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North Conway

I will be heading to North Conway area next week. 4 adults and 5 kids. Besides fine dining and the Muddy Moose what else should I look out for? Are there any surprises? I’m also looking for butchers, bakeries, pizza, fish shops, Chinese food, kitchen equipment, and specialty foods. I am coming up from southern VT so I am well aware of New England’s lack of diversity in the rural areas.

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  1. Thompson House Eatery in Jackson (just up the road from N Conway), is one of my favorite dining spots anywhere.
    I like Horsefeathers for lunch (so does the rest of the N Conway visitors though).
    Stonehurst has a surprisingly varied menu ranging from great pizza to finer dining.
    I wasn't a fan of Muddy Moose- the server was rude; the food so-so

    1 Reply
    1. re: chowciao

      Just a question here.
      Is Gunther's still open?
      We used to get some really great breakfasts there a few years back and we're heading that way again soon.
      They used to have a lot of wildgame sausage(buffalo,boar,ect.)which we really liked.

    2. I only ever stopped there a couple of times while driving home from trips to Long Island to visit family. We were just looking for something cheap, fast, and ok, fast food. We stopped at KFC, and somewhere else.. and it was THE WORST. The servers were horrific, just... awful. I didn't think it was possible to make chain fast food taste bad in some way, but they managed it. I'll never stop in North Conway ever again for anything. Every time I've ever stopped, it's been like that. Of course, that could simply be whatever is near the interstate is like that, and I don't head down that way much any more (family no longer talking to us because, apparently, moving to Vermont and inviting them to come visit us dozens of times through the years means we think we're better than them, long story) so things could have improved, I suppose. :)

      5 Replies
      1. re: Morganna


        I always enjoy reading your posts, but I find this one a bit elusive.

        What you're saying is that you wouldn't go back to North Conway because of a bad experience in a KFC and some other forgettable place?? Did you find that the poor service & food was a local issue or is there more to the story?

        1. re: bewley

          *chuckle* I know I'm normally much more informative, it was ... there was an overall air to the place, everywhere seemed a bit shabby to me. We stopped there, I think a total of four times, going to different places, two of which were, to my recollection, fast food, two that weren't, but weren't fancy places. Keeping in mind this was a -very- long time ago, but the thing that stood out for me was universally poor service every single time, in every location. In the fast food places, I don't know how they managed it, but the food was actually -bad- I mean, not "fast food" bad, but like yucky, poorly cooked, not made according to the standard of the franchise. They were dirty, with untidy dining rooms. And the staff were slovenly. One place I could see being like that, but all four times, both franchised and not? I don't know anything about North Conway beyond these four experiences, but it was enough to make me not ever want to stop there again.

          Again, I state that this is -old- experiences, from between 1993 to around 2000, probably the last time we stopped was in 1997. So there could have been massive changes in the area.

          I was mostly commenting that I'd had such horrible experiences every time I'd stopped in North Conway that I'd never do it again, though it's really the logical break point between my husband's family's place on Long Island and ours in Vermont.

          I hope that's more clearly stated. I was a little muddled and rushed yesterday. :)

          1. re: Morganna

            Thank you for the clarification.

            1. re: Morganna

              Quoting Morganna...."it's really the logical break point between my husband's family's place on Long Island and ours in Vermont."

              Are you *sure* you're talking about North Conway, New Hampshire? Unless you're coming from Eastern Long Island and taking a ferry across Long Island Sound to CT, the Mt. Washington Valley area of NH would be quite a detour from the most direct route, which would be I-87 or possibly I-91 (depending upon whether you're headed to the Western or Eastern side of VT). In addition to being out of the way, the traffic through Conway was horrendous back in the 90's, prior to the opening of the North-South bypass. It doesn't seem as though we're talking about the same place.

              1. re: beaner2

                Yes, I'm talking about North Conway. :) My husband's family lives on Long Island (as I mentioned), and we did, indeed, take the ferry across the sound. Who in their right mind drives through the city and down the Long Island Expressway when you don't have to? :)

        2. Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery is wonderful. Good food and good beer made right there. I had a special -- goat cheese and chicken quesadilla with strawberry chipotle sauce. Yum. Lots of different seating areas to accommodate your party.

