Treat Yourself to a Good Meal in the Androscoggin Valley

After living in New Hampshire’s North Country for almost 40 years, we’ve tried most of the restaurants at least once. The Androscoggin Valley communities of Berlin and Gorham are high on our list of favorite destinations, both for the area’s attractions and its variety of dining choices. Here are a few that pop to the top of the list (with help from some friends who also find these restaurants worth a drive). Be sure to check the websites or Facebook pages, as some have shortened winter hours.

A North Country favorite for more than 50 years, Berlin’s Northland Restaurant & Dairy Bar’s inviting dining rooms are bright and spacious, the staff is attentive and friendly, and the menu is extensive and delicious, specializing in good old-fashioned cooking and comfort foods. The Northland is well-known for its fresh seafood, including haddock, shrimp, oysters and clams. Friends of ours love the seafood chowder and the salmon pie with a cream pea sauce, as well as the chicken pot pie. When we took the grandkids and their parents to dinner, everyone found something to their liking, with the toddlers chowing down on hot dogs and fries and the grown-ups on burgers and open-faced turkey sandwiches. The homemade pies and creamy ice cream are worth a stop on their own — the grandkids, of course, opted for ice cream cones for their dessert! Open daily for lunch and dinner. And its location couldn’t be better — right on Route 16, close to the snowmobile and ATV trails at Jericho State Park.

Even though it’s a bit off Berlin’s main thoroughfare, Sinabaldi’s & The Millyard Lounge on East Mason Street is worth seeking out for its family-style dining with classic American and Italian favorites. Entrees feature a nice selection of beef, seafood and chicken favorites, including prime rib, a fisherman’s platter and teriyaki chicken. Pasta dishes include veal or chicken Parmesan, and lasagna or spaghetti with meatballs or sausage. Specialty pizzas, burgers, subs, sandwiches, tacos and lots of other dishes round out the menu. Dine in or take-out.

It’s always fun to have a neighborhood restaurant to patronize, and Valley Creek Eatery on Hillside Avenue Berlin fills that bill, with an unpretentious but colorful dining room and a menu that includes everything from burgers, barbecue, and fried chicken tenders to seafood, pizza, and house-made kettle-style potato chips. And, it’s a great spot for snowmobilers because it’s on the trails.

Head to Mary’s Pizza in Gorham for fresh, made-from-scratch Italian cuisine, like homemade spaghetti, gnocchi, lasagna, ravioli and fettuccine, and an extensive menu of deep dish and thin crust pizzas, including the award-winning Margarita Pizza and Festiva Pizza. Daily lunch specials, appetizers, sandwiches, salads and an array of entrees guarantee you won’t go home hungry. Mary’s has been family-owned and operated since 1947.

What to do with the teenage grandsons when they visited from North Carolina? A round of mini-golf at Moose Meadow Mini Golf in Gorham, followed by mocha lattes at White Mountain Café & Bookstore. The guys declared they were the best lattes they’d ever had! Stop by the cafe for their Fair Trade coffee and fine teas, along with breakfast sandwiches, bagels, panini sandwiches, quiches and soups. All of the baked goods are homemade. Don’t forget to take a stroll around the bookstore, too; it has some great selections. And check out the café’s Karma Board — and pay your good fortune forward!

For a night out with friends, nothing says “special” like a meal at Libby’s Bistro & SAaLT. The menu is seasonal and locally sourced, the dishes beautifully seasoned and presented, and the atmosphere could convince you that a Parisian bistro has been transported to Gorham’s Main Street. Ooh, la, la! The eclectic winter menu features everything from house sausage & Umbrian lentils to a braised beef & frite dish to Middle Eastern fried chicken and Cambodian noodles. Burgers come with house chips and a homemade bun. Or try the cold weather Zupperia take-out menu, featuring soups and focaccia.

Friends have nothing but raves for Gorham’s J’s Corner Restaurant & Lounge, recommending it as a restaurant with a nice atmosphere where everyone is welcoming and the food is good. Try the hamburgers with hand cut fries or the marinated steak tips, or choose from a good selection of sandwiches, seafood, pasta, chicken and beef dishes.

A longtime favorite of many North Country residents, the Yokohama Restaurant in Gorham brings a taste of the Far East to the region with its extensive menu of Oriental dishes, along with a sampling of American fare. The restaurant can accommodate small or large parties of guests, and ordering a variety of items from the menu is a wonderful way to share a meal with friends sampling different dishes.

Everyone has their pizza favorite — some prefer thin crust, others like chewy — and toppings are as varied as our taste buds. Not only does the Gorham House of Pizza make a terrific pie with lots of topping options, but you can also get a variety of other favorite foods here like subs, calzones, pasta dishes, burgers and salads. But, hey, this is a pizza place, so when in Rome….!

