A guide to living local in New Hampshire

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Food & Dining

We like to know where our food comes from. Join us and eat local. We profile chefs, restaurants, grocers, growers, and markets.

Board Game Bonding

Imagine the coolest birthday party ever with thousands of games, great eats, creative cocktails and copious coffee drinks. That’s what it’s like all the time at Boards and Brews on Elm Street in Manchester.

The café is the first of its kind in the state. It has a full-service restaurant, full-service cocktail and coffee bar and literally thousands of board games available to anyone who walks through the door. Read more >>>

XO on Elm Has that Loving Feeling

Restaurateur Rosa Paolini doesn’t just treat her customers like family, she welcomes diners with open arms at XO on Elm in Manchester. XO, of course, is shorthand for hugs and kisses.

“When I was trying to come up with a name for the restaurant, I was talking to a friend on the telephone and before she hung up, she said, ‘hugs and kisses’ and a light went on. It just seemed right,” Paolini said during a break recently.Read more >>>

Cuisine to Entice Every Palate at Blue Moon Evolution

When it comes to organic, locally sourced cuisine, Blue Moon Evolution is the real deal.

The 19th-century structure is tucked behind the historic Gilman Garrison House in downtown Exeter. What awaits you on the other side of a sliding barn door is a warm yet, open gathering place.

The former Once in a Blue Moon Natural Food Market and Café is now one of the area’s premier farm-to-table restaurants. Blue Moon Evolution, as it’s now known, opened in 1995, focusing on all-natural, organic and locally sourced ingredients with a deep respect for creativity, nourishment and the well-being of the planet... Read more >>>

Tapping into Creativity: Maple Shines in Tasty Delights

Maple syrup is more than just a topping for pancakes and waffles. The sweetener first harvested by Native Americans now adds flavor to cocktails, salad dressings, soaps, soft drinks, skin scrubs and a forest of other products that would boggle the mind of the area’s original woodland people.

Granite State Granola uses maple syrup from Babel’s Sugar Shack in Mason and Mapletree Farm in Concord to add an extra pop of flavor to its crunchy concoction.

Pickity Place, the “herb-alicious” hilltop eatery in Mason makes a habanero mix with maple. You can buy the ingredients in their gift shop.

Sugarmomma’s Farm in Northwood makes maple popcorn, maple hot sauce and other unusual treats.

The restaurant at Parker’s Maple Barn in Mason offers a side of maple-baked beans, and if that makes you thirsty, they also concoct a maple frappe that tastes like a creamy, cold shot of spring. But if you’re still trying to warm up, try the frothy Sap House Latte at Umami in Northwood using Deerfield’s Dill Family Farm syrup, or Schoodacs Coffee Shop in Warner makes a maple latte coffee... Read more >>>

Maple Producer Listing

Check out our listing of NH maple producers! Read more >>>

Dining is a Magical Experience at Stages

With a soupçon of faith, a pinch of open-mindedness and a dash of spontaneity, you’re ready for the multi-course, upscale interactive dining experience that is Stages at One Washington in Dover.

Walk into Stages, on the third floor of a renovated mill building, and you’re presented with a piece of paper that’s less a menu and more a list of ingredients – some familiar, some not at all.

The adventure begins. A maximum of nine diners are seated on comfortable high-back stools at a counter table directly facing the kitchen, and the chef, Evan Hennessey.

It’s as if he’s framed in a three-dimensional painting with diffused light reflecting off hanging wine glasses, Mason jars of dried herbs, copper pans, potted herbs and Rube Goldberg-type gadgets – miniature smokers, sous vide tanks, foam canisters. It’s what you might imagine the kitchen at Hogwarts to look like – mysterious and magical... Read more >>>

Boost Your Immune System Naturally

If you’re an adult, chances are you’ll have two to three colds this year – children will have even more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And those colds are the main reason kids will miss school and grownups will call in sick to work.

