The Lobster Shanty: Great food, honest price
As the name would suggest, they have lobster. And they carry various other food too, but the seafood is the main draw here. This may be my only tip I write for Salem because honestly peope have already documented the highlights of the town ad nauseam, but somehow skipped this gem.
At first I was reluctant to try this place since it is in the heart of a tourist artisan street. But I asked a few locals throughout the morning and they all pointed me here. While I was eating, there was a table or two of tourists, but the majority were again locals.
Its a casual establishment, with a bunch of tables inside and out. Dress for the weather and eat outside if you can. Bring your dog too since the patio is dog friendly.
Favorite Dish: I sampled a few of the side dishes, all were excellent. I let my eyes wonder over all the other tables and it was a hard decision. But I finally decided on the lobster roll (they offer both hot and cold styles). It was overflowing, fresh and delicious. I'd do it again and again if I could.
- Food and Dining
Naumkeag Ordinary: Superb restaurant in Salem
We picked Naumkeag Ordinary for the unusual name. They also advertised that they had their Thursday specials based on the availability at that day's Farmers' Market.
They have a bar area and a dining room and there's an outdoor patio as well. Their menu is seasonal and they use as much locally sourced food and ingredients as possible. Sounds good to us!
They are open from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily. There is one small step to get in and a toilet facility that's on the level as well so they're easy to navigate if you have accessibility issues. You can make reservations though we were there midweek and it wasn't too busy. The staff was wonderful, too.
Favorite Dish: The food we had was some of the best we'd ever had anywhere. My partner had steak and I had a mustard crusted haddock that was amazing, so fresh and flaky and mouth-melty! We also enjoyed a local cider. The menu is eclectic, with a good variety of choices but nothing is ordinary about this restaurant, from the food to the excellent serving staff.
Capt's Waterfront Grill: Seafood and great views
We chose this restaurant for the great views over the Salem waterfront and took a chance on the food. It was worth the leap! We had very good service (but, then, the restaurant was quiet for a mid week late lunchtime) and the food was prepared well and was really good.
The restaurant has a ground floor and a second floor with outside seating overlooking the harbour. The decor is woody and appropriate for the nautical theme. There is plenty to choose from on the menu and the food is fresh and well presented. The prices were pretty reasonable for the location and the restaurant was comfortable and we enjoyed the views, too.
Favorite Dish: I had to have a lobster roll and, coming from a province in Canada which has excellent lobster, I had to determine if the famed "Maine Lobster" was as good. Yes, Yes it was. The lobster roll overflowed the toasted bun and was mixed with a little celery and mayo, but not too much and the lobster was nice and chilled. We had dessert as well and it was really good.
Salem Beer Works: Craft beer and good food
We tried this restaurant on the recommendation of the owners of our B&B. It was a short walk a few blocks away and as it was a Tuesday night, it wasn't very crowded. The interior is modern and can hold a fair number of people. We sat near the bar and ordered from an extensive menu. We also sampled a few of the long list of micro brewed beers and ales that they have and many change by the season. That in itself is an adventure! The blueberry beer had real blueberries in it! The pumpkin beer had a nice clove flavour.
Favorite Dish: My partner had an epic double burger held together with a "dagger" (steak knife) and it was juicy and well cooked and loaded with fresh ingredients. I had a "Rajun Cajun" dish that was just spicy enough and full of flavour. Prices were reasonable and the staff was great. Definitely recommend this one!
Fountain Place: Mom and Pop Spot
Truthfully, I was a little offset by the place when we first got here because I was seated, waiting for my friend to use the restroom, for about 10 minutes before my presence was acknowledged. The waitress finally did and she was very friendly so all was forgiven. I came to realize that this is a quintessential mom and pop sort of place where I'd love to have breakfast some time.
Favorite Dish: We both ordered roll-up sandwiches. My friend had roast beef but I decided to try one with Greek sausage. It was good, not great and the french fries were frozen. Like I said, I think breakfast would be the better meal to have here. Lunch wasn't bad, but it wasn't great.
- Food and Dining
- Budget Travel
The Great Escape(Closed): Incredible Lunch
The Great Escape Restaurant is house in the building which was once America’s oldest active jail having been built in 1813 and remaining open until 1991. My wife suggested this place and after hearing the history of the building, I was all for it. The restaurant interior is a jail theme with brick walls, the original two foot thick granite floor, a bar made out of recycled cell doors, and cell bars all around.
