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2021 Comfort Food
Editors’ Choice

The Paddle Inn


Menu mainstays like the Chinese Chicken Salad, scratch-made Crab Rangoon, and the Thai fries—a heaping pile of house-cut potatoes topped with Thai chile sauce, scallion cream, carrots, cilantro, and peanuts—are luscious and indulgent. But keep coming back for the surprises that pop up frequently, from a thick moist fish filet sandwich to rotating burger offerings, which might be a classic patty melt or Cubano-style with tasso ham and mojo sauce. For true comfort, wash it down with a tiki drink or a craft beer.

27 State St., Newburyport, 978-572-1242,

Readers’ Choice



A tavern for more than a century, this popular spot speaks of comfort. Soak up the ambience while enjoying a quirky casual menu that runs the gamut from traditional fresh seafood and burgers to the sweet potato burrito and terrific fish tacos that are a holdover from the day when the upstairs space was a Mexican restaurant. The top-notch cooks show off their skills with specials and an elegant catering menu.

13 Middle St., Newburyport, 978-465-8008,

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