By: Justess Jacobson – February, 2015
I love food. Anyone who has known me for more than ten minutes knows, that I do indeed love food. My favorite tends to be Italian food, but I am not picky and will eat anything in front me.
For me, a good restaurants has to have great atmosphere, I want to feel welcomed and cozy. It must also have the bang for the buck, I don’t want one french fry with a glaze elegantly drizzled and be charged $21. I also look at the average wait staff and how they treat their customers. The last thing I look at is the general experience, the food was great, the service was flawless, the location is convenient, and the prices are comparable to the proportions.
10. Red Barn Diner. Located on Elm St, it is a quaint little diner that I cannot get enough of. The food is always fresh and made to order. The wait staff knows their customers by name, and that when I am drunk we need a corner table (I may or may not have been there after a couple long nights), and the wait staff is always so willing to make jokes and add some sarcasm to the cup of coffee. If you ever go there, you have to try the eggs benedict, it’s to die for!!
9. Rita Mae’s Diner: This is located on the west side of the city, that is less than a block away from Catholic Medical Center. This little diner has the absolute best coffee I could even fathom. I don’t know if they put crack in it, or what, but I find myself drinking three or four cups of coffee every time (and I am not a big coffee drinker). They serve breakfast all day (which always works for my afternoon wake up calls) and the staff is always extremely friendly, and have that pot of coffee in their hand making their rounds. It’s not a busy place, but it’s great place to make memories, and bellies happy.
8. Puritan Back Room: There is no way this restaurant wasn’t making the list. Not only is their chicken famous country wide (it’s true, people come from all over New England to have some backroom chicken), but also their mudslides are heaven in a cup. They limit you to two drinks because they are so strong, but they are so good and strong, all you need is two! The prices are a bit over what I would like to pay, but it is worth it.
7. Hanover St. Chop House: This is located on Hanover St, which is about two blocks away from the heart of the city. The food is absolutely immaculate. There is no such thing as a bad meal here, and the wait staff is so incredibly professional. The atmosphere is so welcoming that even when it’s busy, it doesn’t feel crowded.
6. 900 Degrees is located in the lower of the mill buildings on Dow St. It is small, but cute and trendy. It has something for everyone! The thin crust fresh pizza is absolutely to die for with its fresh ingredients. Also, the pasta is incredible! I love the atmosphere, and they have some pretty great drinks!
5. Johhny Troys is located in a little plaza off of South Willow Street near the airport. The Italian food is AMAZING and, you get what you pay for! The veal parm overflows the plate and is very tender too! Pizza, subs, pasta, if you like it, they have it. A must try for large appetite and small budget.
4. XO. This restaurant has excellent tapas. They have something for everyone whether you want Greek, Italian, or a great steak this is the place to go. With it being conveniently located on Elm St, it is less than a block away from The Palace theatre. You can dine and walk right over to the theatre for a great night!
3. Billy’s Burgers. I only went here once before I started working at the hospital, but my co workers were always saying how great the food is, and it has become regular that we go there. The burgers here are easily the best in town. If you want a good burger, than look no further than Billy’s. It is located on the corner of Massabesic and Tarrytown road, it is literally right next door to the Elliot Hospital Main Entrance. Great food, awesome drinks, wonderful prices, and fabulous wait staff. A must try.
2. Portland Pie Company is located in the best part of the city. It is within walking distance to the biggest entertainment venue in New Hampshire, next door to a hotel that holds expos and conferences every day. The food here is so incredible you will have your mind blown. Diane Sawyer from Good Morning America ate here once, and even wrote a rave review. The pizza is so perfectly made with fresh toppings, and a handmade pizza sauce. The salads are unique and all the salad dressings are handmade from scratch. The atmosphere is always incredible, and I have never had a bad time there. I highly recommend this place if your coming to see an event at the Verizon or just looking to try something new.
1. The BEST restaurant in town hands down has to be Mangia. It is a great little bistro that offers outside seating in good weather. It is an Italian bistro that offers all food cooked to order right down to the sauces! The alfredo sauce is handmade every day and it is the most amazing alfredo sauce you will ever taste. It’s wonderful for a date night, and you can even bring your own booze! I will warn you the prices are a little higher than I would prefer, but the food and experience is SO worth it!
I have to give credit to my Robyn Jacobson for helping me with some of these reviews. She gave me her advice where she is much more experienced in restaurants than me. So, not only did you get reviews from a 21-year-old college student, but also a well-traveled and cultured woman did add some extra restaurants I never would have thought about!