Everybody had a different definition of "best restaurant."
For some, it will be the place they go to celebrate birthdays or anniversaries, splurge after a raise or treat someone special. For others, it will be the place they like to go every week, where they know the menu so well the waiters ask them what a dish is like.
Every year in our readers' poll, we ask you to pick the "Best Restaurant Overall." And it seems like each year, more restaurants make it on the list. From diners to fine dining, more people have more (and more varied) ideas about what makes for the perfect dining experience.
What follows is a list of the top 50 entries in the "Best Restaurant Overall" category of our Best of 2012 readers' poll, starting with the restaurant that won that category, Republic in Manchester. Not all of the restaurants that won in those other categories will appear here, but many of them will. These are the restaurants that readers (not our editors, publisher, writers or sales staff) picked as their favorites. Along the way, look for mentions of other wins these restaurants garnered in our recent Best of 2012 Hippo Readers' Poll and see all the results online at www.hipppopress.com. (Menu items are according to the restaurant's website. Hours are according to website or the restaurant itself — restaurant bar and lounge areas may keep different hours. Call ahead to confirm.
1. Republic, 1069 Elm St. in Manchester, 666-3723, republiccafe.com. Hours: Open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Republic describes itself as “tastes of the Mediterranean; products locally sourced; hospitality seven days.” The restaurant not only lists the farms it works with on a chalkboard just inside the restaurant but also gives you a peek at some of those farms in a video on its website. In addition to its breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, look for specials (including, frequently, a selection of seafood dishes) and pastries and dessert specials. On the menu: breakfast options include a Nutella and Banana Panini, an Onion Tarte and three kinds of omelet with home fries (with Swiss and ham; cheddar, mushrooms, onions and peppers; lamb merguez sausage, feta, onions and peppers). For dinner or lunch, the menu includes arancini with Parmesan fonduto and pomodoro and Red Lentil Cake with frisee and lemon caper remoulade for appetizers; Falafel Fried Cod, Chicken Confit, Steak Frites and Vegetable Tagine on the entree menu; flat breads with Lamb Merguez Sausage or Spanish Ham; salads such as Roasted Beet Salad, Greek Chopped Salad and Tomato Tarte Tatin, and panini such as Tuna and Egg and Grilled Zucchini. The dessert menu includes Ryan’s German Chocolate Cake, Loukoumades and a Lemon Bar. Readers voted Republic best of the best in the Best Restaurant Overall category, as well as Best Vegetarian Menu, and best of Manchester for Best Cocktail (the Moroccan Old Fashioned), Best Cup of Coffee, Best Desserts, Best French Fries and Best Chef (Ed Aloise).
2. The Puritan Backroom, 245 Hooksett Road in Manchester, 669-6890, www.puritanbackroom.com. Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11:15 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 12:15 takeout opens at 8 a.m. Whether you’re looking for a place to take the kids for ice cream, a spot to get eats after 9 p.m. or a restaurant where the whole family can find food on the menu they’ll enjoy, the Backroom is the spot. (The restaurant offers a vegetarian menu, as well as a gluten-free menu.) The extensive menu includes Greek fare (Tzatziki with pita bread, Loukaniko, Spanakopeta, Greek macaroni and cheese), pizzas (Hawaiian, Buffalo Chicken Tender, Greek and choose your own), sandwiches, burgers, salads and a selection of entrees (lamb, veal, pork, chicken, beef and seafood). In addition to its wide selection of ice cream (try the baklava ice cream for a taste of Glendi anytime), desserts include sundaes and pies. And from the bar, the mudslides are local favorites — in addition to the original recipe (a frozen drink of Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kahlua coffee liquor and vodka), there are 11 other varieties, including Snicker Slide (with Frangelico and Dark Creme of Cacao) and Captain Hookside (with Captain Morgan Spiced Rum and Amaretto). Readers voted the Puritan best of the best in Best Chicken Tenders, Best Cocktail (the mudslide), Best Ice Cream, Best Menu Item (chicken tenders) and Best Salads, and best of Manchester in the Best Restaurant Overall category.
