Concord has a lot to offer, though many of the great options are weekday lunches (to accomodate the business clientele). For the next time you venture up: In a Pinch is excellent, and they also have a newer outpost over by the Red Cross on South St. The Washington St Cafe is great, with middle eastern options, really good hummus and falafel, close to downtown. Weekend tasty treats include Madeliene's Cafe right across from the statehouse, and Bread and Chocolate at the other end of Maine St, next to the Red River Theater. Vinnie's right off Main St has pretty great pizza for the area. Hermano's, behind Maine St, has really good nachos and margaritas, as well as live music in the lounge, though some of the rest of the menu is just meh in my opinion. But do try the chopped side salad- excellent.
For other things to do- tons of hiking trails nearby, like the conservation center in East Concord; the planetarium; the NH History museum behind Maine St; ice skating at the rink on Loudon Road; Beech Hill Farm ice cream out in Hopkinton in the summer (ice cream, farm animals, corn maizes, etc). It really is a nice area- and the downtown is improving tremendously in recent years.
Granite Restaurant on Pleasant Street (less than five minutes drive from Main Street) is excellent and they're open every day for breakfast and dinner, weekdays for lunch. The chef is inventive and the food source is as local as they can obtain. Vegetables still have freshness and their fish dishes are especially good. Food served at the friendly bar, if you prefer. They introduced me to a great cabernet called Irony. graniterestaurant.com
Sorry if my suggestions are too late.
You have the usual choices in chains. Pizza Uno and Panera are convenient to the planetarium. Also as you turn into Fort Eddy Rd from exit 14, there's a Boloco - very casual, lots of choices in wraps.
My lunch choice recently has been In A Pinch Cafe - very good sandwiches and soups but a take out kind of place.
Very casual Chinese but lots of dim sum choices - Sunshine Oriental on Loudon Rd. It's on your left heading East, a litle bit past MacDonalds. The parking lot is tiny, though. Very friendly. Again, it has tables but is more of a take out kind of place.
Beefside on Manchester Street for good (rare) roast beef sandwiches, pretty good subs and fried seafood. Good onion rings. Family place. (Take exit 13, head east. It will be on your right.)
Hermano's on Storrs St for Mexican.
We were never loyal fans of Veano's Italian which is now out by Rt 106/Manchester St but it's a popular local kind of family restaurant.
I was going to recommend the League of NH Crafts (I haven't been to their new locations yet) but they are closed on Sundays. If you bead, knit or quilt, there are some nice specialty shops with supplies. The bead shop is at the north end of Main St almost at the corner of N Main and Bridge/Loudon Rd. The yarn shop is at the south end in a small strip plaza.
Red River Theater is a gem but not for this visit. Next door is Gibson's bookstore and Bread and Chocolate (great European style pastries). Across the street is the Concord Food Coop if you need any organic food or bulk herbs/spices. The Coop also has a small eating area and hot buffet. Limited but good.
White Park is Concord's largest park and I believe has a playground. There are also hiking trails around Concord. If the weather is warm, your kids might like some playground time.
thanks! we are leaving in 2 hours.
is in a pinch cafe open on sunday? i couldn't find hours on their website....maybe is user error :)
and i think we'll spend a bit of time downtown since we've never been.
i think i'll have to plan a day up there when the inlaws are gone and i can relax a bit more :)