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Breakfast in Portsmouth NH area?

I'm going to meet some of my Mother-in-law's extended family this Saturday. And I made the suggestion of meeting for breakfast before we meet with the larger group. My MIL is staying off exit 4 on I-95 and we have other family members coming from Boston. There will be a total of 6 adults.

I need to know of a place that has a good breakfast that is (ideally) within 5 - 8 miles of the interstate. However, we will all be traveling to Dover NH after breakfast, so if there is a restaurant that is between Portsmouth and Dover, that would be an option.


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  1. There are a few breakfast places in Dover as well, my favorite for brunch is the Silver Moon Creperie . . .


    1 Reply
    1. re: bewley

      Thanks Bewley!

      I didn't get to make it there this weekend, but the menu looks fantastic. I'll have to make it on one of my next trips in that area.

    2. I grew up in Dover/Portsmouth, so here are some places I go to when visiting home. In Dover there is:

      Harvey's Bakery Restaurant on Central Ave. Been there since I was a kid. Nothing fancy, just your standard New England breakfast (eggs, toast, bacon, pancakes etc). Pretty old school place, I still love going there though.

      There's also the Wooden Spoon, which I think technically is in Somersworth, but just over the line. They actually have really great breakfast, but they are located in a strip mall- which is a bummer.

      Ron's Place in Dover is probably the most popular an also an option but I feel like they are totally over-rated and there is always a waiting line on weekends.

      In Portsmouth, we always go to Popovers in Market Square. It's more cafe style (ie: order at the counter and take to a table) but they have deliciously good quiches, coffee and of course, popovers.

      Hope this gives you some ideas. Enjoy your stay. That area is really pretty in autumn.

      1 Reply
      1. re: malibu

        Wooden Spoon is very good, they have excellent food.

        Harvey's is pretty blah both in food and service, very old school and "local." Depressing really.

        Ron's Place closed years ago and is now called Week's Backstreet Kitchen. Never been as I hate to wait in lines for eggs.

        Popovers has lovely stuff, but not very breakfasty.

        Great brunch may also be found at Pepperland Cafe in South Berwick.

      2. Friendly Toast in Portsmouth, NH has got a large menu and an amazingly kooky but entertaining atmosphere that kind of embodies the town. The portions are generous, and they make excellent and unique pancake creations...like almond joy pancakes. It's reasonably priced and with a party of 6 I bet that you'll be able to find a place for all of you to sit considerably faster than at Popovers just down the street.

        DO NOT PLAN ON EATING IN DOVER on Saturday. There is going to be an apple harvest festival and they are going to shut main street down. But, I do highly recommend checking it out for cider and everything else apple.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bigduddyd

          I checked out the menu of Friendly Toast online. It's definitely my type of place, but my MIL is so picky I knew she wouldn't enjoy it. I'm totally going to go with my husband in a few weeks though. :)

          Thanks for the warning about Dover. We changed out route and managed to miss the chaos of downtown.

        2. Thanks for all the recommendations. I have quite a list of new places to try in the next few months. We ended up at Cafe Espresso in the Islington Plaza because of the huge parking lot and they would take a reservation (not to mention it would be fine for my insanely unadventurous MIL).

          Overall, it was decent and accommodated everyone's taste. Nothing that was "wow", but I did have a very good malted waffle. The home fries were definitely unimpressive.

          1. I know this is a little out of your way, but The Stolen Menu in York, Maine is really worth the trip. We have been regulars at The Friendly Toast for years but this place has "stolen" us! Don't forget to try a side of their sweet potato grits. http://www.thestolenmenucafe.com/

            1. Has anyone tried the relatively new Gracie's Diner in Portsmouth?

              1. I've been a fan of the Friendly Toast for many years, so it irks me to have to post this, but their prices have gone up far faster than the restaurant norm. My wife and I went for breakfast last week, and the tab came to 33.00 with tax and tip. That was for two standard breakfast selections two coffees and no sides or extras at all. Most scrambles and omelettes are 11.00 or more. Anyone else notice this?

                1 Reply
                1. re: derekj

                  That's incredible, wow. I would never pay that much for eggs.

                  It must be their rent is high (or their egos).