Geno’s Chowder & Sandwich Shop

Above, Geno’s Chowder & Sandwich Shop at low tide, in Portsmouth’s historic South End

In the opinion of Visit New Hampshire’s editors, Genos Chowder & Sandwich Shop is the home of the best, literally, the very best lobster roll on the New Hampshire Seacoast, a region populated with many worthy competitors, and it is hard for us to imagine that a superior lobster roll could be found anywhere from Cape Cod to Bar Harbor.

Geno’s lobster rolls are always palpably fresh, expertly prepared (by the same family for more than 50 years), generously portioned, and served with drawn butter, at the water’s edge, on real, porcelain plates with real flatware.

Geno’s may be equally famous for its savory, homemade clam chowder (the establishment is named Geno’s Chowder & Sandwich Shop, after all).  Unlike the chowders served in some restaurants on the Seacoast that come from out-of-state chowder factories, Geno’s chowder is made on-site daily, with obvious care, and fresh ingredients, and guests are offered a taste before ordering.  And, Geno’s chowder is rich in clams, so guests don’t need to BYOC (bring their own).  Lunch guests can eat inside, outside under the awning, or under the tent (visible in the image above) next to the lobster boats that brought the lobsters ashore on the very day that they’re prepared and served.

Geno’s is a small, unpretentious, and licensed family restaurant, nestled in Portsmouth’s South End amidst a cluster of centuries-old, colonial homes and restored heritage buildings. (MAP)  This historic neighborhood is adjacent to Prescott Park and Strawbery Banke and is easily walkable from downtown.   Every Portsmouth visitor with even a passing interest in history should walk through this charming residential neighborhood, and plan to pause there for a memorable lunch at Geno’s.  The restaurant is open from 11:00am to 4:00pm, except Sundays, in season. 

EDITORS’ NOTE: Geno’s has been an obligatory stop for any presidential candidate hoping to have an impact in the New Hampshire presidential primary for half a century.  Countless candidates, and several U.S. Presidents, have come to Geno’s, as much to sample the chowder and lobster rolls, not to mention the lobster stew, crab salad, etc., etc. (see menu here), as to win the approval of Geno’s notably discerning management.

Visit New Hampshire’s editors can confidently assure its readers that they will not find a better lobster roll, anywhere in the Granite State.