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Hanover, New Hampshire

So we are debating a move to Hanover, NH. How is the food scene in and around Hanover? We are currently in a food wasteland in Tallahassee, Florida, so we are not leaving much behind. Any suggestions for places to go on a visit to the area?

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  1. I'm not an expert on the area, but my feeling/experience is that Hanover/West Lebanon have decent but not great restaurants--mostly chain style. There are a few exceptions--Yama for japanese for instance. Also, if you cross the border into Vermont, you have Simon Pearce in Quechee and in Woodstock, a few options. Good luck!


    2 Replies
    1. re: Reggiano

      Yama is in West Lebanon and is a Korean place. It is very good,
      plus has gerat sushi.
      In Hanover there is The Canoe Club and Murpheys which are not
      like chains at all. Also there is the Hanover Inn. There is two Indian
      restaurants. There is a Thai restaurant. Of course being a college
      town there are a couple of pizza places, Ramunto's being the best
      in my opinion. Lebanon has some nice places too. Salt Hill Pub
      is pretty good. There is the 7 Barrel Pub which makes it's own beer.
      Gusanoz's is a fine Mexican place. Margarita's is a Mexican chain
      place which has decent food and drinks.
      Lui Lui's is a Pizza, pasta Italian type place.
      Three Tomatoes is the same type of place. Both have wood fired pizza
      ovens and several pasta dishes.
      Of course along the Rte 12a strip you will find some of the chain
      restaurants which were mentioned before.
      I am sure other posters will fill you in on what I have missed. Good luck.

      1. re: JOronte

        Good ethnic food in the Upper Valley is slim pickin's. Yama is good for Korean and Japanese food. I would have to say of the two Indian places, I would avoid the Indian Queen and stick with Jewel of India. Food is decent but be aware the service is not very friendly. Gusanoz's is decent Mexican, Margarita's is overpriced with huge portions of chain Mexican food. Firebirds in Quechee is good some nights, decent some nights. The prime rib has never disappointed. Simon Pearce is very good but extremely pricey. Bentley's in Woodstock has good food and a nice atmosphere.

        I have moved here after growing up in New Orleans and living in Birmingham, AL and Charlotte, NC. If you search, you can find fairly decent food, but you are close enough to Boston, Montreal, Burlington, and Portland that you can take a short trip to get a great meal. I often go to Boston for some great dim sum at Hei La Moon.

    2. I think you'll be happy with the options in Hanover and the surrounding areas. There are a lot of nice inns and quality dining within a half-hour drive. To top it all off they have, quite possibly, the nicest co-op food store. "member or not, anyone can shop" is there logo, and if you like to cook a quality meal as much as you like to eat out there is NO better place to shop. When you visit you should stop there just to see your options. As for dinner out while you visit, i have had some Great meals at ZIn's wine bistro (which is in the Hanover Inn). The Canoe Club is very good as well. Just over the river (about 5 minutes from downtown) is The Norwich Inn, which i have heard to have good food. King Arthur Bakery Store is also in Norwich. They make the best flour known to man and their pastries, classes, and products are just great. No matter where you go to eat, If you move here, you'll find great places and terrible places (it's bound to happen) but overall i would say the upper valley area and central nh and vt has some of the best eating around!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Tupelohoney44

        is Lou's still the best breakfast in Hangover? it's been a loooong time for me but I remember it was really good diner food

        1. re: Jamie D

          Lou's is still one of my favorite breakfasts in the area. It's obviously the same for many others, it's very hard to get in there on a Saturday.

          I agree with several of the other posters: Yama and the Canoe Club are gems. Jewel of India is decent. Gusanoz is good enough that it doesn't frustrate my Arizona-trained Mexican tastes.

          Otherwise, aside from high-end dining, the pickings are a bit slim.

      2. CARPENTER AND MAIN!!!! It is in Norwich, VT which is just across from the Norwich Inn. Really great. You can either sit in the Tavern or in the fancier dining room. I recommend the tavern. You can order off of the entire menu and it is killer. Great local ingredients and good atmoshpere. Love it. The other posters really have given you a great sense of the scene. I just wanted to be sure that these guys got a look also. I guess I will stand up for Gusanoz's also. It is in a nasty strip mall that almost made me not wanna go the first time. It is really good. I love the mole!

        3 Replies
        1. re: deeper

          i have been wondering where carpenter and main is... tons of good response about the place.. what sort of food are we dealing with? what's your fav? good drinks?

          1. re: Tupelohoney44

            We love Carpenter and Main, but here are a few other suggestion Mangowood cafe in the lincoln Inn loved the soy reduction, we just tried the Parker House under the new owners younger couple female chef, great! Tip Top cafe in White river junction pork and ginger meatloaf was a nice surprise, and down the street Elixirs
            for great cocktails and some music

            1. re: NGurber

              Hi Everyone
              agree with tip top-great for lunchl, Glad to see someone else who likes the Parker House as much as us. We really think it is one of the best places all around. The host (owner-British) couldn't be more likeable or funny and we always find something great on the menu. Esp. now they have the authentic bistro menu for the winter as well and live music on Sundays. Not nearly as pricey as we thought. We saw a great montreal trio there and had great beef bourginon and frites.
              Carpenter and Main has changed some I've heard that the tavern is good but was underwhelmed by the main dining room menu.

