Best of NH 2023 Desserts, Ice Cream Stands, Coffee & Bakeries

Craving something sweet? Maybe a big scoop of creamy ice cream or a delicious French pastry? Here's where to indulge your sweet tooth, from baked goods to shaved ice, plus where to find coffee to wash it all down.

Editor’s Picks

Boutique Bakery 

Mystic Sugar Bakery Enhanced SrCakes, macarons, monster cookies and jumbo cupcakes? Don’t mind if we do. Christy Skinner creates Mystic Sugar Bakery masterpieces at her North Conway shop where you can delight in enchanted forest décor while sampling a variety of fairy-tale-inspired treats. Unique cupcake flavors like Enchanted Forest, a chocolate-filled cake with tart sweet cherries, vanilla buttercream and dark chocolate ganache, and cookie flavors like campfire s’mores and peanut butter and jelly are Hansel and Gretel-like breadcrumbs leading you back for more.

Old Country Coffee Haus 

Kaffee VonsollnKaffee Vonsolln, an Old World German-style café located on Daniel Street in Portsmouth since 2011, serves fresh roasted coffee from around the globe and is the sole coffee roaster left in downtown Portsmouth. The café’s ambiance and décor transport patrons to a streetside coffee house in Berlin or Munich as they enjoy fine pastries like German strudels and Bienenstiches. The café also has outdoor dining and sliding glass windows that allow patrons to enjoy the fresh air during the warmer months. A woman-owned café purchased in 2016 by a mom-dad-and-daughter team, Vonsolln enjoys a great local and national following with people all over the country ordering their esteemed beans.

French Pastries Patisserie In MerrimackAlexandre Waddell, the chef and owner of Crémeux French Patisserie in Merrimack, brings a full knowledge and experience of learning his craft in Paris to New Hampshire. While there are plenty of cafés that serve pastries and sweets, Céemeux takes it’s a step further thanks to its owner. Besides macarons, eclairs and croissants, patrons can enjoy specialty items such as Verrine Tropicale and Tarte Tatin, fresh baked French breads and delightful Viennoiserie coupled with authentic French gourmet coffees and teas in a cozy café setting. Don’t forget about their selection of Belgium chocolates, which Waddell calls “the best in the world.”

Shaved Ice

Peaks Food TruckIn our state’s fast-growing food truck community, PEAKS Food Truck offers something special: REAL shaved ice. Unlike the crushed ice “snow cone” version, authentic Hawaiian shaved ice creates softer, flakier textures to deliver flavor to tastebuds with maximum impact. PEAKS hand-cranks their own ice and makes syrups from local fruits, honey and maple syrup. They also offer a variety of international “street foods” (like Filipino lumpia, bao buns, Korean fried chicken, falafel wraps and chicken tikka naan) scratch-made with local ingredients. Find them at Wolfeboro’s weekly (and excellent) farmers market, where they’re consummate regulars.

Super-Cool Candy

Freeze dried candy is basically just candy with its extra moisture removed, enhancing its sweetness and flavors and giving it a lighter crunch. But why read about it when you can sample it yourself? Granite State Freeze Dried Candy operates a family-owned production facility in Manchester and is known for good customer service (a lot of their orders are for gifts). Their business plan took flight when owner Ed Wachenfeld started sharing his candy obsession on TikTok. Ed’s energy and the colorful array of treats were irresistible. Soon orders were flying in for freeze-dried gummie worms, jelly beans, Jolly Ranchers and such.


Readers’ Poll Winners


Overall winner
Bearded Baking Co.

Overall winner Multilocation Regional
Frederick’s Pastries
Amherst & Bedford

Bakery Concord Area
The Crust & Crumb Baking Co.

Bakery Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region
Blue Loon Bakery
New London

Bakery Great North Woods Region
Polish Princess Bakery

Bakery Lakes Region
Basic Ingredients

Bakery Manchester Area
Black Forest Café & Bakery

Bakery Monadnock Region
Eat More Cake

Bakery Nashua Area
Buckley’s Bakery & Café

Bakery Salem Area
Klemm’s Bakery

Bakery Seacoast Region
Harvey’s Bakery & Coffee Shop

Bakery White Mountains Region
Leavitt’s Country Bakery


Coffee Roaster

Blue Harbor Coffee Co.

Coffee Roaster Multilocation Local
A&E Coffee & Tea



Coffee Shop 

Overall winner
Blue Harbor Coffee Co.

Coffee Shop Concord Area
Revelstoke Coffee


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


Coffee Shop Great North Woods Region
The Granite Grind


Coffee Shop Lakes Region
Wayfarer Coffee Roasters


Coffee Shop Manchester Area
O’Shea’s Caife & Tae


Coffee Shop Monadnock Region
Union Coffee Company


Coffee Shop Nashua Area
Riverwalk Bakery & Café


Coffee Shop Salem Area
Farmhouse Roasters


Coffee Shop Seacoast Region
Caffe Kilim


Coffee Shop White Mountains Region
Metropolitan Coffee House

North Conway


Ice Cream 

Overall winner Lago’s Ice Cream

Ice Cream Concord Area
Johnson’s Dairy Bar

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
Moo’s Place Homemade Ice Cream

Ice Cream Monadnock Region
Walpole Creamery

Ice Cream Monadnock Region Multilocation Regional
Kimball Farm


Ice Cream Nashua Area
The Big 1 Ice Cream Stand


Ice Cream Nashua Area Multilocation Local
Hayward’s Ice Cream


Ice Cream Salem Area
Jay Gee’s Ice Cream


Ice Cream Seacoast Region
Annabelle’s Natural Ice Cream


Ice Cream Seacoast Region Multilocation local
The Beach Plum

North Hampton and Portsmouth

Ice Cream White Mountains Region
Super Secret Ice Cream




Jacques Fine European Pastries

Cakes Multilocation Regional
Frederick’s Pastries

Amherst and Bedford



Van Otis



Queen City Cupcakes

Categories: Best of NH Winners