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Apr 20, 2014







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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

“Best of the best,” “Best of Concord” — what does that mean?

“Best of the best” goes to the person, place or thing that received the most votes in any given category. “Best of Manchester,” “Best of Nashua” and “Best of Concord” go to the things that, after the “Best of the best,” received the most votes in those cities.

Why is something in Derry the “Best of Manchester”?

“Manchester,” for vote tallying purposes, includes the towns around the city — Londonderry, Derry, Windham, Auburn, Candia, Hooksett, Bedford, Goffstown and New Boston. The Concord area includes Bow, Pembroke, Suncook, Allenstown, Hopkinton, Chichester, Loudon, Contoocook, Penacook, Hillsborough and Canterbury. The Nashua area includes Litchfield, Hudson, Hollis, Brookline, Milford, Amherst and Merrimack.

Why are winners in some categories listed as “Best,” “Runner-up” and “Honorable mention”?

For things that are similar for all or most of the cities or accessible everywhere (radio, television) or that draw from all over the area (like food festivals and state parks), we simply awarded a first, second and third place based on number of votes.

How are the votes counted?

Winners for the Best of 2012 were picked by the readers. Readers wrote in their picks for best swimming hole and best yoga studio and then we counted the votes. There were no nominees, no drop-down menu of choices, no editors’ picks — which means that we got to see all the different ways people spell things like “La Carreta” and “Fratello’s.”

Target didn’t win for best independent clothing store? I’m shocked!

The readers’ poll is all about what you think is the very best about southern New Hampshire. Everybody in the country gets McDonald’s fries and Wendy’s hamburgers. National chains were not counted — this poll is about our local Bests. (Note: Businesses that are part of small regional chains were included in the answers.)

Wasn’t there a magazine listing all the winners last year?

Yes — and we’re doing it again this year. Look for the Best of 2012 magazine to hit stands in late April. If you have updated information to add to an entry here (new address, phone number, website, etc.), let us know at adiaz@hippopress.com.

I have a great idea for a category for next year.

Excellent! While many categories stay the same, some categories are retired and new categories are added every year. If you have an idea for a category for next year, send an e-mail to adiaz@hippopress.com.





And The Hippo Goes To...
Hippo Readers' Best Of 2012

By Hippo Staff news@hippopress.com



You voted, we counted, and here are the results you’ve been waiting for, the winners of the 2012 Best of Hippo readers’ poll. From the artistic (best gallery) to the practical (best mechanic), from indoors (best bathroom) to out (best place to go for a walk), from breakfast to dinner to dessert, nightlife and entertainment, you told us your favorite places to go and things to do in southern New Hampshire. It wasn’t multiple choice, it was free-form, and these aren’t editors’ picks, these are purely readers’ picks. “Name your favorite …” we asked, and then you wrote in your answers. Thousands of votes were cast, more this year than ever before in the poll’s 11-year history. Without further ado, the winners are:

THE ARTS


Best live theatrical production

Best of the best: A Christmas Carol at the Palace Theatre, 80 Hanover St., Manchester, 668-5588, www.palacetheatre.org. The production ran from Dec. 5 through Dec. 28, 2011. (pictured above)

Best of Manchester:
Hairspray at the Palace Theatre, 80 Hanover St., Manchester, 668-5588, www.palacetheatre.org. The show was performed in May 2011.

Best of Concord: Mamma Mia! at the Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, www.ccanh.com. The show was performed in January 2012.

Best of Nashua: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson in Milford, performed in January 2012 by Not Your Mom’s Musical Theater, www.notyourmomsmusicaltheater.com, at Amato Center for the Performing Arts.


Best live theater venue

Best: Palace Theatre, 80 Hanover St., Manchester, 668-5588, www.palacetheatre.org

Runner-up: Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, www.ccanh.com

Honorable mention: Amato Center for the Performing Arts, 56 Mont Vernon St., Milford, 672-1002, ext. 20, www.amatocenter.org


Best art gallery
(not the Currier, which is a museum)

Best of the best: McGowan Fine Art, 10 Hills Avenue, Concord, 225-2515, www.mcgowanfineart.com

Best of Manchester: Art 3 Gallery, 44 W. Brook St., Manchester, 668-6650, www.art3gallery.com

Best of Concord: Kimball Jenkins Estate, 266 N. Main St., Concord, 225-3932, www.kimballjenkins.com

Best of Nashua: Maison de l’Art, 57 E. Pearl St., Nashua, 879-9888, www.moniquesakellarios.com


Best art in a public space

Best of Manchester: Art on the Wall at City Hall, 1 City Hall Plaza in downtown Manchester, a rotating exhibit of work by local artists. See www.manchesternh.gov (look for “Leisure and Entertainment”).

Best of Concord: Concord Arts Market, a juried weekly outdoor market of artists and artisans that runs in the summer and fall in Eagle Square in downtown Concord. 2012 will be the market’s fifth season. See www.concordartsmarket.com.

Best of Nashua: Greeley Park Art Show, Nashua, which is an art show and competition hosted by the Nashua Area Artists Association each August in Greeley Park, off Concord Street in Nashua. See www.naaasite.org.


Best art, theater or classical music event of the year

Best of the best: “Ring in the Joyous Season,”
Souhegan Valley Chorus, Milford. The chorus performed the show in December at Souhegan High School.

Best of Manchester: “The Nutcracker,” Manchester. Ballet Misha performed the show in December at the Dana Center at Saint Anselm College.

Best of Concord: Mamma Mia!
at Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, www.ccanh.com. The show was performed in January.

Best of Nashua: Greeley Park Art Show, Nashua, which is an art show and competition hosted by the Nashua Area Artists Association each August in Greeley Park, off Concord Street in Nashua. See www.naaasite.org.


SCREENS & AIRWAVES

Best locally produced TV show
(commercial or public access)

Best: New Hampshire Chronicle on WMUR, which airs weeknights at 7:30 p.m. and is hosted by Tom Griffith and Tiffany Eddy with a regular feature by Fritz Wetherbee. The show profiles New Hampshire people, places and events. See www.wmur.com.

Runner-up: ScorchTV, which airs on various public access stations. See www.pfg-tv.com.

Honorable mention: Windows to the Wild on NHPTV, which airs Thursdays at 6 and 8:30 p.m. and is hosted by Willem Lange. The show features outdoor adventures and scenes in New Hampshire. See www.nhptv.org/windows.


Best local radio show

Best: Greg and the Morning Buzz, which airs weekdays from 5:30 to 10 a.m. on WGIR-FM and WHEB-FM and is hosted by Greg Kretschmar. See www.morningbuzzonline.com.

Runner-up:
New Hampshire in the Morning with Mike Morin and Tracy Caruso on WZID. See www.wzid.com.

Honorable mention: The Exchange on NHPR, which airs weekdays from 9 to 10 a.m. and is a call-in show hosted by Laura Knoy. See www.nhpr.org.


Best local radio station

Best: 95.7 FM WZID,
whose slogan is “The Best Variety of Yesterday and Today.” See www.wzid.com.

Runner-up: 101.1 FM WGIR,
known as “Rock 101.” See www.rock101fm.com.

Honorable mention: NHPR
— New Hampshire Public Radio, which airs on various FM frequencies throughout the state, including 89.1 in Concord and Manchester and 88.3 in Nashua.


Best local movie theater

Best: Red River Theatres, 11 S. Main St., Concord, 224-4600, www.redrivertheatres.org (pictured above)

Runner-up: Cinemagic & IMAX, 1226 Hooksett Road, Hooksett, 644-4629, www.cinemagicmovies.com
Honorable mention: Chunky’s Cinema Pub, 151 Coliseum Ave., Nashua, 880-8055, www.chunkys.com


LOOKING GOOD FEELING GOOD

Best gym

Best of the best: Hampshire Hills, 50 Emerson Road, Milford, 673-7123, www.hampshirehills.com

Best of Manchester: YMCA of Greater Manchester, 30 Mechanic St., Manchester, 623-3558, www.yogm.org 

Best of Concord: Get Fit NH Boot Camp, 167 New Orchard Road, Epsom, 344-2651, www.getfitnhbootcamp.com

Best of Nashua: Hampshire Hills Sports & Fitness Club, 50 Emerson Road in Milford, 673-7123, www.hampshirehills.com.


