The Blue Mermaid is a Portsmouth favorite for its good food, good value, and refusal to take itself too seriously. It’s a short stroll from Market Square, in a historic area called the Hill, and is not pretentious—locals congregate here, Tom Waits tunes play in the background, and the service is casual but professional. The menu is adventurous in a low-key global way, leaning ever so slightly toward Mexico and the Caribbean—you might try a tortilla pizza or a salmon club sandwich for lunch, or a dinner of short ribs in guava-soy sauce, served with corn bread; Bimini-style grilled chicken with bananas and walnuts in bourbon sauce, sided with a sweet-potato hash; or beef medallions spiced up with horseradish cream and chipotle peppers. For fun, make a dinner out of small-plate offerings such as wontons, Jamaican beef patties, and the seafood-coconut wrap. They also cook seafood on a wood-fired grill; libations include local draft brews plus a full menu of coolers, mojitos, Goombay smashes, and margaritas.