What’s the best restaurant in town? Everybody has their own opinion.
Each year in Hippo’s readers’ poll, we ask voters to name their pick for “Best Restaurant Overall.” What follows is a list of the top 50 vote-getters in that category, listed in order, starting with the biggest vote-getter. These are the restaurants that readers (not our editors, publisher, writers or sales staff) picked as their favorites.
Hungry? Here are some suggestions.
1. Puritan Backroom
(245 Hooksett Road, Manchester, 669-6890, www.puritanbackroom.com) Hours: Opens daily at 11 a.m. and serves complete menu until 11 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and midnight, Friday through Saturday.
Not only has the Puritan come in first for “Best Restaurant Overall” for years, but this year it also won Best of the Best for “Best chicken tenders,” “Best Cocktails” (for their mudslides), “Best Ice Cream,” “Best Menu Item” (those chicken tenders again), “Best Restaurant to Take Kids To” and “Best Salads.” Puritan also took Best of Manchester for 2010 in “Best French Fries,” “Best Grilled Cheese” and “Best Late-Night Eats.” Sandwiches, burgers, grilled cheese, chicken tenders just about any way you want them (baked, fried, spicy, with duck sauce), salads, an array of seafood and more — the Puritan menu has something, usually many somethings, for everyone.
2. Firefly American Bistro & Bar
(22 Concord St., Manchester, 935-9740, www.fireflynh.com) Hours: Lunch is served Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dinner is served Monday through Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 4 to 11 p.m. Sunday brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with dinner starting at 3 p.m. The bar is open until midnight.
Last year, Firefly took the top spot in the “Best New Restaurant” category. Now an entrenched part of the scene, Firefly won 2010 readers’ poll honors including Best of Manchester in the “Best Cocktails” category, Best of Manchester for “Best Menu Item” (for their go-go bread), Best of Manchester for “Best Date Place” and Best of Manchester in the “Best Restaurant overall” category. The selection of entries includes pasta, vegetarian, land, sea and classics categories (ranging in price from $8.95 to $24.95) and on Sunday’s there’s a build-your-own-Bloody Mary Bar during brunch.
3. Michael Timothy’s
(212 Main St., Nashua, 595-9334, www.michaeltimothys.com) Hours: Tuesday through Saturday — wine bar menu served from 3 to 10 p.m.; dinner menu served starting at 5 p.m. Sundays, brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Best of Nashua winner for “Best Restaurant Overall,” Michael Timothy’s also took home Best of Nashua for “Best Wine List.” Michael Buckley, co-owner of Michael Timothy’s, was voted Best of the Best in the “Best Chef” category, and Aimee Giard, also a chef at the restaurant, won “Best of Nashua” in the “Best Chef” category. Michael Timothy’s offers a wine bar menu of small plates as well as a wood-grilled pizza menu and a menu of entrees such as pan-roasted free-range chicken ($19), seared duck breast and confit leg ($29) and wood-grilled filet mignon ($32).
(75 Arms St., Manchester, 622-5488, www.cottonfood.com) Hours: Lunch is served Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; salads and appetizers are served Monday through Friday from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Dinner is served Sunday, 5 to 8 p.m.; Monday through Thursday, 5 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m.
Cotton offers a menu of starters such as Sweet and Sour Popcorn Shrimp ($9.50), Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip ($9.50) and The Wedge iceberg lettuce steakhouse salad ($7), and entrees such as Retro Meatloaf ($13.50), Steak Frites ($22) and Almond-Crusted Turkey Schnitzel ($15.50).
5. Bedford Village Inn
(2 Olde Bedford Way, Bedford, 472-2001, www.bedfordvillageinn.com) Hours: The Tavern is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Corks wine bar is open Sunday from 4:30 to 10 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday from 4:30 to 11 p.m. The dining room is open for breakfast Monday through Friday from 7 to 10:30 a.m.; Saturday from 8 to 10:30 a.m. and Sunday from 8 to 10 a.m. The dining room is open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and for brunch Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The dining room is open for dinner Monday through Thursday, 5:30 to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 5 to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
The Bedford Village Inn is three different approaches to food with three different atmospheres. There’s the Inn’s formal dining room — the main restaurant featuring the seasonal, traditional, the dishes BVI is known for; the laid-back Tavern, which offers fun, well-crafted food like sliders and grilled pizza; and Corks, the wine bar offering wines by the glass, flights and a wine-friendly selection of meats, cheeses and small plates. Hippo readers voted the Inn Best of Manchester for “Best Desserts” and Best of Manchester for “Best Wine List.”
