Are you nearing the end of your bucket list of must-dos in Massachusetts? Why not include a stop in Salem?
This picturesque seaside city provides several possibilities to delve more into the horrific Salem Witch Trials that rocked the region. Even if ghost tours and creepy things aren’t your style, Salem is a fascinating visit not only in October, but all year.
Regardless matter when you arrive, Salem will enchant you with its ancient historic walkways and vibrant food scene. So wear your most comfortable shoes since there are so many places to dine and visit within walking distance.
Anything you choose to sample from these top dining alternatives in Salem will be well worth your time, money, and effort.
Visiting other places in Massachusetts? Check out our other tasty guide:
- 4 Must-Try Cape Cod Restaurants & 8 Best Things To Do In Cape Cod
- 10 Must-Try Worcester Restaurants
- 1 The Top 8 Restaurants in Salem
- 2 Conclusion on the Top 8 Salem Restaurants
The Top 8 Restaurants in Salem
The phone number is +1 978-594-419741 Lafayette St.
Kokeshi, Salem’s favorite Asian restaurant, offers up powerful and delicious Asian street food staples, but it’s the signature ramen that has people raving. The ambience is very contemporary and welcoming, with an industrial but colorful visual style, but it is their food that steals the show.
The ramen is served with large pieces of fried chicken and wakame. The meal is finished with Vermont butter, Thai basil, and sambal, which adds a pleasant spicy bite. A flavorful dish with intriguing mixes and a clever presentation.
The ramens are marketed spicy, so if you order one with pork, anticipate a fiery lunch since the pork is already spicy. The menu is a little on the pricey side for me, but the quantities are fairly substantial and full, so the numbers make up for it. If you’re visiting with children and family, Kokeshi is kid-friendly; just make sure your juniors stick to the kids menu if they’re sensitive to heat.
I’d stroll back to Kokeshi for the lobster Rangoon with sriracha ranch sauce or the pork and kimchi dumplings; it was the greatest lobster I’d ever had.
Lyceum Hall’s Turners Seafood
Phone: +1 978-745-766543 Church St.
Turners wonderful seafood restaurant, located within Salem’s historic Lyceum Hall, is a family-run company that offers fresh New England fish to clients all over the nation.
This location is difficult to overlook due to its very stunning appearance. One incentive to visit this seafood restaurant is that it has been in operation for almost five decades. I had great expectations before going, and the whole experience far surpassed them.
Turners’ chefs are achieving genuine culinary competence; everything is prepared with fresh fish. Sashimi, shrimp cocktail, cherrystones, and, of course, oysters abound at the oyster bar.
What is everyone raving about here? The lobster soup, lobster rolls, and crab cakes are all delicious. I went a little more hungry than normal so I could taste them all, and I haven’t regretted my decision to wait for my ideal seafood supper in Salem. On weekends, it may become packed and raucous; perhaps a group of friends would like this spot more than a couple searching for a peaceful nook.
Adriatic Restaurant and Bar
+1 978-594-1832155 Washington Street, Suite 1
Do you want to dress up for dinner? The Adriatic Sea is the place to be! It has a friendly, refined atmosphere with an outstanding selection of fresh, well prepared Mediterranean and Italian food and beverages.
The Adriatic features a nice street-side terrace where you may dine and unwind. I had a nice evening there, sitting in the indoor space that seemed like it was outside since the sliding doors were wide open.
To be clear, the menu is not inexpensive, so plan to pay an additional dollar for that wonderful but small-portioned dish. I’m still debating whether it was worthwhile, but when I think back on that eggplant Parmesan and a bag of munchkins with corn and scallion fritters served in hot sriracha mayo, I feel it was.
Expect a broad and well-curated wine selection, local beers, and fantastic cocktails. The setting is ideal for a business meal, catching up with friends, or just relaxing by the bar.
Phone: +1 978-594-1908125 Washington St.
Ledger is situated in a historically noteworthy facility since it was the second savings and loan bank to be formed in the United States.
Several little historical features have been preserved by Ledger in its rebuilt ancient bank vault, which compliment both the exceptional food and the unusual atmosphere. The exposed brick, the black grate on the teller window, and the walk-in cooler at the vault door are all highlights.
Chef-owner Matt ONeil prepares sophisticated New American food at Ledger Restaurant. A wood-fired barbecue is used to give meats and vegetables a smokey, deep taste that can only be obtained in wood-fired grills. As a result, the Ledger Double Burger is in a league of its own.
I visited here with a buddy for Sunday brunch, and we both agreed that this restaurant lived up to its well-deserved reputation in every aspect. I had the maple-glazed pork belly with grits, which was so delicious it melted in my mouth. It seems like I will have to return to sample more of the tempting culinary options on the menu.
