11 Unique Restaurants in New Hampshire: Explore Taverns, Speakeasies, and Train Car Cafes

by Jen
Unique Restaurants in New Hampshire
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Eager to discover New Hampshire’s most unique restaurants? I’m ready to take you from dining in converted churches to munching pancakes with mountain views. Join me as we uncover the coolest restaurants in NH.

New Hampshire might surprise you with its vibrant dining scene. I’ve discovered places that defy the ordinary, from an eatery set in a converted church to a secret bar hidden behind a bookcase. There’s no shortage of unique places to eat in this beautiful spot in New England, and I can’t wait to share them with you.

I’ve been to places where pancakes are served with syrup tapped from the trees you can see from your table and speakeasies that whisk you back to the Roaring Twenties. From the scenic to the quirky, these spots are my go-to when friends ask about the best restaurants in New Hampshire.

Ready to ditch the usual and dive into the unique? Follow me as I share my top picks for unforgettable dining in the Granite State.

The top restaurants to visit in New Hampshire right now

Unusual places to eat in NH

Ready to explore New Hampshire’s best eateries? We’ve got everything from pancakes in historic grist mills to tacos in vibrant Mexican settings. Join me on a tour of the quirkiest places to eat in New Hampshire.

Ever thought about savoring traditional New England dishes in a church-turned-restaurant or uncovering hidden speakeasies in Manchester? New Hampshire’s dining scene has it all, ready for you to discover. Let’s dive into the most unique restaurants in NH.

1. Holy Grail Restaurant and Pub

If you’re looking for fun places to eat in New Hampshire, you’ve gotta check out Holy Grail Restaurant and Pub in Epping. It’s located in a beautifully repurposed church from the late 1800s, complete with pews, stunning woodwork, and stained glass. Trust me, it’s as cool as it sounds.

The menu here is all about Irish classics. You can’t go wrong with the beef stew in a bread bowl, pure comfort food. The Irish nachos are a creative twist that’ll have you hooked, and the steak tips are simply unforgettable. Wash it all down with their very own Holy Grail Ale for the full experience.

This place gets busy, especially on weekends. I recommend booking in advance. Plus, Epping’s got some neat spots to check out post-meal. Take a stroll to the American Independence Museum nearby, one of the best attractions in New Hampshire. It’s a great way to work off all that Guinness and explore some of the fantastic things to do in New Hampshire.

Holy Grail Restaurant and Pub is one of the unique restaurants in New Hampshire.
Don’t miss Holy Grail Restaurant and Pub in Epping, housed in a repurposed 1800s church for a unique dining experience.

2. Pickity Place

Next up is Pickity Place, tucked away in Mason, within the serene Russell-Abbott State Forest. This spot is like stepping straight into a storybook – literally. Built in 1786, this quaint house inspired the grandmother’s home in “Little Red Riding Hood.” Let me tell you, it’s as charming in person as it sounds.

Before you even get to the food, take a moment to wander through the herb gardens. They’re stunning, and you might even spot the Big Bad Wolf lurking around Grandma’s house!

The real magic happens when you sit down for their four-course meal. Everything is made from home-grown veggies, herbs, and teas. You need to book your spot in advance. They offer three seatings, and the menu changes monthly, always playing up the best flavors of the season.

One of the coolest restaurants in New Hampshire, Pickity Place offers a fairy-tale dining experience that you’ll want to be part of. Honestly, eating here feels like stepping into a storybook – but with way better food. It’s a unique spot that’s totally worth the trip.

Pickity Place is known for inspiring "Little Red Riding Hood's" grandmother's house, built in 1786.
Pickity Place is known for inspiring “Little Red Riding Hood’s” grandmother’s house, built in 1786.

3. Boards & Brews

On the hunt for fun places to eat in New Hampshire? Boards and Brews in Manchester is a winner. This place blew me away with its massive board game library. We’re talking over 2000 games! For just 5 bucks, you get a comfy seat and unlimited games for three hours. Talk about value.

They’ve got a solid lineup of craft beers, cocktails, teas, and coffees, so you can sip on something tasty while plotting your next move. And the food? It’s the perfect fuel for game night. Grabbing a table here is a brilliant way to kick back with friends.

Remember to book a spot, especially if you’re planning a weekend visit. It gets busy, but that’s part of the fun. After a few rounds of games and a couple of drinks, you’ll see why Boards and Brews is a go-to for a laid-back night out in Manchester, NH.

Check out Boards and Brews in Manchester, with over 2000 board games for just $5, it's a value-packed dining spot.
Check out Boards and Brews, with over 2000 board games for just $5, it’s a value-packed dining spot. | Image Source: https://www.boardsandbrewsnh.com/

4. Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train

Have you ever fancied dining on a train? Not just any train, but a vintage 1950s railcar that cruises through the stunning White Mountains of New Hampshire? That’s exactly what you get at Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train in North Woodstock.