        2. While not a restaurant, the Hanover & Lebanon area offers a foodie's dream: an amazing food cooperative that goes far beyond just natural foods. The Hanover Cooperative has over 20,000 members, two large stores and a few smaller stores. They sell conventional, organic and lots of locally produced foods. They have a cafe and a great prepared foods department. Here is a link:


          1. There's now a web site of restaurants in the area that might help, http://www.uvfood.com/

            2 Replies
            1. re: uveater

              Be a little careful with uvfood, a lot of the restaurants in the listings are defunct (when I come across one, I've left comments to that effect so that others will know).

              1. re: kaszeta

                Yes, thanks for pointing out the closed places... I've flagged them as closed and fixed a few more. I'll be doing a sweep over uvfood's database to verify information once I get home from vacation.

            2. Simon Pearce has the best food around. It is in Woodstock, VT. Not too far away in Hartland, VT, is the Skunk Hollow Tavern, a little publicized but excellent place. They have a wonderful bread basket( it's extra) but well worth it! Their owner makes delicious homemade ice creams!!! Entrees change often and are great! It is a tiny place ly and looks like a hole in the wall but will absolutely delight you!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Reggie Springer

                Simon Pearce is actually in Quechee, on the way to Woodstock. The lunch there is great and reasonably priced, too.

              2. I made the move from Tallahassee (actually, Apalachicola Florida, after a couple years in Tallahassee), to the upper Valley nearly 20 years ago. From a food standpoint, I have never looked back. There is simply no comparison. Fresh local produce and meats, a variety of cooking styles. I'm in central VT now, so not as aware of the Hanover restaurant scene, but have had some great meals in the vicinity.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Dave S.

                  We've had two great meals at the Parker House Inn over the holidays and I could not agree more, that under the new ownership, they are stellar. We love to sit at the bar and have dinner, watching a game or listening to great music on Sundays. The owners are wonderful and the food is among the best in the area. Beats Simon Pearce for dinner.

                2. A great bakery has moved to Hanover from Bridgewater, VT - Umpleby's ( http://www.umplebys.com ), down on South St. They do all the usual pastries and muffins, but have a great selection of meat pies as well. The Chicken/Mushroom/Leek is especially tasty!

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: kaszeta

                      Umpleby's pork sausage roll with horseradish is one of the most delicious things you can eat in the Upper Valley. We discovered them at the Norwich Farmers Market and if you don't get there when they open, they are likely to be sold out. Fabulous pastries as well.

                  1. I think the food scene here depends a lot on your past experiences and your income level. Having lived in some excellent food cities- New Orleans, Savannah- I find the upper valley to be a desolate culinary waste land for the most part. Are there some good restaurants? There are a few but they are very expensive and even then, the food is not that great in my opinion. The Canoe Club seems to get good ratings here but each time I have eaten there I come away comparing them to nothing better than an upscale Applebee's. Obviously, you are not basing your move entirely on the dining scene but, if you are, I would say stay away from the Hanover area.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Jamesesq73

                      I agree completely with you assessment of the dining scene in the Upper Valley. That being said, if you live here, you find places to eat that you like. My favorites are Pane y Salute, The Lauren and Allechante in Woodstock. The South Woodstock General Store has great breakfasts and lunches, as does the Barnard General Store. In Quechee I like Parker House Inn and the Quechee Inn for dinner and Simon Pearce for lunch. Hanover has good pizza at Ramuntos and Umpleby's for lunch, Lou's for breakfast and no place for dinner. There is Stella's in Windsor for lunch and Juniper Inn for dinner.

                      1. re: greenstate

                        A good summary of my take as well (and basically the same places on the list). Restaurant-wise, I always find this area quite lacking, especially on the ethnic end of things, but there are a few gems (mostly, the ones you listed)

                        Ingredient-wise, however, I rather like living here, there is a lot of high-quality meat and produce that I can easily get from local providers.

                        1. re: greenstate

                          The Norwich Inn does a nice lunch and dinner, as well as brunch, and their pub is quite good. -- http://www.uvfood.com/info/norwichinn

                          I've been very happy with Elixir in WRJ. They do tapas-style food - not particularly Spanish, but nicely creative. -- http://www.uvfood.com/info/elixir

                          I know a lot of people (including me) have a problem with how slow Three Tomatoes is but they also do a nice lunch. -- http://www.uvfood.com/info/threetomat...

                          Tai Shan had excellent Chinese but they burned down last year... the runner up to them isn't nearly as good unfortunately.

                          I'd really like to see more (better) ethnic restaurants and also a few more places that were following the beat of their own drummer without being fine dining, like Elixir. I think (hope) that as the population grows, the situation will gradually improve.

                          1. re: romkey

                            We miss Tai Shan! Such a shame! I think the best way to find great food is to find chefs/places that hve a similar view of what great food/ atmosphere can be. Elixir was great but their original chef moved on, now not so good but nice because of the music. Find a place that's chef owned and for the most part you have a better experience- is my opinion. Tip Top is chef owned as well as Pane e Salute in Woodstock and and as far as were concerned The Parker House in Quechee is the most creative and consistent we've found.