The Best Colonial Style and Traditional New England Restaurants in
Concord's Colonial Inn, Concord, Massachusetts.
by Eric J. Hurwitz. Article updated on Dec. 31, 2016.
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What better place to soak up the feeling of historic
Massachusetts by eating in a traditional New England restaurant with a
colonial or pre-colonial theme and historical background? Massachusetts
is after all, the home of the American Revolution.
The feeling of colonial times strongly exists in Massachusetts today
with a remarkable concentration of period homes, museums and attitude.
Even the roadways have a colonial feel, seemingly left untouched due to
state budgetary restraints!
Many fine colonial type restaurants grace this historical state. Some
offer terrific Yankee cuisine to match the wonderful atmosphere, often
validated by period furnishings, antiques, post and beam design, old
wooden floors, and waitresses dressed up in colonial-like apparel.
Sometimes, however, colonial type restaurants cash in by taking a
"tourist approach" and not offering very good food. Other times, the
theme can be way overblown. One time in a colonial style restaurant,
this irritating lady dressed up in colonial garb and pranced from table
to table, asking anyone if they saw Ralph Waldo Emerson anywhere in
town. She was truly annoying. Ralph Waldo Emerson is dead. We just
wanted to eat, but she really pushed the envelope, asking us more than
once the vital question of the day. This was the nadir of the "Where's
We have pared down the list of colonial restaurants to only the best,
so you can truly enjoy great food and atmosphere:
The Salem Cross Inn, West
Beautifully situated on 600 acres of rolling hills and woodlands, the
Salem Cross serves Colonial/traditional cuisine within a
remarkably-detailed restored 1700s colonial farmhouse. The
painstakingly crafted wooden floors, colonial style designed walls, the
post and beam and high ceilings make this a memorable dining
destination. Menu highlights includes, maple jack chicken, apple
raspberry roasted duck, slow roasted prime rib, New England chowders,
homemade desserts, and sweet sticky rolls. Salem Cross Inn, Route 9,
West Brookfield, Mass. Tel.: 508 867-8337.
Longfellow's Wayside Inn,
Creaky wooden floors, the glow of a candle, classic colonial
architectural design (it's a rambling old red-painted wood home)
wonderful food and great value makes the renowned Longfellow's Wayside
Inn a perfect gathering place. The Wayside Inn, of course, is the basis
for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's renowned 1862 book of poems, "Tales of
a Wayside Inn." Part of this landmark inn is modernized but still
quaint-colonial while other smaller post and beam dark rooms look like
a place George Washington could stop by for a few drinks and Yankee Pot
Roast. The Pot Roast is terrific, as well as lobster pie, homemade
bread and deep dish apple pie. The Wayside Inn "American Heritage" menu
offers reasonably-priced complete dinners, Monday through Friday,
including appetizer, entree and dessert. Longfellow's Wayside Inn, 72
Wayside Inn Rd., Sudbury, Mass. Tel: (978) 443-1776, Toll-free:
The 1761 Old Mill, Westminster,
There's no better dining location than the 1761 Old Mill with its
waterfall, covered bridge, lovely front porch, tranquil pond, hiking
trail and appealing restored sawmill which is now where people love to
dine in several charming dining rooms. One of the best dining choice in
north central Massachusetts, the 1761 Old Mill is a virtual household
name that hasn't sold out to becoming another tourist trap. Solid food,
including roast duck, chicken pot pie and an amazing apple crisp just
add to the feel good colonial atmosphere with good hosts and service.
The Old Mill also has a gift shop downstairs, where the twists and
turns in this very old basement will lead you to some familiar and
unique gifts. The 1761 Old Mill , Rte. 2A, Westminster, Mass. Tel.:
The Lafayette House, Foxborough,
Commercial Route 1 in Foxboro can be an eyesore -- with the exception
of the Gillette Stadium (home of the New England Patriots), the new
Patriot Place shopping and entertainment complex and... the Lafayette
House. Begging the question "What's a nice, old-fashioned restaurant
like you doing in a place like this?" The Lafayette House looks like
the last glimpse of real New England on this very busy and rapidly
developing stretch of road 25 miles southwest of Boston. George
Washington once stayed overnight at this large 1784 colonial house that
proudly resonates with charm and character -- as evidenced by the
updates that retain the post and beam, wooden floors, low ceilings and
nooks and crannies leading to several dining areas. Recommended meals
are the roasted prime rib, lobster and roasted duck with a dried orange
cranberry glaze. Lafayette House, Route 1, Foxboro, Mass. Tel. (508)
Concord's Colonial Inn, Concord,
What a great name for a colonial style restaurant!. The name says it
all at this landmark, located at historic Monument Square in downtown
Concord. Built in 1716 and in operation as an inn/restaurant since
1889, Concord's Colonial Inn offers a great rotation of New England
seafood and traditional New England fare. This author's favorite is the
incomparable chicken pot pie, bursting with flavor and a wonderful
crust. The main dining room is sprawling but charming and romantic and
the tavern cozy and comforting (not just a result of the drinks) --
imagine someone once having lived in a big, old beautiful home like
this (Henry David Thoreau did just that until becoming an isolated
misanthrope while living at Walden Pond). It's hard to imagine a more
appealing New England historical setting than Concord's Colonial Inn --
in the heart of Revolutionary War country, impeccably maintained, with
ambiance and great food (and lodging) to round out your visit.
Concord's Colonial Inn, 48 Monument Square, Concord, Mass. Tel. (978)
Tavern, Scituate, Mass.
Just up the road from beautiful Scituate Harbor, the Barker Tavern
combines a waterfront location with quaint Colonial charm. The main
house in the Barker Tavern building could very well be the oldest
standing house in the United States, dating back to 1634. It was once
used as a garrison for defense during King Philip's War! The main
dining room offers one of the most charming atmospheres of any
restaurant we have been to in New England, and the food is outstanding.
Go with any of the mouthwatering swordfish dishes, filet mignon, the
grilled Long Island duck breast, or fresh caught local lobster. For
soups, it doesn't get much better than the New England clam chowder or
lobster stew. While we love the main dining room, the Barker Tavern
also has a more casual, cozy little pub (Eli's is the name) and a
tremendous weddings and receptions facility on the premises. Barker
Tavern, 21 Barker Rd., Scituate. Tel. (781) 545-6533
Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, Mass.
Lion Inn, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Photo credit: Massachusetts
Office of Travel and Tourism at
The Red Lion Inn is one of the best known historic inns
and restaurants in Massachusetts going back to 1773. Featuring a
famous, inviting big front porch to relax
and old world lodging and dining hospitality, the Red Lion Inn is
located on one of the most charming small town streets in New England.
The main dining room features soft candlelight, crystal chandeliers,
antique china and colonial pewter to validate the authenticity of this
historic New England treasure. A tremendous wine list and local
favorites like prime rib, baked New England haddock, roasted native
turkey, New England clam chowder with Applewood smoked bacon, warm
Indian pudding and homemade apple pie help make the Red Lion dining
experience truly wonderful. The Red Lion Inn is also open for breakfast
and offers separate dining areas from the main dining room -- the Widow
Bingham's Tavern, Lion's Den, and Courtyard. Red Lion Inn, 30 Main St.,
Stockbridge. Tel. (413) 298-5545
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