Best yoga studio

Best of the best: New Hampshire Power Yoga, 704 Milford Road #7, Merrimack, 594-2494, www.nhpoweryoga.com

Best of Manchester: Bikram Yoga Manchester,
195 Mcgregor St., Manchester, 669-7711, www.bikramyogamanchester.com

Best of Concord: Sharing Yoga, 3 Pleasant St., Concord, 630-5576, www.sharingyoga.com

Best of Nashua: Bikram Yoga Nashua, 5 Pine St., Nashua, 880-9642, www.bikramyoganashua.com


Best barber shop

Best of the best: Lucky’s Barbershop and Shave Parlor, 50 S. State St., Concord, 715-5470, www.luckysbarbershop.biz

Best of Manchester: Dude’s Barbershop, 1311 Hooksett Road, Hooksett, 626-0533, www.dudesbarbershop.us

Best of Concord: American Barber Studios, 4 Park St. #2, Concord, 225-3052

Best of Nashua: Chuck’s Barber Shop
, 168 Main St., Nashua, 882-3711


Best salon

Best of the best: Philip Mark Salon, 27 Webster St., Manchester, 622-5225, www.philipmarksalon.com

Best of Manchester: Not So Plain Jane’s, 155 Dow St., #102, Manchester, 622-5971, www.notsoplainjanes.com

Best of Concord: Creative Color & Cuts Salon & Day Spa, 259 S. Main St., Concord, 228-1158, www.creativecolorandcuts.com

Best of Nashua: Hair-a-holics
, 238 Central St., Suite #8, Hudson, 718-8837, www.hairaholicsnh.com


Best spa

Best of the best: Chill Day Spa
, 1224 Hanover St., Manchester, 622-3722, www.chilldayspa.net (pictured above)

Best of Manchester: Not So Plain Jane’s, 155 Dow St. #102, Manchester, 622-5971, www.notsoplainjanes.com

Best of Concord: Serendipity Day Spa, 23 Sheep Davis Road, Pembroke, 229-0400, www.serendipitydayspa.com

Best of Nashua: Innovations Salon & Spa,
228 Naticook Road, Merrimack, 880-7499, www.innovationsnh.com


Best independent clothing store

Best of the best: Alapage,
25 S. River Road #301, Bedford, 622-0550, www.alapageboutique.com

Best of Manchester: George’s Apparel, 675 Elm St., Manchester, 6222-5441, www.georgesapparal.com

Best of Concord: New to You, 15 Pleasant St., Concord, 715-5908, www.newtoyouconcord.com

Best of Nashua: Fresh of Nashua, 178 Main St., Nashua, 821-9888, www.freshofnashua.com


Best independent jewelry store

Best of the best: The Capitol Craftsman & Romance Jewelers,
16-18 N. Main St., Concord, 224-6166, www.capitolcraftsman.com 

Best of Manchester: Bellman’s Jewelers, 1650 Elm St., Manchester, 625-4653, www.bellmans.com

Best of Concord: Mark Knipe Goldsmiths,
2 Capital Plaza, Concord, 224-2920, www.knipegold.com

Best of Nashua: Scontsas Fine Jewelry, 169-173 Main St., Nashua, 882-3281, www.scontsas.com


Best shoe store

Best of the best: Alec Shoe Store
, 201 Main St., Nashua, 882-6811, www.alecs-shoes.com

Best of Manchester: Bee Bee Shoe Store, 1525 S. Willow St., Manchester, 621-0608, www.beebeeshoes.com

Best of Concord: Joe King’s Shoe Shop, 45 N. Main St., Concord, 225-6012, www.joekings.com

Best of Nashua: The Shoebox, 17 Route 101A, Amherst, 672-6570, shoeboxnh.com


Best dry cleaner

Best of the best: E&R,
55 Central St., Manchester, 627-7661, www.eandrcleaners.com

Best of Manchester: Cleary Cleaners, 102 Webster St. (626-6560), 732 Mast Road (621-5598), and 105 S. Willow St. 935-8584), Manchester, www.clearycleaners.com

Best of Concord: Arnos Cleaners, 267 S. Main St., Concord, 224-4461

Best of Nashua: True Blue Cleaners, 14 Progress Ave. (883-3381), 383 E. Dunstable Road (888-7995), 120 E. Dunstable Road (888-3341) and Nashua Mall (889-3553), Nashua, and 142 Nashua St., Milford (673-6036) and 308 DW Highway, Merrimack (424-6276), www.truebluecleaners.com


Best florist

Best of the best: Chalifour’s Flowers,
46 Elm St., Manchester, 623-8844, www.chalifours.com

Best of Manchester: Jacques Flower Shop, 712 Mast Road, Manchester, 625-5155, www.jacquesflowers.com

Best of Concord: Cobblestone Design Co., 89 Fort Eddy Road, Concord, 228-5980, www.cobblestoneflorist.com

Best of Nashua: Merrimack Flower Shop & Greenhouse
, 4 Railroad Ave., Merrimack, 424-3145, www.merrimackflowershop.com


Best doggie day care

Best of the best: The Barking Dog
, 208 Londonderry Turnpike, Hooksett, 222-2275, www.thebarkingdog.com

Best of Manchester: All Dogs Gym & Inn, 505 Sheffield Road, Manchester, 669-4644, www.alldogsgym.com

Best of Concord: Cilley Veterinary Clinic, 37 Iron Works Road, Concord, 224-9549, www.cilleyvetclinic.com

Best of Nashua: American K9 Country, 336 Route 101, Amherst, 672-8448, www.americank9country.com


FOOD

Best restaurant overall

Best of the best:
Republic Café, 1069 Elm St., Manchester, 666-3723, www.republiccafe.com

Best of Manchester: The Puritan Backroom, 245 Hooksett Road, Manchester, 669-6890, www.puritanbackroom.com

Best of Concord: Hermanos Cocina Mexicana, 11 Hills Ave., Concord, 224-5669, www.hermanosmexican.com

Best of Nashua: Surf Restaurant,
207 Main St., Nashua, 595-9293, www.surfseafood.com


Best new eatery

Best of the best: Copper Door Restaurant,
15 Leavy Drive, Bedford, 488-2677, www.copperdoorrestaurant.com  (pictured above)

Best of Manchester: Restaurant Tek-Nique, 170 Route 101, Bedford, 488-5629, restaurantteknique.com

Best of Concord: O Steaks and Seafood, 11 S. Main St., Concord, 856-7925

Best of Nashua: Portland Pie Co., 14 Railroad Square, Nashua, 882-7437, www.portlandpie.com


Best fine dining restaurant

Best of the best: Hanover Street Chophouse,
149 Hanover St., Manchester, 644-2467, www.hanoverstreetchophouse.com

Best of Manchester: Bedford Village Inn Restaurant, 2 Olde Bedford Way, 472-2001, www.bedfordvillageinn.com

Best of Concord: O Steaks and Seafood, 11 S. Main St., Concord, 856-7925

Best of Nashua: Saffron Bistro, 80 Main St., Nashua, 883-2100, www.thesaffronbistro.com


Best Asian food

Best of the best: Lilac Blossom,
385 E. Dunstable Road, Nashua, 888-9588, www.lilacblossom-nh.com

Best of Manchester: Chen Yang Li, 124 S. River Road, Woodbury Court, Bedford, 641-6922, www.chenyangli.com

Best of Concord: Siam Orchid, 158 N. Main St., Concord, 228-1529, www.siamorchid.net 

Best of Nashua: You You Japanese Bistro,
150 Broad St. No. 4, Nashua, 882-8337, www.youyoujbistro.com


Best bagels

Best of the best: Bagel Alley,
1 Eldridge St., Nashua, 882-9343

Best of Manchester: Bagel Café, 373 Hanover St., Manchester, 647-2233, www.nhbagelcafe.com

Best of Concord: The Works Bakery Café, 42 N. Main St., Concord, 226-1827, www.worksbakerycafe.com

Best of Nashua: Hot Rize Café, 634 DW Highway No. 4, Merrimack, 424-3367, www.hotrizecafe.com