Colds last an average of seven to 10 days and usually come in the winter and spring although they can be contracted any time of year.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t prevent the onslaught or relieve some of the symptoms – first sore throat and runny nose, then coughing, sneezing, headaches and those oh-so-irksome body aches.

Of course, you need to wash your hands with soap and water often, avoid close contact with sick people and refrain from touching your face. There are over-the-counter medicines to treat these symptoms and many people swear by home, holistic and natural remedies... Read More >>>

Family Atmosphere is Heart & Soul of Firefly American Bistro

During the height of the 2008 recession, sibling restaurateurs Diane Downing and David Becker risked everything to open Firefly American Bistro and Bar.

Everyone said they were crazy.

But how crazy do they seem now? It’s 10 years later and they’re running one of the top restaurants in downtown Manchester.

Both Downing and Becker started working in restaurants when they were teenagers. Downing worked in the front of the house, while Becker’s passion focused on the back. According to them, working with food is addictive, even though they did not come from a culinary family... Read more >>>

Everybody Knows Your Name at City Moose Café

The name seems like an oxymoron for an urban bistro – City Moose – but it’s the perfect moniker for this new, downtown Nashua café.

City Moose Café & Catering is hip and urbane but infused with a relaxed, farm vibe and locally sourced food. That was the intent of owners Jason and Stacy Lamountain, who opened the café this spring. Everything in the café, from the barnboard on the walls (from an old New Hampshire farm) to the food on the table, to the employees and guests, feels cozy and local. Customers sit at long, family-style farm tables... Read more >>>

Attainable Sustainable: 900 Degrees of Green

There is nothing half-baked about 900 Degrees’ commitment to sustainability. The wood-fired Neapolitan pizzerias are as green as the fresh basil leaves on their signature Margherita pies. It’s a win-win for everybody. Great food that’s green guilt-free.

The restaurants use ovens powered by wood, which is a renewable resource. They buy local produce to reduce the pollution inherent in long haul rail and trucking. And they buy organic when possible, which cuts down on the use of chemicals. There are occupancy sensor lights in the restrooms to save electricity... Read more >>>

Creative Thinking Is Key at Revival Kitchen & Bar

When walking around Concord’s architecturally rich downtown, seek out Revival Kitchen & Bar tucked away on the alley-like Depot Street. “We’re called Revival Kitchen because we bring a new-age twist to traditional dishes, our menu caters to those who want to know where their food is coming from and support local farmers...”

Chef Fletcher grew up cooking with his family and working in restaurants after school. Then it was off to culinary school, followed by jobs as the executive chef at... Read more >>>

A Serving of Contemporary Tavern Fare, Hold the Pretention

Wolfe’s Tavern has been serving tourists and townies since 1812, but that’s not to say the menu is set in stone. The burgers, beer and other standard fare are supplemented by lobster tacos, beef cheeks and other more creative dishes, many featuring ingredients from local providers.

The eatery is named for General James Wolfe, the British army officer remembered for his victory over the French in Quebec in 1759. To visit the pub is to enter the 19th century... Read more >>>

Baking and Breaking Bread at Me & Ollie’s

Me & Ollie’s manages to be the perfect third place with an ideal downtown location, good coffee, homemade bread, sandwiches, soups and baked goods, comfortable seats, chill vibe and a place in Exeter’s early-American history.

In fact, if you’re in town to celebrate Exeter’s Independence Festival on July 14, with its historic encampments, re-enactments and a once-a-year viewing of draft copies of the Constitution, Me & Ollie’s is the ideal, historic spot to cool off with an iced tea or smoothie... Read more >>>

Canine Cuisine & Doggie Bags

This is the story of Kiki the Wonder Dog’s great adventure. It may not seem like much to you, but it made her feel like queen for a day.

...We dread looking at her forlorn face when we leave the house – her perpetual “you’re abandoning me” puss. So, on a recent sunny day when we were heading out to lunch at T-Bone’s Great American Eatery in Bedford, we dressed Kiki up in a bright, blue kerchief and took her to what could very well be the most dog-friendly restaurant in the state.

