Salem Must-Do List

Items for your Salem itinerary.




Peabody Essex Museum

Photo by Robert Boyd

 

Learn more about Salem here

 

Peabody Essex Museum

As the nation’s oldest continuing operating museum, PEM was among the first museums in America to collect works of art and culture from around the world. Rising three stories and adding a handsome facade to the Essex Street pedestrian way, PEM’s new 40,000-square-foot wing opens in 2019.

161 Essex St., 978-745-9500, pem.org

 

Chestnut Street

A perfect walk from downtown offers a stroll among the historic mansions of the neighborhood named after Salem architect Samuel McIntire and the Ropes Mansion ‘s blooming garden. 

 

Fame of Salem

From Memorial Day through Halloween, you can hop aboard Fame, a replica of a privateer from the War of 1812. Fame cruises on Salem Sound, where pirates & privateers have been making history for 400 years.

Pickering Wharf, 978-729-7600, schoonerfame.com

 

Mercy Tavern

A cozy vibe in a historic building where locals have met up to exchange stories and tip their cups for decades. Thoughtful menu offers marinated labne and a Cubano sandwich.

148 Derby St., 978-741-4436, mercysalem.com

 

Passage to India

With specialities from northern and southern India, this established Washington Street tradition is a staple of the Salem diet.

157 Washington St., 978-832-2300, passagetoindiasalem.com 

 

Photo by Elise Sinagra

Notch Brewery & Tap Room

Specializing in session beers that you can drink all day long. Hang on the patio beside the South Canal or inside this renovated industrial space with its vaulted ceilings and long tables.

283 Rear Derby St., 978-238-9060, notchbrewing.com 

 

Counter and Roof

The latest from Lark Hotels brings us these two gems this fall, stepping up the Salem scene considerably. Lark’s executive chef Justin Perdue will oversee both restaurants.

209 Essex St., thehotelsalem.com 

 

Photo by Michael Diskin

Ledger Restaurant & Bar

Progressive New England fare combined with creative pasta dishes and smoky mezcal cocktails served up in a renovated historic bank building on Salem’s Washington Street by acclaimed chef Matt O’Neil.

125 Washington St., Salem, 978-594-1908, ledgersalem.com

 

Sea Level Oyster Bar

Winner of BONS Editors’ Choice for Al Fresco Dining and Dessert (homemade Twinkies, anyone?), this Salem waterfront staple serves up fresh seafood and creative pizzas, complete with an extensive beer menu.

94 Wharf St., Salem, 978-741-0555, sealeveloysterbar.com

 

Photo by Darren Pellegrino

Bambolina

“Neo-Neapolitan” style pies made with creative toppings from local suppliers and farmers’ markets are cooked for 90 seconds in the restaurant’s imported Italian wood-fired oven, as well as an array of small plate options.

288 Derby St., Salem, 978-594-8709, bambolinarestaurant.com

 

Photo by Elise Sinagra

Opus

Delicious sushi dishes and tasty unique cocktails created by talented mixologists are the perfect pairing for any king of evening—from date night to girls’ night out. After your meal, head downstairs to Opus Underground for live music and dancing.

87 Washington St., 978-744-9600, salemopus.com

 

Photo by Katie Noble

Caramel French Patisserie 

Macarons, almond croissants, and chocolates as delicious as they are beautiful. A slice of Paris awaits.

281 Essex St., 978-594-0244, caramelpatisserie.com

 

Goodnight Fatty 

Homemade, warm cookies and cold milk for adults to end the night. 

Higginson Square, 978-822-2277, goodnightfatty.com 

 

Far From The Tree Cider

An array of creative hard ciders that change constantly, while the cool vibe of the patio remains constant with corn hole, visiting puppy dogs, and creative pop-up events.

108 Jackson St., 978-224-2904, farfromthetreecider.com 

 

Milk and Honey Green Grocer 

Both suits and artists line up at this cozy local grocer for sandwiches, soups, and salads at lunchtime and can pick up fresh produce and other sundries along the way. Open seven days a week.

32 Church St., 978-744-6639, milkandhoneysalem.com 

 

Photo by Elise Sinagra

The Cheese Shop of Salem

A destination to sample cheeses from around the world and fill your basket from a creative selection of artisanal olive oils, bitters, chocolates, and wine.

45 Lafayette St., 978-498-4820, thecheeseshopofsalem.com

 

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Kokeshi

Ramen bowls are comfort food at its finest with a mix of tasty cocktails and anime movies.

41 Lafayette St., 978-594-4197, kokeshirestaurant.com

 

Firenze Trattoria

Bucatini, risotto, and nightly fish specials in this small, romantic, neighborhood restaurant whisks you to a screen-free timeless European evening.

2 Lynde St., 978-219-1188, firenzesalem.com

 

Salem Food Tours

Explore Salem’s thriving culinary scene with in-the-know tour guide Karen Scalia. Described as a roaming dinner party—this is a delicious tour not to miss.

978-594-8811, salemfoodtours.com

 

A&J King Artisan Bakers

The North Shore’s finest bakery is busy at all hours, churning out gorgeous loaves of ciabatta and sourdough, and delectable scones and brown butter cakes. 

48 Central Street, 978-744-4881, ajkingbakery.com

 

Photo by Adam DeTour

Smokin’ Betty’s

Brisket to die for in a funky, fun setting. Lawnmower beers, good bourbon, and tequila.

94 Lafayette Street, smokinbettysbbq.com 

 

 

 

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