Best bakery

Best of the best: Bread and Chocolate
, 29 S. Main St., Concord, 228-3330

Best of Manchester: Frederick’s Pastries, 25 S. River Road, Bedford, 647-2253, www.pastry.net

Best of Nashua: Frederick’s Pastrie
s, 109 Route 101A, Amherst, 882-7725, www.pastry.net

Best of Concord: Jacques Pastries, 128 Main St., Suncook, 485-4035, www.jacquespastries.com


Best bar/pub food

Best of the best: Strange Brew,
88 Market St., Manchester, 666-4292, www.strangebrewtavern.net

Best of Manchester: Billy’s Sports Bar and Grill,
34 Tarrytown Road, Manchester, 622-3644, www.billyssportsbar.com

Best of Concord: Barley House,
132 N. Main St., Concord, 228-6363, www.thebarleyhouse.com

Best of Nashua: The Peddler’s Daughter,
48 Main St., Nashua, 821-7537, www.thepeddlersdaughter.com


Best barbecue

Best of the best: KC’s Rib Shack,
837 Second St., Manchester, 627-7427, www.ribshack.net

Best of Manchester: The Farm Bar & Grille, 1181 Elm St., Manchester, 641-3276, www.farmbargrille.com

Best of Concord: Arnie’s Place
, 164 Loudon Road, Concord, 228-3225, www.arniesplace.com

Best of Nashua: Memphis BBQ & Blues, 770 Elm St., Milford, 672-3870


Best beer selection (bar/restaurant)

Best of the best: Strange Brew,
88 Market St., Manchester, 666-4292, www.strangebrewtavern.net

Best of Manchester: Milly’s Tavern, 500 N. Commercial St., Manchester, 625-4444, www.millystavern.com

Best of Concord: The Barley House, 132 N. Main St., Concord, 228-6363, www.thebarleyhouse.com

Best of Nashua: Martha’s Exchange, 185 Main St., Nashua, 883-8781, www.marthas-exchange.com


Best beer shop (retail)

Best of the best: Bert’s Better Beers,
1100 Hooksett Road, Hooksett, 413-5992, www.bertsbetterbeers.com 

Best of Manchester: North End Superette, 1308 Elm St., Manchester, 627-1416 

Best of Concord: Barb’s Beer Emporium, 249 Sheep Davis Road, Concord, 369-4501, www.barbsbeeremporium.com 

Best of Nashua: The Beer Store, 433 Amherst St., Nashua, 889-2242, www.thebeerstorenh.com


Best breakfast

Best of the best: Red Arrow Diner
, 61 Lowell St., Manchester, 626-1118, www.redarrowdiner.com

Best of Manchester: MaryAnn’s Diner
, 29 E. Broadway, Derry, 434-5785, www.maryannsdiner.com

Best of Concord: The Corner View Restaurant, 80 South St., Concord, 229-4554

Best of Nashua: The DW Diner, 416 DW Highway, Merrimack, 424-1116


Best buffet

Best of the best: Red Apple Buffet,
161 Loudon Road, Concord, 226-8866

Best of Manchester: Manchester Buffet, 371 S. Willow St., Manchester, 668-8838

Best of Concord: The Red Blazer Restaurant & Pub,
72 Manchester St., Concord, 224-4101, www.theredblazer.com

Best of Nashua: Grand Buffet, 350 Amherst St., Suite 2, Nashua, 881-9799


Best burgers

Best of the best: The Barley House,
132 N. Main St., Concord, 228-6363, www.thebarleyhouse.com

Best of Manchester: Billy’s Sports Bar and Grill, 34 Tarrytown Road, Manchester, 622-3644, www.billyssportsbar.com

Best of Concord: O Steaks and Seafood,
11 S. Main St., Concord, 856-7925  

Best of Nashua: Buckley’s Great Steaks,
438 DW Highway, Merrimack, 424-0995, www.buckleysgreatsteaks.com


Best burritos

Best of the best: Dos Amigos Burritos
, 26 N. Main St., Concord, 410-4161, www.dosamigosburritos.com

Best of Manchester: La Carreta, 545 DW Highway (628-6899) and 1875 S. Willow St. (623-7705), Manchester, lacarretamex.com

Best of Concord: Hermanos Cocina Mexicana, 11 Hills Ave., Concord, 224-5569, www.hermanosmexican.com

Best of Nashua: La Carreta, 139 DW Highway, Nashua, 891-0055, www.lacarretamex.com


Best butcher shop

Best of the best: Bull Run Beef & Specialty Shoppe,
1100 Hooksett Road, Hooksett, 669-0891

Best of Manchester: Mr. Steer Meats,
27 Buttrick Road, Londonderry, 434-1444, www.mrsteermeats.com

Best of Concord: Concord Beef & Seafood, 75 S. Main St., Concord, 226-3474, www.concordbeefandseafood.com

Best of Nashua: Brothers Butcher,
8 Spit Brook Road, Unit 28, Nashua, 809-4180, www.brothers-butcher.com


Best candy/chocolate shop

Best of the best: Granite State Candy Shoppe,
13 Warren St., Concord, 224-2591, www.nhchocolates.com

Best of Manchester: Van Otis Chocolates,
341 Elm St., Manchester, 627-1611, www.vanotischocolates.com

Best of Concord: A Little Confection Shop,
124½ N. Main St., Concord, 219-0120, www.alittleconfection.com

Best of Nashua: Swan Chocolates,
436 DW Highway, Merrimack, 423-5950, www.swanchocolates.com


Best cheap eats

Best of the best: Red Arrow Diner,
61 Lowell St., Manchester, 626-1118, www.redarrowdiner.com

Best of Manchester: Airport Diner, 2280 Brown Ave., Manchester, 623-5040, www.thecman.com

Best of Concord: Dos Amigos Burritos,
26 N. Main St., Concord, 410-4161, www.dosamigosburritos.com

Best of Nashua: Red Arrow 24 Hr. Diner, 63 Union Square, Milford, 249-9222, www.redarrowdiner.com


Best cheese counter

Best of Manchester: Angela’s Pasta & Cheese,
815 Chestnut St., Manchester, 625-9544, www.angelaspastaandcheese.com

Best of Concord: Butter’s Fine Food and Wine,
70 N. Main St., Concord, 225-5995, www.buttersfinefood.com

Best of Nashua: Cooking Matters, 97 Main St., Nashua, 880-6200, www.cookingmatters.com



Best chicken tenders

Best of the best: The Puritan Backroom,
245 Hooksett Road, Manchester, 669-6890, www.puritanbackroom.com

Best of Manchester: Goldenrod Drive-In Restaurant, 1681 Candia Road, Manchester, 623-9469, www.goldenrodrestaurant.com

Best of Concord: Tandy’s Top Shelf, 1 Eagle Square, Concord, 856-7614, www.top-shelf.biz

Best of Nashua: Chicken n Chips,
12 W. Hollis St., Nashua, 943-5840, www.chickennchips.biz


Best cocktail

Best of the best: Mudslide at The Puritan Backroom,
245 Hooksett Road, Manchester, 669-6890, www.puritanbackroom.com 

Best of Manchester: Moroccan Old-Fashioned at Republic Café,
1069 Elm St., Manchester, 666-3723, www.republiccafe.com

Best of Concord: House Margarita at Hermanos Cocina Mexicana, 11 Hills Ave., Concord, 224-5669, www.hermanosmexican.com

Best of Nashua: Harry Potter at Old Amsterdam Bar & Lounge, 8 Temple St., Nashua, 204-5534, www.oldamsterdambarandlounge.com


Best cup of coffee

Best of the best: A&E Custom Coffee Roastery,
135 Route 101A, Amherst. 578-3338, www.aeroastery.com

Best of Manchester: Republic Café, 1069 Elm St., Manchester, 666-3723, www.republiccafe.com

Best of Concord: True Brew Barista, 3 Bicentennial Square, Concord, 225-2776, www.truebrewbarista.com

Best of Nashua: Riverwalk Coffee Roasters, 35 Railroad Square, Nashua, 578-0200, www.riverwalkroasters.com


Best cupcakes

Best of the best: Queen City Cupcakes,
790 Elm St., Manchester, 624-4999, www.qccupcakes.com

Best of Manchester: Cupcakes 101, 132 Bedford Center Road, Bedford, 499-5962, www.cupcakes101.net

