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renting in Rye, NH (Portsmouth, Kittery ideas welcome too)

  • m

We are renting a beach house in Rye, NH for a week and are looking for suggestions in the area for places not to miss.

On my list so far for Rye are Petey's, Lago's for ice cream, Rye Harbor Lobster Pound and 603 Burgers seems worth a look. Other good suggestions for Rye? What about good places for breakfast/brunch -- Serenity Market?

In Portsmouth, I'm thinking of Popovers on the Square and Friendly Toast for brunch; Martingale Wharf, Portsmouth Brewery, Jumpin Jays, Blue Mermaid... Will have our well behaved 4 year old with us, so needs to be somewhat kid friendly, but not dumbed down. don't need a dedicated kids' menu.

Would also welcome suggestions for good butchers/fish markets/gourmet markets for the few instances we may be cooking in. Also suggestions in Kittery, ME or up the Maine coast within 45 mins or so for good lobster rolls (prefer buttered CT style to cold lobster salad w/mayo) and lighthouse spotting.


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  1. I had a great lobster roll recently at Barnacle Billy's in Perkins Cove, Ogunquit. It is not the CT style that you prefer but the other food that I saw going out looked really good as well. Perkin's Cove is very scenic and a fun place to walk around. There were other restaurants there but since we were just there for the day, you will have to look to others for recs.

    1. In Kittery....Bobs Clam shack near the Kittery Mall usually gets good reviews.....I like Capt Simeons off on a back road with a nice view of the river.

      For a truly fun place....although you may need bug-spray, visit Chauncey Creek.and BYOB. Best Lobsters around IMHO and families have made a tradition of bringing their own wine, table cloths, etc for this lobster pound on the river that has a nice selection of ..........lobster.......and not much else. Some folks come by boat to sit at the picnic tables on floating docks. Alas, we used to be able to bring our dogs along with our booze, but Maine, like everywhere else, has creeping socialism that banned this.

      You are highly unlikely to find CT Lobster Rolls anywhere

      Further up Rte 1 beyond the York area, but still in the township, is Flo's Hotdogs.a real treat. A small place.....mostly a house......and easy to drive by, except you'll find 30 local cars and trucks nearby. Know "how to order" and have fun.

      Siince you love lighthouses, you definitely should be taking a drive up to Nubble light.....probably the most painted lighthouse in all of America. Nearby is Brown's Ice cream that always has lines but they move fast

      4 Replies
      1. re: FriedClamFanatic

        Thanks much. I'm adding these places to my list of recs to take with us. Any thoughts on Robert's Maine Grill in Kittery?

        1. re: MAH

          Robert's does have the lobster roll you are looking for ...they do it two ways with or without mayo.

        2. re: FriedClamFanatic

          Just a note.....Capt Simeons, and its successor the Captain and Patty's, are both gone.

          1. re: BoNapateet

            what a shame!.what is it now, another set of condos?

        3. The Bite Into Maine food truck parked in Fort Williams park just south of Portland has six styles of lobster rolls. I'm pretty sure buttered is one of them. It's a great place for a picnic and if you aren't from the area, you'll want to explore the Old Port Area. (Ice cream at MDI on exchange street!) The Portland Light is in the park and there's a beautiful view of Casco Bay. We did not go down to the beach but there's a small rocky beach.

          We liked the variety of steaks and chicken at McKinnon's on Rt 1. You can get some other groceries there but it's not really a supermarket. In Kittery, Stonewall Kitchen's big store is fun to explore and When Pigs Fly bakery will let you sample the bread which is necessary because they make so many flavors. The only bread I did not think froze well had curry in it. The Portsmouth farmers market is very nice and set up across from a nice playground. It was very busy on the day we visited. You might pick up some local free range eggs, some good bread and do a simple breakfast at your beach house when you want to have a day when you don't want to get in the car so early.

          1. Roberts Maine Grill is a nice family friendly place, owned by the folks who own Bob's Clam Shack across the street. wide range of options, not just seafood. the lobster sliders are good, easy to eat. Nice selection of beers.
            ask to sit on the 2nd floor porch if available, better view then Rt 1.

            1. Yummy's Candy store in Kittery is fun. It's a small storefront with hard to find candy, anything you can think of ! It's fun to take a kid, and help them pick out treats.

              1. Just South of Rye, on Lafayette Road in North Hampton, in the former Abercrombie and Finch, is Ray's Lobster Landing, a new operation by the folks who have run Ray's Seafood in Rye. My wife and I and a friend enjoyed excellent Lobster Pie, Lazy Lobster (similar but more generous than the Maine Diner's lobster pie) and Fried Oysters. It's a new eatery, but I'd definitely recommend it.

                1. Seaport Fish in Rye on the Portsmouth line, very nice fish market, ditto Saunders in Portsmouth.

                  Black Birch in Kittery Foreside, maybe a stretch for your four year old, but very nice and casual. Go early, might be a good strategy, in and out before it gets busy.

                  Chauncey Creek, kid friendly, the lobster roll is so-so, imho, and definitely of the cold/mayo variety. Cold roll, too. I've never had the lobster there--buy your own lobster in Rye (or Kittery Foreside--Sea View) would be my advice. Assuming you OK with steaming them.

                  Not a huge fan of Bob's, but others disagree. Like Petey's, especially when they have local smelts which isn't quite yet. But the fish chowder is wonderful. And it is a fun vibe.

                  Good coffee & desserts at Breaking New Grounds in Portsmouth. Out door seating on Market Square which might be good for the offspring.

                  1. Have fun!

                    - Do try Black Birch. It's a world class restaurant. We went with our 5 year old and she enjoyed it - they make their own maraschino cherries! - and they were exceptionally friendly to her. (Those hipsters can be so kind...)

                    - Hearing great things about Napoli Market, but haven't been

                    - Lexie's Joint! Great, unusual burgers (and veggie burgers

                    - Henry's Market in Newcastle - will bring you into fun area. Go to the Newcastle Common

                    - Beach Pea. Mmm, chocolate croissant...

                    - Portsmouth Book & Bar - just what it sounds like. Gorgeous, unique, sweets, drinks, coffee, books...family friendly.

                    Don't miss Seacoast Science Center near Rye!