Mt. Sunapee, NH Family Friendly Restaurants

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33 Seavey StNorth Conway, NH 603-356-7000
You half expect to see Sinatra crooning from the corner of this Bronx-style Italian restaurant that serves gut-busting portions of pasta in a convivial atmosphere. While justly revered for its noodles, this North Conway favorite is equally adept at steaks and pizzas -- cooked in an open brick oven to the delight of the kids. The children's menu is extensive, with several different kinds of pasta and pizzas.
 
232 Whittier HighwayCenter Harbor, NH 603-253-4762
Despite the length of the menu here -- including everything from prime rib to lobster rolls -- chef Scott Ouellette never misfires in his imaginative twists on New American cuisine. The chef'€™s creative touch shows in delectable appetizers such as the ever-popular sweet-and-sour calamari, seasoned with Thai chili paste with just the right amount of heat, and continue in pricey-but-worth-it entrees such as standout rack of lamb with rosemary jus. The decor is casual, evoking a summer-camp feel with the obligatory views of the lake; four separate dining rooms allow couples to sit away from families with kids, so everyone is able to kick back and relax.
 
Route 302Bretton Woods, NH 603-278-2222
This historic train station has been converted into a popular restaurant where families now watch the model trains speed through the dining room. The menu features a mix of sandwiches, salads, chile, turkey with all the fixins', chicken Parmesan, and a children's menu. Portions are large, so consider splitting an entree. Fabyan's is open for lunch and dinner and is just down the road from the Mount Washington Hotel.
 
312 Daniel Webster HwyMeredith, NH 603-279-3313
There's a reason the line snakes out the door on summer weekends. Located in an outdoor mall and sporting red-and-white tablecloths, this family ristorante looks like Italian by way of Epcot Center, but the food is anything but. The pastas are authentically prepared versions of Italian favorites -- puttanesca, carbonara, tortellini with cream sauce -- with fresh herbs that jump off the fork. The pizza menu is equally traditional, eschewing gimmicky gourmet recipes to serve enormous pies groaning under the weight of their toppings. The high-energy wait staff ensures a family-friendly atmosphere, with live entertainment most nights in summer; the eatery also delivers to area hotels.
 
1398 Route 103Newbury, NH 603-763-3500
The only full service bar and restaurant at Mount Sunapee ski area, Goosefeathers is a spacious restaurant with exposed beams and picture windows on the second floor of the main lodge. It serves typical pub grub -- burgers, sandwiches, wings, and chicken fingers -- and has both a big-screen TV and live music on weekends.
 
117 Main St PO Box 998Lincoln, NH 603-745-4395
Sometimes the name just says it all. A nod to the owners' penchant for world travel, this restaurant feels like taking a ride on a gypsy caravan through Europe and Mexico, by way of Southeast Asia. All flavors are energetically served up by a young staff in a crowded atmosphere -- from steak quesadillas to Indonesian peanut noodles. Children are happily accommodated in the chaos, and parents never have to worry about urging "inside voices" in the chatty medley of locals and skiers.
 
233 Daniel Webster HighwayMeredith, NH 603-279-6212
Generations of visitors to the Lake have been celebrating their special occasions -- or just a night out after the beach -- at Hart's, an institution since 1954 that still manages to deliver with its recipe of down-home New England cooking night after night. This isn't an intimate experience --with 500 seats and a ton of turkey served on busy nights, the restaurant gets crowded on summer weekends, when service can sometimes be hit-and-miss. But the food never ceases to disappoint, with succulent roasted turkey served along all the sides you've been missing since Thanksgiving. The kids' turkey plate is a bargain, and a welcome relief from the children's menu rut of chicken fingers and mac 'n' cheese.
 
8 Airport RoadNewport, NH 603-863-8226
Mexican food made from scratch -- that's all you need to know about this cheap and cheery taqueria that's about as close to Guadalajara as you are likely to get in New Hampshire. A horseshoe shaped bar engenders a rowdy margarita scene later in the night, but the cozy tables are perfect for families in the early evening.
 
3378 White Mountain HighwayNorth Conway, NH 603-356-6381
There's a great tradition in Europe, rarely seen in the States, where going out for a great beer doesn't mean leaving the kids behind. This North Conway mainstay creates that kind of vibe with an all-ages pub atmosphere featuring original microbrews that run the gamut from weiss to pilsner to stout. The food is all-American, including smoky ribs that will stick to your own, blackened chicken pizzas and Cajun catfish sandwiches.
 
6 Brook Rd Sunapee, NH 603-863-7500
It's easy to find this classic American tavern in relation to Mount Sunapee -- the directions are right there in the name. Despite the generic moniker, however, this spot is a cut above most casual restaurants in the area, with fresh seafood dishes and overstuffed sandwiches, along with 20 beers on tap, served in a convivial apres ski environment.
 
672 Rte 117 Hildex Maple Sugar FarmSugar Hill, NH 603-823-5575
Located in Sugar Hill, a 30-minute drive from Bretton Woods, Polly's is worth the trip. Take note that it's only open seasonally from May through October. Choose one of the batters (plain, buckwheat, cornmeal, oatmeal buttermilk, or whole wheat), and an add-in (blueberries, chocolate chips, walnuts, or coconut). The six pancakes are served with maple syrup created at Polly's sugar house. One visit here and you'll be driving an hour out of your way to return again.
 
