Walk into Hagan’s Grill and the first thing you’ll notice is a surfboard mounted horizontally across the barrier wall. There is no doubt you’ve arrived for dinner in a beach town. And that town is Hampton, New Hampshire, home to the well-known tourist attraction known as Hampton Beach.
From waterfront dining to urban eateries, regional to global cuisine, casual to upscale, we have it all here on the Seacoast when it comes to restaurant options. Plus there are the places we like to go for a cold one, cocktails and wine, or a good cup of coffee, and for sweets, treats, and the freshest produce. Everyone has their favorites, and we asked you to get online and vote, choosing the places you like best on the Seacoast for eats and drinks. The voter turnout was impressive (and overwhelming!). We’ve tallied the numbers and determined the best in over 75 categories, including many new choices, from al fresco dining to comfort food, soup to sushi, martinis, cupcakes, nightlife, gourmet markets, and much more. And now—the Best of Taste 2013!
Beyond the stretch of Kittery shopping outlets, and around the corner from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Anneke Jans, a quaint, dimly lit bistro, packs a full house. In fact, on a Saturday evening it is advisable not to be a minute late for your reservation, as you will surely lose your table, obliged to dine at the bar. Dining at the bar isn’t so bad, though, as the mood from patrons in the full dining area can be downright boisterous. But that’s what bistros are all about: culinary camaraderie.
We settled into the curvy, high-backed banquette overlooking the Piscataqua River, the Sarah Long Bridge, and busy Portsmouth Harbor. Rays of the setting sun bounced off tiny whitecaps and lit the bows of fishing boats heading home. As if on cue, one of Portsmouth’s iconic red and black Moran tugboats slowly chugged its way into port. Inside, the restaurant was hopping; guests clustered around the bar, tables were full, and conversation and drinks were flowing.