6. C.R. Sparks (18 Kilton Road, Bedford, 647-7275, www.crsparks.com) Hours: Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is served Monday through Friday, 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday, 4 to 10 p.m., and Sunday, 3 to 8 p.m.
With its open kitchen and sizeable bar, C.R. Sparks offers people-watching as well as eats like brick oven pizzas (most running around $14) and wood-fired proteins and large plates (most from about $18 through $26).
7. Z Food and Drink (860 Elm St., Manchester, 629-9383, www.zfoodanddrink.com) Hours: Lunch is served Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served Monday through Saturday starting at 5 p.m. Brunch is served Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner on Sunday starts at 5 p.m.
Hippo readers voted Z Chef Tom Puskarich Best of Manchester in the “Best Chef” category. Z closed its doors for a few weeks in early 2010 to expand and renovate and opened with an expanded bar space and now features regular live music performances. The menu — divided into “Start,” “Small,” “Salad,” “Simple” and Signature” — features starters and small plates (adobo chicken wings, arancinis, Asian nachos) from $4 to $10 and entrees (top sirloin, lobster risotto, pan-seared duck) from $18 to $30.
8. KC’s Rib Shack Barbecue (837 Second St., Manchester, 627-7427, www.ribshack.net) Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Hippo readers voted KC’s Best of the Best for the “Best Ribs,” and Best of the Best for “Best Sandwich” (for the Cardiac Sam) and voted Leah Bunka Best of Manchester in the “Hottest Bartender” category. You may leave KC’s barbecue-sauce-covered and smelling vaguely hickory-smoked but you will not leave hungry — start with fried pickles ($6.99) then try as much barbecue as possible with combos such as the QQ Pladdas, which costs $12.99 per person (two-person minimum).
9. Mint Bistro (1105 Elm St., Manchester, 625-6468, www.mintbistronh.com) Monday through Saturday daily for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. until last call. Open Sunday for brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and through 10 p.m. for dinner.
A relatively recent addition to downtown Manchester’s food scene, Mint Bistro offers a wide array of dining choices, from small plates to share (on their Tapas, Maki, Starters and Flatbread menus) to dinner entrees such as Roasted Manchester Quail ($28), Apple Cider Braised Pork Shank ($20) and Herb Encrusted New Zealand Lamb Rack ($32).
10. Richard’s Bistro (36 Lowell St., Manchester, 644-1180, www.richardsbistro.com) Hours: On Sunday, brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner is served from 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, lunch is served starting at 11:30 a.m. and dinner is served starting at 4:30 p.m.
Known for its heavenly bread basket, Richard’s offers seasonally inspired dishes including entrees like Slow Roasted 1/2 Chicken ($20), Duck in a Jar ($27) and Bouillabaisse ($36).
11. Cactus Jack’s (782 S. Willow St., Manchester, 627-8600, www.go2cjs.com) Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; full menu available at the bar every night until 12:30 a.m.
Part of the local chain of Cactus Jack’s (CJ’s) and T-Bones restaurants, Manchester’s Cactus Jack’s won Best of Manchester for “Best Ribs.” The menu offers takes on Southwestern, barbecue, Cajun and steakhouse-style cuisine, with entrees (everything from burgers and tacos to enchilada plates) that start around $8 with steakhouse and seafood items running about $15 to $22.
12. Ignite Bar & Grille (100 Hanover St., Manchester, 644-0064, www.ignitebng.com) Hours: Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. (Full menu available until 10 p.m.; late-night menu available Friday and Saturday through midnight.)
Hippo readers named Ignite Best of Manchester in the “Best New Restaurant” category. Stop in from 10 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday for items such as Gourmet Steak and Cheese ($7.99), Fried Calamari ($9.99) or Bayou Wings ($7.99) or come earlier for dinner entrees such as Citrus Grilled Prawns ($16.99), Filet Mignon Tournedos ($19.99) or Raspberry Pecan Chicken Breast ($15.99).
13. Surf (207 Main St., Nashua, 595-9293, www.surfseafood.com) Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4:30 to 10 p.m.
In addition to voting owner Michael Buckley Best of the Best in the “Best Chef” category, Surf won Best of the Best in “Best Seafood.” Surf offers entrees such as California Fish Taco ($17), Portuguese Seafood Stew ($28) and Grilled Miso Marinated Salmon ($23).
