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Best hidden secrets in New Hampshire? Thin Crust Pizza, Burgers, Wings?

I recently moved to Manchester NH in November and have been disappointed with the food selections thus far...My reviews have been for the most part OK, Bad, and Worse, but maybe I'm bias after living in Chicago, NYC, and Boston for the past 10 years.
Wherever I go, I always am on a mission to find great "Mom & Pop shop" comfort foods, one or two really great fine dining places, as well as dependable decent delivery options for those late night cravings.
After reading reviews of local businesses, I have tried a couple recommended favorites, but with no real good results. Anyone care to share their favorite finds?

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  1. What places did you go to? What was it that you didn't like?

    One of the best burgers I've had here was at Wild Willie's (Rochester/Dover, I don't remember).

    The bias for what you're used to will take a little while to get past, but a great thing in NH is the availability of local ingredients, straight from the farm. To me, those are the best kept secrets.

    And if you like beer, check out Bert's Better Beers in Hooksett.

    1 Reply
    1. re: solargarlic

      I discovered Wild Willy's and LOVED it - fantastic burger! There is also one up in Me. by Cabella's:
      http://www.wildwillysburgers.com/

    2. Pizza in NH sucks. Sorry, but that's reality. The only pizza I've found that I like is Pizzico in Nashua. They also have one in Merrimack.

      I live in Nashua so since it's close to you, I'll give you the places I like.

      Mexican - Tacos Colima....she makes her own tortillas.
      Korean - Shira Kiku
      Middle Eastern - Cedar's Cafe
      Nice dinner - Saffron Bistro, Michael Timothys
      Vietnamese - Vietnam Noodle House

      And those are pretty much the only places we go.

      -----
      Michael Timothy's
      212 Main St., Nashua, NH 03060

      Saffron Bistro
      80 Main St, Nashua, NH 03060

      Vietnam Noodle House
      138 Main St, Nashua, NH 03060

      8 Replies
      1. re: rizzo0904

        Curious as to the other pizza places you've tried in Nashua. We've tried almost all of them and at this point here is our top 3, but we really miss the great pizza we had when we lived in CT and MA, and are always searching for good pizza.

        1. Sky Market at Exit 1
        2. Bertuccis (but too expensive to do frequently)
        3. Family Pizza on Main Dunstable/Conant

        1. re: JWNash

          Sky Market I did not like.

          I try to avoid chains so I don't do Bertuccis....I'd rather support local mom and pop places whenever possible.

          Had Family Pizza for the first time a few weeks ago and it was average.

          I used to enjoy Olive N Herb but they are no longer here.

          Espresso just doesn't do it for me either.

          I want a nice crust....sauce that isn't over-salted or over-sugared (really I want no sugar)...and mozz cheese (none of that greasy cheddar mixture crap).

          I'm really hoping the new place, Crush, will be good when they open in January...it'll be wood fired.

          1. re: rizzo0904

            I used to go to Bertucci's when I first moved here because it was the one place I could get a decent crust and fresh mozzarella. I didn't mind Espresso, they did a little better with the crust, but still too sweet on the sauce. I went to Bob's Pizza once, which wasn't bad. In the end, the thing that always ruins the pizza around here is the sauce! Some places do have awful (must be pre-made???) crust, but it's the same thing over and over with the sweet sauce! So frustrating. Johnny Troy's did at least have a sauce that wasn't sweet, but it was too heavy on the oregano. Valentino's in Milford (this was a big surprise) had a decent crust, but I wouldn't be bothered to eat it again because of the sauce. Sigh.

            and I agree somewhat, that it is unfair to make a blanket statement about all NH pizza being terrible, but really, there is a lot of great pizza that people up here are missing out on. If the pizza here was so great, we'd be reading articles about the pizza place worth a drive from anywhere. I have yet to read anything about NH pizza outside of NH.

            -----
            Bob's Pizza
            115 E Hollis St, Nashua, NH 03060

            1. re: rizzo0904

              If you don't want "chain" or "mass produced" pizza, you owe it to yourself to get to DW Pizza (on DW Hwy near three amigos) - and order any one of their pizzas. My regular order there is their spinach pizza (with about 1/3 of the cheese they usually put onto it), slightly overcooked - the spinach comes out nice and crispy and the crust is TDF.