Best of Concord: Café Indigo, 128 Hall St., Concord, 224-1770, www.cafeindigo.com

Best of Nashua: Frederick’s Pastries, 109 Route 101A, Amherst, 882-7725, www.pastry.net


Best desserts

Best of the best: Bread and Chocolate,
29 S. Main St., Concord, 228-3330 

Best of Manchester: Republic Café, 1069 Elm St., Manchester, 666-3723, www.republiccafe.com

Best of Concord: Café Indigo, 128 Hall St., Concord, 224-1770, www.cafeindigo.com

Best of Nashua: Frederick’s Pastries, 109 Route 101A, Amherst, 882-7725, www.pastry.net


Best diner

Best of the best: Red Arrow 24 Hr. Diner,
61 Lowell St., Manchester, 626-1118, www.redarrowdiner.com (pictured above)

Best of Manchester: Airport Diner, 2280 Brown Ave., Manchester, 623-5040, www.thecman.com

Best of Concord: Tilt’n Diner,
61 Laconia Road, Tilton, 286-2204, www.thecman.com

Best of Nashua: Red Arrow 24 Hr. Diner,
63 Union Square, Milford, 249-9222, www.redarrowdiner.com


Best ethnic food market

Best of the best: Saigon Asian Market,
93 S. Maple St., Manchester, 644-3555

Best of Manchester: Spice Center, 245 Maple St., Manchester, 626-7290

Best of Concord: Concord Cooperative Market,
24 S. Main St., Concord, 225-6840, www.concordfoodcoop.coop

Best of Nashua: Lanna Asian Market,
495 Amherst St., Nashua, 578-0438, www.lannaasianmarket.com


Best espresso drinks

Best of the best: A&E Custom Coffee Roastery,
135 Route 101A, Amherst. 578-3338, www.aeroastery.com

Best of Manchester: J Dubs Coffee, 1000 Elm St., Manchester, 622-7944, www.jdubscoffee.com

Best of Concord: True Brew Barista, 3 Bicentennial Square, Concord, 225-2776, www.truebrewbarista.com

Best of Nashua: Riverwalk Coffee Roasters, 35 Railroad Square, Nashua, 578-0200, www.riverwalkroasters.com


Best farmers market

Best of the best: Concord Farmers Market,
which typically operates from the first Saturday in June through the last Saturday in October, mornings, on Capital Street in downtown Concord, www.concordfarmersmarket.com.

Best of Manchester: Downtown Manchester Farmers Market, which operates every Thursday from June through October, from 3 to 6 p.m. on Concord Street in Manchester (across from the city library), www.manchesterfarmersmarket.com.

Best of Concord: Winter Farmers Market at Cole Gardens, 430 Loudon Road in Concord, 229-0655, www.colegardens.com, which will be open Saturdays, March 24 and March 31, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Best of Nashua: Milford Farmers’ Market. The summer market typically begins on the third Saturday in June and runs Saturday mornings at Granite Town Plaza on Route 101A, between the Oval and Wilton. The winter market is held Saturday mornings at Milford Town Hall on Union Square and will take place Saturdays, April 21, May 5 and May 19, from 9 a.m. to noon, www.milfordfarmersmarket.com.


Best food festival/event

Best of the best: Glendi,
the weekend-long Greek food and culture festival held each September at St. George Orthodox Cathedral, 650 Hanover St. in Manchester. (pictured above)

Best of Manchester: World’s Championship Chili Cookoff, an annual event held by the International Chili Society whose 2011 edition was hosted by Manchester, at Veterans Park in the fall.

Best of Concord: Market Days and Summer Music Festival, held for a long weekend each summer in downtown Concord, www.mainstreetconcord.com.

Best of Nashua: Rock ’n Ribfest,
held each summer on the grounds of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Merrimack and featuring barbecue, music and entertainment, www.rotaryribfest.org. This year’s fest is scheduled for June 15-17.


Best french fries

Best of the best: Caesario’s Pizza and Subs,
1057 Elm St., Manchester, 669-8383, www.caesariospizza.com

Best of Manchester: Republic Café, 1069 Elm St., Manchester, 666-3723, www.republiccafe.com

Best of Concord: The Barley House, 132 N. Main St., Concord, 228-6363, www.thebarleyhouse.com

Best of Nashua: The Peddler’s Daughter, 48 Main St., Nashua, 821-7537, www.thepeddlersdaughter.com


Best ice cream

Best of the Best: The Puritan Backroom,
245 Hooksett Road, Manchester, 669-6890, www.puritanbackroom.com

Best of Manchester: Goldenrod Drive-In Restaurant, 1681 Candia Road, Manchester, 623-9469, www.goldenrodrestaurant.com

Best of Concord: Arnie’s Place, 164 Loudon Road, Concord, 228-3225, www.arniesplace.com

Best of Nashua: Hayward’s Ice Cream,
7 DW Highway, Nashua, 888-4663, and 383 Elm St., Milford, 672-8383, www.haywardsicecream.com


Best Italian restaurant

Best of the best: Piccola Italia Ristorante,
815 Elm St., Manchester, 606-5100, www.piccolaitalianh.com

Best of Manchester: Fratello’s, 155 Dow St., Manchester, 624-2022, www.fratellos.com

Best of Concord: Angelina’s Ristorante Italiano,
11 Depot St., Concord, 228-3313, www.angelinasrestaurant.com

Best of Nashua: Villa Banca, 194 Main St., Nashua, 598-0500, www.villabanca.com


Best late-night eats

Best of the best: Red Arrow 24 Hr. Diner,
61 Lowell St., Manchester, 626-1118, www.redarrowdiner.com

Best of Manchester: Airport Diner, 2280 Brown Ave., Manchester, 623-5040, www.thecman.com

Best of Concord: Tandy’s Top Shelf,
1 Eagle Square, Concord, 856-7614, www.top-shelf.biz

Best of Nashua: Red Arrow 24 Hr. Diner, 63 Union Square, Milford, 249-9222, www.redarrowdiner.com


Best menu item

Best of the best: Chicken Tenders at The Puritan Backroom,
245 Hooksett Road, Manchester, 669-6890, www.puritanbackroom.com (pictured above)

Best of Manchester: Go-Go Bread
(warm garlic bread with gorgonzola fondue) at Firefly American Bistro & Bar, 22 Concord St., Manchester, 935-9740

Best of Concord: Chicken and Garlic Nachos at Hermanos Cocina Mexicana, 11 Hills Ave., Concord, 224-5669, www.hermanosmexican.com

Best of Nashua: Lobster BLT at Fody’s Great American Tavern, 9 Clinton St., Nashua, 577-9015, www.fodystavern.com


Best Mexican/Latin American restaurant

Best of the best: La Carreta Mexican Restaurant,
545 Hooksett Road, Manchester, 628-6899, www.lacarretamex.com

Best of Manchester: Shorty’s Mexican Roadhouse, 1050 Bicentennial Drive, Manchester, 625-1730, www.shortysmex.com

Best of Concord: Hermanos Cocina Mexicana, 11 Hills Ave., Concord, 224-5669, www.hermanosmexican.com

Best of Nashua: La Carreta Mexican Restaurant, 139 DW Highway, Nashua, 891-0055, www.lacarretamex.com


Best neighborhood market

Best of the best: Bunny’s Superette,
75 Webster St., Manchester, 622-5080

Best of Manchester: Sully’s Superette, 10 N. Mast Road, Goffstown, 497-8176, www.sullyssuperette.com

Best of Concord: Concord Cooperative Market, 24 S. Main St., Concord, 225-6840, www.concordfoodcoop.com

Best of Nashua: Jeannotte’s Market,
2 Courtland St., Nashua, 882-0161


Best outdoor food vendor

Best of Manchester: Jonathan’s Quick Eats,
the hot dog stand outside the Black Brimmer on Elm Street in downtown Manchester many evenings

Best of Concord: Puppy Love Hot Dogs,
Main Street, Concord, www.puppylovehotdogs.com

Best of Nashua: Sausage King,
53 Main St., Nashua, and various locations around the city, 204-5110, thesausagekingofnashua.com


