili and coriander yellowfin tuna or the vegan pad Thai and many other options off the restaurant’s rich menu. If Japanese food is your favourite, hit the restaurant’s brand new sushi bar – it will not disappoint. The small tables in a finely decorated dining room enhance Mint’s bistro vibe, but outdoor seating is available, too – a great alternative for sunny days.

Masa Japanese Hibachi

Restaurant, Asian, $$$
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The bronze statue of a meditating Buddha welcomes customers to Japanese restaurant Masa before they even proceed to the dimly lit dining room. Here, the darkness is broken by cool, fluorescent lights ranging from blue to purple, to pink. In this captivating, stylish setting, guests can taste all the world-famous highlights of Japanese cooking. Sushi, sashimi, rolls, noodles – the choices for every type of dish are so varied that everyone will be sure to find an inviting option. But Masa’s forte lies in its grasp of Hibachi cooking, from steaks to chicken and seafood. The restaurant’s chefs cook the food in the tall flames required by the traditional Hibachi technique right in front of the customers’ eyes, offering a spectacular performance that never fails to impress.

Puritan Backroom

Restaurant, American, $$$
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There is no better evidence of a restaurant’s success than the year of its opening. In the case of Manchester’s Puritan Backroom, that year is 1917. Arthur Pappas and Louis Canotas established this gregarious restaurant almost a century ago, and built a following of loyal patrons by cooking up for them the best and tastiest of American staples. When their descendants stepped in to keep the ball rolling, the stream of customers never went dry, and keeps flooding the restaurant every night. Join the Puritan Backroom for a scrumptious plate of seafood or succulent meats, or keep it light and pick a sandwich or salad from the restaurant’s packed menu.

Republic Café

Gastropub, Pub Grub, $$$
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The result of its owners’ many years of travelling and professional experience in the food industry, Republic Café is an eclectic restaurant focused on wholesome food and sense of community. Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner, for a quick snack or just a few drinks, stop by at Republic Café – the loving team will always have something surprising to cater to your needs. Republic Café firmly believes that genuine produce is key to a perfect meal, and with this in mind, the restaurant sources fresh, seasonal ingredients from local farmers and producers, and tries to focus on a radius of 50 miles from its location.

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