We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Quality fish cooked well!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Jumpin' Jay's Fish Cafe

Jumpin' Jay's Fish Cafe
150 Congress St, Portsmouth, NH 03801-4019
+1 603-766-3474
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Reserve with OpenTable
Jumpin' Jay's Fish Cafe is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #5 of 160 Restaurants in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $22 - $32
Cuisines: Seafood, Oyster Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Dessert, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Middle Street, Maplewood Avenue, Islington Street
Description: Located just two blocks down from Market Square in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Jay's has become an overnight institution among locals who appreciate exceptional seafood. The quality of fare is unsurpassed, with fish arriving daily from local fisherman as well as some exotic catches from locations such as New Zealand and Ecuador. Four to six varieties appear on the ever-changing "Catch of the Day" menu, complimented by your choice of a gourmet sauce or marinade. The standard menu offers a more traditional flavor, including Maine Crab Cake, Haddock Piccata and the popular Linguine in White Clam Sauce. The atmosphere is casually hip, with no pretense. Reservations encouraged. Open Seven nights a week.
Coventry England
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
129 helpful votes 129 helpful votes
“Quality fish cooked well!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

It only goes to show that you do not need to mess with good fish to get things right. The restaurant was really busy and we were glad that we had booked ahead. Whilst it was not cheap the food was well priced for the amount and quality you got. The Atlantic halibut and local monkfish were both excellent and the option of sauces on the side were well chosen, not that the fish needed it! Wine seemed pricy so we opted for local beer which worked well with the meal.
Well done!

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

560 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    310
    169
    53
    21
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Kalamazoo
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Good Food, but Pricey”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

We went as a group of seven, with a reservation. This was my first time at Jumpin' Jay's. Our server was excellent, friendly, answered all questions and took good care of us.

The restaurant's decor is average, nothing special in the atmosphere department. It took a long time for us to be served - about 45 minutes or so - and the restaurant was fairly busy for a week night, obviously a popular location.

The menu was interesting, innovative and with plenty of choices. I enjoyed my meal, but the prices overall were a bit high. I ended up spending $40 for scallops with five sauces (an extra charge for the five sauces - the scallops only come with one sauce) with a single beer - no appetizer, no dessert. Because we were a group larger than six, there is a mandatory 20% tip added to the bill.

If you are looking for ambience, this isn't the place. The food was good, but I've had just as good food at half the price elsewhere. I enjoyed the evening because we were with friends and the scallops were good, but next time I'm going somewhere a bit more reasonably priced.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
dallas, tx
Top Contributor
146 reviews 146 reviews
85 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Wonderful place!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

Our family ate at Jumpin' Jay's on the first night of our vacation. We were not disappointed! we had the halibut special and enjoyed it very much. Very fresh and well prepared. They have a nice wine list as well. It was a busy night but our waiter was great. We will definitely go back!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Millville, DE
Top Contributor
144 reviews 144 reviews
109 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“Memorable Meal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

Portsmouth has to have more superb restaurants than any city of its size in the USA. This is another gem. The restaurant is simple and austere. The food was excellent. The radicchio and pear salad was 5 star quality. The fried calamari was good but packed a lot of heat, maybe too much. The halibut picata ( house specialty) and cod were done perfectly. The cod came with a citrus Dijon topping that was one of the best I ever tasted.
Our server was spectacular and knew the wines and menu intimately and was extremely helpful.
Do not miss this restaurant. It is not haute cuisine but if you want spectacular fish - this is the place.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“HORRIBLE!!!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

My husband and I decided to do a last minute trip... First time in Portsmouth! Sooo I didn't do any "real" research on where to eat... It was a do whatever comes our way... We asked the valet guys where to go, they recommended this place.. We get there it was super casual... Reminds me of a diner... We sit down, I looked at him and said sometimes the food is to die for in these kinda places... Well die is right, we each got fish and seriously almost didn't make it back to our hotel room in time (if you know what I mean)!!! I would never recommend this place to anyone not even my worst enemy! Ruined our whole night :(
so the next day we drove to
Maine :)

  • Visited August 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 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.

Travelers who viewed Jumpin' Jay's Fish Cafe also viewed

 
Portsmouth, NH
 

Been to Jumpin' Jay's Fish Cafe? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Jumpin' Jay's Fish Cafe, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.