3. Firefly American Bistro & Bar, 22 Concord St. in Manchester, 935-9740, www.fireflynh.com. Hours: Open Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Monday through Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. The bar and lounge are open until 12:45 p.m. Firefly has a menu with dishes to suit all tastes. Vegetarian? Check out the pad Thai, Eggplant Napoleon or the black bean burger. Carnivore? Try the boneless beef short rib, crispy half duckling or braised lamb shanks. Seafood lover? How about mirin-glazed tuna, pan-seared scallops or grilled Atlantic salmon? The classics menu also features fish and chips, poor man’s pie and beef stroganoff. Or spend an evening at the bar enjoying appetizers (including Go-Go Bread, Roasted Vegetable Wonton, Smoked Chicken Quesadilla and Baked Brie) and cocktails (the martini list includes a Peach Bellini, Sidecars — with special “for Him” and “for Her” ingredients — Maple-tini and Blood Orange Cosmo). Readers voted Firefly’s Go-Go Bread best of Manchester in the Best Menu Item category and voted the restaurant best of Manchester in the Best Date Place category.
4. Cotton, 75 Arms St. in Manchester, 622-5488, www.cottonfood.com. Hours: Lunch is Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; dinner is Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 5 to 10 p.m. Small plates and salads are available weekdays from 2:30 to 5 p.m. “Sophisticated and eclectic American comfort food” is how Cotton describes itself — a perfect way to describe the menu and the cosmopolitan yet inviting atmosphere of this Millyard restaurant. Have a few drinks and small plates at the bar, a romantic date night, a meal with a group of friends or a lunch in the fresh air out on the patio. Begin the evening with starters such as Heart Song Farm’s Baked Goat Cheese, Sweet and Spicy Popcorn Shrimp (served in a movie-theater-popcorn-style box), Rhode Island-Style Calamari or Asian Pot Stickers. For entrees, try one of the salads (including Appled Candied Walnut Salad, The Wedge and Whole Leaf Caesar Salad) and bulk it up with enhancements like grilled salmon or chicken, bacon, crab cake, anchovies or cheeses. Or pick from the entree menu, which includes Retro Meatloaf with All You Can Eat Mashed Potatoes, Wood Grilled Lamb Sirloin, Steak Frites, Almond-Crusted Turkey Schnitzel and Buttermilk Herb Fried Chicken. The cocktail menu includes martinis such as French Ginger Snap, Pomegranate, Espresso and the Corvette (a take on a Sidecar) as well as on-the-rocks cocktails such as a Blueberry Basil Majito, Lychee Tea, a Cherry Old Fashioned and Maker’s Peach Marg. And don’t skip lunch — the lunch menu includes fish and chips, an ever-changing housemade chicken salad sandwich, a Spicy Roast Beef Melt and burgers (including crab cake, turkey and beef burgers).
5. Hanover Street Chophouse, 149 Hanover St. in Manchester, 644-2467, www.hanoverstreetchophouse.com. Hours: Lunch is Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; dinner is Monday through Thursday from 5 to 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m.; bar hours are Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Monday through Saturday, 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. An elegant atmosphere and attentive service are hallmarks of this steakhouse. The dinner menu includes a selection of steaks and chops (such as dry aged cowboy, filet mignon and skirt steak), as well as entrees such as pan-roasted natural half chicken, slow braised American lamb shank and live Maine lobster. Desserts include Chophouse carrot cake, Chocolate Stout Cake, The Howie (a nine-layer chocolate cake with caramel ice cream and caramel sauce) and a spring duo of California-style cherry cheesecake and a dark chocolate honey mousse cup. On Sundays, in addition to the regular menu, the restaurant offers a three-course menu for $33 (see website for course options). And lunch at the Chophouse is a treat with dishes such as the Kobe sliders, pork belly burger, lentil vegetable burger, steak frites, and salads (such as the Ginger Asian Steak Salad or the Rustic Greek Salad). Readers voted the Chophouse best of the best in the Best Steakhouse and Best Fine Dining Restaurant categories and best of Manchester in the Best Bathrooms category.
