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There are so many great restaurants in Keene NH, especially for a town its size! You can thank Keene State College for that. College towns are home to students who want an interesting array of restaurants, and Keene brings them in spades.
So what should you go for while in Keene? Luca’s Mediterranean Cafe is a great option for a nice meal, The Farm is an amazing vegan restaurant that will please omnivores as well, and Lindy’s Diner is one of the best diners in the state of New Hampshire.
Let’s take a look — here are the best restaurants in Keene, New Hampshire!
This post was most recently updated in May 2023.
Luca’s Mediterranean Café
10 Central Square, Keene, NH // (603) 358-3335
Just like the countries surrounding this famous European ocean, the menu at Luca’s Mediterranean Café is diverse, tasty and sure to please. Expect to find all your favorite Southern European, Middle Eastern, and North African flavors here, along with a great selection of amazing wines.
This local favorite, filled with friendly staff and excellent food, is an ideal spot for your next date night with your significant other (or impressive first date). And with the long wood bar, it also makes for fun solo dining too. So don’t be shy, grab a spot at the bar (or book a table) and transport your taste buds to Mediterranean Europe.
What to get at Luca’s: Diners often forget that on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea is North Africa, so Luca’s includes Moroccan Lamb Tagine as one of their mains. In terms of quality food in New Hampshire, this is hard to beat. This stew like dish has plenty of unique ingredients. See if you can pick the candied apricots flavor whilst indulging!
For something simpler from Italy, try the bright and tasty Linguine with Peas and Bacon. The savory taste of the bacon balances with the sweet petite peas for a spring inspired dish anyone can enjoy.
Machina Arts: Kitchen & ArtBar
9 Court St, Keene, NH // (603) 903-0011
Back when COVID-19 infection rates started to drop last year, Machina Arts: Kitchen & ArtBar was at the top of locals lists to visit once again. Despite its humble dining room and minimalist appearance overall, Machina Arts is a great place filled with arguably the best food in downtown Keene.
Expect an eclectic menu with a focus on small plates and delicately crafted dishes. Machina Arts is the closest thing you’ll find in these parts to those restaurants in New York City that have waitlists for months and all the celebrities go and eat at. If you are coming up to a special event, this is an excellent restaurant to choose.
What to get at Machina Arts: Try the Beef Congee. This is a savory dish made from real New England Beef and glazed in a unique amaretto and soy glaze. The sweet nuttiness compliments the fine cut of the meat well. Additionally, the Hot Laksa, a Malaysian dish, is a perfect option for cold New Hampshire nights. Warm yourself up with all that goodness!
19 Gilbo Ave, Keene, NH // (603) 352-4273
New Hampshire has a long history in the nation’s political landscape, especially when it comes to Primary season and during the Presidential campaign. Candidates come to the state, especially downtown Keene, to try to prove their worth to their party’s faithful. One popular spot that many candidates come to is Lindy’s Diner, so much that they say “The road to the White House goes through Lindy’s Diner.”
Lindy’s Diner embraces much of the style of diner you’d find throughout the US, but with a New England menu twist. Expect good food at affordable prices when you visit Lindy’s, with an especially comforting breakfast menu. Sitting at the shiny silver bar is a particularly popular spot for people grabbing breakfast before starting their workdays.
What to get at Lindy’s Diner: What immediately jumps off the menu to most guests is the Fish Reuben. This spin on the popular sandwich is an icon at Lindy’s. The Crabcake BLT is also popular here. Lindy’s also makes a great hot dog, so if you come in later in the day, grab a dog! Wash everything down with a Lindy’s Old Fashioned Bottled Soda too.
118 Main St, Keene, NH // (603) 357-4567
For a perfect place on a casual Tuesday night, it’s hard to go past local favorite Thai Garden. The menu here is large and filled with all your Thai food favorites, from pad thai to pad see euw. Plus, you can expect great service. This unpretentious local restaurant always serves up a delicious meal with a smile.
Thai Garden is also happy to fill any takeout order for you but does not offer delivery services. Diners enjoy coming here for authentic cuisine and its comfortable setting.
What to get at Thai Garden: You can find all your Thai favorites here, but some standouts from the menu would have to be the Pineapple Fried Rice. This is a perfect summer evening dish that has all the traditional fried rice ingredients and the added tang of pineapple and sweetness of raisins. The Spicy Tofu is a great vegetarian or vegan option that will surely wake your tastebuds up!
463 West St, Keene, NH // (603) 354-3123
Instead of going to a Chipotle Mexican Grill, try something more authentic (and tastier) at Mi Jalisco! Located in the West Street Shopping Center, this edition of Mi Jalisco has an excellent range of Mexican dishes, inspired by the Jalisco region along Mexico’s Pacific coast. This is a good time spot to come visit after a tiring day shopping in the mall.
As mentioned, don’t expect fast food Mexican style here, instead you can expect large dishes that make for great sharing with real Mexican flavors. Seafood dishes are strong here. Browse the menu while sipping on a giant margarita (or another Mexican inspired cocktail) and unwind.
What to get at Mi Jalisco: The Taco Salad Vegetariano is filled with bright and healthy ingredients. It’s the guacamole salad and sour cream that really makes the flavors in this salad pop though! The Chimichanga del Mar is also a hit here and gives you the option of fried or boiled shrimp.