14. Common Man (25 Water St., Concord, 228-3463, www.thecman.com) Hours: Lunch is served Monday through Saturday starting at 11:30 a.m. A brunch buffet is served on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner is served starting at 5 p.m. on Monday through Fridays, starting at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and starting at 4 p.m. on Sunday. The “Bar ’n Grill” offers lighter fare from 3 to 11 p.m.
Hippo readers voted the Concord Common Man Best of Concord in the “Best Restaurant Overall,” “Best Wine List” and “Best Bathroom” categories and voted Michael Lyon “Best Bartender” and “Hottest Bartender.” On the light eats side, Common Man offers items like Cheeseburger Pizza ($8.99), Crab Cake Sandwich ($9.99) and Pigs in a Blanket ($5.99).
15. Hanover Street Chop House (149 Hanover St., Manchester, 644-2467, www.hanoverstreetchophouse.com) Hours: Dinner is served Monday through Thursday from 5 to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 5 to 10 p.m. The bar is open Monday through Saturday starting at 4:30 p.m.
Hippo readers voted Hanover Street Chop House Best of the Best in the “Best Steakhouse” category. Its entrée offerings include a Dry Aged Kansas City Steak ($34), a Porterhouse steak ($42), Ahi Tuna Au Poivre ($28) and Surf and Turf ($48).
16. Piccola Italia Ristorante (815 Elm St., Manchester, 606-5100, www.piccolaitalianh.com) Hours: Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is served Monday through Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m.; Friday from 4 to 11:30 p.m.; Saturday from noon to midnight, and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.
Hippo readers voted Piccola Best of the Best for “Best Italian Restaurant.” The restaurant offers Italian American classics (spaghetti dishes, fettuccini alfredo, gnocci, veal alla parmigiana) as well as risotto dishes, steak, fish and chicken dishes. Entrees can run from $13 to $27.
17. Buckley’s Great Steaks (438 DW Highway, Merrimack, 424-0995, www.buckleysgreatsteaks.com) Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 5 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m.
A steakhouse from Michael Timothy’s chef and owner, Michael Buckley (whom Hippo readers voted Best of the Best in the “Best Chef’ category), Buckley’s Great Steaks won Best of Nashua in the “Best Steakhouse” and “Best Burgers” categories. Buckley’s serves steaks such as the Cowboy Steak ($38) and Ancho-Brown Sugar Rib-Eye ($29) and other specialties such as the Tavern Meatloaf ($16), Wood Grilled Pork Chops ($24) and Beef Tip Stroganoff ($24).
18. Eden Restaurant & Lounge (292 Route 101, Amherst, 249-3336, www.edenrestaurantandlounge.com). Hours: Dinner is served Monday through Thursday, 4:30 to 9 p.m., and Friday through Saturday, 4:30 to 10 p.m. Lunch is served Wednesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and Sunday brunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Hippo readers voted Eden Best of Nashua in the “Best Menu of Small Plates” category. Eden offers some items in appetizer and entrée sizes (the better to taste more) including a pork loin ($10/$17), beef kabob ($8/$15) and short ribs ($15/$20). Items such as the Lebanese sampler ($13 for hummus, tabouli and grape leaves) can go either way.
19. Ollie’s (761 Mast Road, Manchester, 626-3711) Hours: Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Classic family restaurant food is on the menu here — burgers, calzones and pizza, sandwiches (turkey Reuben, chicken gyro, tuna melt) and salads. For dinner, also check out hearty chicken dishes (baked stuffed chicken, fried chicken, Buffalo chicken breast), pasta dishes (haddock parmigiana, ziti pesto, baked manicotti), lamb dishes, beef dishes and seafood (all the classics served fried, baked or broiled. Most dinner entrees run around $9 to $14; sandwiches and burgers start at a little less than $6 and run to a little more than $8.
20. T-Bones Great American Eatery (25 S. River Road, Bedford, 641-6100, www.t-bones.com) Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight.
Part of a local chain of T-Bones and Cactus Jack’s, the Bedford T-Bones features a mix of traditional steakhouse offerings (slow roasted prime rib, center cut New York sirloin) with seafood, Italian dishes, burgers and classic American dishes like chicken pot pie, roast turkey dinner and baked haddock; entrees run from about $9 (burgers) through $24 (steaks).
