Market Square is located in the heart of downtown Portsmouth, where several walking tours begin, the Square is a center of activity with art galleries, bookstores, antique shops, ethnic restaurants and looks much like it did at the turn of the 20th century. The square has a Federalist style appearance and to accommodate the amount of visitors to the square have created wider sidewalk and restored the street lamps.
The square is known as the `Restaurant capital of the Northeast' with more dining site per capita than any other town in the New England area. The shops are always busy on a weekend with many stores and restaurants to visit, walking tours available, museums and galleries to visit and view the different art works such as jewelry, clothing, wood and ceramics, and the famous waterfront.
The town mandated the use of brick building in commercial areas due to a series of fires in the early 1800's.
Activates for visitors to the square include an old music hall, which is used for art films and live performances. Al `a carte coffee and cake is available on the sidewalks from Breaking New Grounds and Popovers or dine in one of the many great restaurants in Portsmouth. Lunch could even be a lobster roll picnic at Prescott Park at the waterfront. Local ingredients are used by many of the chefs each season to help with the area's economy and impact on the environment due to less transport.