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1 week in New England to plan for 1 veg + 1 omni

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We've got a week and a car heading up from NYC, with limited funds and a desire to spend some dollars in states that have approved Marriage Equality. The ideal trifecta for us is good food, beautiful countryside (with hiking), but also towns/cities including theater.

I'm vegetarian (lacto-ovo) and he eats absolutely everything. We both love adventurous eating, especially family-run places and foods of regions, countries, communities, ethnicities, cultures, etc. We've got only a little more than a week to plan, but the freedom to go anywhere that is in New England. The unglamourous, less expensive places almost always win over our hearts first. Oh - we also love bakeries, and basically all sweets.

I think there's probably 5 million itineraries that could be planned for this trip - if anyone cares to throw out ideas, know that they'll be greatly appreciated!

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  1. Definitely plan to spend some time in Portland. While there are a couple of very decent vegetarian restaurants, you'll find that all the many fine places to eat have moderate to extensive veggie options, and are generally willing to respond to questions about how things were prepared, or even take out ingredients that you might otherwise not eat (have some experience here, since my partner is piscaterian). And of course, we just passed a same-sex marriage billl...

    1. Maybe Concord NH should be on your route. There's a small vegetarian restaurant on Hall St, Cafe Indigo, that I've heard good things about. In the downtown area Bread and Chocolate is a great European bakery. For lunch, In a Pinch Cafe - the soups are terrific plus they have great sandwiches and salads. Concord has a couple of theaters. Check the schedule at Capital Center for the Arts to see if there is something that interests you. The Concord Community Players just did a show (The Full Monty) but there may be something scheduled at the City Auditorium. Also in town, a wonderful independent theater - Red River Theater which has a great line-up on movies including independent films. Across from the theater is Concord Food Coop which has a small hot food bar and a few tables and chairs. On Saturday night you can usually find a church supper going on someplace. This will fall under inexpensive food but might not be a good choice for the vegetarian. Some ham and bean suppers offer a good variety of salads, two choices of baked beans and some great pies. The ham is the least of the offerings. On Saturday around 11:30 am, freshly made food is brought into Saigon Asian Market in Manchester. I had my first bahn mi (spelling) recently and also like the steamed pork buns. There may be some vegetarian choices. Concord actually has a lot of hiking trails all over the place or you could go over to Warner to Mt Kearsarge. Many towns in the area have hiking trails. Or in an hour you can be in the White Mountains. Near Concord, Beech Hill Farm is a popular place for ice cream and they have a make your own sundae bar. Concord also has Arnie's on Loudon Rd that makes their own ice cream and Granite State Candies on Warren Street (downtown area). I'm still trying to find out if Merrivale's on Rt 3A in Hooksett is open. They make their own ice cream, too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: dfrostnh

        In a little town not far from Concord, is a vegetarian's dream, Pickity Place. You can stroll through their gardens, shop in their gift shops and eat a delicious vegetarian lunch.
        Here's the link:

        www.pickityplace.com

        But, when I think of travel, my trip would be to the Ocean or Beach. And Maine, has some gorgeous ones. Wells Beach is a favorite and there are plenty of great foodie places to get great meals.

        With Wells, you are close to Perkins Cove, that has a hiking trail as well.

        Do a couple of searches. Also, when you choose, ask for help on where to go exactly. Good luck with your trip.

      2. Wow - these suggestions all sound so terrific. I can see a rapid decline in my ability to focus on the other issues in life from now until the trip...

        1 Reply
        1. re: round2

          Yes, Portland! It is a foodie city and a great place to do fabulous road trips from. In portland I recommend Pepper Club. They offer many vegetarian choices and free range, organic, hormone-free meats and poultry. You should both be happy there. They have a website. Also in Portland is a great CHEAP chain restaurant called O'Naturals. It's a chain out of St Louis, I believe. Great for lunch. Sorta crunchy-hippie and very well run. Super fresh food and no junk, not even soda. Ok, they have chips. Up in Belfast Maine I recommend Chase's Daily.

        2. And to add one more reason to come to Portland: Standard Bakery, on Commercial St., which supplies bread to most of the better restaurants, and has a wide range of delicious bakery sweets.

          1. The beaches of southern RI

            http://www.crazyburger.com/

            2 Replies
            1. re: Sean

              I second the beaches of Narragansett, RI for Crazyburger, as well as their fantastic Boon St. neighbor Markos Kabob (http://www.markoskabob.com/ ) --the falafel wrap is fantastic!. Then head over to Newport! Your trip sounds wonderful, enjoy it!

              1. re: coastalgypsy

                As much as I would love to recommend the many fine restaurants my lovely state of Rhode Island has to offer, unfortunately we now stand as the ONLY New England state that doesn't legally support marriage equality.

            2. Up to Bah Habah (Bar Harbor)! Fine dining and the mountains and the sea in Acadia National Park. Lotsa chow, both veggie and non. A fine little veggie rest is Eden on West ST., several bakeries on the island. Check out Bar Harbor & Mount Dessert Island (Ellsworth too) on "Search this board". Our local senator, Dennis Damon, introduced Maine's new marriage law into the senate.

              7 Replies
              1. re: Passadumkeg

                Sadly, Eden is not reopening this season.

                1. re: morla

                  Sad, why? I Cafe This Way reopening?

                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                    Cafe this Way opened last weekend but Eden is not opening this year.