21. Stella Blu (70 E. Pearl St., Nashua, 578-5557, www.stellablu-nh.com) Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 5 p.m. to midnight (opening at 4 p.m. on Fridays); Sundays 4 to 10 p.m.
Hippo readers voted Stella Blu Best of the Best for “Best Menu of Small Plates”; Best of Nashua for “Best Bar Menu” and “Best Cocktails,” and they voted Joey Zontini Nashua’s “Best Bartender.” A menu of themed small plates — Main Street, USA; The Latin Quarter; Asia Town; Little Italy; Farmer’s Market and Corner Bakery — allows you to try Cod Fritters ($6), paella ($14 or $28), duck rangoons ($11), spaghetti carbonara ($8), roasted beet salad ($8) and warm berry cake ($8) all in one night.
22. XO on Elm (827 Elm St., Manchester, 560-7998, www.xoonelm.com) Hours: open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Hippo readers voted XO Best of the Best in the “Best New Eatery” category and Best of Manchester in the “Best Menu of Small Plates” category. For small plates, the offerings include boneless beef short ribs ($7), grilled sausage skewers ($4) and their Middle Eastern Taster ($11) — or go for an entrée, including Lobster Mac & Cheese ($26), Pecan Chicken ($18) or Bacon Wrapped Sirloin ($23).
23. The Barley House (132 N. Main St. in Concord, 228-6363, www.thebarleyhouse.com) Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; closed Sunday.
Hippo readers voted The Barley House Best of Concord for “Best Bar Menu,” “Best Beer Selection,” “Best Burgers” and “Best Menu Item” (for the Dublin Burger) as well as naming waitress Mechelle Zydenbos Concord’s “Best Waitress” and giving the eatery Best of Concord for “Best Bar for Live Music” and “Best Pub.” Dinner offerings include small plates such as Sweet Potato Fries ($6.99) and House Cured Applewood Smoked Bacon ($6.99), entrees such as Irish Whiskey Steak ($17.99) and Parmesan Portabella Pasta ($13.99), burgers including that Dublin Burger ($9.99) and more.
24. Giorgio’s Ristorante & Meze Bar (524 Nashua St., Milford, 673-3939, www.giorgios.com) Hours: Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (lunch is served until 4 p.m.); Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (lunch is served until 4 p.m.). Brunch is Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Hippo readers voted the Milford Giorgio’s as Best of Nashua for “Best Bathroom” (a nice touch of luxury for any restaurant). The menu features Greek and Italian items such as spanakopita ($7.49), mini gyros ($7.49), chicken broccoli ziti ($14.49), eggplant parmesan ($12.99) and Santorinian-style seafood boat ($17.99) along with grilled pizzas (running from less than $6 for a half to about $12 for a full).
25. La Carreta (545 Hooksett Road, Manchester, 628-6899) Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.
Hippo readers picked the Manchester La Carreta as the Best of the Best in “Best Mexican Restaurant.” The menu offers all the Mexican food favorites — burritos, tacos, enchiladas, nachos — as well as chicken, steak and seafood dishes with Mexican-inspired sauces, like mole and poblano sauce.
26. Fratello’s (155 Dow St., Manchester, 624-2022, www.fratellos.com) Hours: Lunch is served daily from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; dinner is served Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 4 to 9 p.m. and Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m.
Hippo readers voted Fratello’s the Best of Manchester in the “Best Italian Restaurant” category. The menu features Italian-American restaurant favorites, like pasta served with a choice of sauces (from creamy Alfredo to spicy Fra Diavolo), brick oven fired pizzas, a choice of meats prepared saltimbocca style and shrimp scampi. But save room for a dessert and/or cocktail and (during the summer) enjoy it on the deck, which looks out over the Millyard. Dinner entrees range from about $9 to about $22.
27. Granite Restaurant & Bar (at The Centennial Inn, 96 Pleasant St., Concord, 227-9000, www.graniterestaurant.com) Hours: Breakfast is served daily from 7 to 10:30 a.m. Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served Monday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m. Brunch is served Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Hippo readers voted Granite Restaurant Best of Concord for “Best Menu of Small Plates.” In addition to a Nosh menu (with items between about $7 and $13), Granite’s dinner menu offers entrees such as grilled filet mignon, teriyaki lacquered salmon and macadamia nut crusted chicken (entrees start around $12 for a half portion and around $20 for a full).