We made a reservation for a 12pm Sunday lunch; thinking it would be busy for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Surprisingly, as we entered there was only one other table of patrons. The lack of patrons allowed us to choose our table. We of course chose the table with cell bars flanking it. The host handed us menus and we began to peruse the items. The menu was loaded with appetizers, soups, pasta, seafood, pork, lamb, beef, and chicken selections.
Our waiter Mack came over and took our order. I chose the Al Capone; a pasta dish with fresh fussili, Italian sausage and broccoli rabe with sliced hot cherry peppers tossed in a garlic and olive oil sauce. My wife chose the Lobster and Shrimp Pomodoro; a pasta dish with fresh fussili with lobster meat and shrimp, in tomato sauce with parmesan cheese. To drink; I chose a Sprite and my wife ordered a club soda with lime.
About five minutes later Mack arrived with some warm fresh rolls along with some olive oil for dipping. The rolls were very good, soft, warm and perfect when dipped in the flavorful oil. I had to stop myself from eating more and spoiling my appetite. Less than ten minutes later our entrees arrived piping hot. The portions were very large; enough for two people in my opinion.
I truly loved my entrée. The pasta was incredibly fresh. The sausage was sliced very thinly which made for an excellent flavor. The broccoli rabe and cheery peppers were delicious covered in the garlic and oil sauce. My wife had the winning dish in my opinion. Her pasta was covered in a rich tomato sauce with large whole shrimp and huge chunks of lobster meal. After stealing a few forkfuls, I know what I’m having next time we are here.
Unfortunately due to the large portions we didn’t have dessert. We barely ate half of our entrees it was just so much food. This was an excellent meal and I can’t wait to return.
**FYI: Mon-Friday there is a lunch menu. Sunday lunch is the dinner menu.**
Favorite Dish: I truly loved my entree but I would have to say my wife's was the best of the two.
Gulu-Gulu Cafe: Delicious wraps on a lunchtime
I had walked past this cafe on my way to visit Chestnut Street and the Witch House and as the menu looked so good I decided that I would return for lunch on my way back.
I was greeted and seated quite quickly even though the cafe was busy. The waitress was very friendly and prepared to answer my questions. Eventually I plumped for an Essjay wrap which was packed with avocado, cranberries, chopped apple, hummus, tomatoes and salad leaves. There was also a choice of wraps to suit all tastes. The food arrived promptly and was excellent, just the right amount of seasoning and a generous amount of filling.
There was an extensive choice of beers and I noticed that on an evening there is live music most nights. It would definitely be a place that I would return to and one that I would recommend.
Opening hours are 08:09am until midnight, with hours extended until 01:00am from Wednesdays through to Saturdays.
Favorite Dish: There is an extensive menu but the wraps are particularly tasty for a lunchtime meal.
- Beer Tasting
- Budget Travel
- Historical Travel
Capt's Waterfront Grill & Pub: Great View...Not So Great Food
My wife and I were enjoying a nice day in Salem and were in need of a good lunch. We both decided a nice seafood lunch with a view would be perfect considering the beautiful weather. We have our favorite local restaurants but my wife felt like trying a new place after seeing Capt's. The restaurant was right on the water (Pickering Wharf) and had a nice view of the Friendship.
We entered the restaurant and requested a table for two. We were told it would be a twenty five minute wait and we said we'd wait in the bar until the table was ready. We barely were in our seats at the bar and the host came to escort us to our table. We had a table for two on their outdoor patio on the top floor of the restaurant. We were handed menus and let to peruse the selections.
The menu has a large variety of seafood; the typical lobster, crab, shrimp, and the like. They also have some non seafood selections;but who goes to a seafood joint and not get seafood. When the waiter arrived we placed our orders; crab cake platter for my wife and the tuna steak with a Wasabi glaze for me. We both chose some unsweeteened ice teas for our beverages.
After sitting in the sun for five minutes my wife and I couldn't take the heat or the burn;so we switched to a table out of the sun thankfully. Our order was taking a longer than normal time to come out and when it arrived the dissapointment began. Both of our entrees were not hot; they were at best room temperature. My tuna must have been sitting out for some time as the Wasabi Glaze had congealed on the plate into a hard paste. My wife's crab cake was the bigger dissapointment; they was almost no identifiable crab. The cake was all filler; breadcrumbs and veggies mashed up into a cake. We ate a bit and then decided to just give up.
Trying to track down a waiter became a game and we finally just gave up and asked for a check. We paid and decided to get out of here in search of a better option. When we were going down the stairs the host asked how our meal was. My wife told him the truth that it was a big dissapointment and that her crab cakes had no crab, No repsonse in apology or concern from the host; nice customer service. This place will never get a second chance to dissapoint me...we will go back to Finz across the way where they have good food.
