15 Best Restaurants in Salem, MA (Photos, Reviews, Maps)

Looking for something great to eat in Salem, MA? This is a list that can help. Whether you are just passing through the area, or if you’re a local looking for something you haven’t tried before, then you’ve come to the right place.

Taking into account the reviews, travel blogs, locally based food sites, and a few other factors, these are the best places to eat in Salem. There is variety, affordability, and just plain good eats to be found at any of the places on the list and you will not be disappointed regardless of what your choice ends up as. Just know, great food is not far from here.


$$$ | 978-594-1832 | WEBSITE


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A post shared by Adriatic Restaurant (@adriatic_salem)

With a warm atmosphere and some of the greatest seafood dining you might ever find anywhere in Massachusetts, Adriatic is the seafood chef’s dream. With tender fish, delightful shellfish, and sides and starters to compliment it all, this bar and restaurant is the place to go.

Reservations are highly recommended as Adriatic’s Mediterranean-inspired flavors are in high demand and will leave you waiting for a table for who knows how long without one.




$$$ | 978-594-8709 | WEBSITE


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A post shared by Bambolina Restaurant (@bambolinasalem)

Bambolina serves great pizza. Hands down, this is the best Neapolitan pizza you might ever eat. The key is the hand-built, wood-burning pizza oven that cooks at 925 degrees.

The perfect temperature to provide the best pizza in this style anywhere around. This pizza is rustic, cooks fast, and is delicious. Fresh ingredients and hand-made dough provide a sublime pizza experience.



Bella Verona

$$$ | 978-825-9911 | WEBSITE

Best Restaurants in Salem, MA

Bella Verona is an authentic Trattoria and serves Italian food in the old style, straight from Italy. Though you may not be daring enough to try a vela dish, they also offer fantastic chicken, pasta, and seafood to suit your tastes as well.

Located in a prime location and with a relaxed outdoor seating configuration, this is the spot you want to go for some off-the-chart amazing Italian food. They have a wine list that enhances all the flavors of your meal and the wait staff is attentive to your every need. Great place for a celebration or a quiet date night too.




$$$ | 978-944-8485 | WEBSITE


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A post shared by Finz Salem (@finzseafoodsalem)

Finz has a menu filled with fish seafood specials, sushi dishes, and daily catch-of-the-day type menu offerings. An upscale spot with plenty of great choices, it might be named Finz, but they also make a killer burger.

This is a popular spot and in the months of the heaviest tourist traffic, they offer no reservations and all seating is done on a first come first served basis. The food is worth the wait though, and they have a menu of specialty cocktails that go with all the offerings deliciously.



Howling Wolf Taqueria

$$ | 978-744-9653 | WEBSITE


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The name comes from an old Cherokee proverb about feeding the wolf who wins, and they offer fabulous Mexican flavors made and served with fresh ingredients every day.

Deliciously different than most of the other American-style food in Salem, Howling Wolf serves nachos, tacos, and everything Mexican with indoor and outdoor seating to enjoy the atmosphere of Salem in the warmer months. Laid back and casual, they also have a full bar menu to compliment all their food.




$$$ | 978-825-4311 | WEBSITE

Salem, MA Best Restaurants

An American-style restaurant with a 1920s setting, this place is another of the fine restaurants situated in the Hawthorne Hotel. This one is, of course, named for the Hotel’s namesake, Nathaniel Hawthorne, who is a bit of a celebrity in Salem due to his Gothic romanticism and contributions to American literature.

As simple and complex as the man himself, Nathaniel’s will satisfy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has a lovely atmosphere and a classy feeling that can’t be beaten.



Olde Main Street Pub

$$$ | 978-594-8188 | WEBSITE

Trendy Restaurants in Salem, MA

A fantastic setting across from the Salem commons is the setting for this popular restaurant. They are an American-style restaurant with an old-world pub feeling and a drink menu to match.

This place is somewhere to take the family with a menu of different options and something for everyone. Whether it be for the whole meal, appetizers, drinks, or dessert, this spot is great for any food craving you may find yourself with.




$$$ | 978-744-9600 | WEBSITE


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A post shared by Salem Opus (@salemopus)

Opus is a place that can be described as Salam to the heart. It’s a menu of unexpected flavor combinations and dishes that have a slightly Asian flair, but that are definitively American fair.