6. Hermanos Cocina Mexicana, 11 Hills Ave. in Concord, 224-5669, www.hermanosmexican.com. Restaurant hours: Sunday through Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Lounge hours: Sunday through Thursday, 4 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4 to 10 p.m. Mexican food is paired with live music at this Concord eatery whose menu includes nachos, salads, burritos, chimichangas, enchiladas, soft tacos, tostadas and quesadillas. A menu of house specials includes stuffed green chile con huevos, Frijole Negra Pizza, Portabella Quesadilla, Fish Tacos and Shrimp Enchilada. Readers voted Hermanos best of Concord in the Best Restaurant Overall, Best Burritos, Best Cocktail (house margaritas), Best Menu Item (chicken and garlic nachos) and Best Mexican/Latin American Restaurant categories.
7. Common Man, 25 Water St. in Concord, 228-3463, www.thecman.com/restaurants/common-man-concord. Hours: Lunch is served daily from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner is served Mondays through Thurdays from 5 to 9 p.m.; Friday from 5 to 9:30 p.m., Saturday from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 4 to 9 p.m. The main dining room menu features starters such as lobster sliders, pork tacos, meatball sliders and Almost Escargot (with mushrooms instead of escargot); Yankee Favorites such as New England Pot Roast and Country Meatloaf; specialties such as Uncommon Steak Oscar and Pan-Fried Chicken, and From the Coast items such as Rock Crab Cakes and Stuffed Sole. The Common Man also features a gluten-free menu, an extensive bar menu and a dessert menu including white chocolate creme brulee, key lime pie, triple chocolate cake and strawberry shortcake. Readers voted Alex Ray, founder of the Common Man restaurants, runner-up for Best Local Philanthropist.
8. Surf, 207 Main St. in Nashua, 595-9293, www.surfseafood.com. Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4:30 to 10 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday. This seafood restaurant from Michael Buckley features a raw bar, seafood tacos and salads, starters such as Sticky Rice and Shrimp Rolls, Shrimp Potstickers and Chorizo Braised Mussels, seafood entrees such as Portuguese Seafood Stew, Cajun Tilapia, Moroccan Spiced Scallops, Shrimp & Lobster Carbonara, and classic dishes such as Surf & Turf, Fried Seafood dinners and Grilled NY Sirloin Steak. Headed to the seacoast? Surf now has a location in Portsmouth. Readers voted Surf best of Nashua in the Best Restaurant Overall category. Chef Michael Buckley, chef/owner of Buckley’s, MT’s Local Kitchen & Wine Bar and Surf (which has locations in Nashua and Portsmouth), was named best of the best in the Best Chef category.
9. Cactus Jack’s, 782 S. Willow St. in Manchester, 627-8600, www.go2cjs.com. Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Full menu is served at the bar until 12:30 a.m. Cactus Jack’s offers American eats with a Western flavor with a menu that includes Texas BBQ, Rancher Burgers, Ol Southwestern Favorites and house specialties such as chicken fried steak, seafood gumbo, Jambalaya Pilaf, Cilantro Pesto Pasta Grill and Chicken Espinaca. CJ’s offers several varieties of margarita as well as sangrias and other cocktails. Desserts include S’More Nachos, Fried Ice Cream, Chocolate Dream Cake and Creme de la Creme Coconut Cream Pie. Readers voted Cactus Jack’s best of Manchester in the Best Ribs and Best Wings categories.
10. Mint Bistro, 1105 Elm St. in Manchester, 625-6468, mintbistronh.com. Hours: Open Monday through Wednesday from 4 to 10 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Sunday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Newly revamped, Mint describes itself as “contemporary fusion,” featuring a sushi bar and a tapas menu including hazelnut encrusted goat cheese fritters, Asian Short rib Nachos, mini fish tacos and le Poutine. Entrees include Grilled Swordfish Steak, Shallot & Truffle Honey Glazed Salmon, Chicken Portobello Carbonara, Za’atar Grilled Halibut and Herb Baked Tilapia Filet; desserts include Cappuccino Cheesecake, Caramelized White Chocolate Bread Pudding and Pot De Creme.
