Best Restaurants in New England

November 2, 2023

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If you’re planning to visit New England, of course, you’ll want all the best restaurant recommendations and tips. We ate at a lot of different spots during our trip to Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts, and I consider myself a foodie at heart (or, at least a wanna-be foodie!). Keep reading to get my list of the best restaurants in New England!

outside of the red lion inn in Stockbridge, MA. Best restaurants in New England blog post.

Best Restaurants in Boston, Massachusetts

Artu in Boston, Massachusetts’s North End

On our first evening in New England, we ate at Artu, an amazing Italian restaurant in the North End. Our tour director arranged for our group to eat dinner together, and we had a family-style meal, with six courses.

Eating at Artu was a highlight, for sure, and it was hands-down the best Italian food I’ve ever had. Even Emma (our picky eater) liked it.

The setting was elegant, and the food was fantastic.

For our appetizers, we were given salad and buratta. The vinaigrette on the salad was really flavorful, and I loved the vegetables they incorporated in it.

For our pasta course, we had penne puttanesca. The pasta was a bit spicy, so know that, but it was also creamy and delicious. Then, they brought out chicken piccata. Emma is a chicken fanatic (no, seriously. She’s chosen chicken over steak/lobster numerous times), and she adored the chicken piccata. In all honesty, I think she would’ve been happy if that had been the main course.

For the main course, though, we had eggplant parmesan, and it was incredible. It melted in my mouth, and I would do anything for another bite. A fun aspect about going with a tour group is that you hear all different types of opinions. Several people remarked that they despise eggplant, but loved the eggplant parmesan.

canolli at Artu in Boston, MA

Of course, for dessert, we had the obligatory cannoli. It was small, but I loved the ratio of cream and crunchiness!

5/5 rating for Artu in Boston, Massachusetts’s North End. Side note: if you’re able to go, I’d recommend making a reservation.

Mike’s Pastries in Boston, Massachusetts’s North End

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to go to Mike’s Pastries, but heard rave reviews about it. Locals and other tourists recommended it to us, and we even saw several people in the airport carrying a little box from the bakery to bring home with them.

When we walked by Mike’s Pastries, it had a long line, but if you have time, it’s worth the wait. It’s also across from Artu, so you can pick up dessert on your way home from dinner.

Quincy Market in Boston, Massachusetts

After spending time learning about the history of Boston, we had lunch at Quincy Market, the oldest dining hall in the United States. The market has lots of open food vendors, and though it’s very crowded and especially busy at lunch, the lines move quickly.

cold lobster roll at Quincy Market in Boston

Our tour guide (who grew up in Massachusetts) recommended the Clam Chowda Company to us. At long last, we tried lobster rolls, and they were delicious! I tried both a hot and cold lobster roll, and though I preferred the hot lobster roll (the warm butter on the roll complimented the lobster so well), I also liked the cold.

If you have picky eaters and you’d rather not pay for an expensive lobster roll they may not like, we also tried pizza and chocolate chip cannoli at Quincy Market. You just can’t go wrong with either of these.

Besides the diversity of food, another great thing about Quincy Market is after you’re done, you can do some shopping (we especially liked the Best of Boston store) or easily walk to your next destination.

Best Restaurants in Bar Harbor, Maine

I’ve been looking forward to sharing about our favorite restaurants in Bar Harbor. Oh my goodness, lobster and blueberries galore! I had some of the best food of my life there (I exaggerate a lot, but I am not this time).

Side Street Café

Do yourself a favor and visit Side Street Café! They’re open for both lunch and dinner, and we went at dinner. If you go during the busy season, it would be a good idea to get on their waitlist (which you can do online).

lobster mac n cheese at side street cafe in Bar Harbor, Maine

I ordered a salad and their signature lobster mac ‘n cheese, Dad got the blackened shrimp tacos, Mom got clam chowder, and my sisters and cousin ordered burgers. Everything was delicious! I’ve decided that even though a traditional lobster dinner is good, I much prefer lobster when it’s paired with something else—like mac ‘n cheese.

blueberry pie and ice cream at side street cafe in bar harbor, maine

Usually, we don’t get dessert when we go out to eat, but it’s a different story when we travel! For dessert, several of us ordered blueberry pie and ice cream, and Sydney ordered the “Moose Trap.”

If you didn’t know, Maine is known for producing wild blueberries, and the growing and harvesting process is actually really interesting. Instead of growing on a bush like we’re accustomed to seeing, they grow in “barrens” on the ground. Oftentimes, they’re harvested by hand, and it’s back-breaking work.

We were able to split one piece of blueberry pie between two people (we were quite full at this point, too), but I really would have loved to take some to go. We still talk about how good it was. The caramelized sugar and lime zested crust in the blueberry pie was divine, the blueberry filling spilled out the sides, and the ice cream complimented it perfectly. I could go on for ages about it, but I’ll spare you.

Geddy’s and Down East Deli in Bar Harbor, Maine

Geddy’s and Down East Deli are two restaurants that were on my “must-try” list, but didn’t get to. I’ve heard nothing but good things and high ratings.

