places to eat in salem

12 of the Most Delicious Places to Eat in Salem, MA

Time to chow down! Check out the 12 tastiest places to eat in Salem and treat your taste buds to some epic flavors. Let’s dig in!

If you’re anything like us, one of the best parts of traveling is exploring the local food scene and discovering hidden gems. And let us tell you, when it comes to satisfying your taste buds, Salem is a great place to go!

In this blog post, we’re going to take you on a journey through the flavors of Salem, Massachusetts, as we show you not just 5, but 12 amazing places to eat in Salem. Whether you’re craving comfort food, exotic flavors, or Instagram-worthy desserts, Salem has it all, and we can’t wait to share it with you. Let’s dive right in and explore the 12 places to eat in Salem that will make your taste buds sing!

This post is all about the best places to eat in Salem, Massachusetts!


what to do in salem

What to Do in Salem in ONE Day

Places to Eat in Salem

Alright, let’s do this! There are really so many places to eat in Salem, so narrowing it down to just 12 was so hard! These restaurants all have amazing food and amazing reviews, so you are in good hands!

Sea Level Oyster Bar

94 Wharf St, Salem, MA 01970

If you’re in the New England area, you’ve gotta try seafood! And what better place than Sea Level Oyster Bar in Salem? It specializes in fresh seafood and oysters, sourced from local waters. Probably from right outside their window, because this restaurant is located right on the harbor. If the weather is good, request a table on the outdoor patio. You will get some amazing views of the harbor. 

It can get busy, so you can make a reservation on their website. 

What to get?

  • Crispy Calamari
  • Chowder Fries
  • Baked Oysters
  • Sea Level Signature Crab Cake
  • Fresh Mussels
  • Baja Tacos
  • Fishermans Platter
  • Cookie Pie
  • Key Lime Pie (in a jar)

Mercy Tavern

148 Derby St, Salem, MA 01970

If you are looking for places to eat in Salem, you should try Mercy Tavern! It is a very quirky and fun pub with some amazing food. I’m pretty sure that they have perfected the art of making the hamburger here. Along with basically everything else on their menu! 

What to get?

  • Truffle Fries
  • Nachos
  • Mercy Burger
  • Reuben
  • Pumpink Ravioli
  • Fish Tacos
  • Fish and Chips
  • House Fried Ribs
  • Steak Tips

Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall

43 Church St, Salem, MA 01970

You can’t call yourself a seafood restaurant without serving seafood, and being good at it, right? Turner’s Seafood serves some of the best seafood of the places to eat in Salem and is so worth the visit and the slightly higher prices. Turner’s is also a local favorite, so you know that it’s good! If you can, try to get a reservation though. Especially if you are visiting during the busy season of October. The menu also tends to change, depending on the seafood available. 

What to get?

  • Clam Chowder
  • Lobster Bisque
  • Crab Cakes Dinner
  • Lobster Mac and Cheese
  • Baked Stuffed Shrimp
  • Chicken Marsala Dinner
  • Surf ‘N Turf

Ledger Restaurant & Bar

125 Washington St, Salem, MA 01970

A rustic-chic restaurant housed in a former Salem Savings Bank. As expected, everything is bank-themed as well which gave me Great Gatsby vibes for some weird reason. They offer a creative, seasonal menu with dishes like roasted chicken and grilled octopus. They are also open for brunch on Sundays!

What to get?

  • Carrot Ginger Salad
  • Popovers
  • Tuna Tartare (seasonal)
  • Pan Roasted Salmon
  • Smoked Long Island Duck Breast

Howling Wolf Taqueria

76 Lafayette St, Salem, MA 01970

Sometimes, the Mexican food craving hits and you have to find a good place to satisfy your cravings! If that happens when looking for places to eat in Salem, or if you are just wanting some delicious Mexican food, you need to try the Howling Wolf Taqueria. It has some of the best Mexican street food, including tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. 

What to get?

  • Avocado Fries
  • Carne Asada Fries
  • Steak Tips
  • Steak Fajita Quesadilla
  • Al Pastor taco
  • Carnitas Taco
  • Chicken Enchilada
  • Steak Fajita Chimichanga
  • Howling Wolf Burrito

Ray Adea’s Mediterranean Kitchen 

90 Lafayette St Unit 1B, Salem, MA 01970

Although on the lesser-known side of restaurants when looking for places to eat in Salem, Ray Adea’s is a great place to eat! It is a family-owned restaurant that specializes in Mediterranean cuisine and is delicious! All of the food is kosher and vegetarian as well. The owner is also super friendly and really goes out of his way to make you feel welcome! And of course, the food is amazing. 

