Join the editors of Yankee magazine as we sit by the fire to enjoy some of the most inspired dining in New England, in the Yankee Places to Eat Collection.
Fire is the most mysterious of elements. Warming, enchanting, and comforting, a roaring fireplace brings a cozy peacefulness to any home. Serve a hearty meal by the hearth, and that magical glow of firelight can melt away the cold of a New England winter’s eve.
On an especially lucky night, however, we can find ourselves relaxing by the fire and enjoying some of our favorite New England restaurants at the same time. These are our go-to restaurants when we crave the warmth of fire and the comfort of a delicious meal out.
In Connecticut, one restaurant housed in the loft of an 18th-century barn boasts not only a fireplace, but a wood-burning oven in the kitchen, so even the food (we love the Delmonico steak) comes with a kiss of smoke. In nearby Rhode Island, one of our favorite dinner spots has four wood-burning fireplaces. The rough-hewn wood beams and old New England charm set the stage for a serious food program, with local sourcing, house-made charcuterie, and a legendary lobster mac and cheese.
Not to be outdone by its southern neighbors, Massachusetts is also host to several restaurants with fireplaces lending warmth to the ambiance. In one converted 18th-century farmhouse, a giant fieldstone hearth is more than just decor; it’s the centerpiece for traditional hearth cooking. An authentic Roasting Jack slowly turns prime rib over a cherry wood fire, chowder simmers in an iron cauldron, and the skilled cooks ensure your multicourse feast is mouth-wateringly perfect.
In Vermont, an authentic Italian trattoria lined their space with repurposed wood from a defunct sugarhouse to help define their gorgeous stone fireplace. Expect fresh, housemade pastas, plenty of local flavor, and, of course, an abundant Italian wine list.
A snowy night time drive to New Hampshire takes us to what may be one of the prettiest sites in the entire state, where a AAA Four Diamond-rated inn offers a choice of cozy seats. The menu is classic elegance–filets, lemon sole, mushroom bisque–but the kitchen is serious about local sourcing, with impressive New England cheese plates served alongside local eggs, seafood, maple syrup, and produce.
Leaving the mountains and lakes of New Hampshire and crossing into southern Maine, brings us to a pioneering restaurant in the farm-to-table concept, where the brick and soapstone hearth isn’t merely decorative. It’s where fresh fish, meats, and vegetables are grilled, roasted, and turned on a spit over hardwoods and fruit woods. Visible from almost every table, this hearth provides its own form of dinner theater.
So where can you get a seat by the fire? Enjoy the charm of a fireplace in an eclectically restored historic home while you enjoy savory crepes? Relish a romantic evening while savoring the glow of a wood fire?
As part of the Yankee Places to Eat Collection
, we’ll tell you where to find a baker’s dozen of these toasty spots, in Best New England Restaurants with Fireplaces
, which comes as part of your Yankee
All-Access Charter Membership. You’ll also discover more of our favorite clam shacks, seafood markets, and the best pancake houses throughout New England.
Start looking over the wine list, by checking out our Yankee Places to Eat Collection
Whether you want to find the perfect pub, enjoy lunch at an Italian restaurant, or sit down for the best all-you-can-eat feasts, our Yankee Places to Eat Collection
takes you across New England to explore the wonderful world that we call home. With your Yankee
All-Access Charter Membership, you have full access to everything in the Places to Eat Collection
- Your guide to the 15 Best Diners in New England, where you can enjoy a bit of history, community, and a home-cooked meal.
- The Best Chowder in New England: 6 Picks (Plus Recipes!), which was no easy feat to put together, but we stand by our choices, and hope you will, too.
- Our essential guide to what may be the favorite food group in all of New England, the donut, in 3 Favorite New England Gourmet Donuts (Plus 6 More Favorite Donut Shops).
- The 10 Best Fried Clam Strips in New England, where we share the love for a New England classic