And it was magic... Read more >>>

Restoration Café Doses Out the Cure for Standard Fare

Tom Puskarich is much more than just the chef-owner of Manchester’s Restoration Café.

“We’re mom,” he said, referring to his role as “part concierge, part chef and part mother” to the residents of the apartment building where the café is situated... Read more >>>

Flight Coffee Co. at Cruising Altitude in Downtown Dover

The sandwich board outside Flight Coffee Co. of Dover encourages passersby to “Drink Coffee – Take Over the World.” That sums up the vibe at this Dover establishment, which serves as much a community hangout as a place to grab a great latte... Read more >>>

CodeX Is an Oasis of Chill in a Hectic Modern-Day World

In our Tweet, text and tech lives, it’s no wonder the mystique of a speakeasy with its dim lighting, vintage cocktails and secret entrances is alluring.

It’s as much a dining adventure – a culinary/imbibing experience – as it is a night out of the house. And it’s an experience New Hampshire has embraced wholeheartedly, thanks to Liu Vaine, who started the trend here three years ago when he opened two speakeasies.... Read more >>>

48 Main Café Keeps Vibe Laid-Back and Personal

It’s so nice when a third place – a community gathering spot – also has great food and drink that everyone from vegans and vegetarians, to carnivores and the gluten-sensitive can enjoy.

48 Main Café & Creperie on 48 Main St. in Meredith is one of those places.

A mini art gallery showing the talent of locals serves as decoration on the walls. A comfy coffee bar and a fireplace lends a “Cheers” feeling with a little library... Read more >>>

Raise a Glass, Every Lad and Lass

Everybody is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, that goes without saying. And what better place to observe the occasion than in a pub, the watering hole of choice for real and imagined children of the old sod.

Irish pubs are internationally acclaimed for their camaraderie, hearty food and drink. Traditionally, the church, pub and the local football club were the three main social outlets for people in rural Ireland. The pub was often the next stop following the other two... Read more >>>

Craft Brewers Listing

Click here >>>

Coffee with a side of Nostalgia Served at State’s Diners

While the name originally referred to dining cars on trains, diners now include many unassuming eateries where neighbors congregate and caffeinate in surroundings as comfortable as an old couch.

They are dine-in time capsules to many, who recall Formica tables, long counters, banana cream pies and waitresses who called them “honey.”

Diners are easy to name, but difficult to describe. The earliest were... Read more >>>

Dishing It Out: Grow, Prepare, and Share at Umami 

Any fan of tofu, beef or soy sauce has enjoyed the savory taste called umami – which stands proudly next to the other four basic tastes of sweet, sour, bitter and salty.

The Northwood eatery with the same name, not only specializes in umami flavors but in the basics of fresh, locally sourced food prepared and served in a way that respects the environment. Umami Farm Fresh Café is situated on First New Hampshire Turnpike on what’s known as Antique Alley.

And there’s no better way to refuel for a treasure hunt or... Read more >>>

Moulton’s Market 

Don’t we all wish we had a Moulton’s Market in our town? It’s everything that you’d want and really need if you’re not a fan of fast-food chains, big-box supermarkets and cookie-cutter coffee cafés. It’s a grocery store, restaurant, bakery, caterer and most importantly – a community gathering spot.

Situated in the story-book historic village of Amherst, surrounded by colonial houses, pristine white churches and lush green space, Moulton’s is kind of the only game in town when it comes to food and friends, but really the only game you need... Read more >>>

Giorgio’s Ristorante is All About the People

When you’ve been around restaurants as long as I have, you develop a second sense for what their unique focus is. Some are just about the food, or their microbrews, the latest fad or a particular style or “ethos.” In other words, they’re into themselves.