          2. re: rizzo0904

            I disagree with the blanket statement that pizza in NH sucks. Espresso in Nashua used to be good (haven't been in awhile) and we like Pizza Man in Hooksett. If you're looking for NY or Chicago pizza in NH then you're setting yourself up for disappointment.

            -----
            Pizza Man
            663 Broad St, Lyndonville, VT 05851

            1. re: jread23

              The closest I've found to NY/NJ pizza is Soprano's on Main St. Very good, and my favorite up here.

            2. re: rizzo0904

              I'm not a pizza expert, but had a craving (specifically for spinach or white pizza) and my search found this thread. I'm in Nashua, so am leaning toward Gianni's or Nashua House for spinach. I don't know of any local places with white pizza.

              Fwiw, I also found some good info at this blog: http://www.pizzanh.com/. You can also follow them on twitter and facebook.

              However, it did occur to me that no one has mentioned Flatbread Company. I've been to the one in North Conway and liked it a lot. While they do have several locations (ie, not Mom and Pop), they do seem committed to fresh, local and organic. The pizzas are wood-fired "designer" pizzas and the beers are great. Nice atmosphere. While I haven't tried it, I've heard about a "sweet potato" pizza that is occasionally run as a special that customers rush in for when available.

              While I do go down to Cambridge and Somerville often for dining and music, Portsmouth is still my go-to place in NH. It's easier to park and I like walking around town. I like a place where I can walk to one place for drinks, another for dinner and a third for music. You can find some info here: http://www.portsmouthnh.com/dining/in...

              -----
              Flatbread Company
              138 Congress St, Portsmouth, NH 03801

              1. re: natureboy

                Gianni's makes some of the worst pizza I've ever had.

            3. Manchester has great dining choices, but I noticed your other two posts were about burger joints. No offense, but this town is pretty diverse, and if you like ethnic food, there are huge choices. Delivery is pretty much limited to pizza and Chinese, none very good. Johnny Troy does a great thin crust pizza, down near the airport. Skip 900 Degrees. Pattie Shack looks promising. Consuela's has pretty good Tex/Mex downtown. Everybody loves the chicken tenders at the Backroom, but I'm not impressed. If you want a great bowl of pho, a good shwarma, or Nepali, Manchvegas is the place to be. Do you like fried clams? Woodman's at Mel's Funway Park in Litchfield is the best!

              -----
              Litchfield's Restaurant
              RR 1, Wells, ME 04090

              900 Degrees
              50 Dow St, Manchester, NH 03101

              1. I too like Pizzaco, the only place I really enjoy pizza now. Usually visit for lunch either place and almost always get the pizza. Used to really like Ciro's for pizza and salad only, but since they left I hadn't found anyplace else that I liked, so just would make my own.

                1. the farmer's market just opened today for the season, great band playing, lots of great stuff - I was sort of running through but picked up some nice mussles from a fish stand, some nice radishes and lil apple pie for an employee that worked hard today. lots of great wine booths, strawberry booths, organic farms, pet stuff and baked items too - oh and fudge table.

                  It's on Chestnut and ???? in downtown Manchester! Every thurs 3-6.

                  1. another great burger, but diff. than Wild Willy's is right in Manchester on Valley St. - Cremeland! they have excellent fried scallops as well as VERY fantastic pistachio ice cream.

                    I haven't found good wings, but if you come a lil south to the Lowell area, Lowell Beer Works has excellent buffalo wings!!

                    If you're heading to the lakes region, I can point you to some great eats. Or if you are heading towards Lowell, Billerica ma.

                    whs knows all the great manch places and like mentioned, you'll find some great diversity. I just don't eat burgers, pizza or wings in Manchester. Wait, I do love the pizza and subs at Pizza Express (on Valley St) - and I feel like I've tried many of them. I like a pizza where the toppings seem like they are part of the pizzza and not just an afterthought (but I don't think thtey do a thin crust) - their subs/roll ups are sooooo fresh, crunchy veggies, etc.

                    1. Please try Ferrari Pizza in Manchester.

                      1. Oh and if any of you are ever in Woburn, MA for some reason, Louie's Pizza is great...or at least it used to be. I'd be very happy with that pizza here in Nashua.