11. O Steaks and Seafood, 11 S. Main St. in Concord, 856-7925, magicfoodsrestaurantgroup.com/osteaks. Hours: Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served Sundays and Mondays from 5 to 8:30 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to at least 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 5 to at least 9:30 p.m. This downtown spot features appetizers such as Crispy Orange Beef, Fried Oysters Rockefeller and Ahi Tuna; steaks, racks, chops and chicken breasts; seafood such as Parmesan-encrusted tilapia, Citrus & Soy Glazed Salmon, Seafood Risotto and Ahi Tuna, and specials such as Slow Braised Short Ribs, Surf & Turf Mac & Cheese, Chicken and Asparagus Risotto and Kobe and Shitake Mushroom Meatloaf. Readers voted O best of Concord in the Best New Restaurants, Best Fine Dining Restaurant, Best Burgers, Best Steakhouse, Best Restaurant Wine List and Best Wine Bar.
12. Buckley’s Great Steaks, 438 DW Highway in Merrimack, 424-0995, www.buckleysgreatsteaks.com. Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 4 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4 to 10 p.m. In addition to its menu of steaks, Buckley’s offers entrees such as BBQ Half Chicken, Slow Roasted Prime Rib, Pan-Seared Salmon and Porterhouse Pork Chop. Readers voted Buckley’s best of Nashua in the Best Burgers and Best Steakhouse. Chef Michael Buckley, chef/owner of Buckley’s, MT’s Local Kitchen & Wine Bar and Surf (which has locations in Nashua and Portsmouth), was named best of the best in the Best Chef category.
13. MT’s Local Kitchen & Wine Bar, 212 Main St., Nashua, 595-9334, www.mtslocal.com. Hours: Lunch is served Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner is served Sunday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m. (pizzas available until 9:30 p.m.) and Friday and Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m. (pizzas available until 10:30 p.m.). MT’s Local features a selection of salads, sandwiches, wood-grilled pizzas and entrees such as slow-cooked pork roast, bistro tournedos and Moroccan Braised Northstar Farm Lamb Pasta and starters such as Duck Spring Rolls, Sweet and Salty Wings, and Fried Mac & Cheese. Readers voted MT’s best of Nashua in the Best Restaurant Wine List and Best Wine Bar categories.
14. The Barley House, 132 N. Main St., Concord, 228-6363, www.thebarleyhouse.com. Hours: open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. The Barley House’s burger menu includes the Dublin Burger (peppercorn-charred, with whiskey gravy, creamy blue cheese and crispy onions), Barley Ballpark Burger (pork & beef patty, house beer-mustard, smoked gouda on a pretzel bun) and a Caprese Turkey Burger (walnut pesto, thick sliced tomato, fresh mozzarella, ciabatta bun); other dishes include Tavern pizzas, sandwiches, and classic pub fare like Smithwick’s Curry Fish and Chips and Chicken Pot Pie. Readers voted Corey Garland of The Barley House best of Concord in the Best Bartender category, and Mechelle Zydenbos was voted best of Concord in the Best Waiter/Waitress category. Readers voted the restaurant best of Concord in the Best Bar/Pub Food, Best Beer Selection, Best French Fries, Best Bar for Live Music and Best Pub, and best of the best in the Best Burgers category.
15. XO on Elm Street, 827 Elm St. in Manchester, 560-7998, xoonelm.com. Hours: Lunch is Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner is served Monday through Thursday from 4:30 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 4:30 to 11 p.m. XO’s lunch menu features dishes including Panzanella XO salad, The Best Lamb Gyro, Apple Maple BBQ Beef Short Ribs, Coconut Encrusted Tofu with Red Curry & Stir Fry. On the dinner menu, look for tapas such as Tasco Diavlo and Fried Pumpkin and Cheddar Polenta Cakes; appetizers of Grilled Flatbread and Beef Carpaccio, and entrees such as Brown Sugar and Raspberry Glazed Half Duck and Stuffed Gnocchi Primavera.