Best pizza in your neighborhood

Best of the best: Alley Cat Pizzeria
, 486 Chestnut St., Manchester, 669-4533, www.alleycatpizzerianh.com

Best of Manchester: Portland Pie Co., 786 Elm St., Manchester, 622-7437, www.portlandpie.com

Best of Concord: Vinnie’s Pizzaria, 200 S. Main St., Concord, 224-7727

Best of Nashua: Espresso Pizza, 85 Main St., Nashua, 889-9826, www.espressopizzaonline.com


Best pizza worth the drive

Best of the best: 900 Degrees Pizzeria,
50 Dow St., Manchester, 641-0900, www.900degrees.com

Best of Manchester: Portland Pie Co., 786 Elm St., Manchester, 622-7437, www.portlandpie.com

Best of Concord: Vinnie’s Pizzaria,
200 S. Main St., Concord, 224-7727

Best of Nashua: Crush Pizza, 449 Amherst St., Nashua, 521-7440, www.crushpizza.com


Best poutine

Best of the best: Chez Vachon,
136 Kelley St., Manchester, 625-9660, www.chezvachon.com

Best of Nashua: Estabrook Grill, 57 Palm St., Nashua, 943-5035, www.estabrookgrill.com 

Best of Concord: Tilt’n Diner,
61 Laconia Road, Tilton, 286-2204, www.thecman.com

Best of Manchester: Airport Diner, 2280 Brown Ave., Manchester, 623-5040, www.thecman.com


Best restaurant for kids

Best of the best: T-Bones,
25 S. River Road, Bedford, 641-6100, www.t-bones.com

Best of Manchester: Airport Diner, 2280 Brown Ave., Manchester, 623-5040, www.thecman.com

Best of Concord: Dos Amigos Burritos,
26 N. Main St., Concord, 410-4161, www.dosamigosburritos.com

Best of Nashua: Tiebreakers Family Grille at Hampshire Hills,
50 Emerson Road, Milford, 673-7123, www.hampshirehills.com


Best ribs

Best of the best: KC’s Rib Shack,
837 Second St., Manchester, 627-7427, www.ribshack.net

Best of Manchester: Cactus Jack’s, 782 S. Willow St., Manchester, 627-8600, www.go2cjs.com

Best of Concord: Arnie’s Place, 164 Loudon Road, Concord, 228-3225, www.arniesplace.com

Best of Nashua: Memphis BBQ & Blues, 770 Elm St., Milford, 672-3870


Best salads

Best of the best: The Puritan Backroom,
245 Hooksett Road, Manchester, 669-6890, www.puritanbackroom.com

Best of Manchester: Purple Finch Café,
124 S. River Road, Bedford, 232-1953, www.purplefinchcafe.com

Best of Concord: Cheers, 17 Depot St., Concord, 228-0180, www.cheersnh.com

Best of Nashua: The Rustic Leaf Bistro, 15 Elm St., Milford, 672-1556, www.therusticleaf.com


Best sandwich

Best of the best: Steak and Cheese at Nadeau’s,
776 Mast Road, Goffstown, 623-9315; 100 Cahill Ave., Manchester, 669-7827; 805 Canal St., Manchester, 644-8888; www.nadeaus.biz

Best of Manchester: The Cardiac Sam at KC’s Ribshack, 837 Second St., Manchester, 627-7427, www.ribshack.net

Best of Concord: Super Roast Beef Sandwich at Beefside Restaurant, 106 Manchester St., Concord, 228-0208, www.beefsiderestaurant.com

Best of Nashua: The Big Papi at Nashua Garden, 121 Main St., Nashua, 886-7363


Best seafood restaurant

Best of the Best: Tinker’s Seafood,
545 Hooksett Road, Manchester, 622-4272, www.tinkersseafoodrestaurant.com

Best of Manchester: Weathervane, 393 Route 101, Bedford, 472-2748, www.weathervaneseafoods.com

Best of Concord: Newick’s Lobster House
, 317 Loudon Road, Concord, 579-7576, www.newicks.com

Best of Nashua: The Lobster Boat Restaurant,
453 DW Highway, Merrimack, 424-5221, www.lobsterboatrestaurant.com


Best soups

Best of the best: Collins Brothers Chowder Co.,
59 Temple St., Nashua, 883-2347, www.collinsbrotherschowder.com

Best of Manchester: Suddenly Soupy’s,
28 Hanover St., Manchester, 657-7279, www.suddenlysoupys.com

Best of Concord: In a Pinch, 146 Pleasant St., Concord, 226-2272, www.inapinchcafe.com

Best of Nashua: Cooking Matters, 97 Main St., Nashua, 880-6200, www.cookingmatters.com


Best steakhouse

Best of the best: Hanover Street Chophouse,
149 Hanover St., Manchester, 644-2467, www.hanoverstreetchophouse.com 

Best of Manchester: Gauchos Churrascaria Brazilian Steak House, 62 Lowell St., Manchester, 669-9460,  www.gauchosbraziliansteakhouse.com

Best of Concord: O Steaks and Seafood, 11 S. Main St., Concord, 856-7925

Best of Nashua: Buckley’s Great Steaks, 438 DW Highway, Merrimack, 424-0995, www.buckleysgreatsteaks.com


Best subs

Best of the best: Nadeau’s,
776 Mast Road, Goffstown, 623-9315; 100 Cahill Ave., Manchester, 669-7827; 805 Canal St., Manchester, 644-8888; www.nadeaus.biz

Best of Manchester: USA Subs, 1292 Hooksett Road, Hooksett, 625-1800, www.usasubs.com

Best of Concord: Yellow Submarine, 192 N. State St., Concord, 228-4500, www.theyellowsub.com

Best of Nashua: Bill Cahill’s Super Subs, 8 Kimball Hill Road, Hudson, 882-7710


Best vegetarian menu

Best of the best: Republic Café,
1069 Elm St., Manchester, 666-3723, www.republiccafe.com

Best of Manchester: Café Momo, 1064 Hanover St., Manchester, 623-3733, www.cafemomonh.com

Best of Concord: Café Indigo, 128 Hall St., Concord, 224-1770, www.cafeindigo.com

Best of Nashua: Meena’s Kitchen, 113 W. Pearl St., Nashua, 204-5025, www.meenaskitchen.com


Best wings

Best of the best: Billy’s Sports Bar and Grill,
34 Tarrytown Road, Manchester, 622-3644, www.billyssportsbar.com

Best of Manchester: Cactus Jack’s, 782 S. Willow St., Manchester, 627-8600, www.go2cjs.com

Best of Concord: Tandy’s Top Shelf, 1 Eagle Square, Concord, 856-7614, www.top-shelf.biz

Best of Nashua: The Pasta Loft Restaurant, 241 Union Square, Milford, 672-2270, www.pastaloft.com


Best restaurant wine list

Best of the best: UnWine’d,
865 Second St., Manchester, 625-9463, www.unwined.net

Best of Manchester: Corks Wine Bar / Bedford Village Inn, 2 Olde Bedford Way, Bedford, 472-2001, www.bedfordvillageinn.com

Best of Concord: O Steaks and Seafood, 11 S. Main St., Concord, 856-7925 

Best of Nashua: MT’s Local Kitchen & Wine Bar (formerly called Michael Timothy’s), 212 Main St., Nashua, 595-9334, www.michaeltimothys.com


Best wine bar

Best of the best: UnWine’d,
865 Second St., Manchester, 625-9463, www.unwined.net

Best of Manchester: Corks Wine Bar / Bedford Village Inn, 2 Olde Bedford Way, Bedford, 472-2001, www.bedfordvillageinn.com

Best of Concord: O Steaks and Seafood,
11 S. Main St., Concord, 856-7925 

Best of Nashua: MT’s Local Kitchen & Wine Bar (formerly called Michael Timothy’s), 212 Main St., Nashua, 595-9334, www.michaeltimothys.com


Best wine shop

Best of the best: WineNot Boutique,
170 Main St., Nashua, 204-5569, www.winenotboutique.com

Best of Manchester: The Wine Studio, 53 Hooksett Road, Manchester 622-9463, www.thewinestudionh.com

Best of Concord: Butter’s Fine Food and Wine, 70 N. Main St., Concord, 225-5995, www.buttersfinefood.com

Best of Nashua: The Wine Society,
650 Amherst St., Nashua, 883-4114, www.winesociety.us


STUFF TO DO

Best community event

Best of the best: Winter Holiday Stroll
in downtown Nashua, which features music, food, shopping, live entertainment and a candlelight stroll throughout downtown on a November evening, organized by Great American Downtown Nashua. See www.downtownnashua.org.