Flying Saucer Pizza
The phone number is +1 978-594-8189118 Washington St.
Flying Saucer Pizza will provide you the greatest pizza you’ve ever had. At least, that’s what voters stated when they chose this location. The North Shore’s Best Pizza in 2021.
This restaurant has beautiful decor, and the titles of the goods are unusual and interesting. Their pizzas are crafted with the freshest local ingredients, and their beer and cider menu changes often, showcasing exclusively New England breweries.
Appetizers such as Spaceballs: The Musical, Pluto, and Vegan Hadouken piqued my interest, but I went there for the pizza, so I just ordered the Spaceballs. These were loaded with pepperoni, fresh mozzarella, and Parmesan and were the right size to not only satisfy but also arouse your appetite.
The appetizer is best followed by Odinson from their pizza menu. The dough was soft and generously loaded with a BBQ sauce, green peppers, pulled pork, cheddar, and pickled red onions. I liked how thick the dough was and how well all of the flavors harmonized on top of it.
Flying Saucer Pizza allows you to make your own pizza (GF also available) with any toppings you wish! Vegans and vegetarians will also have plenty of alternatives.
The Hawthorne Hotel’s Tavern
+1 978-825-431118 The Washington Square W.
The Tavern’s wood-paneled walls and wood-burning fireplace provide the most inviting ambience in town. It’s the perfect place to unwind with a delicious dinner in the old-world dining room or a quick beverage at the bar.
You may visit at any time of day for a guaranteed great breakfast, lunch, or supper, or just for a drink or two. The modest but pleasant and sophisticated setting, individual service, and exceptionally superb meal won me over.
Their greatest invention is the Signature Fish Chowder, which is thick and savory and loaded with fish, clams, and scallops. Of course, I didn’t get to test the whole menu (though I will in the future), but I can assure this. There are appetizers like cauliflower nibbles, shrimp cocktail, and quesadillas on the menu, as well as genuinely delicious burgers and meals like steaks, fish, and chicken.
The delicious fish tacos were generously served with wonderful, hot French-fried potatoes. I finished with an excellent craft IPA, locally made and picked from a superb range of local beers.
Phone: +1 978-744-960087 Washington St.
Opus is a terrific destination for foodies who want Asian-inspired meals with an American touch. The trendy environment, together with a vast and diverse menu with delectable meals and a large range of sushi, will please all of your senses.
Opus, which has previously been named Best Sushi, Best Date Night, Best Bar, and Best Cocktail, brings together award-winning drinks, superb cuisine, and live entertainment under one roof.
Genki roll with spicy tuna, tempura sweet potato, avocado, scallion, spicy mayo, sweet soy, and Shady Dog with salmon, mango, and avocado, topped with crab and wasabi aioli were among the dishes I sampled. It was no wonder that this establishment received so many accolades; they still maintained a very high quality of service.
If they had sake, it would have been a full experience, but a Bikini Bottom Bonfire, one of their specialty drinks made with tequila and mezcal, performed the job just as well, if not better, than a cup of sake.
The atmosphere is sophisticated but relaxed, and the area is busy with people enjoying cuisine and live music. It is one of Salem’s top destinations for any kind of trip.
Bella Verona Trattoria
The phone number is +1 978-825-9911107 Essex St.
If you’re looking for delicious Italian cuisine, go to Ristorante Bella Verona. It boasts a wonderful ambiance and excellent Italian cuisine. They also offer an outstanding wine selection.
True Italian food lovers will be pleasantly pleased to find such a genuine establishment in the heart of Salem. There are appetizers, meat, seafood, and pasta options on the menu. House specialties include linguini with scallops and shrimp, ziti with strips of New York Sirloin, and tagliatelle with veal strips.
My visit was mainly focused on sampling the various antipasti and pasta options. The cooked calamari with garlic and white wine over polenta was as expected, with just the right chew. The toasted garlic bread with fresh onions, marinated artichoke hearts, and Tagliatelle Alla Puttanesca were all delicious.
Everything was flawlessly prepared, from the first to the final mouthful. Fortunately, I had space for a Tiramisu, which further added to the fantastic feast. I never anticipated to have such a delicious Italian supper in Salem.
Conclusion on the Top 8 Salem Restaurants
I’m sure your Salem vacation will be a joy, since Salem is quickly becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in Massachusetts.
Foodies should visit this city! Salem is the place to go if you want good food, with all of these restaurant options.
Salem’s slogan is “still producing history,” so make it a part of yours as well!