28. Saffron Bistro (80 Main St., Nashua, 883-2100, www.thesaffronbistro.com) Hours: Dinner is served Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 9:30 p.m. The bar and lounge are open from Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to closing.
Hippo readers voted Saffron Bistro Best of Nashua for “Best Menu Item” (for butternut squash ravioli). The menu includes appetizers such as Escargot De Saffron ($10), Warm Spinach Dip ($10) and Dijon and Black Pepper Crab Cakes ($11) and entrees including Pecan Crusted Chicken ($19) and Veal Porterhouse Chop ($28) as well as items such as that winning ravioli ($14) and a Black Angus Bacon Cheddar Burger ($12) on a Lighter Fare menu.
29. Unums (49 E. Pearl St., Nashua, 821-6500, www.unums.com) Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 5 p.m. to closing.
Unums offers a bar menu featuring flatbreads ($11 through $17) and a dinner menu with appetizers such as Asparagus Wraps ($9), Dancing Pan Seared Calamari Creole Style ($13) and a Toasted Shrimp Waffle ($11) and entrees such as Teriyaki Marinated Sea Bass ($28), Grilled Sirloin ($24) and Chestnut Ravioli ($14).
30. 900 Degrees (50 Dow St., Manchester, 641-0900, www.900degrees.com) Hours: Opens at noon on Saturday and Sunday; 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Hippo readers voted 900 Degrees Best of Manchester in the “Best Pizza in Your Neighborhood” category and Best of the Best for “Best Pizza Worth a Drive.” Bartender Josh Durand was voted Best of Manchester in the “Best Bartender” category. The pizzas are grilled in a wood-fired oven, so the crust is thin and crispy; try a Margherita ($13), Fire roasted BBQ Chicken ($14.25) or Red Pepper Pesto ($13.95).
31. Common Man (88 Range Road, Windham, 898-0088, www.thecman.com) Hours: Dinner is served Monday through Friday starting at 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday starting at 4:30 p.m. The “Bar ’n Grill” starts serving nightly at 4 p.m. Brunch is served Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Offering a lighter “Bar N Grill” menu as well as a dinner menu, Windham’s Common Man can give you a meal of small plates or a single entrée, such as Nantucket Sauté ($19.99), Chicken Pot Pie ($14.99), Roast Prime Rib ($23.99 for the biggest cut) and New England Pot Roast ($14.99).
32. The Red Blazer (72 Manchester St., Concord, 224-4101, www.theredblazer.com) Restaurant hours: Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. through 8 p.m. Pub hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. through midnight; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. through 12:30 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Hippo readers voted the Red Blazer Best of Concord in the “Best Dance Club” category. Keeping those dancers going is a late-night bar menu (available until 11 p.m.) featuring a Blazer Salad ($10.99) and Smothered Chips ($6.99); the dinner menu includes classics such as Fettuccine Alfredo ($13.99), Baked Stuffed Haddock ($15.99) and Chicken Marsala ($15.99).
33. Commercial Street Fishery (33 S. Commercial St., Manchester, 296-0706, www.csfishery.com) Hours: Lunch is served from 11:30 to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Dinner is served Monday through Thursday, 4:30 to close; Friday and Saturday, 4:30 to close (the website recommends calling in advance to verify closing times).
Hippo readers voted Commercial Street Fishery Best of Manchester in the “Best Seafood” category. CSF offers a variety of takes on seafood, from traditional crispy fried haddock ($16) to Coriander Crusted Sea Scallops ($25) and from hot apps like Fresh Maine Crab Cakes ($11) to raw fare like Tuna Tartare ($14).
34. Kiki’s Restaurant and the Gravity Tavern (Mont Vernon Road in New Boston, 487-2011, kikisnewboston.com) Kiki’s hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tavern hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 4 to 11:30 p.m.; Sunday, 4 p.m. to close.
A new addition to the local food scene, Kiki’s offers items such as Tempura Cod ($12), Cottage Pie ($10) and a selection of $8 sandwiches at lunch and for dinner items such as Pork Chop and Baked Beans ($21), Green Tea Crusted Cod ($22), Grilled Rib Eye ($26) and a New England Bouillabaisse ($26) along with a selection of lighter fare and comfort food.
35. Pasquale’s Ristorante Italiano (143 Raymond Road, Candia, 483-5005, www.pasqualeincandia.com) Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 4:30 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday noon to 10 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 8 p.m.
