Places to eatÂ…Spend some time on a dime:
Salem Diner (326 Canal Street)
Enter the Sterling Streamliner, which has been welcoming patrons for nearly 60 years and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Stop in for a roadside meal and enjoy the vintage fare.
Hankering for a hot dog?
The Boston Hot Dog Co. (60 Washington Street) has so many types of hot dogs; veggie, turkey, chicken, all-beef kosherÂ…just to name four. When you factor in the number of condiment options, the dog combinations are infinite, and so could be your contemplation time.
Visit Bertini’s (282 Canal Street) for a family-friendly, casual atmosphere.
At Leslie’s Retreat (96 North Street) you can get some all-you-can-eat pancakes for $1.75 or some lunch and dinner featuring many American favorites for under $10.
At Red’s Sandwich Shop (15 Central Street) in the Old London Tea House from the 1700s, the swivel-stool counter is where locals meet to have a quick bite and chat about the happenings around town. Winner of Best Breakfast for 14 years in a row.
Brother’s Restaurant and Deli (283 Derby Street) has mastered home cooking served cafeteria-style. Head on over for fast, quality, comfort foods like French toast, omelets, or a grilled cheese sandwich. Whatever your preference, they’ll make it for you.
Taste of Thyme (122 Washington Street) features cozy decor, great old pictures of Salem, scrumptious breakfasts, and an enormous variety of lunch sandwiches, salads, and soups.
Restaurants with a viewÂ…and great seafood too:
Derby Fish and Lobster (215 Derby Street): Stop in for some lobster, fish, or crab, or enjoy a cup of their famous clam chowder.
Strombergs (2 Bridge Street): In operation since 1929, it’s the oldest restaurant in Salem, with a menu that is sure to have something to satisfy your seafood cravings.
The Lobster Shanty (15 Front Street): Lobster dishes are their specialty along with the “best barbecue fare you’ll find in town.”
Feeling adventurous around dinner time, then try the Rockmore Floating Restaurant (94 Wharf Street), in the middle of Salem Harbor, reachable only by boat. Open from Memorial Day to Labor Day enjoy food from the sea on the sea.
Get cozy by the fireplace at Finz (76 Wharf Street) with one of their pretty martinis and artistically presented seafood dishes, or try something from their raw bar.
The upstairs fireplace at Capt.’s Waterfront Grill and Club (94 Wharf Street) is equally enticing, where casual dining meets gourmet entrees. The outdoor patio, open on warm days, overlooks the Salem Harbor with one of the best restaurant views around town.
It was the slow-roasted prime rib that made Victoria Station (86 Wharf Street) famous, but their seafood is of the freshest and their all-you-can-eat salad bar has always been a hit. With such affordable prices, no wonder they have been in business for nearly 30 years.
At the Edgewater Cafe (155 Washington Street), steal away to a tropical paradise and immerse yourself into authentic Mexican cuisine. Try a Chicken Chimichanga, their signature dish for over 25 years, and with such affordable prices, you can’t pass on a frothy house margarita to complete the experience at this local favorite.
Or venture over to Cilantro (282 Derby Street) for an award-winning upscale approach to Mexican dining.
A Passage to India (157 Washington Street) a local favorite for the best in authentic, exotic Indian dishes.
White Dove Market and Grill (59 Loring Avenue) specializes in authentic Middle Eastern dishes and offers a market as well.
Brisas Del Caribe (101 Lafayette Street) offers authentic Spanish cuisine.
Dodge Street Bar and Grill (7 Dodge Street): Hang out and listen to live music every night at this popular spot while perusing the extensive list of beers, wines, and spirits.
In a Pig’s Eye (148 Derby Street) is a fun, friendly spot with pub fare. Plus it showcases local artists and musicians, including the owner’s son Eric Reardon, 16 a respected guitarist.
Come to Baybridge Restaurant and Night Club (29 Bridge Street) to hear live music every Sunday and Tuesday night. Or try your skills on their many pool tables or dartboards, and much more. Catch the 21-piece band that plays during the holiday season. (Baybridge also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.)
The Old Spot, formerly McSwiggin’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, at 121 Essex Street, offers a full menu of Irish pub classics including the best in ales, beers, and other beverages.
O’Neill’s Irish Pub and Restaurant (120 Washington Street) features live music, including a traditional Irish band early evenings on Friday, karaoke, open mic, and pub trivia, plus a great bar menu offering a little something for everyone.