What to get?

  • Falafel in Pita
  • Adea’s Sampler
  • Hummus Plater
  • Hand Cut Fries


288 Derby St, Salem, MA 01970

Would I really be Sid if I didn’t include a pizza place? I love pizza and Bambolina has some of the best pizza in Salem! That’s probably because I am a sucker for wood-fired pizza. Bambolina is a cozy pizzeria that serves up wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas with pretty creative toppings like fig and prosciutto or roasted mushrooms!

What to get?

  • Margherita Classico Pizza
  • Capricciosa Pizza
  • Artichoke and Arugula Pizza
  • Rosso Pizza with extra cheese
  • Plain Pizza Bread
  • Fettuccine Alla Bolognese
  • Mushroom Fettuccine

Life Alive Organic Cafe Salem

281 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970

A vegetarian cafe that serves up healthy and delicious bowls, wraps, and smoothies made with organic, locally sourced ingredients. They also offer gluten-free and vegan options.

What to get?

  • Blue Raspberry Acai Smoothie
  • Elvis Alive Smoothie
  • Lust Alive Smoothie
  • Super Berry Acai Bowl
  • Rainbow Harvest Bowl
  • Green Goddess Bowl
  • Avocado Greens Salad
  • Mediterranean Chickpea Wrap
  • Hummus & Pita Plate
  • Beta Carotene Juice

Red’s Sandwich Shop

15 Central St, Salem, MA 01970

I bet that when you think of a sandwich shop, you aren’t thinking of French Toast or steak and eggs breakfast dishes, right? Don’t let the name ‘sandwich’ deceive you! Red’s is a classic diner that has been serving breakfast and lunch since 1949. They are known for their generous portions and friendly service!

What to get?


  • Red’s Everything Omelet with Cheese
  • Homemade Corned Beef Hash
  • Cheesecake Topped French Toast
  • Chocolate Chip Pancakes
  • Cinnamon French Toast
  • Bama Benny
  • Benny and Jets
  • Yogurt Parfait
  • Hot Apple Cider


  • Lobster Roll
  • Lobster Pie
  • Seafood Pie

Longboards Restaurant & Bar

72 Wharf St, Salem, MA 01970

Longboards Restaurant not only has great food, but it also has such a cool vibe! In the wharf area, it’s close to the ocean, meaning that their seafood is as fresh as it can get. If you’re looking for a laid-back vibe, this is on of the places to eat in Salem.

What to get?

  • French Onion Soup
  • Buffalo Wings
  • Lobster Tots
  • Lobster Mac
  • Lobster Roll
  • Lobster Grilled Cheese
  • Clam Chowder
  • Boardman (Chicken Bacon Ranch Flatbread)
  • Sausage Riccota Row Flatbread

Gulu-Gulu Cafe

247 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970

If the name isn’t enough to make you want to eat here, I don’t know what is! Gulu-Gule is a funky cafe serving great drinks and delicious food, including all-day breakfast options. If their food, vibe, and decor aren’t enough, they will sometimes have live music and art shows to keep you entertained. Try to go at off-times during the day if you can because it does get busy around meal times.

What to get?

  • The Lumberjack
  • Hummus Plate
  • Mad About Blue Salad
  • Half Cranasaurus Salad
  • Istanbul Sandwich
  • Barcelona Sandwich

Rockafellas Restaurant

231 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970

Rockafellas Restaurant is one of the most popular places to eat in Salem in the heart of historic downtown Salem! It’s literally housed in a historic building. The inside has a fun modern twist though with exposed brick and high ceilings which gives it such cool and unique vibes. How about the food? So good! They offer American food with a Mediterranean twist. Oh, and they have plenty of seafood if that’s what you are in the mood for. They also have live music and entertainment on weekends, adding to its lively atmosphere.

What to get?

  • Truffle Fries
  • New England Crab Cakes
  • Fried Calamari
  • Roasted Pear & Spiced Walnut Salad
  • New England Clam Chowder
  • Louisiana Burger
  • Chicken Madeira
  • Sausage Rustica
  • Fried Haddock and Chips
  • Marinated Steak Tips

There you have it! That is our list of the top 12 places to eat in Salem. It was so hard to narrow it down to 12, so obviously, there is really no shortage of delicious food options in this cute city. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, I hope this guide has inspired you to try something new and satisfy your cravings. So what are you waiting for? Add these amazing restaurants to your plan and get ready for a meal you won’t forget!

Oh, and if you are looking for tips on what to do in Salem in one day, check out this blog post!

What to Do in Salem in ONE Day

what to do in salem

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