Our Favorite Casual Seacoast Seafood
Summer spots for lobster (and fried goodness)
Lobster is delicious in many ways, but forget about white table linens, fancy crab-stuffed lobster tails or rich lobster Newburg — there are plenty of places along the New Hampshire seacoast where you can go for a good old-fashioned lobster you crack into yourself (the butter dripping down to your elbows is optional, but encouraged) or an overflowing lobster roll with a toasted bun.
Founded in 1950, Brown’s Lobster Pound is known for its quality seafood, unique New England atmosphere, and lobsters and steamers available cooked or alive. You can leave the plastic at home (Brown’s is cash only), but we do recommend that you bring your own beer and wine to wash down your meal, which you can eat outside on the deck overlooking the scenic marsh and river. This family-owned business continues to serve up everything from fried clams, four kinds of chowder, baked dishes and, of course, boiled lobster and steamers with butter. If you feel like doing all the work yourself, you also have the option to head into the pound and pick up live lobsters you can cook at home.
If you walk across the street, you will find Brown’s neighbor and rival, Markey’s Lobster Pool. The two restaurants each have their own loyal following who wouldn’t set foot in the opposition, but we suggest that you try dinner at both and see for yourself. Open since 1971, this is another fantastic family-owned business with firm New Hampshire roots. In addition to all the usual menu items — fried seafood, fresh lobsters, clams, mussels, shrimp, chowder, etc. — they also have a raw bar featuring oysters, cherrystones and shrimp cocktail.
A couple of miles down the road, you will find Petey’s Summertime Seafood & Bar, where you know you’re getting the real, fresh deal as they catch their own lobster. Though it’s open all year long, Petey’s is a favorite with beachgoers in the summer months, so if you’re visiting on a particularly warm day, be prepared for a crowd and plan accordingly. You can choose to sit outside on the deck with a view of the water, at the bar or in the dining room. The menu is long, with everything from scallop or lobster rolls to a full, traditional clambake dinner with a 1-pound lobster, steamers, corn, chowder and cole slaw. If you are in a rush to get back to the beach, you can get take-out of the cooked variety or live lobster to prepare when you get home.