Housed in Nashua ’s oldest building, Fody’s Great American Tavern (9 Clinton St., Nashua, 603/577-9015, www.fodystavern.com , 4:30–10 p.m. daily, $18–26) is as warm an atmosphere as they come, with exposed brick and an often-lit fireplace. It’s all complemented by fare like grilled littlenecks with prosciutto and garlic, bacon-wrapped tuna, and mascarpone cheesecake. The tavern features live music or comedy most nights; if you don’t like karaoke, don’t come on Tuesdays.
Don’t let the silly name fool you: Food at the family-owned Ya Mamma’s (75 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack, 603/578-9201, $16–18) is serious business. The Italian-American menu is full of filling, flavorful entrées like baked lasagna, fettuccini primavera, and juicy chicken picatta.