58 Main StreetNewport, NH 603-863-7774
Part of a mini-chain of local pub-style restaurants, this eatery gets all the details RIGHT, with an authentic Irish feel (the owners grandparents hail from the Salt Hill neighborhood of Galway), and a massive menu of straight-from-the grill items, including Cajun prime rib sandwich, a "firehouse" burger with pepperoni and horseradish, and beer-battered haddock po'boy.
 
127 Ocean BoulevardHampton , NH 603-926-0324
The two outdoor decks of this seafood restaurant command an enviable spot in the center of Hampton Beach, overlooking the waves and the crush of beachgoers on their way to and from the casino ballroom next door. The seafood here is flapping-fresh -- battered, fried, baked and stuffed into fisherman's platters of all kinds. (If you must venture inland, the menu is rounded out with steaks and pastas.) Even amidst the energy and bustle of Hampton Beach, however, the restaurant is very accommodating of children, with friendly staff, a kids' menu and heat lamps to take off the evening chill.
 
Omni Mount Washington Hotel and ResortBretton Woods, NH 603-278-1000
Generations of families have made a point of stopping by Fabyan's Station, the train-themed eatery in a former train depot on the grounds of the Mount Washington Resort, for an apres-ski meal or hearty lunch. They often miss the vastly superior family-friendly restaurant in the base of the Mount Washington Resort itself, which has been recently renovated to make it even more enticing for kids and parents alike. Diners look out on a view of Mount Washington as they enjoy fresh seafood, spiced skirt steak, deli sandwiches and excellent burgers. Comfy leather booths keep kids contained, while ever-ready crayons and paper keep them entertained.
 
1398 Route 103Newbury, NH 603-763-3500
A welcome sight for chilled skiers, the Summit Lodge Cafe is a warm and cozy eatery located right at Mount Sunapee's peak. There's a warm fireplace and cafeteria serving sandwiches and the like, but the big appeal for kids is the Chicago Hot Dog bar, that offers up natural-casing dogs with all the fixings.
 
60 South Main StreetAshland, NH 603-968-7030
The flagship restaurant of the Common Man family of restaurants has set the standard for quality and value in the state of New Hampshire since it opened nearly 40 years ago. Nobody is trying to reinvent the wheel here -- as the name implies, the menu runs to hearty comfort food, the likes of mac 'n' cheese, prime rib and roast apple chicken, along with a few specialties such as pan-fried rock crab cakes. But the ingredients are uniformly fresh and the recipes straight from grandma's kitchen and served in a rustic, unpretentious dining room that seems the farthest thing from a chain restaurant.
 
Route 302 Bretton Woods, NH 603-278-3320
Near the summit of the ski resort is this year-round restaurant offering outdoor seating and fantastic views. Ride the chairlift up in the winter or summer for appetizers, sandwiches, burgers and the like for lunchtime dining.
 
289 Daniel Webster HighwayMeredith, NH 603-279-3445
A member of the Common Man family of restaurants, this lakeside eatery is the equivalent of a senior week dockside party all summer long. With a laidback vibe and fresh lobster rolls, fish sandwiches and specialty frozen drinks, parents will find plenty to love. But kids will feel right at home too, playing in the sand that's been carted in to cover lakeshore, listening to the funky reggae-infused soundtrack, or just watching the boats glide into the harbor. While the restaurant doesn't have a kids' menu as such, it does have dirt-cheap hot dogs and hamburgers that will fit the bill -- not to mention the ultimate bribery material: homemade ice cream that measures up with some of the best in the state.
 
Rte. 49Waterville Valley, NH 603-236-4919
The best family restaurants are those where you don't have to sacrifice the quality of the food for a family-friendly ambience. The Wild Coyote Grill scores on both levels. The restaurant serves New England farm-raised meat and produce in classic preparations -- braised short rib, pan-seared scallops, and veal scaloppini -- tweaked with creative flourishes drawn from influences, ranging from Mediterranean to Thai. The ambience is a relaxed, apres-ski atmosphere with distressed wood paneling and stunning mountain views, accompanied by zero attitude. As a bonus: the kids' menu is nearly as long as the regular menu, and ends with an Oreo sundae.
 
Rte. 49Waterville Valley, NH 603-236-4919
The best family restaurants are those where you don't have to sacrifice the quality of the food for a family-friendly ambience. The Wild Coyote Grill scores on both levels. The restaurant serves New England farm-raised meat and produce in classic preparations -- braised short rib, pan-seared scallops, and veal scaloppini -- tweaked with creative flourishes drawn from influences, ranging from Mediterranean to Thai. The ambience is a relaxed, apres-ski atmosphere with distressed wood paneling and stunning mountain views, accompanied by zero attitude. As a bonus: the kids' menu is nearly as long as the regular menu, and ends with an Oreo sundae.
 
19 Bay StreetWolfeboro, NH 603-569-1047
For those times when a day on the lake leaves you hankering for boiled lobsters and steamers, this casual Wolfeboro eatery is a reliable bet. The super-fresh seafood menu starts with the restaurant'€™s extensive raw bar, featuring clams and oysters on the half shell and shrimp and lobster cocktail. But the specialty of the house is a traditional New England clambake -- complete with corn-on-the-cob, steamed clams and boiled lobster, finished off with Haagen-Dazs for dessert. Outdoor tables on the porch overlook Lake Winni, while inside is a convivial bar scene with microbrews served up at a copper-topped bar inside. After a few of those, you'€™ll appreciate the complimentary boat shuttle to downtown Wolfeboro.


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