Best of NH 2018 Delis, Butcher Shops, Catering, Cafés, Lunch and Breakfast

Up the "wow" factor by catering with an authentic Hawaiian luau, try Italian breakfast pizza, order up hash and eggs at the diner counter or eat on the cheap with a lunch special.




Laney & Lu Cafe in Exeter serves up healthy and tasty smoothie bowls. Photo by Emily Heidt
 

Authentic Hawaiian Luau: There’s a ton to love at Big Kahunas Cafe & Grill in Merrimack, but next time you want to really wow your guests, have Big Kahunas cater your event Hawaiian-style with an authentic luau. This four-day process uses the traditional method of wrapping an entire pig in banana leaves and wet canvas, then slowly roasting it in a stone-lined pit covered with soil. On the day of your event,  your guests can watch as the pig is removed from the pit, which is truly a sight to see.


Breakfast Pizza: Tuscan Kitchen in Portsmouth and Salem offers a pizza for breakfast featuring their own artisan bread and charcuterie. The housemade dough is stretched by hand and layered with prosciutto, baby spinach, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano and a perfectly soft egg, just ready to run when you cut into it. The wood-fired oven provides the crisp crust, while the chewy interior speaks to the quality of the dough.


Friendly Breakfast: There’s nothing better than service with a smile. At Dover’s 2 Home Cooks, the servers are friendly, helpful and occasionally dressed in their pajamas, just for the laughs. The buttermilk pancakes are light and tender, and dotted with chocolate chips, blueberries or bacon. Waffles are an option, but consider the waffle BLT — it’s breakfast and lunch all in one. They’re open for breakfast and lunch with all menu items available until 2 p.m.


Green Café: Terragia in downtown Nashua is a hybrid shop and café that adds beauty and peace to breakfast or lunch. Enjoy a fresh smoothie bowl or rich and tender quiche while surrounded with a vast collection of houseplants, fresh floral arrangements and cute garden gift items. This creative place is sure to grow on you.


Local Lamb: Riverslea Farm has been a working farm in Epping for over 200 years. The options are endless when it comes to their incredibly tender, mild-flavored meat. You can use their lamb sausage in soups and kabobs or use their shanks for stews. They recommend marinating the meat in apple cider, honey and rosemary for a more classic taste. Feeling adventurous? Bake your chops on a shallow rack rather than grilling, and coat with a paste of mustard and thyme.


Lunch Specials: The lunch specials at the Sunrise Shack in Glen are different every day, and can range from a sandwich of warm roasted turkey with asparagus and melted fontina on a baguette to beer-battered shrimp tacos with sriracha, or their version of jambalaya with chicken, chorizo and garlicky shrimp. If you’re really, really lucky it will be the chef’s spectacular version of shepherd’s pie loaded with moist lamb, shitake mushrooms, leeks and thick creamy mashed potatoes.


New Café: You can see the love that has been put into the City Moose Café in Nashua — tidy farm-style tables with fresh flowers, a varied menu of pressed sandwiches, soups and salads — all with a little extra pizzazz, including a nice selection of flavored teas. They are proud of their local sourcing and are a pickup point of a CSA. Open until 3 p.m. weekdays now, but more to come later. Plus, there’s plenty of parking at 30 Temple St., the old Indian Head Plaza.


Out-of-the-Box Catering: El Camino Foods in Exeter brings authentic Puerto Rican dishes to New Hampshire. The company name comes from the road that owner Elizabeth Silva traveled as a child to visit her grandmother when living in Puerto Rico. She keeps her grandmother in mind when cooking dishes that include empanadas, savory half-moon pastries filled with your choice of meat; rellenos de papa, buttery mashed potatoes filled with ground beef with a crispy crust; pernil asado, slow-roasted pork shoulder marinated in citrus and spices; and many more. Don’t have a party planned but want a taste? Find them at the Portsmouth and Exeter farmers markets from May until fall. See the schedule and full catering menu on the website.