Several people from our tour group went to Geddy’s and absolutely loved it. They recommended the lobster rolls and blueberry pie, which I’m planning to try the next time I go to Maine!

If you decide to visit Geddy’s, be sure to make a reservation.

Our tour guide as well as an Instagram influencer who has visited Maine many times recommended Down East Deli. They have lobster rolls, as well, and I want to try one of their cold lobster rolls on my next visit. Our tour guide explained that they’re a Mom and Pop restaurant, which makes me want to support it even more.

Route 66 in Bar Harbor, Maine

Route 66 was a cute and fun restaurant, that’s perfect for families. I got a bowl of lobster bisque, Mom got a Caesar salad, one of my sisters got pizza, and the rest of my family ordered hamburgers.

Acadia Perk in Bar Harbor, Maine

blueberry macchiato in front of Acadia Perk in Bar Harbor, Maine

If you’re in a coffee mood, be sure to check out Acadia Perk. I tried a blueberry macchiato, and I also tasted my sister’s blueberry matcha (I hate matcha, but she swore it was amazing).

Best Restaurants in Portland, Maine

The Flatbread Company

plates of salad from Flatbread Company in Portland Maine

We ate at the Flatbread Company, and it was delicious! We ordered three house salads, which the six of us split. It was amazing, and our waitress told us they’ve won best salad in Portland several years in a row—I can see why. The vinaigrette was flavorful, and I especially loved the carrots and cucumbers they incorporated in the salad.

2 pizzas from Flatbread Company in Portland Maine

For our “main course,” we ordered The Carne (a special that had roasted red bell peppers and hot honey on it) and another pizza with mushrooms and pepperoni. The two large pizzas were enough to feed all six of us. It was one of those meals that hit the spot after eating out a bunch.

Holy Donut

Before leaving Portland, we wanted to try the Holy Donut, which our tour guide recommended for their famous potato donuts, but we didn’t have time to go. Womp womp. If you do eat there, our tour guide said that even though they often have a long line, it moves quickly.

If you’re trying to plan a trip to New England, be sure to read my post: The Ultimate 7 Day Itinerary to New England in the Fall. I share a FREE downloadable guide + itinerary with you!

Best Restaurants in Conway, New Hampshire

The Met in Conway, New Hampshire

the met coffee shop in Conway, New Hampshire

After we hopped off the Conway Scenic Railroad, we had lunch at The Met. I had the Thanksgiving sandwich and blueberry smoothie, and the rest of my family got a Rueben. We weren’t very hungry, so two people split a sandwich and were fine. The Met also had apple cider doughnuts and coffee.

Best Restaurants in Woodstock & brattleboro, Vermont

Mon Verte in Woodstock, Vermont

holding coffee in front Mon Verte coffee shop sign

Surprise, surprise, another coffee shop makes an appearance! I think we went to a coffee shop in every city we went to. I liked Mon Verte Cafe’s maple latte, and they also had breakfast and lunch items on their menu. There was a lot of seating upstairs and downstairs. A cute coffee shop, for sure!

Ninety-Nine Restaurant in Brattleboro, Vermont

Don’t judge me for including a chain restaurant on my list. It was in front of our hotel, and it was surprisingly good. At this point in our trip, we were in dire need of vegetables (we’re weirdos, I know), and I liked their grilled balsamic chicken, mashed potatoes, and asparagus. Then, for dessert, we got a baked chocolate chip cookie skillet and apple crumb pie. So good!

If you’re in a pinch, check out Ninety-Nine.

More Restaurant Recommendations in Vermont

I wanted to share a few restaurants that were highly recommended to me that we weren’t able to go to. Next time, I definitely would like to try them!

  • I’ve heard many people say Prohibition Pig in Waterbury, Vermont is excellent.
  • For the best maple crème latte, check out the Black Cap. There are several of these coffee shops in Vermont!

Snacks New England Locals Eat

Holding a maple cream cookie on motorcoach

Our tour guide was awesome and had snacks for us to try that New Englanders eat. It was fun seeing what’s popular in the East, and I thought this touch made the trip even more fun.

  • In Maine, we tried Mrs. Dunster’s crunch nuggets, which are a Maine staple. They were good and tasted like a coffee cake doughnut hole.
  • Moxie soda is another Mainer favorite, and you can get it at a gas station. I usually don’t drink soda, so it tasted like a mix between root beer and grape cold medicine, ha. But some people in our group liked it!
  • Whoopie Pies were dubbed Maine’s “official state treat,” and you can find them just about anywhere.
  • Be sure to get some fudge at Kittery Trading Post in Kittery, Maine. They had a lot of flavors, which were delicious.
  • We loved Maple Cream Cookies (pictured above). You can pick these up in Vermont, which I definitely recommend!

Best New England Restaurants: my Top Pick and Wrap-Up

creek and trees in acadia national park maine

Out of everything I mentioned which restaurant is my favorite?

Though it’s a hard choice, I’d have to say, Side Street Café. BUT you’ll definitely want to eat at as many of these places as possible—they were all delicious!

I hope this list of the best New England restaurants (according to yours truly, anyway) is helpful! If you’ve been to New England, what else would you add?

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