Let’s get real for a minute here. Eating is a beautiful thing. People love food, so it’s only natural that pretty much every time you hang out, go on a date, or just chill with someone, food is involved. Here on the seacoast of NH, one of the best places for restaurants and good eats is Portsmouth. So for anyone that goes to UNH, finding quality date night restaurants should be a breeze, right? The problem is that there are so many options that it can be hard to choose something for you and your date. Luckily, Portsmouth has something for everyone. Here are the best date restaurants around UNH.
1. BRGR Bar
Located on Portwalk Place in downtown, BRGR Bar is a classy, upscale version of a burger joint. They serve high-quality burgers and sides and responsibly source their ingredients as often as possible. Beyond burgers, this place is worth visiting for the milkshakes alone. Voted the best milkshake in the state of New Hampshire, you’d be crazy to hold off on one of their delicious creations like the sea salt, caramel, and pretzel milkshake or maybe the Nutella, marshmallow, and graham cracker mix. Too full after your burger? Split one with your date!
2. Green Elephant
The Green Elephant is an entirely vegetarian and almost completely vegan restaurant that’s a fan favorite among many locals. They serve Asian inspired dishes and feature many tasty specials (and some of the best Pad Thai around!) Located right across from BRGR Bar on Portwalk Place, it’s a perfect little spot for dinner that won’t make you bloated but won’t leave you hungry. For dessert, the fried bananas and coconut ice cream are a must have. The lighting and ambiance set the perfect, cozy, date-night mood and help make this place one of the best spots in Portsmouth for dinner.
3. The Martingale Wharf
This restaurant is slightly on the pricier side for college students but the ambiance, the fire tables, and the nightlife are worth it. The Wharf is right on the water, even more so than Poco’s, and one of the biggest highlights of this place are the fire tables. You can sit out on the deck with a cozy blanket (that they provide!) and enjoy the warmth of the fire, your dinner, and your date! They also have live music and dancing inside so it’s a great place to spend a few hours even if you ate somewhere else.
4. Friendly Toast
Located almost right next to The District is the Friendly Toast. They serve an eclectic mix of food including all-day breakfast and have tons of gluten-free and vegan options (even vegan pancakes!). The decor and the music add to this quirky vibe that the Friendly Toast has. They play a variety of alternative and indie music and have wacky decorations that provide endless conversation topics for you and your date. You can find anything (food or decor) at this place so it’s sure to satisfy everyone.
Poco’s is right on the water in Portsmouth and is one of the best places to go if you feel like sitting by the water and enjoying some good food like their crazy amazing avocado fries and tasty nachos. It’s also conveniently located right by two fantastic ice cream shops: Izzy’s and Annabelle’s. Grab yourself some avocado fries, an ice cream to share (if you’re feeling nice) and enjoy the night lights over the river.
Another local favorite, Street is intended to feel like you’re eating street food from anywhere in the world. You can satisfy any and all cravings here because they’re serving it all. Want to split something with your date? Start with the famous yucca fries and their yummy sauce! Any of the options on the menu is guaranteed to satisfy whatever you’re feeling and besides that, if it was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri, it has to be good.
Flatbread is famous (of course) for their insanely delicious pizzas and flat-breads. They serve up organic, local, fresh ingredients and feature local art and banners as part of their rustic decor. If you’re lucky, you can get the couch seating which has room for a big party of people and is right next to the oven; which is an attraction in itself. It’s a classic, open, wood-fired oven facing the dining area with a log bench so you can cozy up to your date while you watch them make your pizza right in front of you.
8. The Portsmouth Brewery
This place is legendary; Portsmouth locals would argue that you haven’t really experienced downtown until you’ve been to the Brewery. They serve standard Brewery food but they rotate seasonal specials as well as sourcing their food locally. They also cater to vegans and have at least one or two vegan options on the menu at all times. The Brewery beer (assuming you’re of age) is also worth the experience; they brew their beer on sight and you can even see the brewing process through the huge windows in the dining area as you eat.
9. The District
The District is located on Congress Street in downtown Portsmouth and is a great spot for a more laid back, cheaper version of a classy night out. They serve American food with a twist; think of it as upscale casual. They have patio seating perfect for warm nights and the ambiance is just the right mood for a night with your date.
10. Gaslight near UNH
The Gaslight is one of the best places to go for pizza. They’re different from the other pizza joint on this list because they serve pizza as well as other classic pub food. They have a perfect outdoor seating area and live music all the time; it’s a great place to hang out with your date even if you’re not eating a full meal. Grab some apps and a drink and enjoy the local talent.
And there you have it! The next time you get asked on a date or want to ask that special someone out, definitely look to these places. They have great food, excellent service, and cute aesthetics. New Hampshire has a lot to offer!