Looking to take your special Valentine for a night on the town, have a fun family Sunday brunch or a much-needed girls night out? We are lucky to have so many amazing restaurants on the Seacoast! How do you choose? Do you think about ambiance, price point, delicious tasting food, location, allergy-friendly options, fancy beverages?
When I go out to eat, I’m trying to be more mindful about choosing a restaurant that is consciously trying to make a positive impact in our community. I try to be mindful of voting with my dollars when I can because it does make a difference.
Two qualifications for being the best restaurants on the Seacoast: Composting and Sourcing Locally.
I recently learned that food waste is a major contributor to climate change. The EPA states that food is the largest component of our daily trash going to landfills. The wasted food then sits and releases potent methane gas contributing to climate change. Thanks to Mr. Fox, a local composting company (and one of our favorite memberships on the Seacoast), residences and commercial establishments can now have their food waste picked up and turned into compost. After asking for a list of Seacoast restaurants who use Mr. Fox, I was surprised to see over 30 restaurants in Portsmouth alone their services. To learn more about why it is important to compost, check out this informative 6-minute video. It’s the little things that make a big environmental impact!
I also have a growing appreciation for buying local food when possible and supporting our hard-working farmers. Food is far more nutritious when bought locally as a lot of the nutrients are lost in transport. Fresh food also tastes so much better. When I go out to eat and spend our hard-earned money, I want it to taste fresh. Aside from tasting better and having more nutrients, farmers work hard and I’m very appreciative of all they do to provide us with the best tasting and nutrient-dense food. I feel far better spending money on farm to table restaurants than restaurants that buy packaged food from big chain stores and have it shipped across the country. Buying local also has an environmental impact since food is not being transported in trucks and being stored in coolers, which uses up energy.
One of my favorite Seacoast farms, Vernon Family Farm, shared this on their Instagram recently with an incredible caption. Read it all but a real takeaway is this: “Real food has a real price because it’s not mass produced, it’s cared for by farmers with a moral social and environmental compass.”
I’m happy to pay a little more for quality over quantity when it comes to food and feeding my family. Here is a list of a few of my favorite restaurants that source their ingredients locally when possible and use Mr. Fox to compost their food waste. One exception is Blue Moon Evolution. They have their food waste picked up by Kelly Brook Farm, a local pig farm. In addition, my top 6 restaurants are allergy-friendly and provide gluten and dairy-free options, which is also a must for my family. This list is not inclusive but are my top 6 favorites.
- Black Trumpet in Portsmouth
- Laney and Lu in Exeter
- Flatbread locations in North Conway, Portsmouth and Amesbury, MA.
- Vida Cantina in Portsmouth.
- Joinery in Newmarket
- Blue Moon Evolution in Exeter.
After doing my research I will be planning my next night out to Franklin House in downtown Portsmouth. They are also using sustainable ingredients when possible and compost.