Some of the most important issues throughout American history have been decided on in bars, the informal community meeting rooms of our nation. Whether you watch a game, play your own, dance up a storm, or settle in for some conversation, the bars and pubs of New Hampshire offer a welcome refuge from societal woes and personal frustrations. Here are our 10 favorites!
A solid selection of craft beers, team trivia, snooker, and an atmosphere that practically demands good vibes have made this a favorite of Portsmouth locals. Take a midweek break and join them for “Martini Tuesdays,” where Mr. Bond’s drink of choice is offered at a markdown, or for “Fish & Chips Thursdays,” and enjoy an authentically British dinner at a truly American discount.
Where Manchester’s dapper folk and choice bits of calico enjoy their giggle water: Brush up on your 1920s slang and head to 815, a speakeasy with a delightful air of mystery. Kick back in an easy chair and order up a vintage cocktail, complete with oversized ice. Check their Facebook page for a rotating password and keep your visit as authentic as possible, without the threat of a pesky raid.
For almost 20 years, locals have delighted in the low-key party atmosphere of McGarvey’s. Good company, bad karaoke, and generous happy hour deals (Mondays 9 p.m.-1 a.m. feature 50 percent off an entire tab) give this Manchester staple a leg up over the competition.
The Shannon Door has long been a Mt. Washington Valley mainstay, attracting generations of locals and newbies with a laid back, fun atmosphere. After 60 years serving the community, it’s no wonder they’ve nailed down one of the best après ski experiences in the state.
Stacey Jane’s, Hampton’s favorite down and dirty dive. Come for the cocktails, stay for the dancing, darts, beer pong, karaoke, and wildly fun crowd.
The place to be if dancing is your drug of choice, the Red Door features music, cocktails, and a notoriously hunky bouncer. This Portsmouth locale boasts legions of devoted fans, and really kicks it into gear when the clock strikes midnight.
With a selection of 47 tap beers, half of which frequently rotate, Olde Kilkenny Pub addresses New Hampshire’s love of craft draughts. Grab a pint and a Texas Grilled Cheese and post up to watch a game, shoot some pool, or just relax.
Sayde’s Bar and Grill is a family owned and operated gem, serving up well priced cocktails and outstanding Lebanese food. Stop in for a drink, dinner, or one of the many events offered by this Salem favorite, where regulars are family and newcomers are fast friends.
Area 23 offers craft beer, cider and mead, alongside friendly service and plenty of special events. A decidedly low-tech establishment, this Concord staple encourages personal interaction through darts, pool, and good old fashioned drinking.
This biker bar keeps it simple, but does so impeccably. A welcoming atmosphere, great outdoor seating options, and events like bike and car shows make this Laconia location worth a visit and a spot on my list.