The dining room at the Town & Country Inn and Resort in Shelburne (just over the Gorham line) is open to the public daily for breakfast and dinner and lunch on Sundays. It is locally famous for “the best prime rib ever,” and there are many other delicious items on its creative menu, including some wonderful desserts. We’re partial to the house made bread pudding. The inn has direct access to the snowmobile trails with plenty of parking, so there’s no excuse not to try this local favorite after a day on the trails.

Nonna’s Kitchen on Exchange Street in Gorham prepares authentic Italian dishes, from its frutti de mare and pollo e vitello dishes to freshly made pasta and antipasti. Much of the food is locally sourced, and there are several gluten free options, too. Every Thursday through March 29 is Wine Down Thursday when all of the bottled house wines are half-off (regular $24, half price $12).

A diner-type atmosphere and home cooked food make Welch’s Restaurant on Gorham’s Main Street a great place to get breakfast. Bottomless cups of coffee are a nice complement to your bacon and eggs, fluffy omelette or other morning favorite. Homemade soups, burgers, subs, wraps and sandwiches top the lunchtime menu.



Get Your Outdoor Adventure On At ELC Outdoors

Whether you like your outdoors wild or mild, ELC Outdoors has created a choice mix of adventure and recreational packages that explore the rivers and forests of Northern New Hampshire and Western Maine. Choose from a menu of single or multi-day experiences that include a variety of whitewater rafting options, high ropes aerial adventures, and wildlife tours. Both experienced and novice adventurers will find the perfect outdoor experience at ELC Outdoors. All of the adventures are based out of ELC’s beautiful 11-acre property in Errol.

A variety of Whitewater Rafting options are available, including rafting excursions on Class II, III and IV waters.

  • Families with young children and anyone looking for a great paddling experience can embark on a Class II/III Androscoggin River adventure. There are several options for enjoying the river on multiple runs.
  • For a more intense experience, choose the Class III Magalloway River outing, which includes running Class III rapids. This is an excellent trip for youth groups looking to experience the thrill of whitewater rafting, and families looking for a little adventure.
  • Rapid River Whitewater Rafting is a one-of-a kind wilderness rafting experience down one of the steepest rivers in Maine! This classic New England River trip includes a riverside lunch and snacks, pontoon boat ride across Lake Umbagog, and transportation from Errol, NH.

During the Whitewater Rafting & Wildlife Tour, you’ll spend the afternoon whitewater rafting the Androscoggin River in Errol. Then jump aboard the Pontoon Boat for an evening cruise to discover the wildlife of beautiful Lake Umbagog.

If rafting isn’t your interest, you can choose to explore Lake Umbagog on a relaxing Afternoon Wildlife Tour via pontoon boat, with outstanding opportunities to see eagles, osprey, loons, moose, deer and other wildlife.

Learn the basics of whitewater kayaking during ELC’s one- or three-day Whitewater Kayaking courses. Under the guidance of experienced instructors, students learn all the basics, including safety and self-rescue, strokes and maneuvers, scouting rapids, paddler etiquette, and river conservation and stewardship.

ELC’s Zipline & Ropes Courses take participants through an exhilarating aerial course — a  series of ropes, wires, platforms and bridge suspended 12- 40 feet off the ground. Spend two hours up to 45 feet above ground on the 10-element ropes course and 2 ziplines.

Participants in ELC’s popular Rafts and Ropes packages have the chance to spend half a day high among the tree tops on the aerial ropes course followed by time on one of the region’s many rivers for a thrilling whitewater rafting experience.

Explore the Androscoggin River or Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge from one of ELC Outdoors’ fleet of Rental Canoes and Kayaks — truly a great way to spend a day, soaking in New Hampshire’s beautiful scenery.

ELC has a fleet of Fat Bikes for rent, making it easy to navigate the many mountain trails in the region. Rental includes the bike, helmet and trail map.

ELC also offers Leadership and Teambuilding events to suit various group needs, making it a good option for schools, corporate groups, families and individuals seeking a unique experience.

ELC supports the principles of sustainable tourism to help foster community development and growth. ELC Outdoors is a proud supporter of 1% for the Planet. A portion of profits also goes to support The Enriched Learning Center, an alternative education program serving youth throughout northern New Hampshire.

Whatever adventure you are seeking, ELC’s knowledgeable and experienced guides will make your trip a memorable one.

ELC Outdoors is located 983 Upton Road in Errol, NH. Click on the website for detailed information about all of the many adventures ELC offers: