Best of NH 2011 Coffee Shops, Beverages and Bars

From locally-made mead and spirits to tasty martinis and great coffee, these Best of NH Winners have all your beverage needs covered.

*Editor's Picks
Readers' Poll Winners

Beer Store: At Barb’s Beer Emporium in Concord you can mix a custom six-pack with a choice of almost 300 varieties of beer, many from local breweries.

Cool Night Spot: Hot Cuban, Latin and Spanish music fill the cool night air at Brazo Restaurant in Portsmouth.

Cup of Coffee: The quest at Breaking New Grounds in Portsmouth and Durham is creating the perfect cup of coffee. (603) 436-4555

Cup of Coffee (National Chain): There’s a reason why people line up for Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.

*Flirtatious Martini: Next time you’re down in Manchester’s Millyard, stop at Cotton for a drink that’s billed as “great for sips and giggles.” With vodka, champagne and the sweet-but-not-too-sweet hint of pineapple, the Flirtini has just the right mix of bite, bubbles and sweetness.

*Hot Chocolate: Half Baked & Fully Brewed in Lincoln makes prize-worthy hot chocolate (using Ghirardelli). They make it in the espresso machine, infusing it with foamed milk, like cappuccino. (603) 745-8811

Irish Pub: The Holy Grail in Epping offers great pub fare and entertainment inside a repurposed and renovated church.

*Limoncello: Intense tree-fresh lemon flavor in a small glass with a big kick — that’s why few people can end a meal at Saladino’s Italian Market in Gorham without Mike Saladino’s own house-made liqueur. Or, as they do in southern Italy, drink it mid-afternoon with a pastry from the dessert menu, or with espresso and a biscotti from their bakery.

Local Coffee Roaster: White Mountain Gourmet Coffee in Concord has been serving up fresh-roasted gourmet coffee for 20 years.

Local Microbrew: N.H.’s original brewpub, the Portsmouth Brewery offers outstanding handcrafted beers.

*Local Spirit: Named for our endangered state butterfly that graces the bottle, the Karner Blue Gin from Flag Hill in Lee is distilled from 100 percent New Hampshire apples and steeped with nine botanicals, giving it a herbaceous flavor that’s perfect for both martinis or drinking with tonic water.

*Make Your Own Six Pack: Bert’s Better Beers in Hooksett is the perfect place to find your next favorite beer. With a newly expanded singles cooler, patrons are encouraged to mix and match to their heart’s content. It’s not only a great way to pick up a variety of different styles without breaking the bank, it also allows you to try a new beer without committing to six bottles or more.

Martini Bar: Lemon-Pom and Ginger Pear — just two of the exclusively designed signature martinis at The Green Monkey in Portsmouth.

*Mead: Londonderry’s Moonlight Meadery has updated an ancient beverage with modern and tasty twists that range from various fruits to habenero pepper, coffee, ginger, vanilla and combinations galore. And, with names like Sensual, Entice, Paramour and Passion, a bottle of Moonlight’s mead is perfect to bring home for a romantic evening.

Sports Bar: With more than 50 TVs and satellite reception, Billy’s Sports Bar & Grill is the spot in Manchester for live sports.

Sports Bar (National Chain): Whether it’s watching a game or playing one (billiards, bowling and more), Jillian’s in Manchester provides great atmosphere — and great food, too.

*Teas for Icing: Tea drinking is not just for chilly winter afternoons. Danielle Beaudette at the Cozy Tea Cart in Brookline offers a wide variety of teas and tisanes made with dried fruits, herbs and spices that make a refreshing, light drink in the summer. Consider the Creamsicle with Ceylon and Indian black teas with orange peel and orange blossom for a touch of sweetness.

Wine Shop: Butter’s Fine Food & Wine in Concord specializes in providing fresh foods from local farms and food artisans from all over the world.

Readers Regional Coffee Shop Picks

Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee: Jake’s Coffee Company in Lebanon offers locally made baked goods along with great coffee and espresso.

Great North Woods: White Mountain Café & Bookstore in Gorham uses small-batch roasted coffee beans from the nearby Java Tree roasters.

Lakes Region: Center Harbor’s Winnipesaukee Bay Gulls is an airy and welcoming space filled with the aromas of fresh coffee and bagels.

Concord: Bread & Chocolate in Concord has fresh coffee and irresistible baked goods and opens into independent Gibson’s Bookstore. 29 South Main St., Concord. (603) 228-3330

Manchester Area: The Bridge Café in Manchester offers great made-from-scratch food and all-day breakfast, too.

Nashua Area: Swan Chocolates in Merrimack and Nashua is the spot for coffee with sweet indulgences.

Monadnock: At Keene’s Prime Roast Coffee the beans are roasted daily for the freshest experience.

Seacoast: Breaking New Grounds in Portsmouth and Durham is the place for great coffee and great people-watching. (603) 436-9555, (603) 868-6869

Salem Area: Lattes and cappuccinos are beverage bar specialties at Village Bean Fine Coffees in Windham.

White Mountains: Years of research went into the coffees at Mad River Coffee House in Campton.

Categories: Best of NH Winners