16. Fratello’s Italian Grille, 155 Dow St. in Manchester, 624-2022, www.fratellos.com. Hours: Lunch is served daily from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; dinner starts at 4 p.m. and goes until 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, 9:30 p.m. on Thursday and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. In addition to a menu of classic Italian dishes, Fratello’s features a gluten-free menu including Fire Roasted Vegetable Risotto, Grilled Dill Salmon, Seafood Fra Diavolo and an Italian Pie (with gluten-free baked penne). Readers voted Fratello’s best of Manchester in the Best Italian Restaurant category.
17. Ignite Bar & Grille, 100 Hanover St. in Manchester, 644-0064, ignitebng.com. Hours: Food services is Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. This downtown Manchester eatery features an entree menu including Raspberry Pecan Chicken, Roasted Garlic Chicken La Rosa, Pan Seared Chile Lime Tilapia and Asian BBQ Steak Tips.
18. Angelina’s Ristorante Italiano, 11 Depot St. in Concord, 228-3313, www.angelinasrestaurant.com. Hours: Lunch is served Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; dinner is served Monday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. Angelina’s offers classic Italian dishes such as penne bolognese, vegetable canneloni, eggplant romana and grilled items. Readers voted Angelina’s best of Concord in the Best Italian Restaurant Category.
19. Giorgio’s Ristorante & Meze Bar, 524 Nashua St. in Milford, 673-3939; giorgios.com. Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for brunch and 1:30 to 9 p.m. for dinner. Giorgio’s offers grilled pizzas, fresh pasta, steaks, classic Italian dishes and Greek dishes such as Chicken Souvlaki, Spartan Roasted Lamb and Haddock Lemonato. Readers voted Giorgio’s best of Nashua in the Best Bathroom category.
20. T-Bones Great American Eatery, 25 S. River Road in Bedford, 641-6100, www.t-bones.com. Hours: Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. T-Bones offers salads, sandwiches, burgers, classic entrees, steaks, seafood, vegetarian and “In the Pink” health menus as well as a Summer’s Best menu featuring dishes such as a lobster roll, BBQ-Ranch Burger and Summershine Berry Salad. Readers voted T-Bones in Bedford as best of the best in the Best Restaurant for Kids category.
21. Piccola Italia Ristorante, 815 Elm St. in Manchester, 606-5100, www.piccolaitalianh.com. Hours: Open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from noon to midnight and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. Piccola offers an extensive menu of classic Italian dishes including risotto dishes, steaks, pasta and more. Readers voted Piccola best of the best in the Best Italian Restaurant category.
22. Bedford Village Inn, 2 Olde Bedford Way in Bedford, 472-2001, www.bedfordvillageinn.com. Hours: The Dining Room is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily (5:30 to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays) and brunch on Sundays. The Tavern is open for lunch and dinner. Corks is open Tuesdays through Saturdays 4:30 to close. The BVI, as locals call the inn, offers several dining experiences in its one location: the dining room, which is known for its contemporary New England cuisine and top-notch service; the Tavern, which features a menu that includes pizzas, sandwiches and salads and has a more laid-back atmosphere, and Corks, the inn’s wine bar, which offers cheeses, meats and other dishes to enjoy with the wines. Readers voted the BVI and its Corks wine bar best of Manchester in the Best Restaurant Wine List, Best Wine Bar and Best Fine Dining Restaurant categories.
23. La Carreta, 545 Hooksett Road in Manchester, 628-6899, www.lacarretamex.com. Hours: Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. La Carreta has other area locations, including one at 1875 S. Willow St. in Manchester, 623-7705. Each location is independently owned and operated, according to the website. La Carreta offers Mexican dishes including enchiladas, tostadas and burritos as well as beef and chicken dishes. Readers voted La Carreta best of the best in Best Mexican/Latin American Restaurant and best of Manchester for Best Burritos.