                        1. I understand your frustration. I live in Nashua by way of NY and Boston. Chain restaurants dominate the restaurant landscape in southern NH. I've given up on trying to find good pizza in the area, but there are some decent food options out there.

                          I second the opinion on Tacos Colima for cheap, authentic Mexican. Fresh corn tortillas to order make their tacos outstanding.

                          I also enjoy Surf and Michael Timothy's, but the menus at both are mostly the same every time you go. In Manchester, I was pleased with the Republic, but wasn't blown away. Same thing with Cotton and Richard's Bistro.

                          I really enjoy Sunny's Table in Concord. Asian influenced "locavore" cuisine.

                          The restaurants in NH will always pale in comparison to Boston, NY and Chicago. It's why I still drive in to Boston regularly when I want a really good meal.

                          -----
                          Michael Timothy's
                          212 Main St., Nashua, NH 03060

                          Richard's Bistro
                          36 Lowell St Ste 1, Manchester, NH 03101

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ecwashere7

                            If you're willing to drive ........ Burdick's in Walpole, NH is GREAT! It's about 90 minutes from me (I'm in Merrimack) but it is soooooo worth it if you want a nice night out. It's a nice trip in the fall when the folliage is out. You should call ahead for a reservation since it's tiny, but it's beautiful. LIMITED menu - they do have a couple of specials nightly & do have a lot of game in the winter. Hubby has had duck & rabbit (& some other type of game - maybe pheasant) & he said they were all great.
                            Here's the link:
                            http://www.burdickchocolate.com/store...

                          2. Has anybody tried "Wings Your Way", corner of Bridge and Elm in Manchester?
                            http://www.wingsyourway.com/

                            1. I live in Nashua, so my recommendations will be for down here. I work in Manchester, but everything I've tried up there hasn't been good as the places I've been to in Nashua. That's mostly because I've had more of a chance to try places here.
                              I'm from New Jersey, so I was severely disappointed by the pizza here and the lack of proper delis.

                              That being said, good pizza can be found at Lui Lui's and the Sky Market in Nashua. My favorite pizza in Manchester so far has been at Alley Cat's Pizzeria.
                              I've only tried one Mexican restaurant so far but I haven't felt the need to try elsewhere: El Carreta has been great, and apparently there is also one in Manchester.
                              My favorite Asian restaurant has been Formosa Taipei.

                              One place you may not have tried in Manchester that was great and different was Gill's Indian Restaurant on Valley Street. Really great food there.

                              -----
                              Lui Lui
                              259 Daniel Webster Hwy, Nashua, NH 03060

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: swankylaxplayer

                                You're right about the delis here. You should really try Johnny Troy's in Manchester for pizza. It's the only place I've been to yet that does not have sweet sauce. You can get thin or Sicilian style pizza. There are a few discussions on here about JT's. Someone else mentioned Tacos Colima, and you should really try it for Mexican...better food than Carretta, but less on the atmosphere.

                                1. re: solargarlic

                                  I agree on Tacos Colima....very good.

                                  1. re: solargarlic

                                    Ditto on Tacos Colima and Carretta. Atmosphere can always be bought or built, but layering flavor, turning out quality-food, is a gift that you either have or you don't. TC does and C doesn't.........

                                    1. re: GodsGr8

                                      I take it back, TC is the one with the atmosphere...everything about the place is authentic. They don't have to try to make it look like what people think Mexico must be like. And what other Mexican restaurant can you get a bottle of Jarritos??? I mean, really, how difficult would it be for places to offer that?

                                  2. re: swankylaxplayer

                                    I am right with you on Gill's, that place was so incredible.

                                  3. For great pizza - drive into Milford and on the oval is Foodees. Great pizza. Granite Town Tavern is a great little hang out and for good Mexican go to Amigo's. It is surprising all of the great places right on/off the oval in this "small" town.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: vees

                                      I'm afraid I have to disagree about Amigo's, unless they've changed chefs since the last time I was there. I would much rather go to El Tapatio in Merrimack (on 101A) for that kind of Mexican, if I can't get to Tacos Colima in Nashua. The last few times I went to Amigo's in the Milford oval, I was pretty disappointed.

                                      1. re: Tante

                                        Agree with Tante. Amigos pales in comparison to El Tapatio ( less than 10 minutes from the Oval ) or Tacos Colima.

