Guide to Brunch
Whether you’re looking for a little hair of the dog via bloody mary or an elegant buffet with oysters and champagne, there’s a brunch in New Hampshire that hits just the right spot.
On any given Sunday, there are abundant reasons to indulge in a mid-day celebration. Whether à la carte or buffet, a Sunday (and sometimes Saturday) meal can satisfy a large group or intimate duo with sweet and savory choices that start with a nice, bubbly mimosa or hearty bloody mary. The following guide is organized by type of brunch, from casual to fun to fancy to the best fit for your mood. Only restaurants with a special menu for brunch are included.
Elegant Brunch Dining
A mid-day meal at a sophisticated restaurant gives one a chance to explore options, and to get the feel of the ambiance and quality that an evening meal could provide.
A multimillion-dollar renovation a few years ago transformed the dowdy Hanover Inn into a stunning modern space complete with Pine, a sleek-yet-rustic restaurant. Brunch offers some of the most inventive food in New Hampshire prepared by Chef Justin Dain. He was recently honored with the opportunity to present a meal at the James Beard House in New York City. The menu also includes their famous super-juicy burger and the on-trend “toasts,” local sourdough slices that are grilled and topped with fried chicken or avacado.
When: Sat-Sun, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Where: Hanover Inn, 2 E Wheelock St., Hanover
Contact: (603) 646-8000, pineathanoverinn.com
Bedford Village Inn
2 Olde Bedford Way, Bedford
Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Grand Brunch Buffets
If you don’t want to make decisions based on a menu description and you have a hearty appetite, then the buffet brunch is for you. All your favorites are there, whether you crave seafood, made-to-order omelets or tender waffles soaked in real maple syrup. Dig in!
The Foundry, Manchester
Start with the freshly shucked oysters, shrimp cocktail and smoked salmon before moving onto a healthy mixed green salad. OK, now dive into corned beef hash and pork ribs. Yes, take a few more. Also, find an omelet station, local bacon, gooey mac ’n’ cheese, buttery sticky buns and, on the dessert station, house-made donuts, glazed and embedded with a few chocolate chips. As with most things, selections vary by the season. The tasty bloody marys are extra.
When: Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., $29 for adults and $12 for kids.
Where: 50 Commercial St., Manchester
Contact: (603) 836-1925, foundrynh.com
62 Lowell St., Manchester
Manchester: (603) 669-9460, gauchosbraziliansteakhouse.com
Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Old Courthouse
30 Main St., Newport
(603) 863-8360, eatatthecourthouse.com
Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
2456 Lafayette Rd., Portsmouth
(603) 501-0648, vidacantinanh.com
Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fun and Funky Brunch Options
Sometimes it’s about more than what’s on your plate.
The food at Portsmouth’s Street is as fun as the atmosphere. Brunch runs the gamut from Mexican cemita sandwiches on soft, seeded buns to a healthy Singapore salad bowl to a variety of “Hollandaise Carriers,” including the Sweet Home Alabruncha — cornbread topped with pulled pork, poached eggs, hollandaise, a drizzle of BBQ sauce and scallions. There’s even a “Crazy Toast” with a fun face made with fruit and bacon to amuse the little ones. Mimosas get a little crazy too with the Maximosa with Lillet and Gran Marnier added to this classic brunch cocktail.
When: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: 801 Islington St., Portsmouth
Contact: (603) 436-0860, streetfood360.com
The Sassy Biscuit Co.
104 Washington St., Ste. 100, Dover
(603) 343-5596, thesassybiscuit.com
Taverns, Breweries and Wineries Offering Brunch
Sometimes the libation is just as important as the food.
The Bistro at LaBelle Winery, Amherst
The lovely winery tasting room, a hall space above the fermentation tanks and a small room are the usual spaces for the Sunday brunch that offers a short but sweet menu featuring creative takes on French toast, pancakes, frittatas, a Benedict and an egg special. Selections change monthly.
When: Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: 345 Rte. 101, Amherst
Contact: (603) 672-9898 ext. 1, thebistroatlabelle.com
The Railpenny Tavern
8 Exeter Rd., Epping
(603) 734-2609, railpennytavern.com
328 Central Ave., Dover
(603) 343-4332, sonnystaverndover.com
Gilmanton Winery & Vineyard Gilmanton
528 Meadow Pond Rd., Gilmanton
(603) 267-8251, gilmantonwinery.com
Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery
135 Main St., North Woodstock
(603) 745-3951, woodstockinnnh.com
Bistros or Gastropubs Not Usually Open for Lunch
Here’s a chance to see how creative your favorite nightspot is with eggs, sandwiches and waffles.
The Birch on Elm
The space is eclectic, the food is good and the drinks are even better. Find a very interesting menu that includes lamb poutine, bacon and beef hash, chicken and waffles with sage-infused maple syrup, plus a variety of inspired tacos. Enjoy fresh-squeezed OJ for your mimosa. Folks in the hospitality industry can enjoy 30 percent off of their meal.
When: All day on Sundays
Where: 931 Elm St., Manchester
Contact: (603) 782-5365, thebirch.restaurant
103 Congress St., Portsmouth
(603) 501-0586, thedistrictnh.com
The Wilder Restaurant & Bar
174 Fleet St., Portsmouth
(603) 319-6878, wilderportsmouth.com
Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Bistros or Gastropubs Open for Lunch
They’re adding waffles and egg dishes to the sandwich lunch menu.
Firefly American Bistro & Bar, Manchester
Find a full array of à la carte choices from a Monte Cristo to a goat cheese and spinach salad to a juicy half-pound burger classically dressed with a Bermuda onion and Beefsteak tomatoes. Go traditional with the Firefly Benedict, featuring Maine lobster and a dill hollandaise. Wash it all down with a nicely spiced bloody mary variation and trick it out with pickled veggies or add more spice. There must be 30 bottles of various hot sauces to tease your tongue at the bloody mary bar.
Where: 22 Concord St., Manchester
Contact: (603) 935-9740, fireflynh.com
Black Forest Café
212 Rte. 101, Amherst
Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Covered Bridge Farm Table
57 Blair Rd., Campton
(603) 536-1331, farmtablenh.com
Sundays starting at 10 a.m.
Above is a roundup of our favorite brunch spots, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t ask readers where their favorite go-to spots are. Although many reader favorites are listed above, here’s a behind-the-scenes look at popular reader’s favorite brunch spots taken directly from the the Best of NH ballot.
The Old Salt Restaurant at Lamie’s Inn
490 Lafayette Rd., Hampton
(603) 926-8322, oldsaltnh.com
34 Portwalk Place, Portsmouth
(603) 294-0902, brgr-bar.com
Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Fire and Spice Bistro
70 NH Route 108, Newfields
(603) 418-7121, fireandspicebistro.com
Sundays from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Oak & Grain at the Inn at Pleasant Lake
853 Pleasant St., New London
(603) 873-4833, innatpleasantlake.com
Sundays, cocktail receiption begins at 11:30, brunch seating is at 12 p.m. Cost is $40 per person
Kettlehead Brewing Company
407 West Main St., Tilton
(603) 286-8100, kettleheadbrewing.com
Brunch is offered the last Sunday of each month from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Stage Restaurant
30 Central Sq., Keene
(603) 357-8389, thestagerestaurant.com
Sundays, starting at 10 a.m.