They weave together these flavors in burgers, sandwiches, pasta dishes, and other delicious fare, including the appetizers and the specialty cocktails that they serve to guests. They don’t make reservations, but you can join the waitlist online before you go, which is recommended on busy nights.




$$$ | 978-745-6659 | WEBSITE


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A post shared by Longboards 🍺 (@longboardssalem)

This is a spot for locals and travelers alike. Great food and great atmosphere make this a place you’ll want to come back to, and where you will probably run into the owners, who are brothers and locals as well.

This is that casual neighborhood hangout that makes everyone smile and where you can’t leave without a full belly and a full heart. They serve simple food that is done well and fills your belly and your heart.



Red’s Sandwich Shop

$ | 978-745-3527 | WEBSITE


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Red’s is a quaint fixture in the Salem community. Serving up coffee, breakfast, and delicious sandwiches and salads, Red’s has been doing things this way for decades.

The only institution older than that might be the building they reside in, built around 1689 and a historic landmark in the town of Salem. The breakfast served all day is a draw for late risers and people who love brunch, and you won’t be disappointed. The simple, tried and true offerings here will leave you wanting to come back for more.



Sea Level Oyster Bar

$$$ | 978-741-0555 | WEBSITE


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Sea Level is a quintessential seafood restaurant on the Eastern Seaboard. They are ready to prepare you a meal that is filled with fresh-caught seafood and the deliciousness that comes along with the briny treats from the ocean.

Classic dishes and creative cocktails pair well together to form a tasty menu, but that is more affordable than you might think. With a special menu and seasonal offerings, if seafood is what you are looking for, then this is the place for you.



The Tavern

$$$ | 978-825-4311 | WEBSITE

Trendy Restaurant in Salem, MA

Located at the authentic and picturesque Hawthorne Hotel, which is named for the famous American Gothic writer Nathanial Hawthorne, The Tavern is meant to take you back to a romantic era in Salem History.

Cozy and quaint with a wood fire and a view of the Commons, The Tavern is what you might have thought the town to be like in the time of the historical writer’s heyday. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the Tavern doesn’t accept reservations.




$$$ | 978-745-7665 | WEBSITE


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A post shared by Turner’s Seafood (@turnersseafood)

Turner’s is the very best for fresh New England seafood. Not only do they serve up a menu of deliciousness that is changed weekly to suit the catch that was brought in, Turner’s is also a fish market.

So you can either come and eat the offerings with plays on calamari and halibut classics, but you can take home fresh fish to prepare as you prefer. Turner’s is an institution with several locations and the one in Salem providing the community with fish and lobster for those tasty New England lobster rolls you have got to get your hands on.



The Ugly Mug

$$$ | 978-745-6844 | WEBSITE


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A post shared by Mug Life (@uglymugdiner)

Elevated breakfasts and brunch are served up in an elevated style while maintaining the old-school diner feeling that a place named the Ugly Mug seems like it should have.

They make all types of favorites better than you might ever eat them anywhere else. Crab cake benedict and duck confit waffles are just a couple of the favorite stapes served fresh daily with mimosas and bloody mars to help smooth them down.



Village Tavern

$$$ | 978-744-2858 | WEBSITE


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A post shared by Village Tavern Salem (@villagetavernsalem)

The Village Tavern is where you should end up if you like to have a great time. They have live music every Saturday during their afternoon happy hour, and they boast the best game room Salem can offer.

Billiard tables, dart boards, classic video games, and more are located at the Village Tavern. The food exceeds expectations as well. With prime rib and award-winning burgers, you can always find something good to eat in between friendly rounds of darts.



Final Thoughts

Salem, MA is a historic town with a quaint and maybe at times eerie feel to it. It’s like the modern commodities were transplanted back the 1700s, and then sprinkled with fun along with any choices to find great food. Fill your head with history and your belly with all the great food you can, just be prepared to wait a bit longer for it during peak tourism months.

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About Restaurant Observer

Restaurant Observer is the ultimate go-to destination on the web when looking for nothing but fantastic places to genuinely enjoy food across the United States. Inspired by the saying when there’s good food, there’s a good life, Birch Restaurant starts the food blog to scout the best food places across the country.