Did you know that if every New Hampshire resident spent just $5 a week on local foods an additional $358 million would be injected into the State’s economy? The North Country is home to many farm and food producers and businesses serving up local foods. Whether you are looking for good eats for your family, or to serve up to your customers, there is likely something local just around the corner — like berries, vegetables, local meats, maple syrup, or even local wines and brews.
Don’t know how to get your hands on local foods? If you are a restaurant or institutions wanting to buy fresh, local foods straight from the farm, check out the North Country Farmers Cooperative. This is a group of 30+ farms aggregating product through an online portal and delivering weekly to your door. One invoice and one delivery simplify logistics for your business.
Looking for food on a smaller scale? Check out the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture’s website for links to local Community Supported Agriculture programs, farm stands, Pick-Your-Own’s, Farmers Markets, and wine, cheese, chocolate and ice cream trails.
Want to know the best places to visit for local foods and great dining this month? Check out our highlights below.
Purveyors of Local Foods
Chances are if you’ve shopped at the Farmer’s Market in Littleton (Sundays, 10-1) or Lancaster (Saturdays, 9-noon) this summer, you’re familiar with the wonderful vegetables and meats grown at Meadowstone Farm. Meadowstone also operates a Farm Stand year-round at its farm in Bethlehem, where you’ll find eggs, chicken, pork, goat cheese and seasonal vegetables. Additionally, during the growing season you can find the farm’s veggies and meat for sale at the Littleton Co-op and The Healthy Rhino. Headed out for a restaurant meal? Look for Meadowstone’s produce and goat cheese used in items on the menus at Libby’s Bistro in Gorham; Cold Mountain Café, Maia Papaya, and Rosa Flamingos in Bethlehem; and The Beal House, and Shillings.
The historic Rocks Estate in Bethlehem is a fave destination year round. Stroll around the property and drink in the amazing views, visit the Christmas tree farm this fall where you can cut your own, and come for the NH Maple Experience on March weekends, with tours, tastings and more. And, you’ll never run out of that sweet pancake topper because you can order their delicious New Hampshire maple syrup and other maple products directly from the online store.
Stop by the country store at family-owned Fuller’s Sugarhouse in Lancaster for your choice of pure New Hampshire maple syrup in all its forms — the different grades of syrup are packaged in beautiful glass bottles or the more traditional jugs, and their maple candy, maple cream (butter), and maple sugar are all made-on-the-premises, and oh so sweet! If you can’t make it into the store, you’ll be happy to know that Fuller’s ships its products worldwide.
At almost the tip-top of the state, the New Earth Organic Farm at the Cite Ecologique of NH Ecovillage in Colebrook benefits from its southern exposure, which gives veggies a head-start in this cold northern climate. The farm sells its eggs, herbs and vegetables at local markets and to restaurants through the North Country Farmers Co-op.
Delicious Dining Experiences
(These restaurants and cafes tap local food sources when possible. All are noted for preparing excellent food using the freshest ingredients.)
The Appalachian Mountain Club’s Highland Center is an outdoor education center and four-season lodge nestled into the dramatic landscape at the head of Crawford Notch, and makes a perfect home base for hiking the many nearby trails in the White Mountains. Accommodations range from private rooms with private baths to lodge bunk rooms with shared baths. The dining hall serves breakfast, lunch and dinner for lodge guests, through hikers, outdoor recreational enthusiasts and members of the public. The kitchen sources many of its menu ingredients locally and regionally and aims to continually expand its local offerings. As many fruits and vegetables as possible during the summer months are sourced from local farmers through Vermont’s Black River Produce. Some of the local/regional products in stock year-round include: Hatchland Farm Milk (NH), Cabot Cheese and butter (VT), Stonyfield Yogurt (NH), Blue Moon Sorbet (VT), Walpole Ice Cream (NH), Gifford’s Ice Cream (ME), Little Leaf Farm lettuce (MA), Backyard Farms tomatoes (ME), Aroostook County potatoes and flour (ME) and Grandy Oats Granola & Oatmeal (ME).
Libby’s Bistro & SAaLT Pub in Gorham is located in an old bank building, but there is nothing old-fashioned about the foods that Chef Liz Jackson, her husband Steve, and dedicated staff serve in the Bistro & Pub. Liz has been a pioneer in the Farm to Table movement and sources much of her ever evolving and eclectic menu from local farms and farmers, including the North Country Farmers Coop; Meadowstone Farm in Bethlehem (seasonal veggies, goat cheese and eggs); Prospect Farm in Lunenburg, VT (grass-fed heritage breed pigs and poultry); Moriah Valley Farm in Shelburne (sumptuous tomatoes); Wood Fire Farm & Gardens in Bethlehem (wild mushrooms, fiddleheads and ramps); Boothman Sugar Orchard and Scarinza’s Sugar House, both in Randolph (small batch maple syrup); Merrily’s Homemade Joys in Gorham (local eggs); Good Vibes Coffee in North Conway (custom-blended Italian style coffee); and Middle Intervale Farm in Bethel, ME (beef, pork, potatoes, corn and winter squash).
The elegant Mt. View Grand Resort & Spa in Whitefield is noted for its comfortable accommodations, spectacular views, and plentiful activities. What you might not know is that the Resort has a close relationship with many local farms, and almost all of its produce, cooking ingredients — like maple syrup — and products come from nearby farms. Resort dining includes the casual Harvest Tavern where guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner; fine dining in the 1865 Wine Cellar, where the menu is paired with selections from the Resort’s extensive wine cellar; the Club House where classic summer favorites hit the spot after a round of golf or other outdoor activity; and the Veranda, when your appetite calls for a refreshing drink or a cup of tea and a light snack.
