When you think about foodie “havens”– New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Charleston come to mind. What may surprise you is the foodie’s paradise lurking in Concord New Hampshire!
Concord, New Hampshire is the last place you’d think about when thinking of a culinary wonderland, but here they are… killing it! This town of 42,000 people is home to New Hampshire’s only law school at the University of New Hampshire and a host of restaurants, shops, and bars.
The evolution of the foodie scene in Concord, New Hampshire, this past decade has been nothing less of extraordinary. In the early nineties, I worked in this area and back then it was filled with the typical chain restaurants. Today Concord’s main street is brimming with bustling restaurants, artisan bakeries, and diverse culinary menus.
Fine Dining at The Granite Restaurant & Bar
This beautifully renovated restaurant is fine dining at its best. Located in the historical Centennial Inn, it features muted colours in soft tones and tables with crisp linens. No doubt the ambiance speaks of celebratory dinners and a desire for Haute Cuisine.
The Granite Restaurant’s menu is infused with New American, French, Mediterranean and Asian influences. Chef Daniel Dionne takes complicated flavors and pairs them beautifully to create dishes ranging from Grilled Lamb Ribeye with Marscapone Polenta to a Sourdough Breadcrumb Crusted Cod Lion with Saffron Tomato Broth. He also uses the freshest locally sourced ingredients to craft his award-winning dishes.
The food here is exquisite and is favoured by locals and visitors alike. We devoured a refreshing Spring Berry Salad and the Seared Jonah Crab Cake with the Old Bay Aioli and Whole Grain Mustard Slaw, the Herbed Roasted Statler Chicken with seasonal vegetables. For Lamb lovers, the Grilled Lamb Ribeye Mascarpone Polenta, Garlic Broccolini, Cippolini Onions, Port Gastrique is a must. Your taste buds will thank you.
No dinner is complete without dessert! Although we had some impressive desserts to choose from, we settled on the delectable Chocolate strawberry shortcake and individually baked carrot cake, a house favorite!
The bar menu is equally as impressive. We sampled the Pomegranate Martini made with Van Gogh Pomegranate Vodka and Lemon Ju Prosecco and the Spicy Hemingway crafted with Bully Boy Rum, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur Lime Juice and Jalapeño Infused Simple Syrup.
Speakeasy Cocktails at Chucks BARbershop
Concord doesn’t get cooler than Chucks BARbershop. This surprisingly cool speakeasy, cleverly disguised as a barbershop, transports you back in time, to a place where you had to give a special password to enter. At Chuck’s, you need to pick up the phone – be buzzed in – and then the fun begins!
I loved the vibe at Chuck’s. The prohibition theme was carried through right into the expertly styled cocktails. The place is packed with locals and visitors, and once seated we ordered drinks from the classic cocktail menu. Our drinks list included the Toronto made with Sugar, Rye, and Fernet; Hemingway Daiquiri with fresh lime, luxardo, fresh grapefruit, and rum. We also tried my all time favourite the French 75 made with sugar, fresh lemon, gin, and prosecco.
A bar menu is available to order share plates to accompany the cocktails. Housemade Siracha Buffalo Wings with scallions were absolutely delicious and the house salad was flavourful. The Loaded Fries with rotating craft beer cheese and bacon, chipotle sour cream, and scallions was a complete disappointment.
A Historical Diner – The Red Arrow Diner
This fun, lively diner was featured on the Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, Dives on the Food Network (Manchester location) and it’s easy to see why. Generous portions, good home cooked food and exceptional service are reminiscent of the diners we all grew up eating in. Plus, they have some pretty amazing pies!
This diner has been open since 1922 and is a landmark in Manchester, with locations in Concord, Londonderry, and Milford. They have served everyone from celebrities to politicians and are open 24 hours a day. Whether you are in the mood for a breakfast, late night snack or a family meal, the Red Arrow Diner has something for everyone!
When we visited Easter Sunday, we were expecting it to be closed, considering everything else in town was, but it was bustling, a testament to their great food. People come far and wide to visit the Red Roof Diner. We ordered a simple breakfast and a delicious pie to go.
There are so many great restaurants and cafes in Concord; I’ve barely scratched the surface. Have you visited Concord? What was your favorite place to eat?
Save this Post
For information about Concord, New Hampshire visit www.concordnhchamber.com
Check out our Q/A with Chef Evan Mallett from Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s Black Trump Bistro
Disclosure: My Dinner at the Granite Restaurant was hosted, but all opinions expressed in this article are my own.