Best of Manchester: Glendi
, the annual celebration of Greek food (lots and lots of Greek food) and culture hosted by St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral at 650 Hanover St., Manchester, 622-9113, on a weekend in September. Visit saintgeorgeglendi.com.

Best of Concord: Market Days, which offers food, shopping and free entertainment each summer in downtown Concord, hosted by Intown Concord. For 2012, Market Days will be renamed the “Market Days Festival” and will take place Thursday, July 19, through Saturday, July 21. See www.mainstreetconcord.com.

Best of Nashua: Milford Pumpkin Festival,
the annual fall festival organized by Milford Downtown Ongoing Improvement Team that brings food, music and a wide variety of entertainment to the Milford oval, including pumpkin-catapulting. See www.milfordpumpkinfestival.org.


Best place to take your kids

Best of the best: Nini Bambin
i, 166 S. River Road, Bedford, 666-6464, www.ninibambini.com

Best of Manchester: Cowabunga’s, 1328 Hooksett Road, Hooksett, 625-8008, www.mycowabungas.com

Best of Concord: Krazy Kids, 60 Sheep Davis Road, Pembroke, 228-7529, www.gokrazykids.com

Best of Nashua: Nuthin’ but Good Times, 746 DW Highway, Merrimack, 429-2200, www.nuthinbutgoodtimes.com


Best place to take kids on a snowy/rainy day

Best of the best: Nuthin’ but Good Times,
746 DW Highway, Merrimack, 429-2200, www.nuthinbutgoodtimes.com

Best of Manchester: SEE Science Center,
200 Bedford St., Manchester, 669-0400, www.see-sciencecenter.org 

Best of Concord: Krazy Kids, 60 Sheep Davis Road, Pembroke, 228-7529, www.gokrazykids.com

Best of Nashua: Chunky’s Cinema Pub, 151 Coliseum Ave., Nashua, 880-8055, www.chunkys.com


Best place to take visiting relatives

Best of the best: Currier Museum of Art,
150 Ash St., Manchester, 669-6144, www.currier.org (pictured above)

Best of Manchester: New Hampshire Fisher Cats game, Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, One Line Drive, Manchester, 641-2005, www.nhfishercats.com

Best of Concord: Canterbury Shaker Village, 288 Shaker Road, Canterbury, 783-9511, www.shakers.org

Best of Nashua: Anheuser-Busch Brewery, 221 DW Highway, Merrimack, 595-1201, www.budweisertours.com


NIGHTLIFE

Best bar for live music

Best of the best: Strange Brew,
88 Market St., Manchester, 666-4292, www.strangebrewtavern.net

Best of Manchester: The Black Brimmer,
1087 Elm St., Manchester, 669-5523, www.blackbrimmer.com

Best of Concord: The Barley House, 132 N. Main St., Concord, 228-6363, www.thebarleyhouse.com

Best of Nashua: Fody’s Great American Tavern, 9 Clinton St., Nashua, 577-9015, www.fodystavern.com


Best music venue
(not a bar/restaurant)

Best of the best: Tupelo Music Hall, 2 Young Road, Londonderry, 437-5100, www.tupelohalllondonderry.com

Best of Manchester: Verizon Wireless Arena, 555 Elm St., Manchester, 644-5000, www.verizonwirelessarena.com

Best of Concord: Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, www.ccanh.com

Best of Nashua: Studio 99, 17 Factory St., Nashua, 562-5179, www.studio99nashua.com


Best bar with an outdoor deck

Best of the best: Derryfield Restaurant,
625 N. Mammoth Road, Manchester, 623-2880, www.thederryfield.com

Best of Manchester: Murphy’s Taproom, 494 Elm St., Manchester, 644-3535, www.murphystaproom.net 

Best of Concord: The Draft,
67 S. Main St., 227-1175, www.draftsportsbar.com

Best of Nashua: The Pasta Loft Restaurant, 241 Union Square, Milford, 672-2270, www.pastaloft.com 


Best spot for comedy

Best of the best: Boynton’s Tap Room,
155 Dow St., Manchester, 623-7778, www.boyntonstaproom.com (pictured above)

Best of Manchester: The Shaskeen, 909 Elm St., Manchester, 625-0246, www.theshaskeen.com

Best of Concord: Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, www.ccanh.com

Best of Nashua: Fody’s Great American Tavern,
9 Clinton St., Nashua, 577-9015, www.fodystavern.com


Best bathroom

Best of the best: Billy’s Sports Bar and Grill,
34 Tarrytown Road, Manchester, 622-3644, www.billyssportsbar.com

Best of Manchester: Hanover Street Chophouse
, 149 Hanover St., Manchester, 644-2467, www.hanoverstreetchophouse.com

Best of Concord: The Red Blazer Restaurant and Pub, 72 Manchester St., Concord, 224-4101, www.theredblazer.com

Best of Nashua: Giorgio’s Ristorante & Meze Bar,
524 Nashua St., Milford, 673-3939, www.giorgios.com


Best dance club

Best of the best: Drynk,
20 Old Granite St., Manchester, 836-5251, www.drynknh.com

Best of Manchester: Club 313, 93 S. Maple St., Manchester, 628-6813, club313nh.com

Best of Concord: Tandy’s Top Shelf, 1 Eagle Square, Concord, 856-7614, www.top-shelf.biz

Best of Nashua: The Amber Room, 53 High St., Nashua, 881-9060, www.theamberroomnightlife.com


Best place to people-watch

Best of the best: Mall of New Hampshire,
1500 S. Willow St., Manchester, www.simon.com

Best of Manchester: Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, One Airport Road, Manchester, 624-6556, www.flymanchester.com

Best of Concord: Tandy’s Top Shelf,
1 Eagle Square, Concord, 856-7614, www.top-shelf.biz

Best of Nashua: Pheasant Lane Mall,
310 DW Highway, Nashua, www.simon.com


Best pub 

Best of the best: Wild Rover Pub,
21 Kosciuszko St., Manchester, 669-7722, www.wildroverpub.com (pictured above)

Best of Manchester: Strange Brew, 88 Market St., Manchester, 666-4292, www.strangebrewtavern.net

Best of Concord: Barley House,
132 N. Main St., Concord, 228-6363, www.thebarleyhouse.com

Best of Nashua: The Peddler’s Daughter, 48 Main St., Nashua, 821-7537, www.thepeddlersdaughter.com


Best sports bar

Best of the best: Billy’s Sports Bar and Grill,
34 Tarrytown Road, Manchester, 622-3644, www.billyssportsbar.com

Best of Manchester: J.W. Hill’s Sports Bar & Grille, 795 Elm St., 645-7422, www.jwhills.com

Best of Concord: The Draft, 67 S. Main St., 227-1175, www.draftsportsbar.com

Best of Nashua: Nashua Garden, 121 Main St., Nashua, 886-7363


LOOKING FOR LOVE

Best pick-up place

Best of the best: The Black Brimmer,
1087 Elm St., Manchester, 669-5523, www.blackbrimmer.com

Best of Manchester: Derryfield Restaurant, 625 N. Mammoth Road, Manchester, 623-2880, www.thederryfield.com

Best of Concord: Tandy’s Top Shelf, 1 Eagle Square, Concord, 856-7614, www.top-shelf.biz

Best of Nashua: Martha’s Exchange,
185 Main St., Nashua, 883-8781, www.marthas-exchange.com


Best date place

Best of the best: UnWine’d,
865 Second St., Manchester, 625-9463, www.unwined.net

Best of Manchester: Firefly American Bistro & Bar, 22 Concord St., Manchester, 935-9740, www.fireflynh.com

Best of Concord: Red River Theatres
, 11 S. Main St., Concord, 224-4600, www.redrivertheatres.org

Best of Nashua: Studio 99, 17 Factory St., Nashua, 562-5179, www.studio99nashua.com


Best make-out spot

Best of the best: Drynk,
20 Old Granite St., Manchester, 836-5251, www.drynknh.com

Best of Manchester: The Black Brimmer
, 1087 Elm St., Manchester, 669-5523, www.blackbrimmer.com

Best of Concord: Tandy’s Top Shelf,
1 Eagle Square, Concord, 856-7614, www.top-shelf.biz

Best of Nashua: Greeley Park, off Concord Street in Nashua


Best break-up spot

Best: The Black Brimmer,
1087 Elm St., Manchester, 669-5523, www.blackbrimmer.com

Runner-up: Mall of New Hampshire, 1500 S. Willow St., Manchester, 669-0434, www.simon.com

Honorable mention: Club 313, 93 S. Maple St., Manchester, 628-6813, www.club313nh.com


OUTDOORS

Best local hiking trail

Best of the best: Mine Falls Park,
a 325-acre park in the heart of Nashua, www.gonashua.com

Best of Manchester: Lake Massabesic hiking trails in Manchester/Auburn, which are unpaved trails amongst the trees with occasional views of the lake. There’s a parking lot and trail entrance just off the traffic circle at Candia Road and Route 28 Bypass in Manchester.