The Farm Café
12 Emerald St, Keene, NH // (603) 354-3521
On the opposite corner of the Works Bakery café is this gem of a place filled with New England styled delights. The Farm Café, where plant-based cuisine goes to the next level, makes for an authentic New Hampshire experience, so skip your boring Panera Bread visit! The beauty of this location is that it’s in the same building as the famous Athens Pizza House, inside the Toadstool Bookshop.
The Farm Café is also a vegan restaurant, making a popular option due to its focus on fresh ingredients and good service. It’s a humble setting for a quick bite that also has a daily specials board that keeps customers coming back, time and again. This is the place you bring your meat-eating friends to show them how good vegan food can be!
What to get at The Farm Cafe: The Green Monster Bowl is filled with the Farm Café’s signature quinoa and black beans to give it a somewhat smoky flavor. It’s big and it’s healthy. From the plant-based local burgers part of the menu, try the Golden Onion that comes on a delectable fresh baguette. As a side note, the fresh bread at Farm Café is a major draw.
Yahso Jamaican Grille
45 Main St, Keene, NH // (603) 338-0025
For great food, good times and the opportunity to try something you may not have eaten before, visit Yahso Jamaican Grille. This casual dining spot has plenty of dishes that are bursting in flavor. You may have had Jerk Chicken before, but Yahso’s is a great spot to broaden your Jamaican food experience.
The current location is aimed for guests who want a quick, informal bite and those who are picking up a takeout order. The beach hut styled full bar provides an authentic experience though if you want to get into Jamaican food and drinks deeper.
What to get at Yahso Jamaican Grille: Plantains are a popular food in the Caribbean and Yahso’s small plate serve of Sweet Plantains, that can be optionally quick fried in coconut oil, are delicious. There’s a Jamaican Fusion section of the menu and the Caribbean Taco Duo makes for a mouthwatering alternative to the Mexican classic.
Salt & Lime
73 Emerald St, Keene, NH // (603) 355-7068
For another Mexican or street food alternative in Keene, try Salt & Lime. This food truck is a perfect pit stop for people on the go, but still want high quality Mexican food and other fare. The simple set up is easy to spot on Emerald St. and is conveniently next to the Keene Skatepark.
The Daily Specials board is worth perusing at Salt & Lime. Not only are they authentic in what they serve up, but the food truck cooks use some amazing food and ingredient combinations to make their tacos and other Mexican favorites.
What to get at Salt & Lime: The Pad Thai Street Fries are truly unique, and truly tasty! They come with coleslaw, pickled veggies and are covered in an amazing peanut sauce. Just as well this is permanent truck because you’ll be back for these.
51 Railroad St, Keene, NH // (603) 355-5242
One of the best restaurants in Keene, NH must be Granita Enoteca. This Italian restaurant and wine bar is a place that will leave you in awe of not only what you eat, but the dining experience overall. It looks and feels exactly like something you’d find in a major city, but it’s right here. So, dress up and make this your next choice for a romantic evening, or for that client you need to impress!
The space here is oozing with class and it’s hard to miss the innovative glass wine cellar in the bar area. You’ll find your next favorite drop when you visit Granita Enoteca! This restaurant does ornate small plates with wine and cocktail pairings that you will talk about for weeks after you pay the bill.
What to get at Granita Enoteca: The pasta dishes here come with pasta that they freshly roll daily. The Butter Poached Lobster Risotto is very good, with its hints of lemon and saffron. Try the Halibut Saltimbocca too! It is adorned with black lentil beluga and lightly fried capers.
30 Central Square, Keene, NH // (603) 357-8389
Located right on Central Square is this classic spot famous for its American fare and martinis. Guests come here for the atmosphere too, as it has a comforting buzz, even when it’s a rambunctious Saturday night.
The bar at the Stage is where much of the fun is. Expect to find many loyal locals sipping on a cocktail or conversing with the friendly bar staff. In warmer months, the restaurant also has a quaint sidewalk patio eating area too.
What to get at Stage Restaurant: The Martini Menu here is a feature. In the fall, try the Pumpkin Festival Martini that is made with their famous homemade spiced pumpkin vodka and comes with a dollop of whipped cream. Or maybe you have it as a boozy dessert! On the brunch menu, the Creole Blackened Shrimp Omelet is quite popular. So, if you fancy a taste of the South while up North, order it!
401 Winchester St, Keene, NH // (603) 355-1311
Skip a Longhorn Steakhouse and visit Tempesta’s Restaurant for some amazing food! Located next to the Best Western Plus off Winchester Street this place has a fantastic hot bar and carvery for your meat cravings! It’s an informal spot that the whole family will enjoy.
The bar area has a traditional Northeastern charm about it that guests love. If you are hosting a large occasion soon, Tempesta’s also has an excellent catering program that will impress everyone at your event.
What to get at Tempesta’s Restaurant: For the braver diner, try the Carolina Reaper Pulled Pork Quesadilla. But be warned, it’s not for the spice-tolerant guest, it’s for the spice lover who can also cope with the aftermath! For something calmer, the New England Lobster Roll is big and juicy (and trust us — very affordable compared to the pricey New England seaside towns!).
2023 Update: A previous version of this post recommended Odelay Taqueria which has since closed.
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