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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
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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.
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
Brisket to die for in a funky, fun setting. Lawnmower beers, good bourbon, and tequila.
94 Lafayette Street, smokinbettysbbq.com