From May to October, they roll out a two-hour journey paired with a five-course feast that’s as memorable as the views.

Riding through the Pemi River Valley, the scenery shifts with the seasons. I made a reservation in October, and it was spectacular. New Hampshire in the fall is always a delight, but from the windows of the Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train, it’s truly otherworldly. The rolling hills ablaze with oranges, reds, and yellows made every bite of the meal feel like part of a grand, unfolding artwork.

Without a doubt, the Dinner Train is one of the best places to eat in New Hampshire. It’s the kind of experience everyone should have at least once. Trust me, eating your way through the mountains on a piece of history is as awesome as it sounds.

At Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train, you can experience dining on a vintage 1950s railcar.
At Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train, you can experience dining on a vintage 1950s railcar.

5. Margaritas Mexican Restaurant

Margaritas Mexican Restaurant in Concord flips the script on dining out. This place is an actual old jail, where the cells have been turned into private dining booths—bars and all. It’s as cool as it sounds, believe me!

Margaritas serves up delicious Mexican cuisine. I started with fresh chips and salsa, which I couldn’t stop munching on. Then, I tried the enchilada plate, which was delicious. Oh, and you can’t hit Margaritas without trying one of their namesake drinks. Their margaritas are top-notch, perfectly blended, and just the right kick.

Bringing friends here is a no-brainer. It’s fun, it’s different, and it’s a conversation starter for days. If you’re looking for the coolest places to eat in New Hampshire, this is your spot. After all, how often do you get to say you had a blast eating in a jail cell?

Margaritas Mexican Restaurant is one of the unique restaurants in New Hampshire.
Margaritas Mexican Restaurant turns an old jail into a cool dining spot with private booths in former cells, complete with bars.

6. Camp

Heading over to Camp in Meredith feels like you’re stepping into summer camp, minus the bug spray and with all the perks of grown-up taste. The place is decked out with cool camp-themed decor, even sporting a canoe as a glass holder at the bar. It’s quirky, it’s fun, and you really feel like you’re gearing up for an adventure.

You’ll find plenty of delicious food options here. I tried the bacon-wrapped jalapeños, which were spectacular. And there’s this drink – the s’mores vodka hot chocolate. Sounds wild, right? But it’s like a cozy campfire in a cup, complete with graham cracker crumbles around the rim. Heaven in a mug, especially when the New Hampshire chill sets in.

Hanging out here is a blast, especially if you’re looking to switch up your dinner routine. One of the most unusual restaurants in New Hampshire, this spot is a hit for a laid-back night with friends. And seriously, don’t skip on that hot chocolate drink. It’s the kind of thing you’ll want to come back for.

Camp offers a fun dining experience with a summer camp vibe and quirky decor, like a canoe used as a glass holder at the bar.
Camp offers a fun dining experience with a summer camp vibe and quirky decor, like a canoe used as a glass holder at the bar.

7. Parker’s Maple Barn

Parker’s Maple Barn in Mason is the go-to for a killer breakfast in New Hampshire. Warm, welcoming, and oozing with history, this place does breakfast like no other. And yes, they make their own maple syrup. When those pancakes hit your table with a small jar of syrup, it’s pure bliss. Pulling up to the smell of maple wafting through the air? That’s the good stuff right there.

They’ve transformed an old barn into this incredible family restaurant that feels like home the second you step inside. And if you’re into souvenirs, their gift shop is stuffed with goodies. Plus, they’ve got a working sugar house where they turn sap into syrup. They’re happy to show you how it’s done with a tour.

Be ready for a bit of a wait, but trust me, it’s worth it. Especially if you snag a window seat—the views of the surrounding woods are stunning. It’s easily one of the most scenic restaurants in NH. So, head over to Parker’s Maple Barn, indulge in some of the best pancakes around, and soak in those gorgeous views.

Parker's Maple Barn is one of the unique restaurants in New Hampshire.
Parker’s Maple Barn: the ultimate breakfast spot in New Hampshire with homemade syrup and a cozy historic vibe.

8. CodeX B.A.R.

At CodeX B.A.R. in Nashua, you’re in for a treat that’s straight out of the Prohibition era, but with a twist. Imagine entering a place through a bookshelf by pulling on the right book. It’s like something out of a spy movie, but it’s real, and it’s here.

Once you flash your “library card,” you step into this dimly lit lounge that takes you back in time. The vibe is all 1920s, from the music to the staff dressed for the period. It’s like being part of a secret, exclusive club.

The cocktails, especially the Absinthe ones, are a must-try. They’ve nailed the classic recipes, and sipping on them feels like a nod to the past. And the food? It’s a mix of period-style dishes with some modern twists, perfect for when you want something a little out of the ordinary.

This spot is 21+, which makes it the perfect hideout for a night out without the younger crowd. Just a heads-up: since it’s a speakeasy theme, finding it is part of the fun. But believe me, once you’re in, you’ll feel like you’ve discovered one of New Hampshire’s best restaurants.

