Best of NH 2019 Desserts, Ice Cream Stands, Coffee & Bakeries

Get your caffeine fix at a cool new Concord coffee shop, treat the kids (and yourself) to decadent ice cream, indulge with delicate macarons or pick up some locally made artisanal chocolate.

Treat yourself to lavender tea and macarons at Sweets by Coolwoka in Exeter, one of this year’s Editor’s Picks. Photo by Emily Hedit

Editor’s Picks

Cool Coffee Shop: Revelstoke in Concord has a modern, cozy, welcoming vibe. It’s named for the small town of Revelstoke in Canada, which the founders wound up in during a roadtrip through Banff national park. Revel, to enjoy oneself, and stoke, consuming for energy, seemed like a good fit. And it is. But no one would hang out here, no matter how cool, unless there was good coffee. From the basic cup to more elaborate drinks, everything is excellent. Looking for something new? Try the Ipsento, a hot latte with local honey, milk, coconut cream and cayenne.


Ice Cream “Flight”: The family-run Jordan’s Ice Creamery in Belmont has been making kids and adults happy for more than 25 years. With 150 flavors of homemade ice cream from which to choose, narrowing down the options can be a bit daunting. Can’t decide between caramel crunch, cookie dough, chocolate habanero or coffee heath bar? Try them all by ordering the paddle — a kind of ice cream flight — with four samples. Other items include frozen yogurt, sugar-free options, cakes, pies and their homemade waffle cones.


Macarons: Created to celebrate community, creativity and culture, Sweets by Coolwoka in Exeter has it all — exposed brick walls, natural lighting, marble tables, twinkly lights, rose sugars for your tea — plus macarons that will make you feel like you just stepped into a scene from “Downton Abbey.” Pick from seasonal macaron flavors like vanilla bean, meyer lemon and New Hampshire blueberry pancake while you treat yourself to lavender tea. If you have no room for your dessert’s dessert, take a flourless chocolate cake or Belgian waffle home to enjoy later.


Maple Bacon Donut: The yeast-raised donuts only appear in the Local Moose Café case on weekends, and they sell out quickly. Selections vary, and can include maple frosting with bacon to vanilla with pistachios to strawberry and sprinkles — all just the ticket after enjoying a healthful smoothie, farm-to-café sandwich or Vietnamese iced coffee at this Manchester breakfast and lunch hot spot.


Pastries: What’s better than decadent pastries? The answer — decadent pastries, too pretty to eat. Get an eyeful at the Crumb Bar in Littleton. Each selection in the case seems to be screaming, “Pick me!” And how to choose from a dark chocolate fudge/espresso blackout cake, giant carnival chocolate chip cookies, duck fat angel biscuits, poached pear pop tarts or coconutella crullers? Whew. Stop in here for a magical day.


Rustic Bread: Oklahoma City’s loss is Keene’s gain. A few years ago, career-changers Sam Temple and Bridget Love headed back to their Monadnock roots, bringing along their rustic bread recipes featuring long fermentations, fresh-milled heirloom grains and toothsome crusty exteriors. After showcasing at the local farmers market, they opened Fire Dog Breads this past December. Find seed-studded baguettes, pain au levin with a dark mahogany crust, wheat, spelt and buckwheat walnut loaf, earthy sourdoughs, a bougnat embedded with leeks or olives and a delicate golden semolina scented with saffron and honey. Selections vary day to day, as this is a family operation. For lunch, find by-the-slice pizza featuring potatoes and white truffle or roasted cauliflower with currants and ham. Their crusty bread is the high spot for sandwiches with imported cheeses or a bánh mì. Ogle the eye-popping display of divine pastries including pistachio chocolate and almond and cherry chocolate croissants. Breads can also be found at the Monadnock Food Co-op and Nature’s Green Grocer.


Small Batch Chocolate: Chocolate is chocolate, right? Not at all, according to the folks at Loon Chocolate. Based in Manchester, they are bean-to-bar specialty chocolate makers who want you to realize how wide the world of chocolate really is. They only work with ethical traders who import cacao beans from small-farm organic growers. They then hand-sort, roast, shell and grind the beans, blending them with organic turbinado sugar and cocoa butter. The results are delicious specialty chocolate bars, each with its own unique flavor representing a different part of the globe.

