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Salem MA Area

  • b

We will be "headquartering" in Salem for a few days and touring the Essex area. We like to eat where the locals do......no chains or such. Seafood is at the top of the list but we certainly enjoy ethnic and other. Prefer very casual attire.

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  1. In a Pig's Eye was a favorite of my husband's before we were married and now it is a favorite of mine as well. It is a small one room bar/dining room with a very friendly staff and a regular clientelle. Monday (special mexican menu) and Thursday evenings they have entertainment beginning at 9 with no cover. Check out their website: http://www.inapigseye.com/

    FYI Salem is fighting a no smoking ordinance and could possibly be overturned by the time you visit.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Carol

      I second the suggestion of In a Pig's Eye. Its got a VERY local feel...you see the same faces at the bar every night. And the food is good too...especially their seafood and soups. The best chowder around. Finz just opened in Pickering Warf. Has the very best calamari I ever tasted.

    2. j
      Jason Valdes Greenwood

      Our favorite Clam Shack is Farnhams in Essex. Great fried clams and other fried seafood. Onion rings are great too, fries not as good as the onion rings. They are rumored to still fry in lard. I haven't been as happy with the clam chowder the last few times we went, so I'd avoid that. The fried platter is humongous so we usually split it between two of us.

      1. in salem try major magleashes for a great chowder (hate to differ w/ the pig lovers) also great burgers. a baroom very casual on washington st. a grill menu with ribs tips etc. the pig is also good food.. seafood in marblehead at the barnicle...always good/fresh

        1 Reply
        1. re: Joe

          Okay - In a Pig's Eye was nothing impressive. Not to be a stiff, but if this was my local and I needed to eat, then I would be very content. Chowder was okay, but nothing really in it. Not clams, not vegetables, nothing. Baked clams were a travesty. These poor animals died for nothing.

          However - the atmosphere was nice, folks were friendly, music was lively, beer was cheap. Just don't go for the food & you'll be fine.

          1. You can't get much more local than the Witches Brew and the people who dine in the bar are very friendly. I felt very much at home the first time I stopped in. They had some good specials, especially with lobster. Of course, I'm just now noticing how old this thread is, but it may still be helpful for someone else. One not to miss place is the AJ King Bakery, for their amazing croissants.

            1. The best hidden gem of Salem is Sonoma, the Gastropub of the North Shore. The food is incredible, atmosphere is divine, and the wait staff are the best. The tapas items are to die for. I would have to say it is the best menu within the city of Salem due to its diversity, huge selection, and quality of food. I do enjoy Sixty2 on Wharf but the menu is too small and has not changed since it opened.

              8 Replies
              1. re: drewinmrblhd

                Drew, I can't believe it--I didn't know about this place. Might try it tonight. What are some of your favorite dishes there?


                  1. re: BBHound

                    It's on Congress Street. Not open for lunch. http://www.sonomasalem.com/.

                    We're going tonight to check it out. Will report back.


                    1. re: Northshoregirl

                      The Swordfish tapas dish is so tasty as is the stuffed portabello mushroom appetizer. The baked pasta is one of my favorite pasta meals on the North Shore. The Scampi pizza is also delicious. They also have a huge beer selection on tap. For a lighter meal, the Oriental salad is large enough to share, I could not finish it myself.

                      1. re: drewinmrblhd

                        Unfortunately, I think these folks have become victims of their own success. We had a lousy meal there Friday night. Only one waitress for all the tables; she was completely overwhelmed. We had a flatbread pizza that was crispy and flavorful. The other tapas were meh. The two entrees we tried weren't good at all. Pork chop with flavorless sauce. Duck pasta with chewy, flavorless duck and pasta cooked to mush. Cocktails were watery. It's too bad because the interior is well done, and the menu is interesting. I'd suggest waiting a while before trying this place. Hopefully, they will get their act together. Also, a weeknight might be better than a weekend.


                        1. re: Northshoregirl

                          Too bad---almost went on Friday, but plans changed. Now re-thinking. Menu looks good. Still have an old $50 gift card from the last incarnation of that spot "T's" Wonder if they'll take it?!!?

                  2. re: drewinmrblhd

                    How long has this place been open? I remember going there years ago when it was Love Noodle and again when it was T's. I didn't think anything was there anymore. It sound like it might be the same owner, since they had a mention of 'Love noodle" on the menu.

                    1. re: Cathleen02

                      The waitress said it opened at the end of June. I don't know who owns it, but the interior looks brand-new.

                  3. I usually go on Tues or Wed and the place is not packed. Fri and Sat are more challenging for the staff. Give it another chance! I believe the owner is a Danvers fireman, possibly retired.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: drewinmrblhd

                      We will certainly give it another chance after they've had a chance to adjust to the crowds.