At CodeX B.A.R., enter through a secret bookshelf door for a Prohibition-era twist straight out of a spy movie.
At CodeX B.A.R., enter through a secret bookshelf door for a Prohibition-era twist straight out of a spy movie.

9. Polly’s Pancake Parlor

Craving pancakes? Polly’s Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill is your next stop. This spot takes pancakes to a whole new level with an array of batters and mix-ins that’ll have you coming back to try every combination. It’s somewhere I always recommend to friends wondering where to eat in NH.

I went for the gingerbread pancakes with peppermint bark, and let me tell you, it was a holiday on a plate. If you fancy trying a few flavors, they offer a pancake sampler. You can mix and match with 3 or 6 pancakes. My wife and I tried the gingerbread walnut, plain chocolate chip, cornmeal coconut, and oatmeal blueberry. The pancakes have this perfect crisp edge and are served with a decadent maple spread and real maple syrup.

Deciding where to focus your attention is a challenge at Polly’s. The interior is cozy and inviting, but the views of the mountains are just breathtaking. It’s a toss-up between savoring your pancakes and soaking up the scenery.

For top-notch pancakes, check out Polly's Pancake Parlor. With a variety of batters and mix-ins, it's a must-visit spot in NH.
For top-notch pancakes, check out Polly’s Pancake Parlor. With a variety of batters and mix-ins, it’s a must-visit spot in NH.

10. Café Momo

Café Momo in Manchester is a hidden gem in New Hampshire that serves up some incredible Nepalese cuisine. It’s pretty low-key, but don’t let that fool you. The food is anything but ordinary.

I dove into their dumplings and Rama’s Chicken, and wow, both were stellar. You can tweak the spiciness to your liking, which is perfect whether you’re into a mild flavor or looking to turn up the heat.

They’ve also got a bunch of vegan options that are just as delicious, and the prices are super reasonable. There’s no better spot if you’re looking for cheap eats in New Hampshire.

After a day hiking in the Whites, Café Momo was the perfect pit stop. Seriously, the food here can go toe-to-toe with some of the best restaurants in Boston. If you find yourself near Manchester, do yourself a favor and drop by. It’s the kind of place you’ll be telling your friends about.

Café Momo in Manchester: a hidden gem serving extraordinary Nepalese cuisine in a low-key setting.
Café Momo in Manchester: a hidden gem serving extraordinary Nepalese cuisine in a low-key setting.

11. Hart’s Turkey Farm Restaurant

If you’re a fan of turkey, listen up. Hart’s Turkey Farm Restaurant in Meredith is like hitting the Thanksgiving jackpot any day of the year. Established in 1954, this place is a throwback in the best possible way. A whole menu dedicated to turkey? Yes, please! It’s certainly one of the most unique New Hampshire restaurants.

Right before you dive into the main event, they serve up this little appetizer spread that’s just so cozy. A roll, some cornbread, crackers, and this surprisingly tasty carrot relish. It sets the stage for a feast that feels both familiar and special.

I mean, who says you have to wait for November to enjoy a good turkey dinner? Not here. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic turkey plate or want to explore everything turkey can do, Hart’s has got you covered. Plus, the vibe is just so welcoming, you’ll feel like part of the family.

Hart's Turkey Farm Restaurant is one of the unique restaurants in New Hampshire.
Hart’s Turkey Farm Restaurant has been a turkey lover’s dream since 1954.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the quirkiest restaurants in New Hampshire

Are you searching for more information about where to eat in New Hampshire? Here are some common questions (and answers) I get asked a lot about New Hampshire’s most unique restaurants.

What food is New Hampshire famous for?

New Hampshire is all about maple syrup and apple cider doughnuts. As soon as the leaves start turning, everyone’s out grabbing these sweet, autumn classics. They perfectly capture that fall in New England vibe.

What is the state fruit of New Hampshire?

The pumpkin takes the crown as New Hampshire’s state fruit. From pies to beers, pumpkins are everywhere come fall, turning the state into a real-life Pumpkin Spice Land.

Bright orange pumpkins during fall in Plymouth, NH.
Bright orange pumpkins during fall in Plymouth, NH.

What are 2 fun facts about New Hampshire?

Here are two fun facts about New Hampshire: it’s the birthplace of Tupperware, invented by Earl Tupper in 1946. So, every time you snap that lid on leftovers, you’ve got NH to thank. Plus, it’s home to the longest candy counter in the world at Chutters in Littleton. It  stretches longer than a bowling lane!

Which city in New Hampshire is best for food?

For the best food in NH, Portsmouth is your spot. It’s got a little bit of everything, from snug coffee shops to fancy restaurants, all set against a backdrop of charming, historic streets and sea views, making it one of the top places to live and visit in New Hampshire.

The top restaurants in New Hampshire for all types of travelers
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