There is little doubt that 2020 was cruel to many, especially the restaurant industry.

Many restaurants and bars have closed their doors, either permanently or temporarily, due to a pandemic that yielded sweeping restrictions to public gatherings.

However, there were some bright spots amid the darkness. Some new restaurants actually opened up on the Seacoast in 2020, and there is some steep competition to find the best of the best.

Here are our five best new Seacoast restaurants that opened up in 2020:

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

5. Rooftop at The Envio, Portsmouth

Located high above the AC Hotel Portsmouth, one of Portsmouth's newest restaurants is already acclaimed for its panoramic views of the Piscataqua River and downtown Portsmouth. Chef Ken Lingle is leading the kitchen team.

What to order: "Duet of Petite Lobster Rolls" - Maine Lobster, mico celery, lemon and herb aioli, fries.

4. The Sassy Biscuit, Dover

Meet your new favorite scratch-made brunch spot. The Sassy Biscuit is new to Dover and Seacoast after the success of its first location all the way in Billings, Montana. The restaurant calls its fare "comfort food - elevated."

What to order: "The Misfit" - House-cured pastrami, fried egg, swiss and american cheeses, pickled garlic aioli.

3. Pepper's Landing, Rochester

Their Brunswick and Rochester locations serve up some of the top Seafood on the Seacoast. There are a number of creative lobster dishes on which to indulge.

What to order: "Coconut Shrimp and Haddock" - Fried shrimp and haddock bites with broccoli, green, red and yellow peppers tossed in a sweet, creamy coconut sauce and served over basmati rice.

2. Engrain, South Berwick

Everything tastes better in a bowl, at least according to Engrain in Rochester. Not only does this kitchen offer some healthy meal options, but you can also get creative and customize a dish of your own.

What to order: "Apple and Ginger Sausage" - Red cabbage slaw, pumpkin seeds, parsley, farro and cider vinaigrette.

1. Fresh House, Portsmouth

Back to Portsmouth to close out the list. Fresh House claims to have "reinvented ready-to-eat food to create a food-safe zone." Lots or organic, healthy options here.

What to order: "Basil Hempseed Pesto and Cashew Ricotta Kelp Noodles" - Arugula and kelp noodles tossed with basil hempseed pesto and cashew ricotta cheese sprinkled with kalamata and green olives, cherry tomatoes, Brazil nut parmesan and torn basil.

These 10 NH Restaurants Deserve Your Attention