Located in the Daniel Low Building, which has been a church, a bank, and a department store, Rockafellas Restaurant and Bar (231 Essex Street) delivers fine American favorites as well as great live entertainment.
More formal fare:
At Nathaniel’s (18 Washington Square) located in the Hawthorne Hotel, you will find upscale American cuisine and dining accompanied by live piano music on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. You may also enjoy the Tavern at the Hawthorne for a more casual setting to have some appetizers and drinks.
At the Lyceum Bar and Grill (43 Church Street) come taste the “intriguing global cuisine” at this fine bar and grill in the 19th-century building where Alexander Graham Bell made the first phone call. The Lyceum serves lunch and dinner throughout the week, as well as brunch on Sunday.
Inspired by the northern Italian city that was the home of Romeo and Juliet, Bella Verona (107 Essex Street) is a local favorite for home-style Italian cooking.
Go to Cafe Graziani (133 Washington Street) for family-oriented Italian dining. The cafe serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
If you’re looking for a more formal setting, visit The Grapevine (26 Congress Street) for fine Italian-American cuisine in a cozy setting and enjoy a glass of wine from their extensive collection. Come spring, dine outside in the romantic Tuscan-style courtyard.
A&J King: The hardworking couple who own and give their names to this bakery (48 Central Street) make all of their bread and pastries in house and serve an excellent cup of coffee to start to your day off right.
Another place for hot java in Salem is Jaho Coffee and Tea (197 Derby Street), where you can also grab a sandwich or Italian gelato. Take it to go, or sit at one of the tables inside or out for some great people-watching.
Front Street Coffee House (20 Front Street) is also another local favorite offering a welcoming atmosphere so you can feel free to sit and stay awhile. It’s a great spot to get some studying done, or chat with friends.
Maria’s Sweet Something (26 Front Street) offers gourmet chocolates, Belgian hot chocolate, fudge, 32 flavors of ice cream, real-fruit smoothies, and much more. Talk to Maria; she’ll find the sweets you’re craving.
Biscotti Cucina (231 Washington Street) offers over forty varieties of biscotti, gourmet brownies, cannolis, cakes and more.
Ye Old Pepper Candy Companie (122 Derby Street), on the Heritage Walking Trail, it is one of the oldest candy companies in the country, operating since 1806. The store still uses vintage candy-making machines.
E.W. Hobbs, Inc. (Salem Willows): Since 1897, four generations of the Hobbs family have served saltwater taffy, homemade ice cream, and “the best popcorn in New England.” In 1906 Everett Hobbs and William Eaton were pioneers of the ice cream cone in America; a century later, the tradition lives on. Stop by and taste a historical treat.
(Read our chocolate-tasting story for information about Harbor Sweets and Turtle Alley Chocolates.)
Places to stayÂ…
The Hawthorne Hotel (18 Washington Square West), named for author Nathaniel Hawthorne, is one of the Historic Hotels of America. It is located in the Salem Common Historic District. Offering 89 rooms and six suites, two restaurants, a bar, and an exquisite ballroom, this hotel feels like “a miniature Ritz Carlton on the edge of the town common.”
Salem Waterfront Hotel and Suites (225 Derby Street) offers 86 rooms overlooking the marina and Salem Harbor, leaving you minutes away from exploring the walking Heritage Trail, great shopping, and dining.
The Amelia Payson House (16 Winter Street): Built in 1845, and elegantly restored, this bed and breakfast is one of the finest examples in Salem of Greek Revival Architecture. Each guestroom has a private bath and is decorated with period antiques creating a comfortable and welcoming ambience.
The Coach House Inn (248 Lafayette Street): A Victorian mansion built in the 19th century by a wealthy sea captain, this inn features antique furnishings and four-poster beds along with continental breakfast served to your room. Just steps away from the venerable Andrew Michaels Spa.
If privacy and relaxation are your preference in deciding on a place to stay, then you must check out the Inn on Washington Square (53 Washington Square North). This Greek Revival home offers three deluxe guestrooms: the Honeymoon Suite, which features a four-poster king-sized bed and a two-person Jacuzzi; the Garden Room, which has its own private deck, and the Common Room, all with serene views of the Salem Common.
Located in the crux of historic Salem, the Salem Inn (7 Summer Street) is composed of three historic homes offering 42 spacious guestrooms. All rooms are fully equipped with a plethora of amenities including cable television, telephone, and a coffeemaker. Each house also boasts a relaxing parlor with a fireplace. Complimentary sherry is served in the evening.