Jaho Coffe and Tea: YUMMY COFFEE DRINKS
Jaho was the second of two coffee stops I was forced to make so the boys could use the bathroom. The girl behind the counter was pleasantly surprised when I told her how I had to buy a coffee cause they had to pee. She thanked me for being honest and abiding by the bathrooms for patrons signs posted.
I am actually glad that I stopped. I got a most delicious frozen coffee drink. It had the flavors of vanilla and toffee in it. While they made my drink I browsed the freshly made gelattos in the cabinet. They all looked very yummy. Anyway, I really liked my coffee drink. It was refreshing on a very hot day and was tastier than anything Starbucks has to offer for about the same price.
There was also an assortment of cakes and pastries available for you to chose from.
Favorite Dish: My frozen coffee drink.
- Road Trip
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
Bay Bridge Restaurant And Nightclub: COME SEE YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTERS ON SUNDAYS
One our way out of Salem, SES and I stopped at this place to eat, only because it was part of the American I Dines program. This was a mistake to eat here. The food was nasty, the service wasn't anything great and the waitress got my check wrong. The one saving grace was the Buzz Lightyear walking around making people laugh. It turns out every Sunday a different character come to have brunch with the little ones.
Favorite Dish: I ordered the baked scallops. When they arrived they were covered with some bread crumb mixture and they were way over cooked. SES got some taco salad which looked like they took a garden salad and dumped some meat on top of it and served it as a taco salad. The iced tea was good.
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
Victoria Station: Enjoy the view!
There are many waterfront restaurants overlooking Salem harbor, most of them specializing in fresh seafood - as I am rather picky (!), we chose to eat at Victoria Station as there were other items on the menu besides seafood. We ate outside on the patio and really enjoyed the lazy, friendly atmosphere of the harbor and the restaurant. If you happen to be there on a rainy day, you'll probably enjoy the rather unique interior decor as well - everything (menu included) is inspired by the British railroad system - hence the name of the restaurant, of course!
Rockafella's Restaurant: A restaurant with entertainment.
This was our first time here. Atmosphere was really nice, but we went there early. The band wouldn't be playing until after 9 p.m. so next time, we'll go down just for drinks, appertizers and to hear the band. They have Jazz or Blues bands and local guarists, etc. play there on different nights during the week and weekends.
Seating was comfortable and decorating was nice.
Favorite Dish: We were not as impressed with the food. I did enjoy the flavor of my Stuffed chicken breast with Godda cheese & spinach with sundried cranberries. There were also various kinds of potatoes pieces & parsley scattered about the plate for color . The chicken was delicious but some of the potatoes were hard. I thought it was at the most very good, but VERY expensive for what it was: A CHICKEN DISH.
My husband was very UNHAPPY with what he got. Crab stuffed Shrimp. The stuffing was soggy and the shrimp was rubbery to okay, but not worth the price either.
Well, we probably won't go back to dinner, but will try it again for the entertainment some night.
- Historical Travel
Edgewater Cafe: Ole` for Mexican
This was my first visit and I 'm sure there'll be many more, altho without my Hubby. He doesn't like Mexican food much at all, but since it was my birthday, he took me there for my celebration.
The decor inside could use some updating and the booths are rather small if more than two people are sitting at your table. BUT the food and the service were great! I'm looking forward to trying another dish on my next visit.
Favorite Dish: Chicken Chimichangas - Tender chunks of chicken and Jack cheese in a fried flour tortilla topped with their special sauce.
This is what I had for my B'day dinner and it was wonderful!
Victoria Station: Victoria Station on Pickering Wharf
Other than the Rockmore, my other favorite is Victoria Station. It's on Pickering Wharf and you can eat inside or out on the patio. Food is great!
Favorite Dish: Seafood, seafood, seafood, frozen-margaritas! Oh ya ... that's a drink! Love the fish n' chips or my very favorite: the Station Burger.
Gulu-Gulu Cafe: Lovely fresh food in a pub like atmosphere
This place looks tiny from the outside but is massive when you enter it - a bit of a tardis.
Reasonably priced with good service we enjoyed a lovely lunch.
There was a choice of two veggie homemade soup of the day - tomato and feta - and butternut squash. I had a veggie meditterrean wrap with houmous and veg. excellent
Favorite Dish: The Mac and cheese for once didn't contain bacon or ham - hurrah and it was made with goats cheese - yummy and different.
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