Two Ceres Street is my new favorite in town. From the moment we entered I felt more relaxed. The decor is very warm and inviting...Hmmm maybe that was the fireplace. Ther bar has several seats as well as couches and chairs strewn around the fireplace.
We decided to have a seat at the bar instead of the fire since we were warm enough. The drink menu here is rather extensive with several types of margaritas, martininis, mojitos, wine, beer, and champagne. They also serve small plates of food.
After perusing the drink menu; I chose to have a Miller Lite while the ladies decided on some Bellinis. As we sat there enjoying our drinks; the bartender had an awesome mix of 80's music pumping in the background. The music really took Liz and I back to being young children again. Lydia couldn't say that since she was born in 1988.
We sat here for hours enjoy drink after drink. It was so relaxing yet fun listening to the music and talking with the bartenders. We even watched the Kentucky Derby here like civilized people; some places get so rowdy when that is playing on the TV. The only thing that distracted us was a very visibly pregnant woman drinking alcohol in the bar...really!
All I can say is I loved this place and can't wait to come back again!
**As of our January 2013 we found out that: **As of the end of 2012, this is no longer an AA I-dine.**
Dress Code: Casual
Poco's is a favorite spot of ours when visiting Portsmouth. Their indoor and outdoor bar is a great place to enjoy some drinks, relax and have a bite to eat. The downstairs bar is a comfortable place to hang out with several tables, couches and plenty of bar seating. We always have a fun time here chatting with the bartenders and other patrons. It always feels like our "local" place since we can relax and feel at ease at Poco's.
During the summer months the outside bar("The Deck") can get jam packed but we usually prefer sitting inside away from the heat. Our most recent visit to Poco's was during Cinco de Mayo weekend 2012 and then again for Memorial Day Weekend. We arrived early but the outside bar was jammed from early pm until late evening. We chose to sit inside and enjoy some drinks; it was still a bit chilly outside by the water. Liz decided to have her favorite, the Blue Moon Margarita with salt. The Blue Moon Margarita has pineapple juice and Blue Curaçao in addition to the Tequila. The drink arrives in a salted rim and the color reminded me of a Blue Hawaiian. Needless to say she loved the drink as always. I chose to have a Corona and it arrived ina colorful panch for Cinco de mayo along with a sombrero keychain. Our friend Lydia tried the Sunburned Margarita but found it way too swet for her liking. I would assumed it was due to the Mango and cranberry juice. She replaced the margarita with a Corona donned in a Poncho.
My wife found her new favorite drink here over Memorial Day weekend; the XXX Mimosa. The drink is comprised of X-Rated Liqueur, Prosecco and orange juice. The drink was served in a large wine glass which looked as if it could be at least two drinks. From sip one, my wife loved it. Nothing betetr than branching out on the drink menu and finding something new.
We had a nice time at Poco's talking to the bartender, discussing our plans for the day, talking baseball with some other patrons and observing some train wrecks on the patio. As always it's a fun time at Poco's.
as of our January 2013 visit:**As of the end of 2012, this is no longer an AA I-dine.**
Dress Code: Casual
Fat Belly is the type of place that I never would venture into in California - divey, questionable characters behind the bar, their idea of "name" vodka is Skyy or Smirnoff, and every drink - whether Coke or a martini - comes in a high ball glass. However, as a reunion venue, it was AWESOME! Drinks were strong and CHEAP - like, $8 dollars a pop cheap for a double - and service was on point and hustling. All that mattered was that everyone got frequent drinks and wasn't turned away from the bar - and Fat Belly's provided! (This is especially key in Portsmouth, as other venues, like the Gas Light, are famous for turning away half a large party or anyone who seems already drunk... Fat Belly's was pretty much the only venue in town that let in the large group from our reunion who wanted to keep drinking) ALSO, an important thing to note about New Hampshire - bars close at 1 AM, and last call is at 12:45 AM.
Dress Code: We were dressed for the reunion, but I'm sure you could roll in here wearing pretty much anything but gym clothes.
Fat Belly's is another Portsmouth Bar/restaurant....but it's always packed to the gills with people. Everytime we come here it's a long wait for a table and we manage to barely squeeze into one of the two bar areas and gulp down a drink. I think after this last experience we will stick to the less crowded bars/restuarants where we can actually have a seat.
On Cinco de Mayo we actually managed to get a table here for some snacks and drinks. Amazingly the town was not as packed as we might have thought it would be with the holiday. We enjoyed some potato skins and mozzarella sticks along with some drinks.
Dress Code: Casual
The Portsmouth Gas Light was another of our stops while pub crawling on Cinco de Mayo. The building is the former home of the Portsmouth Gas Light Company. This Historic Building now is home to three levels of food and entertainment.
The street level is a bar/restaurant with pub grub offerings. The deck serves as the al fresco area for dining as well as nighttime bands/entertainment. On another level their "Downtown Pizza", serves brick oven pizza, sandwiches, salads, calzones, pasta and desserts. The third floor is the "nightclub" with nightly music and dancing.