24. Saffron Bistro, 80 Main St., Nashua, 883-2100, www.thesaffronbistro.com. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 4 to 9:30 p.m.; bar and lounge are open Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to closing. Saffron Bistro’s entrees include Potato Crusted Haddock and Plum Glazed Duck Breast as well as a “Bistro Bites” menu that includes Open Face BBQ Pulled Pork, Lobster Risotto and Bistro Flatbread. Readers voted Saffron Bistro’s Joe Drift best of Nashua in the Best Chef category as well as best of Nashua for Best Fine Dining Restaurant.
25. Cheers, 17 Depot St. in Concord, 228-0180, www.cheersnh.com. Hours: Food service is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; lounge is open until at least 11 p.m. but as late as 12:30 a.m., depending on the night. Cheers’ menu features soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches, entrees and Tex-Mex items such as Fish Tacos and Chimichangas. Readers voted Cheers best of Concord in the Best Salad category.
26. Tek-Nique, 170 Route 101 in Bedford, 488-5629, restaurantteknique.com. Open Tuesdays through Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sunday for brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A recent addition to the restaurant scene, Tek-Nique’s menu includes appetizers such as hand-rolled ricotta gnocchi, marrow risotto and tuna two ways; grilled pizzas (such as the braised beef and Vermont cheddar pizza with fingerling potatoes, grilled scallions and white truffle oil drizzle); entrees of pasta, seafood and meats, and a dessert menu with dishes such as carrot cake cheese cake (with pineapple jerky and cream cheese icing) and a banana tarte tatin. Readers voted Tek-Nique best of Manchester in the Best New Restaurant category.
27. 900 Degrees Pizzeria, 50 Dow St. in Manchester, 641-0900, www.900degrees.com. Hours: Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.. 900 Degrees offers salads, sandwiches and pastas, but the stars are the pizzas, such as the Quattro Formaggi (featuring mozzarella, ricotta, gorgonzola and goat cheese), the Rustic (with tomato sauce, Italian sausage, roasted peppers, arugula, Gran Padano and fresh mozzarella) and the Pompei (tomato sauce, garlic, crushed red pepper, grana pardano, mozzarella, hot sausage, jalapeno, pepperoni and salami). Readers voted 900 Degrees best of the best in the Best Pizza Worth a Drive category.
28. The Granite Restaurant at The Centennial, 96 Pleasant St. in Concord, 227-9000, www.graniterestaurant.com. Hours: Breakfast is served from 7 to 10 a.m. daily; lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; dinner is served Monday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday form 5 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m.; Sunday brunch runs from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. In addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, the Granite Restaurant offers a brunch menu (including Smoked Scottish Salmon, Apple Pancakes, Smoked Turkey & Sweet Potato Hash and a Crab Cake BLT) and a nosh menu (including Duck Confit and Wild Mushroom Flatbread, Grilled Marinated Lamb Kabob and a Grilled Chicken Cob).
29. Red Blazer Restaurant and Pub, 72 Manchester St. in Concord, 224-4101, www.theredblazer.com. Hours: The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; pub is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. In addition to its menu of entrees, sandwiches, soups and salad and pub fare, Red Blazer offers an Express menu from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (dishes will get to your table within 10 minutes of ordering) that features a Baked Chicken Chimichanga, a chowder bread bowl and a roast beef salad. Readers voted Red Blazer best of Concord in the Best Buffet and Best Bathroom categories.
30. Tuscan Kitchen, 67 Main St. in Salem, 952-4875, www.tuscan-kitchen.com. Hours: Dining room is open Monday through Saturday for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and for dinner from 3 to 9 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and 3 to 10 p.m. from Wednesday through Saturday. Sunday dinner and pranzo menu is available from noon to 4 p.m. and the dinner menu from 4 to 9 p.m. in the dining room. The wine bar is open from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuscan Kitchen offers dishes from the cuisines of several Italian regions and menus including a gluten-free menu, a children’s menu and a special Sunday menu featuring four courses for $28.
