Chef Ron Boucher is synonymous on the Seacoast with his cooking school Chez Boucher. But less well-known is his restaurant, Savory Square Bistro, which opened in February 2012. Discover the hidden Depot Square gem, and you’ll find an eatery that specializes in country-French cooking with a twist.
Since opening next to the train depot in Exeter in May of 2012, Good Karma Café has made a name for itself by serving up healthful food that's also delicious. The two-story building has a laid-back, comfortable ambience and is open all day, from breakfast on. The café began as an all vegan eatery; now, it's expanding beyond those plant-only roots with a revamped menu that includes organic, grass-fed burgers and fish, along with its signature smoothies and bowls.
At The Black Birch in downtown Kittery, proprietors Gavin Beaudry, Benjamin Lord, and Jake Smith ensure the vibe of the restaurant supports their comfort food menu. “We want everyone’s experience to be the experience we want to have when we dine out,” Lord says, which turns out to be a community block party in restaurant form.
The Higgins family has operated a restaurant in Hampton since the 1980s, and for over a decade at its current location in a 1740 building. There’s a variety of traditional fare at The Old Salt Restaurant, with over 100 choices available any time of day— including an extensive gluten-free menu.
Established in 2006 by co-owners John Tinios, of The Galley Hatch Restaurant and Grill 28, and Master Baker Steve James, Popovers on the Square has carved out a niche for itself in downtown Portsmouth as a casual, full-service neighborhood cafe.
Keith Prince and his business partner, Brook Gassner, opened Rudi's Portsmouth in 2007 in the eatery ediﬁce whose legacy boasts The Jarvis Tea Room and Metro. Prince had been very successful with Colby’s on Daniel Street (breakfast and lunch) for many years, but the early hours left him wanting a change. “I enjoy working the later hours of the day, so I wanted to open a place with good nightlife,” Prince says. With live jazz in the bar four nights a week and during Sunday brunch, he and Gassner have succeeded in that endeavor. But Prince did not leave a great lunch reputation behind at Colby’s; Rudi’s offers a quiet and sumptuous lunchtime respite six days a week.