Best of Salem - Salem, Massachusetts



Each year I receive numerous messages from friends, family, and strangers alike asking for recommendations on what to see and do in the Witch City. It's nearly impossible to choose favorites in a city as rich in eateries, shopping, and attractions as Salem, but I've tried to do just that. Here you will find just some of my favorite go-to spots in the city that I'm lucky enough to call home. This of course is not a comprehensive list, so don't be afraid to venture off and explore whatever piques your interest!

B R E A K F A S T

Red's Sandwich Shop
The best breakfast in Salem. No question.

Good Morning Chubby (Sundays Only)
On the go? Try the Shrubby!

Crave (Coming Soon to 105 Lafayette Street)
Unique and craveable breakfast sandwiches, coffee, and sweet treats.

L U N C H

Mercy Tavern 
The best burger in Salem! You have to try the Mercy Burger.

Witch's Brew Cafe
The Witch's Brew Steak is as delicious as it is Instgrammable.

Casa Tequila
Taquitos, frozen margaritas, and all the queso you could ever desire. 

D I N N E R

Finz
The best view in Salem! A great mix of food for everyone. Try the Crispy Chicken Brochettes.

Bella Verona
Delicious Italian food that transports you right to the North End of Boston.

Broadie's Seaport
Great local spot to fill up on comfort food and fun cocktails.

P I Z Z A

Pizza World
The weekly go-to for classic pepperoni.

PZA
Try the Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pizza!

Pazuzu
Salem's best kept secret! Try the Lucifer.

C O C K T A I L S

Opus
Unmatched creative craft cocktails.

Sea Level
Fun cocktails with a view.

The Tavern at The Hawthorne Hotel
Need a break from the busy season? Tavern on the Green is the perfect escape.

D E S S E R T

Coffee Time
A delicious assortments of doughnuts, pastries, and coffee drinks.
My go-to is the Iced Mocha Delight and Peanut Butter and Jelly Doughnut.

Goodnight Fatty (Weekends Only)
Nostalgia, warm cookies, and the best soft serve in Salem.

Dairy Witch
The absolute best sundae you will ever have!

C O F F E E  +  M O R E

Jaho
Creative lattes, teas, and even cocktails!

Red Line Cafe
A perfect place to grab a hot chocolate or frozen latte while out shopping.

Brew Box
Ever had a Cereal Milk Latte? You need to.

U N I Q U E  B O U T I Q U E S 

Emporium 32
Step back in time! This boutique experience is like none other.
Home to vintage wares, unique d├ęcor, and even Zoltar. 

Die With Your Boots On
Wear all black? Is Halloween you whole lifestyle? This place is for you.

Salem Spice
Celebrate Salem's rich maritime history while rewarding your taste buds with unique salts and spices from across the globe!

F A V O R I T E  G I F T  S H O P S

The Happy Sunflower
It's as adorable as it sounds. Bright and cheery gifts for all ages.

The House of the Seven Gables 
Located in one of the oldest homes in Salem, an eclectic mix of literary and nautical gifts.

Moody's Home + Gifts
Unique and locally made gifts. Be sure to check out the History by the Sea Candle Collection!


Looking for Historical Haunts? Check out my guest post for Things to do in Salem!

Almshouse Burial Ground Memorial - Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, MA, USA
Collins Cove
Salem, Massachusetts

Today, at last, we bring honor and dignity to the hundreds of souls that were laid to rest along Collins Cove, once residents of Salem's Almshouse and Hospital for Contagious Diseases.

I want to express my deep gratitude to those who helped me give this voice to the voiceless and believed in the importance of recognizing those buried here.

The memorial reads:


IN MEMORY OF
THOSE WHO LIVED AND LABORED
AT THE ALMSHOUSES AND HOSPITALS ON THIS LAND
AND IN HONOR OF THOSE KNOWN AND UNKNOWN
WHO ARE QUIETLY RESTING HERE IN UNMARKED GRAVES



Almshouse Burial Ground Memorial
Salem, Massachusetts

This stone represents years of research and advocacy. I've wondered what I would say if this moment arrived and today, like so many things about this project, the words found me.

    “The optimist in me always thought that the ultimate purpose of memorials was that they were dress rehearsals for our collective memory, that in the course of building a shrine to the fallen, we remind ourselves of our broader obligations to the vulnerable. You give the benefit of your empathy and generosity to the memory of someone… and then it becomes easier to extend that empathy and generosity to the lonely and the suffering who are still among us. You get good at meaningful adjacency for the dead, and that makes you better at practicing it on the living.

    But that's not what happens, is it? We go to any length, any length to commemorate one person's death, deploy armies of architects and engineers, then in the same breath look the other way as we step over someone lying on the street.” – Malcolm Gladwell

 

Our work is not done. May this memorial serve as a reminder to extend our empathy and generosity to the lonely and the suffering among us.

Read More

Unheralded and Unknown, They Sleep: Salem's Forgotten Almshouse Burial Ground

Frank Cousins, Almshouse on Salem Neck, c. 1890. Digital Commonwealth, Phillips Library.
 Frank Cousins, Almshouse on Salem Neck, c. 1890. Digital Commonwealth, Phillips Library.


The Pickering House
Sunday, March 14 at 5:00 p.m.

Jen Ratliff: Unheralded and Unknown, They Sleep
Salem's Forgotten Almshouse Burial Ground

Salem is often celebrated for its history of millionaire merchants and their mansions, but there is another side to the city’s past, that of Salem’s poorest residents: the aged, disabled, ill, or transient, that were relegated to a harsh life at the City Almshouse.

The last almshouse built in Salem, opened in 1816 on Collins Cove to provide housing and support for the city’s impoverished, many of whom were expected to work the adjacent City Farm to offset the cost of their stay. This site was active for over a century and included a small burial ground which would have served as the only option for those who were unable to afford a funeral or that had no family to claim their remains.

Unfortunately, few know of this land’s former purpose and significance, as there is very little evidence of the Almshouse or its burial ground. Join us to learn more about the important history of this site and how we can preserve its memory.

Salem historian Jen Ratliff has dedicated herself to uncovering and sharing the forgotten stories of our collective past. While earning a B.A. from Salem State University in Public History, she created multiple exhibits and digital projects for both Salem Maritime National Historic Site and Salem State University, spotlighting items from their archives and the unique stories behind them. Jen is currently pursuing an M.S., concentrated in Archives Management, from Simmons University. She shares her love for local history on her blog, History by the Sea, as well as her Facebook group, Salem History Exchange.



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