Best of Concord: Oak Hill, which has seven miles of trails off Oak Hill Road in Concord, www.concordnh.gov/trails

Best of Nashua: Beaver Brook Association, which comprises 2,000 acres of land in Hollis, Brookline and Milford and offers 35 miles of hiking trails, 465-7787, www.beaverbrook.org


Best city park

Best of the best: Livingston Park
, off Hooksett Road (DW Highway North) in Manchester, www.manchesternh.gov

Best of Manchester: Derryfield Park,
off Bridge Street in Manchester, www.manchesternh.gov

Best of Concord: White Park, 1 White St., Concord, www.concordnh.gov

Best of Nashua: Greeley Park, 100 Concord St., Nashua, www.gonashua.com


Best state park

Best: Bear Brook State Park & Campground,
157 Deerfield Road, Allenstown, 485-9869, www.nhstateparks.com/bearbrook.html

Runner-up: Pawtuckaway State Park & Campground
, 128 Mountain Road, Nottingham, 895-3031, www.nhstateparks.org/paw.html

Honorable Mention: Mount Sunapee State Park & State Beach, off Route 103, Newbury and Goshen, 763-5561, www.nhstateparks.com/sunapee.html


Best golf course

Best of the best: Derryfield Country Club,
625 N. Mammoth Road, Manchester, 623-2880, www.derryfieldgolf.com

Best of Manchester: Manchester Country Club, 180 S. River Road, Bedford, 624-4096, www.manchestercountryclub.com

Best of Concord: Beaver Meadow Golf Course, 1 Beaver Meadow Road, Concord, 228-8954, www.beavermeadowgolfcourse.com

Best of Nashua: Amherst Country Club & Ponemah Green Family Golf Center, 72 & 55 Ponemah Road, Amherst, 673-9908, www.amherstcountryclub.com


Best sledding hill

Best of the best: at Derryfield Restaurant and Country Club,
625 N. Mammoth Road, Manchester, 623-2880, www.thederryfield.com

Best of Manchester: at Mack’s Apples, 230 Mammoth Road, Londonderry, 432-3456, www.macksapples.com

Best of Concord: White Park, 1 White St., Concord, www.concordnh.gov

Best of Nashua: Roby Park, off Spit Brook Road, Nashua, www.nashuanh.gov


Best place to go for a walk

Best of the best: Mine Falls Park,
a 325-acre park in the heart of Nashua, www.gonashua.com

Best of Manchester: Livingston Park, off Hooksett Road (DW Highway North) in Manchester, www.manchesternh.gov

Best of Concord: White Park,
1 White St., Concord, www.concordnh.gov

Best of Nashua: Benson Park, 27 Kimball Hill Road, Hudson, www.hudsonnh.gov


Best place to go for a bike ride

Best of the best: Rail trails and Mine Falls Park
in Nashua

Best of Manchester: Lake Massabesic
in Manchester/Auburn, which is surrounded by unpaved trails suitable for mountain biking amongst the trees and with occasional views of the lake. There’s a parking lot and trail entrance just off the traffic circle at Candia Road and Route 28 Bypass in Manchester.

Best of Concord: Bear Brook State Park & Campground, 157 Deerfield Road, Allenstown, 485-9869, www.nhstateparks.com/bearbrook.html

Best of Nashua: Benson Park, 27 Kimball Hill Road, Hudson, www.hudsonnh.gov


Best place to walk your dog

Best of the best: Mine Falls Park
, a 325-acre park in the heart of Nashua, www.gonashua.com

Best of Manchester: Livingston Park, off Hooksett Road (DW Highway North) in Manchester, www.manchesternh.gov

Best of Concord: Conservation Center, 54 Portsmouth St., Concord, 224-9945, owned by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, www.forestsociety.org

Best of Nashua: Benson Park, 27 Kimball Hill Road, Hudson, www.hudsonnh.gov


Coolest-looking building

Best of the best: New Hampshire Institute of Art,
88 Lowell St., Manchester,  www.nhia.edu (pictured above)

Best of Manchester: City Hall,
1 City Hall Plaza, Manchester, www.manchesternh.gov

Best of Concord: The New Hampshire Statehouse, Concord, which is “the oldest State House in the nation in which the legislature still occupies its original chambers,” according to www.ci.concord.nh.us.

Best of Nashua: The Hunt Memorial Building, 6 Main St., Nashua, www.huntbuilding.org


PEOPLE

Best bartender

Best of the best: Jared Bracci
at Old Amsterdam Bar & Lounge, 8 Temple St., Nashua, 204-5534, www.oldamsterdambarandlounge.com (pictured above)

Best of Manchester: Billy Laforge
at Wild Rover Pub, 21 Kosciuszko St., Manchester, 669-7722, www.wildroverpub.com

Best of Concord: Corey Garland
at The Barley House, 132 N. Main St., Concord, 228-6363, www.thebarleyhouse.com

Best of Nashua: Dave Bourgault
at Tiebreakers Family Grille, Hampshire Hills, 50 Emerson Road, Milford, 673-7123, www.hampshirehills.com


Best chef

Best of the best: Michael Buckley,
MT’s Local Kitchen & Wine Bar, 212 Main St., Nashua, 595-9334, www.michaeltimothys.com

Best of Manchester: Nicole Barreira
of TBones/Cactus Jack’s, with Cactus Jack’s in Manchester and Laconia, and T-Bones in Bedford, Derry, Hudson, Laconia and Salem, www.go2cjs.com.

Best of Nashua: Joe Drift,
Saffron Bistro, 80 Main St., Nashua, 883-2100, www.thesaffronbistro.com

Best of Concord: Dave Angus, Tandy’s Top Shelf, 1 Eagle Square, Concord, 856-7614, www.top-shelf.biz


Best waiter/waitress

Best of the best: Carrie McNiss
at Strange Brew Tavern, 88 Market St., Manchester, 666-4292, www.strangebrewtavern.net

Best of Manchester: Amber Caplette
at Red Arrow Diner, 61 Lowell St., Manchester, 626-1118, www.redarrowdiner.com

Best of Concord: Mechelle Zydenbos
at The Barley House, 132 N. Main St., Concord, 228-6363, www.thebarleyhouse.com

Best of Nashua: Bastian DiCaprio
at San Francisco Kitchen, 133 Main St., Nashua, 886-8833, www.sfkitchen.com


Best fitness instructor

Best of the best: Nancy Carlson
at Get Fit NH, 287 S. Main St., Concord, and 167 New Orchard Road, Epsom, 344-2651, www.getfitnhbootcamp.com (pictured above)

Best of Manchester: Susanne Larkham at Jazzercise, 32 Hayward St., Manchester, 624-9122, www.manchjazz.com

Best of Concord: Dean Carlson at Get Fit NH, 287 S. Main St., Concord, and 167 New Orchard Road, Epsom, 344-2651, www.getfitnhbootcamp.com

Best of Nashua: Scott Prunier at TOP Fitness, Conway Arena, 8 Riverside St., Nashua, www.gotopfitness.com


Best yoga instructor

Best of the best: Dave Breen
at Sharing Yoga, 3 Pleasant St., Concord, 630-5576, www.sharingyoga.com

Best of Manchester: Elizabeth Vlangas at Riverflow Yoga, 198 Londonderry Turnpike, Hooksett, 935-9822, www.riverflowyoga.com

Best of Nashua: Mary Howard at New Hampshire Power Yoga, 704 Milford Road, South Merrimack, 594-2494, www.nhpoweryoga.com

Best of Concord: Karen Kenney
at Quest Yoga Studio, 2½ Beacon St., Suite 265, Concord, 608-7590, www.questyoga.com


Best barber

Best of the best: Nancy Dixon
at LaCoupe, 165B Kelley St., Manchester, 669-9299.

