Best Outdoor Dining in NH
Here are our favorite reader spots for where to eat and drink outdoors this summer, from wineries to breweries to the coast
While we ask our readers to pick the best of the best each year in more than 100 Best of New Hampshire categories, there are many other worthy and outstanding favorites for each category, ranging from pizza to cupcakes and garden centers to home decor shops. New Hampshire Magazine wants to make sure these reader favorites get their own moment in the spotlight and we encourage you to check them out!
Now that the weather is consistently pleasant in the fickle Granite State, more people than ever are itching to dine al fresco or even just sip on a delicious craft beer or summery cocktail. Here’s where to eat and drink outdoors this summer, from wineries to breweries to the coast.
289 Daniel Webster Hwy., Meredith
This summer-only lakeside spot is ready to serve up your favorite summer meal. With a beachy vibe and a tiki bar, you may feel as though you’re vacationing in the islands. Don’t worry, you’re still at home in the Lakes Region! Not only do they offer outdoor dining, there is also an option to drive up in your boat.
The cuisine is best described as “New England summer,” featuring fried seafood, lobsters, salads, hamburgers, hotdogs and sweet homemade ice cream. Start with the lobster corn chowder, then choose a hearty entree like the Fisherman’s Platter or Docks’ Lobster Bake. Don’t forget to order an ice cream dessert!
Congratulations to Town Docks who our readers chose as a tie for Best Outdoor Dining restaurant for the 2023 Best of NH readers’ poll!
21 Weeks Street, Laconia
Lake life is the best life and that’s exactly the vibe that diners can expect from Laconia’s Bar Salida. Located at the Winnipesaukee Marketplace, this seasonal restaurant offers an elevated, exclusively outdoor dining experience on Weirs Beach.
What’s on the menu? Five types of delicious oysters, crab fundito, blackened shrimp tacos and a killer smash burger.
Dining with a group? Don’t miss the first-come, first-serve fire pit tables perfect for groups of six or more.
Congratulations to Bar Salida who our readers chose as a tie for Best Outdoor Dining restaurant for the 2023 Best of NH readers’ poll!
603 Brewery & Beer Hall
42 Main St., Londonderry, NH
You may have spotted 603’s delicious beer or hard seltzers in your favorite grocery store. They offer a variety of ales, IPAs and seltzers, both canned and at their fun beer hall that focuses on “food, friends & fermentation.” The brewery was founded by three best friends, one of the first breweries in the state about ten years ago.
The Beer Hall features indoor and outdoor patio dining, and a long list of homemade menu items that’ll go perfectly with a cold beverage. The food is bar favorites with a twist, such as the Korean BBQ Nachos, Hawaiian Pizza, and Bahn Mi sandwich.
1211 S. Mammoth Rd., Manchester
Co-owner Marcus Doucet has worked in brewing his whole life, from his childhood “job” capping bottles his dad had brewed, to visiting pubs, and developing his passion. Doucet was inspired by traditional English pubs, serving quality beer and providing for good community and company.
This spot offers a variety of lagers, IPAs, sours and more on tap. Their beer menu is complemented by an extensive food menu, featuring “munchies” such as Smothered Pretzel Tots and fried pickles, and mains such as the Notorious P.I.G. tacos and fish and chips. They also make pizzas with dough featuring their own IPA.
Bedford Village Inn
2 Olde Bedford Way, Bedford
The BVI is certainly not lacking options for a delightful summer dinner. Between the dining room of seven rooms, charming tavern, and wine bar, it’s hard to go wrong! Our personal favorite for the warm weather is their beautiful Grand Terrace.
Serving the Lobby Bar menu, the terrace offers a full list including starters, soups, salads, flatbreads, entrees and desserts. Try the Artisan Cheese Board to start, paired with a perfect glass of wine. For your main, go for the Herb roasted Faroe Island Salmon Skewer or Shrimp & Sausage Rigatoni. All of the BVI’s seafood is sustainably sourced.
