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Good bar/eatery in Manchester, NH?

Discussion in 'New England' started by CheezyBlaster, Mar 1, 2012.

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  1. CheezyBlaster

    CheezyBlaster Initiate (0) Sep 16, 2011 Massachusetts

    I often have to go to Manchester, and I typically hoof it to Portsmouth for the Brewery, eat, have a few drinks, sober up, eat again, drive back to Manchester. Too much. Anything good in Manchester for food and beer selection? I've been to Milly's Tavern, (?) which was okay, but the beer wasn't splendid and it got a little frat-like. Any recommendations appreciated. :slight_smile:
  2. LOCAL

    LOCAL Initiate (0) Oct 29, 2006 New Hampshire

    Strangebrew on Market st.
  3. Dubstyle247

    Dubstyle247 Initiate (0) May 15, 2010 New York

    I can second Strangebrew! It's a cool place with a nice beer selection.
  4. BeRanger

    BeRanger Devotee (433) Dec 11, 2011 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    You out in Manchester now? I've been out here for two weeks, leave on Friday.
    I'm game to meet for a beer. I've been trying to find good bottle shops too, nothing so far.
  5. theKman

    theKman Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2008 New Hampshire

    Maybe you hit Milly's on an off night? It's one of my favorite spots, I even got a couple of barrels from there for my wedding. Strange Brew is indeed very good, I'd highly recommend it, but maybe you could give Milly's another shot. Also, a great spot for BBQ is KC's Ribshack (http://ribshack.net/), just over the river from downtown. The beer selection is limited, but they have Woodstock's Pig's Ear Brown, available in 32oz. "Bubba" size. Oh, and deep fried pickles!
  6. FrankLloydMike

    FrankLloydMike Devotee (499) Aug 16, 2006 Massachusetts

    Milly's can be hit or miss. Some of the beers are quite good, others less so. And the vibe can be all over the place, depending on the night and the crowd. If you go back sometime, I'd recommend checking their website/calling and making sure it's not college night or something.

    Strange Brew's beer selection is unrivaled in the city, and it's definitely a good spot. It can get crowded on the weekends and the bands can be loud, but there's a good variety of spaces and vibes within the place. Food is generally solid bar food.

    Also downtown, I'd recommend Firefly on Amherst Street if you're looking for a nicer meal. The food is more expensive, but it's very good, and the beer list is much shorter, but very well-selected with a good showing of locals, including somewhat harder to find places like White Birch and Throwback. The bar out back is a nice place to hang out, a bit more upscale but still casual, and the bartenders are generally very knowledgeable.

    Republic is on Elm Street, right around the corner from Firefly. Their beer selection is decent--Smuttynose is always one of the handful of beers on-tap I believe and the bottle selection includes some other locals, but the food here is excellent.

    KC's is unbeatable for barbecue in the area (and one of the best in New England, in my book), but I would also recommend the Farm, which just opened on the corner of Bridge and Elm, and has some very good barbecue as well as other food, and a better beer selection.

    I'd also recommend the River Road Tavern just down the road in Bedford, about 2 miles from downtown Manchester, which recently opened. More than anywhere else in the Manchester area (including Strange Brew), I think it's really striving to be primarily a good beer bar. The selection isn't nearly as extensive a Strange Brew, but it's very well-selected and ever changing. I liked the vibe and space of the place, and the menu is limited, but very good.

    As far as a bottle shop, look no further than Bert's Better Beers just over the city line in Hooksett.
    CheezyBlaster and fdrich29 like this.
  7. Berthold

    Berthold Initiate (0) Feb 11, 2009 New Hampshire

    Definitely Strange Brew. I'd go with all appetizers and some of the many, many beers they have on tap.
  8. CheezyBlaster

    CheezyBlaster Initiate (0) Sep 16, 2011 Massachusetts


    THANK YOU! This should be stickied in the New England forum. I know of Berts and have been several times -went yesterday. I also hit up a place a few times called "Drink Specialists" on Candia Rd, I believe. I could never find good eats and beer though. Milly's must have been a "miss" night. It felt very fratty and the beer wasn't too impressive. I'll check it out again, probably call ahead.
  9. FrankLloydMike

    FrankLloydMike Devotee (499) Aug 16, 2006 Massachusetts

    I'm not familiar with the Drink Specialists--is that Candia Road Convenience? I've never actually been there, but there's a new brewery next door (and I think affiliated with them) called Candia Road Brewing Company/Nepenthe Ales. I've bought a couple of their bottles--the Shire Stout being my favorite so far--at Bert's, but I'm not sure how widely distributed they are.

    I would definitely call ahead at Milly's--it can get very fratty in there. They had a flood a couple years ago, and they really cleaned it up inside after that and a string of really solid beers followed, and I was really excited about the place for awhile. Lately, it's been back to hit or miss, though. I'm not sure if they've had a change in brewers or anything, but I haven't seen anything rotating in there lately like the altbier and Peakbagger Pale Ale that I really enjoyed a year or two ago. The porter is very solid, though, and the IPA is generally pretty good. I still go there once in awhile, but it's not a priority when I'm in town like it was not too long ago.
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