The delicious diner of democracy: Manchester NH's Red Arrow Diner
What makes the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, NH a favorite for politicians and big-time celebrities? We stop in to find out…
Watch cable news or reruns of The West Wing enough, and you know, New Hampshire is all about “retail politics.” To get votes in New Hampshire, a politician has to put in the face time. You have to shake the hands. You have to kiss the babies. You have to eat at the restaurants, and for years now, the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, NH has been one of many politicians’ favorite spots to stop for a bite.
We, of course, just had to give it a try, too.
The outside of the Red Arrow Diner is warm, inviting, and screams classic diner. A retro neon sign points the way to a cozy little diner bustling with people grabbing their breakfast fixes, and at first, the Red Arrow Diner doesn’t feel unlike a lot of great little diners we’ve visited- the smell of coffee and various breakfast meats filling the cozy, retro space.
Once seated, however, we start to notice what sets the Red Arrow in a league all its own. Each seat at the counter comes with its own list of names, a reminder of the famous folks that have come before you over the years.
After taking in the seat labels, your eyes start to wander the walls, and there’s even more autographed photos of famous people.
We expected pictures of politicians like President Obama, but what we didn’t expect was the number of other celebs that adorn the walls of the Red Arrow Diner.
Of course, there’s plenty of photos from hometown hero Adam Sandler’s frequent visits, but it doesn’t stop there… Sarah Silverman. Guy Fieri. Paul Newman. They’ve all visited. The list goes on and on. Heck, the Barenaked Ladies liked the Red Arrow so much, they wrote a song about the place and performed it live.
As the Red Arrow Diner likes to say, they’ve had everyone “from Paul Newman to RuPaul,” and that’s pretty spot on. Wandering around the diner is an absolute blast for any political guru or pop culture lover.
But, even without the stars and politicians, the Red Arrow Diner is authentically amazing
The political significance of the Red Arrow Diner brought us in the door, but the experience we had once inside will keep us coming back on every single future New Hampshire trip.
Our coffee mug never got empty or cold, and our breakfast sandwiches with hashbrowns were cooked perfectly. But it wasn’t the food that’ll bring us back either...
It was the people.
During our time at the Red Arrow Diner, the place hustled in and out a tremendous number of people both eating in and grabbing to go orders. Somehow, the staff stayed on top of it all, and we were beyond impressed.
It was obvious to us the Red Arrow Diner may appreciate the big stars that come through the door, but they definitely appreciate the regular folks that walk through their door each and every day.
We watched as the manager not only served the customers at the register but also asked their kids questions about school and made other small talk. There were no strangers at the Red Arrow, just regulars and people about to become regulars.
We see why Adam Sandler still likes to pop in from time to time.
The Red Arrow Diner
61 Lowell Street
Manchester, NH 03101