          For pizza, check out Flatbread at the Eastern Slope Inn. Organic ingredients, tasty, and they usually give kids pizza dough to play with while you wait.

          2 Replies
          1. re: HIW

            The bar-b-q sliders I had there this past July were good at the Moat.

            1. re: HIW

              I forgot about Moat Mountain - yes, they are good. And typically great beers to boot.

            2. We love Red Fox I think it is in Jacksonville.

              1. We are up in N. Conway regularly and I would also recommend the Moat. Good beer, decent food, clean, etc. I recommend the flat bread pizza as well, good stuff. The Thai rolls as an app are also pretty decent. We have stayed at the Stonehurst al bunch over the years and we end up eating there as the package with dinner and breakfast is too cheap to pass up. The food used to be good to very good, now it is hit or miss along with the service. For winter dining it is nice with the lounge with the fire. Actually their wood fired pizza is pretty darn good along with the Lamb Shank.

                Muddy Moose…..average at best, it is what you think it is basically a 99 with private ownership.

                In Conway itself (not N. Conway) is Café Noche, decent Mexican for northern New England, not Southern CA by any stretch but then again what is. I have heard good things about Red Fox in Jackson as well, mostly for family friendly pub style dining.

                Horsefeathers in the winter is somewhat of a place to see and be seen, but the long waits for tables and room at the bar are hard to take for us, then again it is getting a facelift so maybe they have been sliding. I remember our meal there a few years ago was good but nothing spectacular.

                Northern New England is not necessarily a mecca for fine dining, more a place for comfort food for locals and tourists, go with the right expectations and you shouldn’t be disappointed.

                No weight can be given to opinions of N. Conway based on KFC alone.


                1. I think Flatbread is great for kids and has good pizza.

                  Moat Mtn has great beer and decent service, but I've never really enjoyed the food.

                  There is/was a kitchen store with a nice selection of knives near the scenic railway station off the town green.

                  Overall, North Conway is a bit of a tourist trap surrounded by poor, rural communities, don't set your expectations too high.

                  1. Decent places in the area for a meal:

                    Red Fox
                    Margarita Grill
                    Cafe Noche'
                    1785 Inn
                    Moat Mountain
                    Wildcat Tavern
                    Tuckerman's Tavern
                    Eagle Mountain House
                    Thompson House
                    Oxford House (Fryeburg, Me)

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: steve999

                      I'm surprised not to see Maestro's on your list. It is a little Italian restaurant and deli in the alley just past the Met near the train. I had lunch there a few weeks ago and it was superb. I had a sandwich with lightly fried shrimp, baby spinach, and bacon on a good roll with a horseradish cream sauce. It was under $9 and really good. My friend had a grilled veggie sandwich that she liked so much she can't wait to go back. They have deli take out and a sit down restaurant with sandwiches and Italian entrees at great prices. I also really like their Kielbasa and sauerkraut sandwich.

                      We also like the Mexican place just into Bartlett on the right and Delaney's. There is also a good bakery across from the old Bellini's spot, a block back behind Zeb's. Good whole grain bread, nice moist cupcakes. Sorry, I need to learn the names of these places. I only get up there once or twice a year, but I'll be there for labor day weekend so I'll print out this list.

                      1. re: PrincessBakesALot

                        It was a quick list off the top of my head, not an all-inclusive one......mostly for dinner places except Peaches.

                        The Mexican place in Bartlett is the Margarita Grill.

                        Also, if you are a coffee drinker, the Frontside Grind has better coffee then the Met.

                        1. re: steve999

                          I usually make a run to Dunkin's with one eye open first thing in the morning, we stay in Bartlett. Sad huh? Where is Frontside Grind? I also like the little bakery/coffee shop in Jackson. It's closer for me than N. Conway.

                          1. re: PrincessBakesALot

                            Frontside grind is in next to Flatbreads inside the Eastern Slope Inn.