31. Homestead Restaurant, 641 DW Highway in Merrimack, 429-2022, www.homesteadnh.com. Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Homestead offers a gluten-free menu as well as a dinner menu featuring options such as Chicken Cordon Bleu, Veal Oscar, Fisherman’s Platter and BBQ Baby Back Ribs.
32. Red Arrow Diner, 61 Lowell St. in Manchester, 626-1118, www.redarrowdiner.com. Hours: 24 hours, seven days a week (except for Christmas Eve). Get diner classics (including breakfast 24 hours a day) at this Manchester institution as well as sweet surprises, such as homemade Twinkies. Readers voted the Red Arrow best of the best in the Best Breakfast, Best Cheap Eats, Best Diner and Best Late Night Eats categories. The diner’s Amber Caplette was voted best of Manchester in the Best Waiter/Waitress category.
33. How’s Your Onion, 91 W. Broadway in Derry, 216-8838, www.howsyouronion.com. Hours: seatings are Monday through Thursday from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. Open Friday from 5 a.m. to Sunday at 2 p.m. How’s Your Onion offers breakfasts including a selection of three-egg omelets as well as burgers and sandwiches, pasta and entrees such as strip steak and Fritz Liver and Onions.
34. Pasta Loft, 241 Union Square in Milford, 672-2270, www.pastaloft.com. Dining hours: Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Pizzeria hours: Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Enjoy live music at Pasta Loft as well as the menu, which features pasta, sandwiches, salads and entrees such as lobster mac & cheese and grilled chicken spinach ravioli. Readers voted Pasta Loft as best of Nashua in the Best Wings and Best Bar with an Outdoor Deck categories.
35. Florence’s Restaurant, 465 DW Highway in Merrimack, 424-4010, www.florencesitalian.com. Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 4 to 9 p.m. Florence’s bills itself as “casual Italian dining” and features classic Italian American cuisine such as eggplant parmesan, shrimp scampi and manicotti.
36. Portland Pie Co., 786 Elm St., Manchester, 622-7437, www.portlandpie.com. Hours: Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight. Portland Pie Co. offers sandwiches, salads, pasta and calzone as well as specialty pies such as the Nor’easter (no sauce with bleu cheese, mozzarella and boneless Buffalo chicken) and The Red Claws (butter, fresh garlic and a three-cheese blend topped with Maine lobster). Readers voted Portland Pie Co. best of Manchester in the Best Pizza in Your Neighborhood and Best Pizza Worth the Drive categories.
37. The Rustic Leaf Bistro, 15 Elm St. in Milford, 672-1556, therusticleaf.com. Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Rustic Bistro offers seasonally inspired dishes with ingredients from local farms and sweet treats including ice cream from Walpole Creamery and gelato and sorbetto from Maple’s Organic Desserts. Readers voted Rustic Leaf Bistro best of Nashua in the Best Salads category.
38. Purple Finch Café, 124 S. River Road in Bedford, 232-1953, www.purplefinchcafe.com. Hours: Open daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The café serves breakfast and lunch (try the sweet potato dots with one of their sandwiches) and features a gluten-free menu. Readers voted Rustic Leaf Bistro best of Manchester in the Best Salads category.
39. C.C. Tomatoes, 209 Fisherville Road in Concord, 753-4450, www.cctomatoes.com. Hours: open Monday through Firday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. A family-friendly Italian restaurant, C.C. Tomatoes features a menu that includes brick oven pizza, calzones and classic dishes such as chicken carbonara and seafood alfredo.
40. Copper Door, 15 Leavy Drive in Bedford, 488-2677, www.copperdoorrestaurant.com. Hours: Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. The bar is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Opened at the end of 2011, Copper Door bills its menu as “approachable New American and upscale comfort food” with dinner entrees such as Lemon Thyme Brick Chicken and Pepper-Dusted Ahi Tuna. Readers voted Copper Door best of the best in the Best New Eatery category.