                    1. re: morla

                      When you say not opening this year, does that mean, they are just not opening this year or they are just closing?

                      1. re: Alica

                        I think that they are taking a year off and may reopen in a different location. Who knows what can happen in a year? I really hope that they do reopen in 2010, though......wherever it is!!

                        1. re: morla

                          Thank you! We head up there every year and enjoy that restaurant. Any other restaurant changes or additions in MDI?

                          1. re: Alica

                            Too early for me to tell. I start work in Bar Harbor Mem. Day Weekend.

              2. I have to guess that there are other "mixed" couples, families and friends who'll find all this great info useful, but speaking strictly for myself - thank you. Now if I could figure out how to have more time and money to put into this exploration!

                1. I can recommend the Great Barrington (MA) area - not far from NY and filled with all kinds of restaurants, theatre, and friendly faces. GREAT hiking, too. (Check the boards here for specifics on restaurants in that area, including Lee/Lenox. ) I can also recommend the Cape and Islands. All kinds of friendly places, bakeries and more. Good walking trails and hiking all over. Biking, too. Leave the car on the Cape if you try one of the islands. You won't need it. I am not as familiar with the Northampton, MA area, but it does sound like a place you'd be happy with for all of the reasons you listed. It's a beautiful area in our very beautiful state. Maybe others who know it better can chime in. Have fun.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: mvi

                    Western MA is very equality-friendly, come on over! I would search a few threads for Northampton restaurants, there aren't as many of those that I can recommend, but on the inexpensive side in Franklin County (northern MA), in Greenfield there's the People's Pint, pub with plenty of vegetarian and some meat options, all local, and Hope & Olive, a little more expensive, but not out of range, with a fun bar menu. Wagon Wheel in Gill, MA actually has hummus and such as well as grass-fed beef burgers. The Rendezvous in Turners Falls has a cool, relaxed bar vibe with lots of entertainment, and an inexpensive menu, paninis and salads. The Lady Kiligrew in Montague, MA is attached to a used bookstore in an old Mill (The Bookmill) and has panini, salads, local brew, and there's a more expensive restaurant, The Night Kitchen, in the same building with excellent local food (dinner only). All kinds of places to hike and bike, too. If you keep heading west on Rte 2 you can stop off in Shelburne Falls, where there's Cafe Martin and Gypsy Apple, as well as the glacial potholes and the Bridge of Flowers.

                    1. re: hollerhither

                      Western Mass is very veggie friendly as well as alternative life style friendly. Depending of the timing of your visit, there are numerous summer stock theater productions. And don't forget the quabbin reservoir for all your hiking needs and we're only an hour or two from Boston if you feel the need for an obligatory visit. It's less than an hour to Brattleboro VT as well. Once you decide on a destination State/Area, I;m sure many will be happy to give more in depth recs.

                  2. So many great suggestions. Have discovered how small an amount of time a week is. Right now, we've pinned down three nights in Cambridge (thank you Priceline), and are leaning toward also heading up to Portland, through New Hampshire. We've got three nights (MAYBE four) after Boston to play with, before we get back to NY. Trying to decide about that one night we've got before we're booked in Boston. Confession: a long-held obsession with one amazing Indian Pudding experience 30 years ago - is this something it's possible to find anymore?

                    We're getting excited about including some historical tourism in this trip. I got infused with a fresh enthusiasm from a history class recently, particularly interested in labor and social justice history.

                    Western Massachusetts may need to be a second get-away later in the summer. We've been there a couple of times in the past few years - love it, just as you'd imagine. Wonderful hiking, fun theater-going and some great food, .

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: round2

                      Read Thoreau's Maine Journals, the first tourist writing of Maine and appreciate your luxuries. Rad the Lobster Coast and The Secret Life of Lobsters

                      1. re: round2

                        You can have Indian Pudding while in Boston at the Durgin Park restaurant, in the area of Faneuil Hall.
                        On your way to Portland you should stop in Ogunquit Maine- about 1 1/2 hours (90 mile) from Boston. Have an upscale lunch at MC Perkins Cove with fabulous ocean views or lobsters, chowder, steamers etc. at Barnicle Billy's on the deck overlooking the cove.

                        1. re: emilief

                          Just don't think Portland and south is Maine. Up here it is referred to as "Little Boston". Have a great time.
                          Keg

                      2. Would welcome a suggestion for a stop north of Portland!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: round2

                          Robinhood Meeting House, Robinhood, just south of Woolich. One of Maine's best restaurants.

                        2. The one thing I"m most certain about related to this trip is that one week is barely more than the blink of an eye. We take off tomorrow into Connecticut, before Massachusetts, then New Hampshire and Maine. Thanks to all for great ideas for us - keep 'em coming, not only for us, but as well for others like us!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: round2

                            Cleonise on main street in Ellsworth, Me. Tapas of all sorts, meat & veggie mains and local produce, meats & fish.

                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                              That is one of our favorite restaurants in that area, I am a vegetarian and they always have wonderful creative choices for me.

                          2. Thanks to all for these great suggestions and all of the good information. We're planning to make further use of it on another trip later in the summer. We ended up spending all of the week in New England in and around Boston, bracketed by two visits to Frank Pepe's in New Haven for pizza pleasure. We found no shortage of good food in Boston and Cambridge, but look forward to another round in the region to explore further afield.