Drop by the White Mountain Café & Bookstore in Gorham for a cup of Fair Trade coffee from Manchester-based Java Tree coffee roasters and a home-baked goodie, or choose from an array of sandwich specials and soups. The relaxed atmosphere features comfortable seating indoors and out, a collection of rotating artwork by local artists, and the adjacent bookstore with a nicely curated selection of books and a fun kids’ section. Check out the Good Karma board (it’s all about thankfulness and paying it forward).
The historic Omni Mount Washington Resort is a spectacular destination with 200 guest rooms and suites, a luxurious spa, 18-hole Donald Ross-designed golf course, zip line tours and numerous other resort activities like hiking, fishing, and horseback riding. The Resort’s dining experiences are crafted to appeal to a variety of tastes, and rely on fresh, locally and regionally sourced produce, meats and seafood — foods to delight every palate. Step into the graceful and stylish main dining room for breakfast and dinner; the Prohibition-era Cave for nightly entertainment and a full bar; Stickney’s Steak & Chop Pub for lunch or dinner; the Rosebrook Bar where servers whip up a mean afternoon cocktail and light fare; and the elegant Princess Room where staff stand ready to provide cocktails before dinner or Afternoon Tea on Friday and Saturday afternoons.
A visit to Le Rendez Vous French Bakery in Colebrook will give you a taste of an authentic Parisian café, without taking a trip overseas. The delightful bakery and café is owned and operated by certified bakers Marc Ounis and Verlaine Daeron, who came direct from Paris to open their North Country business. Enjoy authentic French pastries (croissants, Madeleines, and macaroons), hearty breads (French baguettes, whole wheat, walnut, dark rye, cinnamon raisin and many more), yummy Belgian chocolates, and other goodies with your coffee in the comfortable café and bakery, or order something to take home. Marc and Verlaine bake their breads and pastries daily using only premium baking ingredients.
The Polish Princess Bakery & Café on Lancaster’s Main Street is a great place to stop for a morning cup of coffee accompanied by one of the bakery’s sweets, or a delightful destination for lunch — try the gourmet pizza or a slice of quiche. And it’s difficult to leave without taking home a loaf of freshly baked bread. Owner Magdalena Russell uses only the best ingredients — unbleached, un-bromated flours and freshly ground whole grain flours from local mills — in her baguettes, French breads, hearty ryes, sourdoughs, and a variety of other loaves and pastries.
Enjoy intimate fireside dining and graceful accommodations at the historic and romantic Adair Country Inn and Restaurant in Bethlehem, where rooms are named for the mountains in the nearby Presidential Range of the White Mountains and the expansive gardens, designed by the Olmstead Brothers, offer year-round interest. The Adair’s carefully designed menu incorporates foods from nearby and regional producers, including eggs from Bear Mountain Farm in Littleton, bacon and sausage from North Country Smokehouse in Claremont, seasonal vegetables from Mann’s Hill Farm in Littleton, mushrooms from Wood Fire Farm & Gardens in Bethlehem (wild mushrooms, fiddleheads and ramps), along with market fresh seafood, free range poultry and choice beef.
The Moose Muck Coffee House in Colebrook derives its name from the mucky, boggy places where moose tend to congregate and munch on the vegetation. The café offers a similar socializing atmosphere, where visitors and locals can come together to eat, drink and mingle. All of the sandwiches, soups and salads are made to order using fresh ingredients, the pastries are home-baked, and the coffee is New Hampshire-roasted.
The Rainbow Grille & Tavern at Tall Timber Lodge in Pittsburg has earned accolades from Field & Stream as “a truly excellent restaurant,” The Boston Sunday Globe has called it “ The area’s standout dining,” and Yankee Magazine’s Travel Issue gave it an “Editor’s Choice” award. The exceptional Grille menu includes specialty game meats such as bison, elk and venison, fresh Maine seafood, organic poultry, and prime Texan Wagyu beef. Casual fare in the Tavern features appetizers, salads, sandwiches, ribs, meatloaf and hearth-baked pizzas, a great selection of micro-brewed draft beer, craft beer, wines, and specialty jumbo martinis.
For over 60 years, the Town & Country Inn & Resort in Shelburne, has been providing exceptional North Country hospitality to its guests. Amenities include 160 rooms, a dining room seating 180 guests, four banquet rooms, a lounge featuring live entertainment on weekends, an indoor heated pool, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and a full health club facility. The resort serves breakfast and dinner daily and lunch on Sundays, and the dining room is open to the public. The Town & Country is famous for serving “the best prime rib ever,” and its extensive menu features favorite foods, along with delicious specials.
The family-owned Northland Restaurant & Dairy Bar in Berlin has been a community destination for more than 50 years. Situated on the banks of the Androscoggin River, the restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere, extensive menu, and hearty home-cooked food. All of the food is prepared daily with the freshest ingredients, with nothing pre-cooked or pre-breaded. The Northland is noted for its pies, so be sure to leave room for dessert. Try a slice of your favorite — and top it with some homemade ice cream.
A popular breakfast spot, The Waterwheel Breakfast and Gift House in Jefferson is noted for fluffy pancakes as big as your plate, smothered in pure maple syrup, crispy bacon, eggs cooked the way you like them, savory French toast, and Belgian waffles topped with fresh whipped cream. The lunch selection includes comfort foods like Philly steak and cheese subs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, hot dogs, and homemade chicken salad. Save room for the homemade fudge!