Readers’ Poll Winners

Bakery – Overall
Harvey’s Bakery and Coffee Shop
Dover

Bakery – Overall
Multilocation Local    
Frederick’s Pastries
Amherst, Bedford and North Andover, Mass.

Bakery – Concord Area
Bread & Chocolate
Concord
(603) 228-3330

Bakery – Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region
Blue Loon Bakery
New London

Bakery – Great North Woods Region
Polish Princess Bakery
Lancaster

Bakery – Lakes Region
Yum Yum Shop
Wolfeboro

Bakery – Manchester Area
Michelle’s Gourmet Pastries & Deli
Manchester

Bakery – Monadnock Region
The Bread Shed
Keene

Bakery – Nashua Area
Buckley’s Bakery & Café
Merrimack and Hollis

Bakery – Salem Area
Klemm’s Bakery
Windham

Bakery – Seacoast Region
Popovers on the Square
Epping and Portsmouth

Bakery – White Mountains Region
Leavitt’s Country Bakery
Conway

Cakes
Jacques Fine European Pastries
Suncook

Cakes
Multilocation Regional
Frederick’s Pastries
Amherst, Bedford and North Andover, Mass.

Chocolatier
Van Otis Chocolates
Manchester

Coffee Roaster
Wayfarer Coffee Roaster
Laconia

Coffee Roaster
Multilocation Local
A&E Coffee & Tea
Amherst, Manchester and Goffstown

Coffee Shop Overall
Wayfarer Coffee Roaster
Laconia

Coffee Shop Overall
Multilocation Local
A&E Coffee & Tea
Amherst, Manchester and Goffstown

Coffee Shop – Concord Area
True Brew Barista
Concord

Coffee Shop – Concord Area
Multilocation Regional
Aroma Joe’s
Multiple Locations

Coffee Shop – Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region
Lucky’s Coffee Garage
Lebanon

Coffee Shop – Great North Woods Region
Polish Princess Bakery
Lancaster

Coffee Shop – Lakes Region
Wayfarer Coffee Roasters
Laconia

Coffee Shop – Lakes Region
Multilocation Regional
Aroma Joe’s
Multiple Locations

Coffee Shop – Manchester Area
Café La Reine
Manchester

Coffee Shop – Manchester Area
Multilocation Regional
Aroma Joe’s
Multiple Locations

Coffee Shop – Monadnock Region
Union Coffee Company
Milford

Coffee Shop – Nashua Area
Riverwalk Café & Music Bar
Nashua

Coffee Shop – Salem Area
The Grind Rail Trail Café
Derry

Coffee Shop – Seacoast Region
Flight Coffee Co.
Dover and Bedford

Coffee Shop – White Mountains Region
Metropolitan Coffee House
North Conway

Cupcakes
Queen City Cupcakes
Manchester

Doughnuts
Donut Love
North Hampton

Ice Cream Shop – Overall
Hayward’s Ice Cream
Nashua

Ice Cream Shop – Concord Area
Arnie’s Place
Concord

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

Ice Cream Shop – Great North Woods Region
Moose Alley Cones
Pittsburg

Ice Cream Shop – Lakes Region
Jordan’s Ice Creamery
Belmont

Ice Cream Shop – Manchester Area
Puritan Backroom Restaurant
Manchester

Ice Cream Shop – Monadnock Region    
The Walpole Creamery
Walpole and Keene

Ice Cream Shop – Monadnock Region
Multi-location Regional    
Kimball Farm
Jaffrey and Mass. Locations

Ice Cream Shop – Nashua Area
The Big 1 Ice Cream Stand
Nashua

Ice Cream Shop – Salem Area
Moo’s Place Homemade Ice Cream
Derry

Ice Cream Shop – Seacoast Region    
Lago’s Ice Cream
Rye

Ice Cream – White Mountains Region
Bishops Homemade Ice Cream
Littleton

Pastries
Popovers on the Square
Epping and Portsmouth

Pastries
Multilocation Regional    
Frederick’s Pastries
Amherst, Bedford and North Andover, Mass.

Pies
Harvey’s Bakery and Coffee Shop
Dover

Pies
Multilocation Local    
Red Arrow 24 Hr Diner
Multiple Locations

Categories: Best of NH Winners

Comments

comments