41. Common Man, 304 DW Highway in Merrimack, 429-3463, www.thecman.com/restaurants/common-man-merrimack. Hours: Lunch is served Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (with brunch specials until 2 p.m.); dinner is served Monday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., Friday from 5 to 9 p.m., Saturday from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday 4:30 to 9 p.m.; the Bar’n Grill is open daily from 3 p.m. In addition to Common Man’s lunch, dinner and bar menu, the restaurant offers a gluten-free menu with dishes such as Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp, Apple Chicken and roasted Butternut Squash. Readers voted Alex Ray, founder of the Common Man restaurants, as runner-up for Best Local Philanthropist.
42. Villa Banca, 194 Main St. in Nashua, 598-0500, www.villabanca.com. Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday, 4 to 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, 4 to 8 p.m. Villa Banca offers classic and contemporary Italian dishes and, on Sunday, a three-course dinner for $15 with choices of appetizer, entree and dessert as well as a list of $5-per-glass wines. Readers voted Villa Banca best of Nashua in the Best Italian Restaurant category.
43. T-Bones Great American Eatery, 77 Lowell Road in Hudson, 882-6677; www.t-bones.com. Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; full menu available in bar until 12:30 a.m. Offering a menu similar to the Bedford T-Bones’, the Hudson restaurant features an “In the Pink” menu of dishes that come in at 650 calories or less and which includes items such as Grilled Chicken Greek Salad, Charlie’s Broiled Haddock and Just Enough Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad.
44. Gauchos Churrascaria Brazilian Steak House, 62 Lowell St. in Manchester, 669-9460, www.gauchosbraziliansteakhouse.com. Hours: Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner is served Monday through Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m. and Sunday 4 to 9 p.m.; the café is open from 7 a.m. to closing. Gauchos’ main dining room offers a meat-lover’s paradise: For one price you can fill a plate from the salad bar and then sit down and enjoy a variety of meals brought to your table. Readers voted Gauchos best of Manchester in the Best Steakhouse category.
45. Hooked Seafood Restaurant, 110 Hanover St. in Manchester, 606-1189, www.hookednh.com. Hours: Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m. Look for Costa Rican Fish Tacos and Sea Conch Fritters on the dinner appetizer menu, a raw bar, entree salads, and dinner entrees such as tandoori salmon on the grill and lemon dill Arctic Char.
46. Sunny’s Table, 11 Depot St. in Concord, 225-8181, www.sunnystable.com. Hours: Open for lunch Wednesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and for dinner Wednesday through Saturday from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Sunny’s bills itself as a restaurant that uses fresh local ingredients to create eclectic dishes with an Asian flair.
47. Bavaria German Restaurant, 1461 Hooksett Road in Hooksett, 836-5280, bavaria-nh.com. Hours: Wednesday and Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Bavaria features a menu of authentic German cuisine as well as German beers and wines.
48. Tandy’s Top Shelf, 1 Eagle Square in Concord, 856-7614, www.top-shelf.biz. Hours: Open Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to close; Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to close. Tandy offers sandwiches and wraps, burgers, a vegetarian menu and entrees such as New York Strip Steak, Old Fashioned Turkey Dinner and Garlic Shrimp with Pesto Linguini. Readers voted Tandy’s best of Concord in the Best Chicken Tenders, Best Late-Night Eats, Best Wings, Best Dance Club, Best Place to People Watch, Best Date Place and Best Make-Out Spot categories. Chef Dave Angus was voted best of Concord in the Best Chef category.
49. Milly’s Tavern, 500 Commercial St. in Manchester, 625-4444, millystavern.com. Hours: Open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (open later Sundays if there is a show that night). Known for music, Milly’s Tavern offers a menu featuring flatbread pizzas, wraps, salads, sandwiches and subs and burgers, and, a brewery, Milly’s Tavern offers a dozen (or more) beers on tap (including some seasonal brews). Readers voted Milly’s best of Manchester in the Best Beer Selection category.
50. Harold Square, 226 Rockingham Road in Londonderry, 432-7144, www.harold-square.com. Hours: Open Monday through Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Offering pizzas, deli sandwiches, Italian-American dishes and more with standouts such as house-cured and -cooked corned beef and pastrami.