Locations in Bedford and Salem
Part of the Great NH Restaurants group, the Copper Door’s two locations are fan favorites. They offer an adorable patio for outdoor dining featuring umbrellas, plants, and other summery décor. Pull up a chair, close your eyes and escape to a tranquil space.
Thirsty? Grab a drink like the CD Sangria – a blend of fresh fruit, juice, and wine and available as white or red. Don’t miss the monthly martini special, which has been a Limoncello Martini in May, Key Lime Martini in June, Sundae Martini in July. Looking for something to eat? Choose from their extensive dinner menu, from snacks like Chicken Rangoon, Fried Buffalo Cauliflower and Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna to mains including steak, seafood, and Copper Classics such as the Bourbon Bacon Beef Tips. Yum!
The Crown Tavern
99 Hanover St., Manchester
This Queen City spot has a fun concept: “past-to-present” character. Originally an old time movie theater, the owners have turned this iconic building into a fun new restaurant, complete with fun cocktails like the “Heat of the Night” and “Rocket Man.”
Did we mention this is Hanover Street’s largest outdoor dining area? Enjoy some food and drinks with friends in the fresh summer air at this magical eatery. The menu features appetizers, salads, wood-fired pizzas, entrees, burgers and sandwiches. It is simple but refined, with favorites like steak frites, hot honey pepperoni pizza, and a strawberry arugula salad. So fresh!
50 Commercial St., Manchester
Yet another Manchester eatery with great food and drinks? Sign us up! And don’t forget about the beautiful, first-come-first-serve outdoor deck. Sip on a New England draft, or try a unique cocktail to go alongside your order of award winning poutine or creative blood orange brussels sprouts.
In the area on a Sunday? Don’t miss their all-you-care-to-eat spread. This riverside brunch features an omelet station, homemade baked goods, fruit, waffles, French toast, local seafood, and much more.
The Hungry Diner
9 Edwards Ln., Walpole
Promising local comfort food and on-tap craft beer, you can’t go wrong with this farm-to-table favorite. Almost everything is from-scratch, locally sourced, and exceptionally fresh. They offer 16 craft beers, biodynamic wines, and some local spirits. Start with the Pickle Jar appetizer – an assortment of pickled fruit and veg, and then enjoy a taco, bowl, sandwich or other entree.
The best part? You can bring your furry friend along too, as they offer dog-friendly outdoor seating.
Locations in Amherst and Derry
Did you know this Granite State favorite has outdoor dining at their Amherst location? The Bistro offers seasonal dishes made with fresh ingredients, often with a perfect pairing courtesy of The Winemaker.
There’s no better way to complement a smooth merlot or crisp pinot grigio than with an Artisan Cheese or Charcuterie Slate. Their appetizer comes with delicious cheeses, dried fruits, candied nuts, crackers, pickled vegetables, and homemade sauces and jams.
99 Bow St. Suite W, Portsmouth
Martingale Wharf’s stunning waterfront deck offers panoramic views of the Piscataqua, with downtown Portsmouth buzzing directly behind you. They offer New American favorites with a focus on fresh, local seafood. Sip on a delicious beverage and soak in the sun and sea air. In addition to a wide variety of cocktails, they also offer fun non-alcohol drinks such as the Garden Party, a spicy tomato cocktail, or “No-Jitos,” virgin mojitos in fun flavors like pomegranate chile and blood orange.
Their food menu features all the New England faves you know and love, plus some more modern options like gazpacho and seared yellowfin tuna.
18 Depot St., Peterborough
Enjoy a delicious dinner in this serene environment with views of the Nubanusit River, and a peaceful garden patio. Their seasonal menu includes daily specials made with fresh, local ingredients. What more could you ask for?
They offer lunch, dinner, and sometimes a “lite bites” menu as well. Try the charcuterie board or Lobster Wontons to start, and then pick from their wide variety of seafood, meat, and vegetarian entree options. Feeling like trying something unique? Go for the Wild Boar Bolognese!