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New Hampshire’s second largest city, Nashua, has cuisine that is still predominantly all-American. However, there are an increasing number of internationally inspired restaurants. Here are the top 10 restaurants to try in Nashua.
The Common Man is a casual dining restaurant housed in an 18th-century building, once the home of Matthew Thorton, a signer of the American Declaration of Independence. This building has a long and fascinating history. This perhaps contributes to the occasional reports of mysterious footsteps and ghostly apparitions on-site. The restaurant is divided into a cozy main dining room, as well as a Bar ‘n Grill on the upper floor, furnished with comfortable couches. Serving up classic American comfort food, the restaurant has menu highlights like lobster macaroni and cheese baked with aged cheddar and topped with Maine lobster meat. Other favorites include rock crab cakes pan-fried and served with a lobster sauce and fried onions.
The Common Man, 304 Daniel Webster Hwy, Merrimack, NH, United States, + 1 603 429 3463
Originally opened almost 20 years ago, MT’s Local Kitchen and Wine Bar, formerly known as Michael Timothy’s Bistro, offers a relaxing interior that encourages customers to linger over a glass of wine. The restaurant focuses on local ingredients, sourced from producers across New England and the Northeast. The menu features a regularly changing selection of salads, steaks, pizzas, and seafood. Highlights include pork scaloppini served with a cognac-soaked raisin pan-sauce; and their very popular pesto fries. Daily specials are listed on the restaurant’s chalkboard menu.
Michael Timothy’s 212 Main St, Nashua, NH, United States, +1 603 595 9334
Estabrook Grill is family-owned restaurant located in a restored mill building. The restaurant’s airy interior is modern and welcoming, yet the exposed pipes and beams still reflect the historic setting. The menu features American-style cuisine with a few Canadian favourites, all prepared with locally-sourced produce, meats cooked in-house, and seasoned with preservative-free spice blends. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, menu highlights include the ‘Maple Burger’, a charbroiled patty glazed with maple syrup, topped with cheddar cheese and bacon on a maple butter grilled roll; and traditional Canadian poutine: hand-cut fries topped with cheese curds and Canadian gravy.
Estabrook Grill, 57 Palm St, Nashua, NH, United States, +1 603 943 5035
Stella Blu is a fine-dining restaurant known for its creative tapas and excellent martinis. The restaurant’s cuisine draws on a variety of different flavors, including Italian, Spanish, Asian, and American, with a menu that includes tacos, seafood, pizza and pasta. The tapas are the show-stealer, all of which are prepared from scratch. These include seared scallops with roasted red pepper and Gouda sauce; and grilled linquica with chimichurri sauce. The restaurant’s interior features exposed brick walls and soft lighting, complementing the acoustic musicians and live bands, to create an elegant evening atmosphere.
Stella Blu, 70 E Pearl St, Nashua, NH, United States, +1 603 578 5557
Margaritas Mexican Restaurant is set in a historic brick mill building overlooking downtown Nashua’s canal and waterfall. The restaurant is actually part of the largest privately owned chain of Mexican restaurants in New England, yet there’s nothing generic about this colorful restaurant. The restaurant’s interior features handmade furniture and decorations imported from Mexico, including folk art, pottery, hand-painted wall details and clay lamps. The menu contains a selection of Mexican favorites, including burritos, chimichangas, tacos, and enchiladas. There are also signature margaritas, including blood orange and prickly cactus.
Voted ‘Best Bartender’ and ‘Best Cocktail’ by the readers of Nashua’s Hippo Press, Old Amsterdam is divided into a casual pub bar downstairs, and a sleek martini lounge upstairs. The first floor offers space for the restaurant’s regular entertainment, which ranges from bands and DJs, to trivia and poker nights. The interior features black leather furniture, exposed brick, hardwood flooring and a curved stone bar. Catering to an after-work and sport-fan crowd, the restaurant offers a fresh take on typical pub fare, with a menu of soups, salads, burgers, pizzas, and make-your-own sandwiches.
Old Amsterdam, 8 Temple St, Nashua, NH, United States, +1 603 204 5534
Opened in 2002, Surf Restaurant is known for its welcoming yet sophisticated ambience, and innovative seafood dishes featuring some of the area’s freshest fish and shellfish. As the nautical name suggests, Surf Restaurant focuses completely on handpicked seafood dishes. The menu features creative meals like ‘shrimp vindaloo’: shrimp sautéed with garlic, ginger, scallions, house curry, coconut milk, and vegetables. There are also well-prepared classics, like the ‘New England Haddock Dinner’, which features local haddock baked with seasoned crumbs, butter, lemon and white wine. Surf Restaurant has been regularly voted as the Best Seafood Restaurant in the state by the readers of New Hampshire Magazine.
Surf Restaurant, 207 Main St, Nashua, NH, United States, +1 603 595 9293
Set in the historic Greeley Building, the oldest brick building in Nashua, Fody’s Tavern offers a welcoming tavern atmosphere. The menu features a mix of soups, salads, seafood, burgers, sandwiches, and ribs. The ‘Tavern Burger’, voted the Best Burger by both Encore and Hippo Press, features a 10oz chargrilled patty served on a toasted Kaiser roll with lettuce, tomato, onion and aged Vermont cheddar. Fody’s Tavern also presents live entertainment Wednesday to Saturday. This includes live music, stand-up comedy, and cabaret-style theater shows. Check out Fody’s Tavern’s website for a full schedule of upcoming performances.
Fody’s Tavern, 9 Clinton Street, Nashua, NH, United States, +1 603 577 9015
Opened in 1997, Villa Banca takes its name, which means ‘house bank’ in Italian, from its setting in a former bank building. This restaurant’s unique interior reflects the building’s past, with high ceilings, a vault, and teller windows still present, as well as a board room, which is used for private parties. Voted ‘Best Italian Food’ by readers of Hippo Press, the restaurant’s extensive menu features both Northern and Southern Italian cuisine, including seafood ravioli; linguine with homemade meatballs and marinara sauce; and chicken and shrimp banca. On weekend evenings, the restaurant features live violinists moving through the dining room and taking requests.
Originally started as a sweet shop in the 1930s, Martha’s Exchange has been a local gathering place for more than 80 years. It gradually expanded through the decades to become a pub-style venue. The old sweet shop remains part of the restaurant, still selling candy and chocolate. The restaurant’s menu features reasonably priced American cuisine, including homemade soups, tapas, salads, flatbread pizza, seafood, steak, pasta, and sandwiches. Martha’s Exchange is well-known for brewing 25 different beers throughout the year. These include several seasonal varieties and one-time reserve beers, which consistently win medals in the Great International Beer Festival. The restaurant also offers outdoor patio seating during the warmer months and regular live music performances.
Martha’s Exchange, 185 Main St., Nashua, United States, +1 603 883 8781