Inexpensive and ultra-casual, the riverside café of The Loaf and Ladle (9 Water St., 603/778-8955, www.theloafandladle.com , 8:30 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.–Sat.; 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Sun., $5–8) does, as the name would suggest, concentrate on soups and breads. But it’s all remarkably filling—not to mention delicious. Everything is made from scratch, and the breads are as fresh as the soups are creative (potato pesto, anyone?). Don’t get too used to any one item, however; the entire menu changes daily.
A local favorite in a rural neighborhood, The Townlyne Grill (52 Hampton Rd., 603/772-3200, 5:30 p.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Sat.; 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Sun., $10–25) serves trumped-up classics (the steak topped with baby buffalo shrimp and blue cheese is a recurring special) in a jazzy room filled with pop-art posters.
It isn’t hard to guess that the focus at The Green Bean (33 Water St., 603/778-7585, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Mon.–Sat., $5–8) is fresh produce, and you’d be correct: The cheery spot serves freshly made simple and wholesome salads, sandwiches, and homemade soups to an enthusiastic crowd. There are also fresh-baked pastries (like the incredible chocolate chip–oatmeal cookies) and daily breakfasts.
Delicious food is served without ceremony or pretense at Tavern at Rivers Edge (163 Water St., 603/772-7393, 3–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., $16–26), a handsome but casual dining room serving specialties like New Zealand rack of lamb, filet mignon, and rare seared tuna. The restaurant also has an extensive selection of appetizers and bar food if you’d just like to nosh over drinks.