A hidden gem east of Manchester, Pasquale’s offers “old fashioned recipes the way mamma made it” according to their boast; try the eggplant parmigiana ($18.99), spaghetti with littleneck clams ($18.99), seafood risotto ($24.99) or saltimbocca ($19.99).
36. Café Momo (1065 Hanover St., Manchester, 623-3733, www.cafemomonh.com) Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 9 p.m.
Hippo readers voted Café Momo Best of Manchester in “Best Vegetarian Menu.” This Nepali-style menu includes main entrees such as Goat Curry Rice ($17), Cashew Coated Haddock ($17), Beans Mushroom Curry ($15) and Paneer ($15).
37. Common Man (304 DW Highway, Merrimack, 429-3463, www.thecman.com) Hours: Dinner is served Monday through Friday starting at 5 p.m., Saturday starting at 4 p.m., and Sunday at 4:30 p.m. The “Bar ’n Grill” is open from 4 to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and starting at noon on Sundays. The restaurant serves brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.
As with the other Common Man restaurants, the Merrimack Common Man focuses on traditional New England eats, seafood and seasonally inspired dishes as well as desserts such as “Our Uncommon Baked Apple” (a whole McIntosh apple baked with maple syrup, brown sugar and spices, served hot with a scoop of C-Man-made vanilla ice cream), a Crème Brulee duo, a Dueling Brownie Sundae and white chocolate bread pudding.
38. Gauchos Churrascaria Brazilian Steakhouse (62 Lowell St. in Manchester, 669-9460, www.gauchosbraziliansteakhouse.com) Hours: Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; dinner is served Monday through Saturday from 4 to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m.
Gauchos is a different kind of steakhouse; for a set price — $27.45 for adults, $10.95 for children 10 and under — you get a trip to their salad bar (featuring a variety of house-made salads as well as the components to make your own leafy green starter) and then a never-ending parade of meats, cooked Brazilian style and brought by your table on skewers: slow-roasted beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, sausage, pork and more.
39. Rustic Leaf Bistro (15 Elm St., Milford, 672-1556, therusticleaf.com) Hours: Monday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch; Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for ice cream.
Hippo readers voted Rustic Leaf “Best of Nashua” for “Best New Restaurant.” The menu focuses on local and organic foods and features entrees that are vegetarian (about $14 through $17) or feature chicken (about $17 through $19) or fish (about $18 through $20) and a dish each with duck, pork and lamb.
40. Mile Away (52 Federal Hill Road, Milford, 673-3904, www.mileawayrestaurant.com) Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 5 to 9 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 7 p.m.
Choose an entrée and appetizer (fruit plate with sorbet, paté, vichyssoise, Swedish meatballs, stuffed clams or soup or substitute for seafood and other items for an additional fee); salad (Caesar or mixed greens) and dessert (pastries, peach melba, ice cream roll, maple custard, ice cream puff, meringue) come with it. Entrees include duck du jour, rack of lamb, baked stuffed shrimp, maple salmon, veal or chicken piccata milanaise, wienerschnitzel and vegetarian chaos (sweet potato cake, grilled marinated vegetables, sautéed wild mushrooms, spanakopita and vegetable du jour). Entrees cost between about $20 and $27.
41. Red Arrow Diner (63 Union Square, Milford, 249-9222, redarrowdiner.com). Open 24 hours a day.
Hippo readers voted Milford’s Red Arrow Best of Nashua for “Best diner” and awarded both Red Arrows Best of the Best for “Best cheap eats” and “Best grilled cheese.” As with the Manchester original, Milford’s Red Arrow serves up the diner favorites, from breakfast all day long (a Moe’s Famous Steak and Eggs costs $10.99; a three-stack of pancakes cost $4.75) to a Sloppy Moe ($7.99), Adam Sandler Burger ($6.99) and a liver-and-onions dinner ($6.99).
42. T-Bones Great American Eatery (77 Lowell Road, Hudson, 882-6677, www.t-bones.com) Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The website currently boasts more than 50 items under $10. Other offerings include Slow Roasted Prime Rib ($17.99 to $22.99 depending on size), Baked-Stuffed Scallops Mornay ($15.99), Chicken Marsala ($15.99) and Chicken Pot Pie ($11.49).
43. Villa Banca (194 Main St., Nashua, 598-0500, www.villabanca.com) Hours: Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dinner is served Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m.; Monday and Wednesday from 4 to 9 p.m.; Thursday from 4 to 9:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m.
