Hampton Beach, New Hampshire is one of New England’s northernmost beaches. The cool coastal waters provide ample nutrition for lobster and shellfish species exclusive to this region. These sea creatures make their way to you via the seafood retailers, restaurants, and seafood shacks that dot the boardwalks and roadways. Stay at a Hampton Beach vacation rental to have easy access to fantastic food, shopping, and the beach. Since family meals are always memorable, here are a few eateries that you can feel comfortable visiting with children.
1. Airfield Café
The Airfield Café is a great place for kids and serves breakfast and lunch all day, though the day here ends in the mid-afternoon in the winter. The menu includes traditional café fare and kid favorites such as chicken tenders and grilled cheese sandwiches, but adds local faves such as fried scallops and beer-battered shrimp. Take a walk around this working airfield that was set up as a training ground for returning WWII vets and which now features a training school for pilots of open-cockpit biplanes. Try the Belgian malted waffles with fresh fruit for breakfast, and the lunch specialty: a lobster roll with real lobster meat mixed with mayonnaise, chopped celery, and salt and pepper on a grilled bun.
2. Coffee Break Café
A central location, good food, friendly service, and a relaxed neighborhood atmosphere make the Coffee Break Café a good choice for families with kids. The café serves breakfast and lunch daily, with dishes such as cinnamon swirled French toast and fluffy buttermilk pancakes for breakfast and traditional sandwiches and wraps for lunch. Drink specialties at this establishment include handmade Italian sodas.
3. Farr’s Famous Chicken
Fresh off its number-2 ranking by BestThingsNH.com, Farr’s Famous Chicken is a such a great place for families with children that you are likely to visit more than once during your stay. The breakfast menu offers traditional morning fare with some healthy additions such as oatmeal, yogurt plates, and fruit smoothies. Lunch and dinner share the same menu that offers the simplicity of chicken family plates and wing buckets that you order by the number of pieces you want. The menu also features a kid’s section.
4. The Beach Plum
Stop at the Beach Plum across from the State Beach for a traditional New England oceanside meal. Casual counter service serves up the best lobster rolls on the beach. The menu offers enough variety to please even the most finicky eaters. Try the cranberry-squash bisque for something you won’t find anywhere else. Save room for dessert, with over 50 flavors of premium ice cream available.
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5. Hoaty’s of Hampton
Start the day off with the world-famous breakfast or lunch served at Hoaty’s of Hampton. Located in the center of town, Hoaty’s caters to families with homemade dishes, friendly service, and a kid‘s menu that features smaller versions of adult meals. Try a New England omelet, which combines ham, sausage, bacon, tomato, pepper, onions, and cheese with fluffy folded eggs.
6. Little Jack’s Seafood Restaurant
Walk off the beach and right into Little Jack’s Seafood Restaurant for a super-casual, friendly atmosphere and a roof deck with the best ocean views in Hampton Beach. Tourists and locals alike flock here for the informal vibe and friendly service. Try the fish and chips, flaky fillets of New England cod dipped in batter and deep-fried to a golden brown and served with French fries, or the prime rib plate, served with coleslaw and fries.
7. Al’s Seafood Market and Restaurant
No visit to Hampton Beach is complete without a trip to Al’s Seafood Market and Restaurant. Al is a local seafood expert whose shop sells raw seafood that you can prepare at your vacation rental in Hampton Beach. This is a restaurant where you can bring the family for a comfortable, home-style seafood meal in a cozy fireplace-heated room. The specialties here are lobster, scallops, clams, chowder, and other seafood specialties boiled, broiled, or fried. Al’s also serves meat and chicken dishes, as well as a kid’s menu that adds baby Maine shrimp and fish and chops to the traditional children’s fare.
Keep the kids fed while you’re spending the day on the beach with a visit to K-Stats on the boardwalk. Specializing in locally-caught seafood and fresh chicken, the counter service is fast and efficient. Chicken fingers and fried clams get high marks from reviewers, as do the doughboys, a New England tradition that consists of deep-fried bread dough, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and served piping hot right out of the fryer.
9. Al Gauron’s Luncheonette
Al Gauron’s Luncheonette is a side business operated by the same family that owns and operates Al Gauron’s Deep Sea Fishing and Whale Watching Cruises. This luncheonette is conveniently located near the boarding area and provides casual counter service with outdoor seating. The luncheonette is a great place to grab a quick bite before or after heading out on an all-day or half-day fishing expedition or whale watch.
10. Fast Eddie’s Diner
Hearken back to a different era with a visit to Fast Eddie’s Diner. Fast Eddie’s has the look and feel of a 1950s diner and serves hearty breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with nightly specials and homemade ingredients. Even the donuts are homemade at breakfast time. The menu features a huge selection of homemade favorites such as liver and onions and franks and beans. Don’t miss fried chicken Fridays or chicken pot pie Saturday.
11. Las Olas Taqueria
Even New Englanders need a break from seafood sometimes, and the popularity of Las Olas Taqueria is a testament to the quality locals get here. Expect no-frills atmosphere, casual dining, and a wonderfully colorful decor with a menu that features traditional Tex-Mex favorites such as quesadillas, tacos, burritos, salads, bowls, and nachos. There are plenty of sides and options from which to choose and a special kid’s menu that offers smaller portions of tacos and quesadillas.
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