Restaurant Week is Happening in Portsmouth

It's that time of year when the Portsmouth Restaurant scene is poppin', as the kids say.  It's a time where each restaurant participating in Restaurant Week has a special menu for this week specifically, and at a set price.  It's a time for them to show off.  It's well-known around these parts as the aforementioned Restaurant Week, according to

Here are my five favorites not to be missed at any time of year, but certainly not during Restaurant Week:

1.  Vida Cantina - Route 1, Portsmouth

If you are looking for a casual place with great Mexican food and even better margaritas, Vida Cantina is the place for you.  One of the great things about this place is that it's not right in downtown Portsmouth.  It's on Route 1 with plenty of parking, so you don't have to worry about that.

2.  Two-Fifty Market at the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel

I love Two-Fifty Market for when I want to feel fancy.  Their atmosphere is next-level.  The restaurant is located in the hotel right across from the salt piles and the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company.  No worries about parking here, as they have a garage, but you may need to pay for parking.  This is not the place to go if you are worried about the bill.  It's a fancy-pants place, but worth it.

3.  Ristorante Massimo - 59 Penhallow Street, Portsmouth

Oh, my my my.  Another incredible place that isn't the least expensive of the bunch, but it's soooo worth it.  Just give me all the meatballs, all the wine, and all the pasta at Ristorante Massimo.  This place has a fantastic reputation for good reason.  The atmosphere will bring you back home to Mama's kitchen.  The ONLY thing that I would like a little more of a Massimo's is sunlight.  It's a dimly-lit place on purpose.  Very romantic, and very Italian.

4.  Martingale Wharf - 99 Bow Street, Portsmouth

This place is just beautiful.  When people come to town to see me, I take them to Martingale Wharf simply for the location.  For real, that's the best part of this place.  The food is good, as are the drinks, but the reason to go to Martingale is the view.  Stunning views of the Piscataqua River.  And you only get one chance to make a first impression.  Because the place is right in downtown Portsmouth, you don't have to get very dressed up.  Some of their patrons (this one included) stumbled upon this place while wearing shorts and a t-shirt.  Wicked nice place.

5.  Jumpin' Jay's Fish Cafe - 150 Congress Street, Portsmouth

If you want a fabulous fresh seafood meal, Jumpin' Jay's is the place for you.  Fish is delivered daily from local fisherman, so you can't go wrong.  This is a great option for dinner if you are going to Jimmy's Jazz & Blues Club, which is right across the street.  Parking can be an issue if downtown is crowded, but the parking garage is right up the road, so you should have no problem dropping the car and walking to Jay's.  It's about a five-minute walk from either parking garage.

What's your favorite Portsmouth restaurant?

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Gallery Credit: Megan Murphy

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Gallery Credit: Megan Murphy

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