Best of Manchester: Steve Laliberte at Spencer Martin Barber Shop, 178 Route 101, Bedford, 471-3606, www.spencermartinbarbers.com

Best of Concord: Josh Craggy
at Lucky’s Barbershop and Shave Parlor, 50 S. State St., Concord, 715-5470, www.luckysbarbershop.biz

Best of Nashua: Brenda Poplar at Gentleman’s Weekly, 1 Nashua St., Milford, 672-8337


Best hair stylist

Best of the best: Keith Mason
at Salon K Concord, 18 Pleasant St., Concord, 225-0099, www.salonkconcord.com

Best of Manchester: Mark McAdams
at Philip Mark Salon, 27 Webster St., Manchester, 622-5225, www.philipmarksalon.com

Best of Concord: Sondra Perron
at Chrome Salon, 22 Bridge St., Concord, 224-1123, www.chromesalon.net

Best of Nashua: Rob Bouchard at Hair-a-holics, 238 Central St., Hudson, 718-8837, www.hairaholicsnh.com


Friendliest dentist

Best of the best: Dr. Paul Thompson,
222 River Road, Manchester, 669-6131, www.newhampshiresmiledentistry.com

Best of Manchester: Dr. Elizabeth Spindel, 862 Union St., Manchester, 669-9049, www.elizabethspindel.com

Best of Concord: Dr. Sarah Katz, Bow Family Dentistry, 514 South St., Bow, 224-3151, www.bowfamilydentistry.com

Best of Nashua: Dr. Charles Pipilas, 280 Main St., Nashua, 881-8280


Best massage therapist


Best of the best: Stephanie Waters at Intuitive Touch Massage Therapy & Body Work, 188 N. Main St., Suite 1, Concord, 848-5226, www.intuitivetouchnh.com

Best of Concord: Veronica Ker
r at Creative Color & Cuts Hair Salon and Day Spa, 259 S. Main St., Concord, 228-1158, www.creativecolorandcuts.com

Best of Manchester: Faith Fox at Chill Day Spa, 1224 Hanover St., Manchester, 622-3722, www.chilldayspa.net

Best of Nashua: Jennifer Fay at The Salon at Hampshire Hills, 50 Emerson Road, Milford, 673-7123, www.hampshirehills.com


Best mechanic

Best of the best: Brian Nutting
, WildCards Automotive, 51 Kosciuszko St., Manchester, 641-4927

Best of Manchester: Sam Daghir, Daghir Auto, 71 Myrtle St., Manchester, 622-8069

Best of Concord: Gunner Wicklund, Wicklund’s Foreign Auto Service, 240 N. State St., Concord, 224-2102

Best of Nashua: Chad Tanguay, Merrimack Auto Center, 9 Webb Drive, Merrimack, 889-5825


Best teacher (K through high school)

Best of Manchester: Mrs. Boucher,
Underhill Elementary School, Hooksett

Best of Concord: Krista Lewis, Rundlett Middle School, Concord

Best of Nashua: Jennifer Erdody,
Milford High School, Milford


Best local band playing mostly original songs

Best: Natalie Turgeon Band
, Natalie Turgeon, John Cunningham, Pete Vassil, Chris Edris and Sean Morgan

Runner-up: Captain Chet Lawson’s Snake Oil Revue Rob Kleiner, Matt Rosenberg, Mark Trottier, Mike Crane

Honorable mention: Prospect Hill



Best local cover band

Best: The Tom Dixon Band
Tom Dixon, David Wilson, John Crawford, Billy Ferraro and Leo Melanson

Runner-up: Mama Kicks
Lisa Guyer, Gardner Berry, Chris Lester and David Stefanelli

Honorable mention: Nimbus 9 Greg Neveu, Ryan Lemire, Joey Bolduc, Mike Kemp, Kevin Neveu and Rick Gauthier


Best local solo performer

Best: Josh Logan,
Manchester

Runner-up: Alli Beaudry,
Manchester

Honorable mention: Lisa Guyer, Londonderry


Best local comedian

Best of the best: Mike Koutrobis
, Nashua

Runner-up: Nick Lavallee, Manchester

Honorable mention: Julie Mudd, Manchester


Best local radio show host

Best of the best: Greg Kretchmar
, The Morning Buzz, WGIR and WHEB

Runner-up: Mike Morin,
WZID

Honorable mention: Laura Knoy,
The Exchange, NHPR


Best local TV personality

Best of the best: Fritz Wetherbee
, well-known raconteur who hosts a regular feature on New Hampshire Chronicle, airing weeknights on WMUR, and has written several books of New Hampshire lore.

Runner-up: Josh Judge, WMUR meteorologist and author of Extreme New England Weather and Weather Facts and Fun.

Honorable mention: Erin Fehlau,
morning news anchor on WMUR.


Best local (NH) sports team

Best: Manchester Monarchs,
the minor-league affiliate of the NHL’s L.A. Kings. The Monarchs’ home ice is at the Verizon Wireless Arena in downtown Manchester.

Runner-up: New Hampshire Fisher Cats
, the Manchester-based AA affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team. The 2012 season home opener is Thursday, April 12.

Honorable mention: UNH Wildcats hockey. The team made it to the Hockey East quarterfinals this year, and coach Dick Umile now has 499 career wins.


Best local theater performer

Best: George Piehl,
founder and producing director of Stage One Productions in Manchester.

Runner-up: Eric Skoglund, southern New Hampshire native, who has performed with various New Hampshire theater companies and was in The Good Doctor in 2011.

Honorable mention: Jessica Scalese,
actor and choreographer, of Concord, who has performed with StageCoach Productions, Actorsingers and other New Hampshire companies.


Best local visual artist

Best: Scott Bulger,
Concord, who has taught photography at Kimball-Jenkins School of Art in Concord and at NHTI Concord.

Runner-up: Sid Ceaser, Nashua, the fine art photographer who famously proposed marriage to his girlfriend via personalized Muppet short film.

Honorable mention: James Aponovich, Nashua/Hancock, painter of portraits and still life compositions whose work has been exhibited at the Currier Museum of Art as well as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and elsewhere.


Best local philanthropist (living)

Best: Dean Kamen
, entrepreneur, inventor of the Segway, founder of the nationwide FIRST robotics competition (FIRST is a nonprofit public charity) and of the SEE Science Center, member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Kamen has focused his research and inventing efforts on such practical projects as portable water filtration systems for undeveloped areas of the world. Check out his TED talk online.

Runner-up: Alex Ray, founder of the Common Man family of restaurants, which now has 13 locations throughout New Hampshire. The company’s website explains that Ray “instilled in his team a ‘can do’ attitude and a corporate culture that each restaurant is part of a community and has a welcome obligation to ‘do good’ and give back.” The company frequently runs fundraising events for local needs and it holds “Community Service Days” during which employees give their time to charity.

Honorable mention: Gary Hirshberg, co-founder and recently retired president and CE-Yo (but still chairman) of Stonyfield Farm, the Londonderry organic yogurt company that works from a mission of environmental and social responsibility. Stonyfield donates 10 percent of profits to environmental and educational causes.


THE WRAP

Best thing about your city

Best of Concord:
downtown

Best of Manchester: convenience

Best of Nashua:
downtown


Best thing about New Hampshire

Best:
mountains — for climbing, for sliding down, for skiing, for looking at, and for the postcards.

Runner-up: “Live Free or Die” — if it weren’t for that, what would we put on our license plates? (“Beautiful mountains,” maybe.)

Honorable mention:
natural beauty. We are a fine-looking state.






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