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“Wine, Books, great lighting!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Portsmouth Book and Bar

Portsmouth Book and Bar
40 Pleasant st, Portsmouth, NH 03801
+(1)603 427 9197
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Ranked #20 of 189 Restaurants in Portsmouth
Cuisines: American, Bakery, Coffee Shop, Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night
Description: A bookstore/cafe/bar
Pawcatuck, Ct USA
Top Contributor
219 reviews 219 reviews
163 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 119 cities Reviews in 119 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
“Wine, Books, great lighting!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013 via mobile

The ceilings must be 12-14 feet high, lighting was great, great first impression. The lunch was great, and the layout of the previously read books were well done. What a hang out for men who are with wives who want to shop, great alternative. They have wi-fi and beer! Do I say anymore!!! Also, if you want exercise, just ask for directions to the bathroom!

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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35 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    23
    8
    3
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Brookline, Massachusetts
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Books add to the culinary experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

A restaurant opened in Portsmouth NH with a new flare. Surrounded by books reminiscent of an old library, you gravitate to an unusual title while you wait for your food. I found two old books, one on botany and another on creatures of the sea - a guide for children, from 1919. I sat mesmerized by the beautiful plates that illustrated each book. I recalled my interests in these subjects, remembered college classes and was lost in thought as our food arrived. Beautiful presentation, pleasing tastes, and a satisfying meal added to the ambiance created by the books. The salad was fresh, crisp and perfectly wetted with a tangy dressing. The croutons from sourdough bread added a touch of seasoning that tickled the taste buds. The turkey sandwich on thick sourdough toasted bread with a cranberry sauce and goat cheese was the best comfort food one could have had to pair with the reading. The desserts were difficult to resist. We succumbed to almond croissants that melted in your mouth. The chewy dough and the generous portion of almond paste again brought memories of trips abroad. The beers were poured from the taps along the counter where couples lingered as a pleasant staff served the guests. The atmosphere was conducive to sharing comments about the books on the shelves. All in all this charming place in Portsmouth was a gem that hopefully will be discovered by many.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cambridge, U.K.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Unique destination/ wonderful atmosphere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

As a traveler who seeks out unique destinations -- especially bookstores, cafes, and pubs, I was delighted to have found Portsmouth Book and Bar. Picked up a bookmark at my favorite used bookstore (Raven used books in Harvard Square which is evidently related) and sought it out during my last visit to the states. Just wonderful! Architecturally interesting, great light food, very well selected beer, and, of course, great used books. Books focus on Art, fiction, history, new england, cookbooks. There are but a few bookstores of this sort in the world (a few in Wales, London, Frankfurt, etc.).

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Scituate, Rhode Island
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Fun place to chill”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

This is a used book store with a cafe and bar in it. With lots of comfy chairs and good books to look at, it is a relaxing place to spend an hour or so when you get tired from walking all over the downtown area. We did not eat there so I cannot vouch for the food, but there were plenty of folks eating light cafe food. Nice atmosphere and because the books are used, buying one isn't a huge investment.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Maine
Top Contributor
185 reviews 185 reviews
135 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
171 helpful votes 171 helpful votes
“My new Portsmouth destination”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

This is a wonderful cafe for grabbing a sandwich or a snack with your coffee, beer, wine, or book. There are very good beers on tap and the price of the food is quite reasonable, running between $7-$12. Being a bar/cafe, there's a small selection of sandwiches and salads, along with appetizers and pastry items. I especially enjoyed the cheese plate.

The staff was super friendly and the space is great. The Portsmouth Book and Bar is located in the old customs house. The ceilings are high and there's lots of light from the windows and wonderful crown moulding. You can sit along window benches, in comfy couches, along the bar, or at one of the tables. It all feels very welcoming.

Just as good as the food and drink (and maybe even better) was the book selection. I have to hand it to the buyer. On our visit we found excellent first editions and remainders, and the literary quality of the selection was pretty high.

This is definitely my new Portsmouth destination.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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