If you prefer to stay close to the water, the Morning Glory Bed and Breakfast (22 Hardy Street) is a lovely Georgian Federal Style house across the street from the House of the Seven Gables and only a two-minute walk to the Salem/ Boston ferry and the Salem Harbor. Four guestrooms are available, each charmingly decorated with its own private bath.
The 19th-century Greek Revival Henry Derby House (47 Summer Street) offers three luxurious guestrooms as well as its own boutique and flower shop. It is known locally as the “window box house” because its window boxes feature beautiful seasonal flower arrangements.Â It is within walking distance of all the city’s main attractions. Breakfast is served each morning in the formal dining room.
You may find the best value for your money at the Northey Street House (30 Northey Street). The guest rooms include Internet access, cable television, VCR and DVD player. Each room has a queen bed and a private bath. Guests also receive free access to the Peabody Essex Museum, discounts at the cafe and gift shop, and much more.
Stepping Stone Inn (19 Washington Square North), built in 1846, features eight unique bedrooms furnished with 19th-century design. The inn is smoke-free and offers complimentary passes to the Salem Witch Museum for visitors staying two nights or more. There is also an airport transportation and car rental arrangement available.
The Floating Bed and Breakfast at the Hawthorne Cove Marina (10 White Street) is the North Shore’s only floating B & B.
Places to shopÂ…
From high-end to high-fun:
Sophia’s (105 Essex Street), named after Nathaniel Hawthorne’s wife and pronounced (so-fie-uhs), is a romantically decorated boutique located on the bottom floor of the house Sophia grew up in. This shop has something for the girl who has everything, including stationery and calligraphy pens from Florence, vintage hand-painted miniature teapots, fine chocolates, soaps, and many other distinctive gifts.
Pamplemousse (185 Essex Street) is a one-stop shop for home, bath, and kitchen supplies, including a wine section with gourmet foods and a special section for baby goods.
Signatures (176 Essex Street), located in the Museum Place Mall, sells fine women’s apparel and accessories. They feature Tribal sportswear and Spanx shape wear.
Looking for a new pair of shoes? Check out The Bootery (182 Essex Street), which boasts a wide selection of designer options.
The Peabody Essex Museum Gift Shop (East India Square) is an extension of the Peabody Essex Museum and its collections. It features home decor, jewelry, and much more. The merchandise is intended to further promote knowledge and appreciation of art. Go Explore.
Quint Essentials, (96 Wharf Street) has the heads up on hats, handbags and the hottest accessories.
Derby Square Book Store (215 Essex Street) There are towers of books everywhere and hidden among them all, a very helpful shopkeeper who can help you find exactly what you’re looking for among the chaos.
Visit the Trolley Depot ( 191 Essex Street) for great souvenirs of Salem, like witch-themed tees and sweatshirts and spirituality books.
Penelope’s Pet Boutique (99 Washington Street) features the greatest dog costumes you have ever seen, beds, collars, carriers, even bathrobes; this is a must-see for all pet owners.
Aroma Sanctum Perfumes (5 Central Street) create your own aromatherapy by mixing a custom scent from hundreds of unique ingredients.
Founded in 1933, Gardner Mattress (254 Canal Street)Â is still owned and operated by the Gardner family. Their mattresses and box springs continue to be manufactured at the Salem factory and are a favorite among Boston celebrities, including Billy Costa who has a custom latex Gardner mattress in his yacht (see accompanying story). Winston Churchill requested and slept only on a Gardner Mattress when he visited Boston area hotels.
At Seed Stitch Fine Yarn (10 Front Street) you can learn to knit after you purchase exotic yarns such as cashmere, soy, and bamboo from all over the world.
At Treasures Over Time (131 Essex Street) all decorative accessories are made from or inspired by elements formed inside the earth including gemstones, jewelry and coins, and collectable minerals.
Landry & Arcari Rugs (recently moved to 63 Flint Street) hasÂ the largest, most diverse selection of hand-woven oriental rugs in New England. You’ll find the finest antique and semi-antique palace-sized Persian carpets as well as cutting-edge contemporary wool and silk Tibetan rugs.
Founded in 1918, Delande Lighting (22 New Derby Street) is one of Salem’s landmark businesses with five generations of the Delande family owning and operating the full-service lighting showroom. Their in-house lighting consultants boast a combination of 70 years of lighting experience.
Harmonious Interiors, formerly of Beverly, has relocated to 300 Highland Ave. in Salem with over 5,000 square feet of home-furnishings showroom. Upstairs, they have many vignettes set up to represent small rooms and the items can be bought off the floor.