Hippo readers named Villa Banca Best of Nashua in the “Best Italian Food” category. This former bank is now a repository for Italian deliciousness: pasta with a pesto alfredo sauce ($11.99), chicken and shrimp banca ($17.99), seafood ravioli ($25.99), pistachio salmon ($18.99), Wood Grilled Sirloin ($23.99) and more.
44. San Francisco Kitchen (133 Main St., Nashua, 886-8833, www.sanfranciscokitchen.com) Hours: Sunday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight. Lunch buffet runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; dinner is served from 4 p.m. to closing.
Readers voted SFK’s Bastian diCaprio Best of Nashua in the “Best Waiter” category. San Francisco Kitchen offers Japanese and Chinese favorites including sushi and sashimi as well as Shabu Shabu — a hot pot of soup where you cook your own meats and veggies.
45. Pinkerton Tavern (13 Manchester Road, Derry, 425-6665, www.thepinkertontavern.com) Tavern hours: Sunday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to close; Friday and Saturday, noon to close. Dining room hours: Sunday through Thursday, 4 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.
Get a sandwich (like the Live Free or Die Burger for $9) or an entree such as the Pasta Carbonara ($13), Olde Towne Pork ($14), Maine Coast Combo ($17) or a Flatbread Pizza ($8).
46. Veano’s Italian Kitchen (16 Sheep Davis Road, Pembroke, 224-2400) Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Veano’s is another hidden gem in local eats — the eggplant parmesan sub ($6.50) features crisp, light eggplant; other offerings include pizzas (about $11 to $16 for a large), salads (about $5 to $7 for a large), fried chicken ($25.95 for an 18-piece dinner) and pasta dinners such as baked manicotti parmesan ($10.95).
47. Makris Lobster & Steakhouse (354 Sheep Davis Road, Concord, 225-7665, www.eatalobster.com) Dining room hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Bar hours: 11 a.m. to close.
Hippo readers voted Makris Best of Concord for “Best Steakhouse” and “Best Seafood.” A specialty store as well as a restaurant, Makris offers fresh fish meals like grilled swordfish ($14.95), baked stuffed scallops ($16.95), Haddock Au Gratin ($13.95), lobster dinners (market price) and fried seafood dishes.
48. Hermanos Cocina Mexicana (11 Hills Ave. in Concord, 224-5669, www.hermanosmexican.com) Restaurant hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Lounge hours: Monday through Wednesday, 5 to 9 p.m.; Thursday through Sunday, 4 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4 to 10 p.m. Takeout hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 8 to 10 p.m.
Hippo readers voted Hermanos Best of Concord in “Best Cocktail” (for its margarita) and “Best Mexican/Latin American Food.” Hermanos offers Mexican favorites such as Taco Salad ($11.99 with avocado), burritos ($8.99 for beef and bean) and enchiladas ($9.49 for two) as well as specialties such as fish tacos ($11.99 for two) and portabella quesadilla ($9.99).
49. Black Forest Café (212 Route 101 in Amherst, 672-0500, www.theblackforestcafe.com) Dining room hours: Monday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday brunch, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Marketplace hours: Monday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hippo readers voted Black Forest Café Best of Nashua for “Best Bakery” and “Best Desserts.” In addition to treats like a strawberry rhubarb pie ($17) or a small lemon drop cake ($21), Black Forest Café offers dishes like a Shrimp Salad with Mango Salsa ($12.95), a Grilled Vermont Cheddar Sandwich ($9.95), Black Forest Meatloaf ($10.95) and Maple Glazed Grilled Pork Chops ($15.95).
50. La Carreta Mexican Restaurant (139 DW Highway, Nashua, 891-0055, www.lacarretamex.com) Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.
Hippo readers voted Nashua’s La Carretta the Best of Nashua for “Best Mexican/Latin American Food.” Get a variety of Mexican favorites at this DW Highway spot: Pollo Poblano ($14.50), Carne Asada ($15.50), Enchiladas Mole Poblano ($10.25), Burrito Chile Verde ($10.25) and more.
The list here is of the top 50 vote-getters in the “Best Restaurant Overall” category in Hippo’s Best of 2010 readers’ poll. These are the restaurants as chosen by readers. While some of these restaurants also won in other categories, not all of the winners of other food categories appear here. Hours and prices are according to websites or most recently available menus. Have favorites you’d like to dish about? Let us know at email@example.com and your favorites could appear in a future Weekly Dish column.