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Lakes Region, NH -- fun, casual dining

Will be up near Squam Lake this summer and looking for more casual dining for our first night. Any type of cuisine, just fun and casual. Can be burgers, Mexican... doesn't really matter. We just want to be able to hear ourselves talk!

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  1. Been awhile and I'm mostly on Lake Winny but Walter's Basin was always good. Waterfront dining in Holderness. Right next to where Henry Fonda pulled in to fill up the boat for gas with Kathrine Hepburn in On Golden Pond.

    1. Most places around Squam are casual. The Canoe in Center Harbor is great food but in the peak of the season, some people think the service falls off. It never bother us and we go there all the time. Great for burgers, lobster mac and cheese, Thai calamari and full dinners. www.eatatcanoe.com

      Abondante is a wonderful, small Italian restaurant in Meredith. The food is fantastic and the atmosphere is good for being with friends. www.abondantenh.com

      The Corner House Inn in Center Sandwich is another great, casual place to go for good, local food. We take friends there and they are always impressed.

      For really casual dining, there is Town Docks, on the water in Meredith. It is eat in the ruff fried seafood, burgers, chicken, etc. It is one of the Common Man group of restaurants that we can actually tolerate. They have Jimmy Buffet-type bands on weekends.

      A little more upscale, and always good are The Woodshed in Moultonborough, Mike Love's Lemongrass in Center Harbor and The Coe House in Center Harbor. Have fun.

      1 Reply
      1. re: greenstate

        I wouldn't say service at Canoe falls off at peak of season, but it does get quite crowded. They have a "shuttle service" from the parking lot of a nearby church when their small parking lot gets full, which is nice, but can be a bit of a pain if it's raining.

      2. I love the Corner House Inn, I forget that was actually in Squam country. My favorite!! I do love the Woodshed but agree, more upscale. Anything Mike Love does is great, miss his place in Wolfboro.

        I'm one of those that's totally disappointed with Canoe's service and allll the time!!!! But if I can seperate the food for the service (very hard to do) their food is excellent. I won't go because of the service - I've never ever gotten good service (I'm forced to go with family and then cring when service starts messing up badly).

        1. We like the Corner House, too. For VERY casual, we like the take-out stand Red Hill Dairy in Moultonboro for lobster roll and fried onion rings. Of course, sitting on the edige of a parking lot might be a little too casual.

          1. Great suggestions! Thank you!

            1. Red Hill Dairy has the BEST soft serve ice cream in the area. A small chocolate cone with a chocolate dip on a hot summer day is heavenly.

              1. I'll definitely be checking that one out! Thanks for the tip. (So glad you didn't say vanilla cone!)

                3 Replies
                1. re: mallomarmom

                  waitaminute ... if we're going to talk about ice cream FORGET soft serve and make a little adventure trip to the Sandwich Creamery. No cones. I think my husband and I sat in their garden and shared a pint. Very out of the way or so it seems on a first visit. I think their ice cream is served at some restaurants in the Lakes Region. Would probably make the trip more often but Concord NH has several places that make their own ice cream. But ... maybe I'll have to try a small chocolate soft serve at Red Hill Dairy ... just to check.

                  1. re: dfrostnh

                    Okay, am I dating myself? Years ago, we used to go to a place called FrankenSundae's (or something like that). Is that long gone? Talk about decadence,

                    1. re: mallomarmom

                      I think that's now the Town Docks but could be wrong.

                      Red Hill Dairy has awesome fried clams too. I'm pretty sure (least used to) get fresh seafood from Ispwich Seafood. If you're in that area in the summer, great seafood truck sits at ETC. Shop in Merideth on Thursdays - excellent fresh seafood to take home and cook.