Giorgio’s Ristorante & Bar is all about people – their customers, especially their regulars. You can see it in the open layout of the rooms, the intelligent yet low-key décor, the concept of both the food and beverage menus and the people-friendly pricing. Most of all you can see it in the smiles of the diners... Read more >>>

A True Brew State of Relaxation

True Brew Barista is a short walk from Main Street in Concord, but miles away from the crowds, traffic and urban angst. With its comfy couches, leather easy chairs, throw rugs and laidback atmosphere, it’s as comfortable as an old pair of shoes and is a gathering place for everyone from poets to politicians and hippies to hipsters.

It’s the kind of place that one could stop by for breakfast in the morning, for lunch in the afternoon and for beer and music at night... Read more >>>

63 Years of Tasty Tradition at Hart’s Turkey Farm

Dining trends may have changed drastically in the last 60 years, but not at Hart’s Turkey Farm in Meredith where the family is obsessively devoted to its original recipes.

“In our family, it’s all about ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’” said Sim Willey, the grandson of Russel Hart Sr., who opened the restaurant with his family in 1954... Read more >>>

At Calef’s, Everyone Knows Who Cut the Cheese

Joel Sherburne is the answer to the timeless question, “Who cut the cheese?”

For 60 years, the quick-witted gentleman with the “aw, shucks” manner has been preparing the cheddar at Calef’s Country Store in Barrington, a Granite State institution that has been providing victuals and necessaries to Granite Staters since Ulysses S. Grant was president.

A raconteur, philosopher and sometimes comedian, Sherburne has been working at Calef’s since 1957... Read more >>>

At Laconia’s Local Eatery, the Ingredients Always Come First

Which came first – the chef or the egg? In the case of Kevin Halligan, owner of the Local Eatery in Laconia, definitely the egg.

“When I was younger I had a fresh, local egg,” Halligan said. “It tasted so good, so fresh. I figured if a local egg could taste that good, what about everything else? Meat, cheese, fish – anything. I could never go back to anything else. I wanted to be a chef that cooked with only fresh, local food.”

And that dream came true. Halligan, 36, a New England Culinary Institute-trained chef, opened the aptly named Local Eatery five years ago in a portion of the town’s former train station. The 1891 structure was built in the Romanesque Revival-style, making for an intimate atmosphere with historic gravitas and unique architectural detail: high ceilings, wooden beams and lots of natural light. Read more >>>

An Herbal Fairy Tale Awaits at Pickity Place

Eating at Pickity Place in Mason is more than just indulging in a five-course meal based on seasonally fresh herbs. It’s a full-out, fairy tale experience.

The eatery is housed in the 230-year-old red cottage Elizabeth Orton Jones used as the model for her iconic 1948 A Little Golden Book version of “Little Red Riding Hood.” It’s owned by Johnson-and-Wales-trained chef Keith Grimes and his wife, Kim, who bought Pickity from the original owners in 2000. Those original owners – the Walters – opened Pickity Place in 1976.

“They grew herbs for a hobby,” said Keith. “People in the area would show up at their house, and they’d make them sandwiches and snacks, and the restaurant grew out of that.” Read more >>>

Robie’s Grows Roots in Community

Joshua and Amber Enright have stepped in and stepped up to keep one of New Hampshire’s oldest and beloved third places going strong.

Last year the couple opened the door to Robie’s Country Store in Hooksett after it was closed for more than a year; a scary prospect given that the building had been a third place for locals and visitors for nearly 200 years. The Enrights had been looking for a venue to open Roots, a new café/catering business, and found Robie’s – a perfect match.

“We’d never seen it before. We had never been here. But as soon as we saw it we knew it was the right fit,” Read more >>>

All or Nothing Freshness at Republic Hooks Seafood Lovers

Those mad for Mediterranean cuisine with a local spin have a pearl in Manchester’s Republic restaurant – especially those who love fresh seafood.

The Elm Street establishment is the dream of chef and owner Edward Aloise and his wife, Claudia Rippee, the restaurant’s baker and an accomplished art photographer.” Read more >>>