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“Fresh, friendly, funky and delicious”

Jumpin' Jay's Fish Cafe
Ranked #14 of 209 Restaurants in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $22 - $32
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, 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, Jumpin' Jay's is a local foodie enclave serving refined seafood in a sleek restaurant setting. 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 of fish appear on the ever-changing "Catch of the Day" menu, complimented by your choice of gourmet sauce. Our raw bar offers an extensive variety of shellfish found in New Hampshire. Our specialties menu offers more traditional flavor, including Maine Crab Cakes, Haddock Piccata and our popular Linguine in White Clam Sauce. The atmosphere is casually hip, with no pretense. Reservations encouraged. Open seven nights a week.
Reviewed July 27, 2014

For all the hordes who just drive by Portsmouth harbor on the way to somewhere else, downtown is really humming right now: art galleries, coffee and beer brewers, bookstores, gorgeous historic houses, and of course restaurants. Jumpin' Jays is one of the very best. In a low-ceilinged diner-like setting, the restaurant focuses on higher-end, fresh ingredient-driven presentations of fish flown in from New Zealand or caught that morning off of Portsmouth. The tuna tartare with creamy avocado was the best I've had anywhere, and the red curry / coconut milk with scallops and shrimp was outstanding. The service was just as good: friendly, filled with smiles, the complete opposite of phony. It was all about the joy of great food and good company. They even tell you where to find the best free parking in town. Highly recommended.

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Thank Hughster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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533 - 537 of 960 reviews

Reviewed July 26, 2014

Once again, we were at a seafood restaurant and it was an enjoyable visit. The waitress was very good and the food selection was excellent. The portions were very adequate( or in some cases quite large). Everything was hot and specials requests were honored. We were also asked if anyone had a food allergy. Definitely a place to visit again.

Thank lefty117
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2014

Last year while visiting Portsmouth I tried to get into Jumping Jay's but the wait was over an hour (As were most of the restaurants in town that evening), so we decided to come back on another trip to New England. This trip, we arrived in town early, and booked a hotel right downtown within easy walking distance of the many interesting places to eat downtown. Jumping Jay's opened at 5:30 PM and we arrived soon after, this time getting a table with no difficulty.

They have an excellent wine and beer menu, and I had one of New England's excellent craft beer while we looked the menu over. The selection is excellent, with a strong emphasis of course on seafood. I finally chose the Haddock Piccata a house specialty that received rave reviews in the various reviews. The lemon-caper & white wine sauce was amazing, and the golden beets in balsamic reduction was delicious. The best part of the meal however was the fish. it was cooked to perfection, and being from a true maritime fishing area in Nova Scotia, I understand how fish should be cooked. This Haddock was done perfectly, moist, tender and just cooked. A truly well done seafood dish. Our appetizer, the Native Beet salad was also a taste treat.

The service was second to none, and someone really knows their way around that kitchen; all our courses were served so fast you would think they were all pre-cooked, but these meals were fresh and done perfectly. We barely had time to discuss how to duplicate that Beet salad at home and our mains were placed in front of us.

Definitely a place to visit if you are in Portsmouth for any reason, but go early if you want a table - everyone agrees with me about the quality of the food!
Breadcrumbs, lemon-caper & white wine butter sauce, Russet mashed potatoes, sautéed broccolini, roasted butternut squash

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1  Thank Art H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2014 via mobile

My husband and I ate there on 7-21-14 and we both had fish it was very fresh.I loved the grilled beets as a side vegetable very different

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Thank Ardith T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2014

Jumpin Jay's Fish Café had so many different types of fresh fish. The OPA was amazing with an avocado puree. There were many different salads to choose from and the wine list was extensive. The service was excellent. Loved this place.

Thank diane32724
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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