Best of NH 2017 Desserts, Ice Cream Stands, Coffee and Bakeries

The key lime pie from Editor's Pick Chase the Dream Baking Company. (Courtesy photo)

Key Lime Pie: Sarah Burt at Chase the Dream Baking Company in Nashua offers a slice of the Tropics with her not-too-sweet “Better Than Key West” key lime pie with just the right amount of tang. You can find it at Whole Foods in Nashua and Bedford and at Harvest Markets. 

Cheesecake: Mary Wicenski at Pleasant Lake Cheesecake Company in New London bakes a rich, New York-style cheesecake in more than 30 seductive flavors. Think crème brûlée, chocolate rum, lemon zinger and coffee with espresso whipped cream to ease all your problems. Available in 2-inch minis too. How many calories could that be? 

Handcrafted Chocolates: Three-year-old Vicuña Chocolate really embraces the concept of “bean to bar.” The cocoa beans that become the shop’s candies and desserts are ethically sourced from just five farms spread across South America. Once they arrive stateside, the team in Peterborough roasts, cracks, winnows and stone-grinds them — a process you can watch at occasional factory tours — into rich dark chocolates, left alone or inventively flavored in bars, melted into drinking chocolate or baked into sea salt chocolate chip cookies and cocoa nib brownies.

Swedish Bakery: Betty Schneider’s Scandinavian Baking in Chocorua began with a card table in her front yard, moved onto the front porch of her house, then came inside to the tiny front-room bake shop. In summer, sit on the porch and enjoy your fika of cardamom raisin cake or spicy Pepparkarkor, cookies with a complimentary cup of fresh-brewed coffee.

 Exotic Ice Cream: It’s hard to choose just one of the unexpected flavors at Bloom’n Cow in Newmarket, but if you must, then choose the coconut stracciatella. Its unique texture and flavor make it irresistible. One possible wrinkle — with more than 300 varieties of ice cream, gelato, sorbetto, coconut creams, popsicles and paletas dreamed up by the chef and “chief ice cream concoctionist,” flavors do vary from week to week. 

Dessert Tray: Regulars dining at the Blue Bistro of The NASWA Resort in Laconia never have to be told to save room for dessert. The finale of the meal appears on a tray, personally presented by a bona fide Lakes Region legend, Hope Makris. She can tell you everything that went into creating each of the items on her lavishly loaded tray because she personally makes them all. Makris was an owner/operator at the resort for 60 years then began a second career as master baker at age 72 — 20 years ago. 

Readers' Poll Winners

Harvey's Bakery and Coffee Shop

Multi-location Regional
Frederick’s Pastries
Amherst, Bedford and N. Andover, Mass.

Bakery Concord Area
Bread & Chocolate

Bakery Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region
Lou’s Restaurant & Bakery

Bakery Great North Woods
Polish Princess Bakery

Bakery Lakes Region
Laconia Village Bakery

Bakery Manchester Area
Triolo's Bakery

Bakery Monadnock
Kristin's Bistro & Bakery

Bakery Nashua Area
Black Forest Cafe & Bakery

Bakery Salem Area
Klemm’s Bakery

Bakery Seacoast Region
Popovers on the Square
Epping and Portsmouth

Bakery White Mountains
Leavitt's Country Bakery

Jacques Fine European Pastries

Multi-location Regional
Frederick’s Pastries
Amherst, Bedford and N. Andover, Mass.

Van Otis Chocolates

Coffee Roaster
A&E Coffee Roastery and Whole-leaf Tea
Amherst and Manchester

Coffee Shop
Breaking New Grounds
Durham and Portsmouth

Coffee Shop Concord Area
True Brew Barista

Coffee Shop Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Regon
Schoodacs Coffee & Tea

Coffee Shop Great North Woods
Polish Princess Bakery

Coffee Shop Lakes Region
Wayfarer Coffee Roasters

Coffee Shop Manchester Area
A&E Coffee Roastery and Whole-leaf Tea
Amherst and Manchester

Coffee Shop Monadnock Region
Prime Roast Coffee

Coffee Shop Nashua Area
Union Coffee Company

Coffee Shop Salem Area
The Grind Rail Trail Café

Coffee Shop Seacoast Region
Adelle's Coffeehouse

Coffee Shop White Mountains Region
Metropolitan Coffee House
North Conway

Queen City Cupcakes

Ice Cream Spot
Lago's Lone Oak

Ice Cream Concord Area
Arnie’s Place

Ice Cream Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region
Sanctuary Dairy Farm Ice Cream

Ice Cream Great North Woods Region
Moose Alley Cones

Ice Cream Lakes Region
Jordan’s Ice Creamery

Ice Cream Manchester Area
Puritan Backroom

Ice Cream Monadnock Region
The Walpole Creamery
Walpole and Keene

Ice Cream Nashua Area
Hayward’s Ice Cream

Ice Cream Salem Area
Moo’s Place Homemade Ice Cream

Ice Cream Seacoast Region
Memories Ice Cream

Ice Cream White Mountains Region
Slick's Ice Cream

Popovers on the Square 
Epping and Portsmouth

Multi-location Regional
Frederick’s Pastries
Amherst, Bedford and N. Andover, Mass.

Black Forest Cafe & Bakery

Multi-location Local
Red Arrow 24 Hr Diner
Manchester, Milford and Londonderry

Multi-location Regional
The Pie Guy

More Best of NH winners to check out

2018 Best of NH Readers' Poll winners

View a list of the 2018 Best of NH winners as voted on by our readers.

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Best of NH 2017 Food Odds & Ends

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Best of NH 2017 Breweries, Wine, Spirits, Cocktails and Pubs

Ready for some local refreshments? We've got craft beer, cocktails, hard cider, locally distilled spirits and more.

Best of NH 2017 American & Seafood Restaurants

Where to find the juiciest burgers in your area, a classic steakhouse, BBQ, gooey macaroni and cheese, wings, the best lobster roll and the state's fanciest burgers.
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