                                        1. re: Tante

                                          Thanks...didn't even know about this place...how new is it? My family loves Mexican and with my daughters' birthdays coming up, we will give this one a try...Thanks again

                                          1. re: vees

                                            we too love great mexican, several in manch but we tried Plaza Azteca ijust over the salem border in methuen on rt 28, awesome. Even tableside guacamole!

                                          2. re: Tante

                                            Yeah, Tapatio is a good tip...definitely less Americanized Mexi food, and really not that far.

                                        2. Yeah, I'm going to 2nd a few recommendations: El Tapetio for Mexican (Merrimack)

                                          Espresso Pizza for NY style pizza. Both great and quiet "hole in the walls"...Nashua House of Pizza strictly for it's Spinach pizza. No one in the area makes it quite like they do. Not a fan of them as a whole, just this particular pizza brings me back. Pizza Man is good, but can be inconsistent. Pizzico is also good (I like their fresh mozzerella cheese they use)

                                          Sandwiches, I have to recommend Nashua Garden right on Main Street (next to the cigar shop) and Cahills Super Subs in Hudson NH. Both are solid. Aspirations on Amherst Street has some good sandwiches/quiches and desserts

                                          Best burger I could find locally (S. NH) was the pub burger at Buckleys Great Steaks...tavern is less stuffy and casual. Get one of these burgers a side of their panko onion rings and a draft, and you can get out for less that 30 bucks

                                          Best Bagel still goes to Bagel Alley in Nashua

                                          Italian food, by far, has to go to Cucina Toscana on Amherst Street (strip mall), though judging by the wait sometimes, it less of a 'hidden gem' Food is fantastic and authentic

                                          -----
                                          Nashua Garden
                                          121 Main St, Nashua, NH 03060

                                          Main Street Cafe
                                          888 Main St, Westbrook, ME 04092

                                          House of Pizza
                                          766 Putney Rd Unit 7, Brattleboro, VT 05301

                                          Pizza Man
                                          663 Broad St, Lyndonville, VT 05851

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: ctroutman

                                            I agree on Nashua Garden.

                                            We used to go to Cucina Toscana a lot but found it went a bit downhill. The new chef at Lucia's Tavola in Brookline is fabulous...give it a try!

                                            -----
                                            Lucia's Tavola
                                            181 Route 13, Brookline, NH 03033

                                            Nashua Garden
                                            121 Main St, Nashua, NH 03060

                                            1. re: rizzo0904

                                              you know, my job used to take me down rte 13 and noticed it, but never tried it..worst location ever, but glad to see they have survived this long..based on them surviving this long, and the recommendation, I will have to try it soon

                                              1. re: ctroutman

                                                It hasn't really survived....ownership changed hands over a year ago, not sure if the other one would have lasted, but I thought it was ok. I have yet to try the food with the new owners.

                                                1. re: solargarlic

                                                  We've been to both...the old and new. The new chef/owner is much better. The food is delicious! You need to get out there and try it. We love the antipasto platter (changes a bit each time) and the chocolate gelato. I've heard the gnocchi is excellent.

                                            2. re: ctroutman

                                              Wow....surprised to see recommendations for El Tapetio. My husband was out-of-town, so I took the children there for dinner, giving myself a night away from cooking. We didn't even bother finishing our food. Then again, we moved to NH from CA and we like a lot of flavor and spice. Tacos Colima, otoh? Amazing. They do real cooking, made-to-order corn tortillas, fabulous chile relleno - have been there a dozen times in 4 months, trying everything on the menu and have never had a flavorless bite of food. El Tapetio is par with Amigos - boring.

                                            3. Not sure how anyone can recommend Amigos. The one in Milford is dead for a reason...and to open another one is just unbelievable. I know NH isnt going to be a hotspot for Mexican, but cmon, do people really buy into this stuff? From what Ive heard the owner had zero restaurant experience when he opened the one in Milford and it showed. The food is a notch below 'the Flats' which is terrible.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: ctroutman

                                                I join you in your confusion about anyone recommending Amigos. Awful. My prayer is they finally give up pretending they know anything about Mexican food. What a waste of restaurant space.

                                              2. anyone else try pizza @ luigi's on valley st? I loved it, not really considered thin crust but it wasn't thick, but verrrrry tasty. An employee is a customer and drpped off a small for me to try. I loved it and now can't wait to try more