Pros: casual atmosphere, delicious turkey dinners, good service, good wine selection
Cons: long waits in season
Harts Turkey Farm Restaurant is one of those restaurants that carries a lot of memories for me. It’s close to the place we used to rent for a few weeks in the summer and as a kid I always looked forward to the one meal we would eat here each year. Turkey has always been one of my favorite meals. Now that I live in the area, any time we are going past the restaurant I try to time it that it’s the perfect time to stop in and have a meal.
Harts Turkey Farm Restaurant has been a part of the Lakes Region of New Hampshire for quite some time. in the 1940’s, brothers Larry and Russ Hart left New Jersey to try their luck at farming in New Hampshire. In the 1950’s, they began raising turkeys and then opened a small restaurant to go along with the farm. It specialized in turkey dinners. Soon the restaurant became the main business and has been run by different generations of the Hart family ever since.
Located on Route 3 in Meredith right at the junction of Route 104, it’s easy to get to while visiting the Lakes Region. If you’re up in my neck of the woods in the Mount Washington Valley, to get back to Route 93 to go back down south you will be passing right by it.
The atmosphere is casual and comfortable, just right for vacationers. Knotty pine walls give the place a "homey" feel to it. There are numerous dining rooms, from small and intimate to very large. The tables aren't so packed in that you can't get around. This arrangement gives them the versatility to seat very large parties - we've gone int here with 17 people already! You might see some people dressed going into Harts Turkey Farm Restaurant, but it's hardly a requirement. Bikers are welcome anytime, and Laconia and Weirs Beach are nearby if you’re up here for Bike Week in June. Busses are also welcome.
Turkey dinners are the specialty at Harts Turkey Farm Restaurant and there are a variety to choose from. There is a mini, regular, or jumbo turkey plate with sliced turkey, a jumbo turkey leg, turkey nuggets, turkey croquettes, turkey pie, turkey livers, turkey tempura, and turkey divan. All of the turkey selections come with stuffing, gravy, cranberry, choice of potato or rice, vegetables, rolls, and salad with dressing. A complete dinner adds an appetizer or soup, beverage and choice of dessert. I love the turkey - it’s tender and delicious. The stuffing is moist. The gravy is tasty without being too heavy. When I don’t feel like creating a whole turkey dinner in my own home, this place makes a substitute that is just as fulfilling.
For those who don’t choose to eat turkey or don’t like it, there’s plenty more to choose from on the menu. They have seafood selections, Italian fare, steaks, and stir-fry. I can’t say that I’ve ever had anything other than turkey, although I have had almost everything on the turkey menu and what I haven’t had someone I’ve dine with has.
I’ve tried the New England Clam Chowder at Harts Turkey Farm Restaurant and it’s really good. For me, that is the incentive to order the complete dinner. Other soups offered are turkey soup and French onion.
Save room for dessert if you can because the pies at Harts Turkey Farm Restaurant are really something special. There’s a wide variety, depending on the season. One of my favorites is the blueberry. Sometimes I just take it home and eat it later, but warm pie with vanilla ice cream is just a slice of heaven here.
There are also a variety of sandwiches and lighter fare more geared for lunch available. A children’s menu is offered with a selection typically seen on children’s menus, plus smaller versions of some of the items on the regular menu.
Harts Turkey Farm Restaurant has a full bar and a great wine list. The entire restaurant is smoke-free with the exception of the bar area. It does make a great place to go if you’re waiting for your table, or if you don’t mind the smoke you can dine in here.
Our service has consistently been good. The waiters and waitresses are pleasant to deal with and accommodating. We sampled one of the wines and liked it so much we wanted a bottle. They figured out how to approximate what an entire bottle would have been and adjusted it for us. It’s nice to see the flexibility and the desire to please the customer.
There is a gift shop in the lobby of Harts Turkey Farm Restaurant. During the summer months, when the local population about quadruples, chances are you will be waiting during the prime dining times. We have waited upwards of an hour in season. The gift shop makes for something entertaining while we wait, plus some of the food served in the dining room is available to bring home with us here in pre-packaged selections.
Harts Turkey Farm Restaurant has always been one of my favorite places to eat, and the consistently delicious meals have carried on through the years. The wait in the summer isn’t worth it to me now that I can go when it’s less busy, but for anyone visiting up in the area, it’s a local icon that is well worth a visit. The wait should be less if you time the visit not to coincide with prime dinner time. we’ve gone there around 3 PM and not had a wait at all or very small in the summertime. During the “off season” I haven’t encountered a wait at all. The meal you will get is well worth any wait!
Other sites to see in New Hampshire:
Attitash Bear Peak Ski Resort ~ Bretton Woods Ski Resort ~ Canobie Lake Park ~ Cranmore Mountain Ski Resort ~ Franconia Notch State Park ~ Funspot ~ Kancamagus Highway ~ King Pine Ski Resort ~ Loon Mountain Ski Resort ~ Madison Boulder Natural Area ~ Mount Washington Cog Railway ~ North Conway, NH ~ Polar Express Event ~ Santa’s Village ~ Shawnee Peak, Bridgeton ME ~ Six Gun City ~ Story Land ~ Whale's Tale Waterpark ~ White Lake State Park ~ White Mountain National Forest ~ Wildcat Mountain
Some places to stay in New Hampshire:
Attitash Mountain Village - Bartlett NH ~ Comfort Inn & Suites - North Conway NH ~ Hampton Inn - Concord/Bow NH ~ Yankee Clipper Motel
Places to eat in New Hampshire:
Bea's Cafe, Conway NH ~ Cafe Noche, Conway NH ~ Delaney‘s Hole in the Wall, North Conway NH ~ Hillbilly’s Southern BBQ, North Conway NH ~ May Kelly's Cottage, North Conway NH ~ Merlino's Steakhouse, North Conway NH ~ Moat Mountain Smokehouse, North Conway NH ~ Muddy Moose, North Conway NH ~ Peach's Restauran, North Conway NH ~ Red Parka Steakhouse & Pub, Glen NH ~ Yankee Smokehouse, West Ossipee NH
Books about the area:
Appalachian Mountain Club White Mountain Guide ~ 50 Hikes in the White Mountains
© 2006 Patti Aliventi