Since we were just here for drinks we chose the Street level pub/restaurant. We chose to have a seat at their bar area in front of their wood burning oven (it was a bit chilly that day). We all enjoyed some beer while sitting by the warm glow of the fire. I have to say the place wasn't crowded at all despite the Cinco de Mayo holiday. Staff seemed surprised that the crowds weren't surging especially since it was a Saturday....Oh well more room at the bar for us.
We just stepped out from Poco's and decided to see what was happening here on their deck bar. As soon as we opened the door to the place the overwhelming fishy smell knocked us for a loop. It apparently came from their uncovered lobster tank that is located right inside the entrance. Yeah, the fish smell made us leave so we went elsewhere.
The Common Man is a nice restaurant/bar tucked away on State Street away from the hustle and bustle of the Market Square area. We decided to come here for some drinks on our pub crawl through Portsmouth.
The bar area is on the small side but has comfy stools as well as some tables for eating some pub grub for lunch(the main dining area is next door to the bar). I definitely liked the vibe of the place from the start. We settled into our seats and looked over the drink menu. I decided to try their Angry Orchard cider while the ladies chose some glasses of Prosecco.
My Angry Orchard was really good; I loved the crisp apple flavor. The ladies each had a sip and were surprised that they liked it. We had a good time here enjoying our drinks and chatting with the bartender. Another couple next to us was enjoying some lunch at the bar which looked really good. Next time we definitely come here for some food.
Dress Code: Casual
Ri' Ra' is a chain of Irish pubs along the East Coast. This particular location is housed in the Old New Hampshire Bank building. Inside there is a large wodden bar with plenty of stools, bar tables and booths. On the right side there is the dining room with tables and booths to enjoy a meal. There is the typical pub grub food available here if you want a snack of a meal. We were just here for a drink before dinner so we passed on the food.
Liz and I decided to have a seat at one of the pub tables and have a drink. I ordered a Magner's Cider and Liz chose a Hawaiian Beer. My wife likes to try unusual beers when we travel so this didn't surprise me. I enjoyed my cider and Liz found the beer interesting but not something she'd order again. We even ran into a group of people from Poco's that we had some fun with earlier...I started calling them fans by the end of the day since they seemed to follow us wherever we wound up.
Dress Code: Casual
We had our Saturday night happy hour at Poco's Bow Street Cantina. It's downstairs from the restaurant and is a lively, popular hangout, with windows on the water. There's the usual bar seating and also a fireside couch and armchairs.
The clientele tend to be in their 20s and 30s, and the noise level is high. Be prepared to scream your order into the bartender's ear.
The VT crew (2007) gathered at the Portsmouth Brewery on a Friday night. It was a fun place -- friendly atmosphere and a good selection of beers. No one seemed to mind that we took over the joint and took more flash photographs than a gaggle of paparazzi.
Dress Code: Casual
this has three levels, a ground floor bar with a band, a restaurant and a nightclub on the top floor. Nightclub was basic, nothing speacial, but with a local crowd. The bouncer had a bit of an attitude. They don;t sell Guinness, which is very bad. they do, however, sell Sam Adams octoberfest :)
Dress Code: no sneakers or t shirts.
I actually spent New Year's Eve here back in 2000. Portsmouth, like many New England towns/cities hosts a "First Night" celebration outside in their city squares or main streets...well, here's a little clue, it's a little too cold on December 31st in New England to be hanging about outside; so, we ducked into the Crazy Cat to stay warm and drink a few beers (or, if I remember correctly, it was whiskey that night).
Anyway, the Crazy Cat is a funky little place just down Congress Street from the North Church and Market Street. The place is set up real well, with two rooms set in an old store front. One room is used for dancing and live music, while the other contains the bar and several tables for those who want to get away from the dancing, but still want to hear the music and be able to hold a conversation.
Hit the Portsmouth Brewery for excellent hand-crafted local beers. New Hamsphire's first brewpub, founded in 1991, has a nice set of full-time offerings (i.e. core beers) agumented with seasonal beers throughout the year.
Try the Old Brown Dog Ale. It's a smooth, well-balanaced brown ale and one of their best sellers. For something a little hearier, hit the Black Cat Stout brewed with four different malts and whole chinook hops it's a meal in and of itself...very tasty. There's also a host of pale ales: the 'Bahn Yahd' Pale Ale and the India Pale Ale. Portsmouth Brewery also offers beers made by their sister company, Smuttynose Brewing Company, in which I recommend trying the Shoals Pale Ale and Portsmouth Lager to quench anyone's thrist. Oh yeah, they also serve good food...
A wonderful town to experience in the evening. There are plenty of cafes and taverns along the street to entice you.
Portsmouth Brewery opened in 1991. They give tours, offer a full menu and a variety of beers brewed right there.
Dress Code: casual