Best of NH 2016 Shops & Services

From left: Off Piste, Papa Wolf Supply Co. and D.R.Dimes American Furnitre

Boutique Homegoods and Gifts: Winslow Rollins Home Outfitters in New London is the place to go when you need that perfect “something,” whether it’s a stylish and thoughtful wedding gift or just the right item to complete a room. As a bonus, it’s also home to the beautiful work of Robert Jensen Floral Design. Browsing here is a real delight.

Cool Shoes: If you can walk out of Club Boutique and City Shoes in Portsmouth without a new pair of shoes, then you are possessed of a stronger will than most. It’s hard not to fall in love with the classy 1920s-style pumps from Re-Mix Vintage Shoes or the adorable Bogs boots that make rainy days infinitely more fashionable. You’ll also find the iconic Sperry Top-Sider and Dr. Martens, plus shoes built for maximum comfort like Aetrex and even the environmentally friendly Jambus, made with partially recycled outsoles and 100-percent recycled packaging. Go inside. We dare you.

Fine Cigar Bar: Taking the concept of the city cigar bar up a notch is Federal Cigar. They cater to the aficionado and even produce their own blends, but they are truly distinguished by the speakeasy-style cigar bar under their store in Portsmouth. This is a cool place to hang whether you like cigars or not (they have a powerful ventilation system that sweeps the air for smoke). Federal Cigar is celebrating a 95th anniversary and is offering a special smoke developed by E.P. Carillo in honor of the occasion. 

Korean Grocery: It’s pretty inconspicuous from the road, just any other Korean-American convenience store, but inside Go Food Basket in Concord is a fantastic taste of Korea with cuisine staples for you to experiment with in your own cooking and a variety of prepared dishes (like gim-bap rolls, bul-go-gi and real kimchee) all made with authentic flair using locally sourced ingredients from NH farms.

Local Leather Goods: From an on-site barber and straight-razor shave shop to a meticulously curated selection of clothing, accessories, kitchen supplies and motorcycle gear, Papa Wolf Supply Co. in Portsmouth’s West End has everything you need to live and look like a suave modern biker. Don’t miss their gorgeous leather goods, like their wallet collaborations with Massachusetts designer Benjamin Bott.

Mopeds: Small displacement motor bikes have become a big deal for people who want to get around but keep a small carbon footprint. And at Port City Mopeds in Portsmouth, the range of choices for purchase or rental guarantees a rider can find a mechanical soul mate with real style to match the great fuel economy. A look at the Janus Halcyon 50 Deluxe will dispel any notions that you need more than a 50 cubic centimeters to make some noise.

New Beer Store: As New Hampshire’s love for craft beer grows, more specialty beer stores are appearing to meet our thirst demands. Prost Specialty Beer & Wine in North Hampton is a welcome addition with an outstanding selection and a knowledgeable, friendly staff who will help you find your new favorite beer (or wine) without making you feel like an outsider. In other words, no snobbery here — just good beer.

Picturesque Country Antique Shop: When shopping for items of the past, there’s something fitting about choosing Twin Elm Farm in Peterborough. Housed in an 1800s-era farmhouse, this charming antiques store is a step back into New Hampshire’s history. With items from more than 30 dealers, it’s about more than just atmosphere — antiques lovers and newcomers alike will love the ever-changing selection of furniture, homegoods, accessories and more.

Poster Shop: If you want to have the coolest-looking home on the block — nay, in the whole town — look no further than Brainstorm Prints & Goods. Husband and wife team Briana Feola and Jason Snyder design and sell so-chic-it-hurts posters from their Dover studio and shop. Their designs are often inspired by nature and geography, and the inventory changes regularly so you can decorate with a Brainstorm print for any season. Need an example of their work? They just so happened to design this magazine’s cover.

Quirky Antique Shop: If the name doesn’t clue you in — Boomerang Used Furniture & Funky Stuff — then let us be clear: this is not your usual antiques shop. Step into this Plymouth store to find that thing you never knew you needed or wanted. In addition to furniture and your more usual antique goods, you might fall in love with  a multi-color air vent, iron water pump, actual boomerangs, pink poodle jewelry box, a hanging washtub light and more oddities and curiosities waiting for just the right person to happen along.

Reproduction Furniture: At D.R.Dimes American Furniture in Northwood, the tradition of fine American furniture making is alive and well. The selection of 18th-century reproduction furniture is made right there in the workshop and is sure to last generations. Originally a Windsor chair maker, over the years D.R. Dimes has expanded to include cupboards, dining tables, sideboards and more.

Vintage Furniture: Just The Thing! in Dover is aptly named — chances are this is the place where you’ll find the exact piece of vintage furniture you’ve been looking for. If you spy something on the shop’s Facebook page, then snap it up — things don’t tend to stick around long. Or stop in and browse among items such as the set of early theatre seats, an antique red church pew from Saint Mary’s in Dover, Provincial double-sided coffee table, vintage desk, mid-century tripod table and so much more.

Wish Fulfillment: After years of only doing business in Nashua, Whole Foods Market finally expanded their Granite State holdings this year with their new store in Bedford — much to the delight of everyone in Greater Manchester. The luxurious new store has a juice and smoothie bar, coffee bar and café and hosts regular community events like tasting nights, local maker meet and greets, and yoga classes. Namaste, indeed.

Zany Goods: Off Piste is a fitting name for this funky downtown Portsmouth shop. The term refers to going off trail while skiing or boarding, but it also means doing the unexpected. It’s definitely the unexpected — and fun-yet-functional, clever and just a bit edgy — that you’ll find here. For those with a literary sense of humor, try the “I Love Big Books and Cannot Lie” tote. For the adult coloring book enthusiast, consider the heavy metal or “Star Wars” versions. Those with a soft spot for satire will enjoy the “Portlandia Activity Book” (put a bird on it project included), and pretty much anyone with a sense of humor will find at least three things to buy within minutes.

Categories: Best of NH Winners