Sausage Shop: A sausage on the grill is one of the joys of summer, but you take it up a notch when you know the sausage was made by local hands and locally raised beef and pork. Short Creek Farm in Northwood is dedicated to sausage and charcuterie and uses their own pastured pork, grass-fed beef and heirloom vegetables to make their products. Their sausage recipes are imaginative (with names like Bourbon Coffee Bacon, Harissa & Mint, Moroccan Quince or Smoked Chili & Pumpkin) and they are just as delicious as they sound.


Smoothie Bowl: The fresh, joyful atmosphere at Laney & Lu Cafe in Exeter is represented in their smoothie bowls. Made with whole, delicious, plant-based, gluten-free, paleo and local ingredients, it’s no wonder that their colorful bowls are as good for the eyes (and perfect for your Instagram) as they are for the stomach. They are creatively concocted, made with love, and will make you smile from the inside out.


Steak Tips: The family-owned Mr. Steer Meats Marketplace in Londonderry is the place for backyard barbecue supplies. They have just about every cut of meat you could ever want, but if you’re looking for a tasty grilling shortcut, check out their famous line of marinated meats, which, of course, includes steak tips. Go bold with the cayenne pepper sauce (Chubby’s Firemaster), classic with the steakhouse blend, international with the fajita-inspired sauce or strive to impress with Chubby’s Grillmaster. No matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong.


Readers' Poll Winners

Breakfast - Overall
Parker’s Maple Barn
Mason

Breakfast - Overall
Multi-location Local
Tucker’s
Multiple Locations

Breakfast - Overall
Multi-location Regional
The Friendly Toast
Portsmouth

Breakfast - Concord Area
The Newell Post
Concord

Breakfast - Concord Area
Multi-location Local
The Red Arrow 24 Hr Diner
Multiple Locations

Breakfast - Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region
Country Kitchen
Newport
(603) 863-7881

Breakfast - Great North Woods Region
Polish Princess Bakery
Lancaster

Breakfast - Lakes Region
Kitchen Cravings
Gilford

Breakfast - Manchester Area
The Purple Finch Café
Bedford

Breakfast - Manchester Area     
Multi-location Local
The Red Arrow 24 Hr Diner
Multiple Locations

Breakfast - Monadnock Region
The Pub Restaurant and Caterers
Keene

Breakfast - Nashua Area
The Riverhouse Café
Milford

Breakfast - Nashua Area
Multi-location Local
The Red Arrow 24 Hr Diner
Multiple Locations

Breakfast - Salem Area
Maddie’s Bagel & Eatery
Salem

Breakfast - Salem Area
Multi-location Local
MaryAnn’s Diner
Derry, Salem and Windham

Breakfast - Seacoast Region
The Big Bean Café
Newmarket

Breakfast - White Mountains Region
Polly’s Pancake Parlor
Sugar Hill

Brunch
The Old Salt Restaurant at Lamie’s Inn
Hampton

Butcher Shop
Tuckaway Tavern & Butchery
Raymond

Caterer
Celebrations Distinctive Catering
Manchester

Chili
Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery
North Woodstock

Chili
Multi-location Local
Red Arrow 24 Hr Diner
Multiple Locations

Delicatessen    
Biederman’s Deli
Plymouth

Diner - Overall
Tilt’n Diner
Tilton

Diner - Overall
Multi-location Local
Red Arrow 24 Hr Diner
Multiple Locations

Diner - Concord Area
Northwood Diner
Northwood
(603) 942-5018

Diner - Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region
4 Aces Diner
West Lebanon

Diner - Lakes Region
104 Diner
New Hampton

Diner - Manchester Area
Airport Diner
Manchester

Diner - Monadnock Region
Peterborough Diner
Peterborough

Diner - Nashua Area    
Joey’s Diner
Amherst

Diner - Salem Area
Nancy’s Diner
Nashua

Diner - Salem Area
Multi-location Local
MaryAnn’s Diner
Derry, Salem and Windham

Diner - Seacoast Region
Roundabout Diner & Lounge
Portsmouth

Diner - White Mountains Region
Littleton Diner
Littleton

Gourmet To Go      
All Real Meal
Manchester

Lunch Spot    
Tuckaway Tavern and Butchery
Raymond

Pancakes    
Polly’s Pancake Parlor
Sugar Hill

Sandwich               
Biederman’s Deli
Plymouth

Soup
Collins Brothers Chowder
Nashua

 

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