                          2. re: steve999

                            We're heading up to Conway this evening, staying in Intervale for a night and then riding in the 24 Hour mountain bike race in Gorham this weekend.......never been to Peaches before as we usually say at Stonehurst and get breakfast included.....where is Peaches? We may hit there for b-fast on Friday morning.



                            1. re: River19

                              Peaches is on Rte. 302 about half way between Artist Falls road and the park in front of North Conway CC and the Train Station. Coming from Jackson/Bartlett direction it's maybe a half mile past the Met on your right.

                              2506 White Mountain Hwy North, Conway, NH

                      2. We love Bellinis (great Italian ), The Red Fox. Horse Feathers & the 1785 inn I love The Met for coffee and breakfast treats...also There is a great bagel shop it may be called Bagels plus- I cant remember the name but they have great homemade bagels and Hummus. We also frequent Delaneys-always very busy

                        1. I would second the EAGLE MT. HOUSE. For a true North Country experience consider taking a ride up rt. 16, turn rt. in Glen, to the Applachain Mountain Clubs Base Camp in Pinkham Notch. Dinner @ 6PM sharp, family style, it is what it is. Bring a bottle of wine to enjoy w/ dinner.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: qbdave

                            Aside from the Eagle Mt House, are any other good places BYOB? Any good wine stores or gourmet markets? Any good supermarkets? We are staying in a friend's condo and would appreciate the suggestions. Thanks.

                            1. re: fiddlehead Fern

                              Not sure there's much BYOB in the North Conway area because most places up there have a liquor license of some sort.

                              If you are coming up 16 from the south - a stop at the big State liquor stores on 95 is worthwhile if they aren't crowded.

                              There's also two NH state liquor stores in the Conway area that have a nice selection of spirits and wine. One is on 16 before you get to the outlet area in a strip mall. The other is in Bartlett just past Dairy Queen on 302.

                              Shaws and Hannaford (both supermarkets) in North Conway have a fair amount of wine and also sell plenty of NE microbrews and bevarages.

                              7-11 sells beer, malt beverages, and actually has a few decent bottles of wine. (Remember this option for wine if you need more after the others have closed for the night)

                              Depending on where you are staying, consider a dinner at the Oxford House Inn in Fryeburg, Maine. They have a nice selection of wine available.

                              1. re: fiddlehead Fern

                                In Conway Village across from the fire station is a place- the name escapes me at the moment- but I believe it is BYOB. There two new wine stores, both on rte 16 in North Conway. One is called Vitners- you can make your own wine and label your own bottles there. It is located in a strip mall behind a sandwich shop. It's in the same place as Bellini's- which is an absolutely fantastic Italian restaurant. The other wine store is Wine Thyme, it's on the corner of rte 16 and some side street- right next to the Toy Chest. This place is in the heart of North Conway, you can sit outside and have a glass of wine and watch the people go by.
                                For an organic market go to Katrina's Organic Market. Or if you are coming up from southern end, in a little town called Chocorua, on rte 16- is Rivendell Farm- organic grocer and the owner is the nicest person you could ever meet. The store is just off rte 16 at the blinking light in the center of the town.

                            2. This is probably too late to be of any help... for others reading and heading to the North Conway area... In Conway, on Rte 16 heading north there is a wonderful fresh fish place called Jonathans. They have a fresh fish market as well as dining. The new owner and his sweet Russian wife are awesome hosts. He cooks as well as comes out and greets customers. They are pretty kid friendly as well- it's not fine dining. Paper plates, and a chilodrens menu that my kids grooved on- Haddock nuggets! And right across the street from them, is a delightful little bakery called River Stones. You can get some very tasty treats there. Further up on Rte 16, if you take a right at the Burger King on Rte 302, just down the road and the left is a chinese restaurant that is pretty good.
                              For the kitchen equipment there is a shop in Settlers Green called Kitchen Collection. As far s specialty foods... hmmm... there is a nice Indian place called the Shalimar, it's on rte 16 as well. For organic and raw foods head to Katrina's Organic Market, furhter up on rte 16.
                              Hope you enjoyed your vacation.