If you’re anything like me, then you need a cup of joe to kick start your day. Yeah, my Keurig works just fine, but is it so wrong to want coffee made with fresh grounds and foamy milk? Latte art never hurts to look at either. I’ve been searching the area surrounding UNH for the best cup of coffee, and I’ve narrowed it down to seven of my favorite spots. Hop on the UNH Transit and try them for yourself to see which makes it to the top of your list.
1. Crackskull’s Coffee and Books – Newmarket, NH
Crackskull’s is a cool combination of a coffee shop, a used bookstore and a local art gallery. It’s a pretty awesome place to explore because you’ll always find something new whenever you stop by. After you grab a cup of tasty (but very well priced) coffee, browse the aisles or admire the wall-mounted art. They always have a flavor of the day, so try that if you’re bored of your regular order. Word on the street is that their caramel spiced cider is a must try as well. It’s a great place to study if you need a change of scenery, and if you end up staying a while, no one will judge you if you get a few refills…or ten.
2. Profile Coffee Bar – Portsmouth, NH
Spending the day in downtown Portsmouth? Skip the Starbucks run and come here instead. Profile is a sleek and modern cafe, with a perfect natural hint from the wood plank tables. They offer adult coffee beverages, so if you’re of age that’s a must have. Why not try a nice mudslide in lieu of an iced regular? Otherwise, get a latte because their latte art never disappoints. Their espresso drinks are made with ristretto, which is basically a smaller shot of espresso using the same amount of coffee grounds, but less water. Many regard it as the perfect shot of espresso, so it’s definitely worth a try.
3. Adelle’s Coffee House – Dover, NH
If you’re just a hipster looking for your dream coffee shop, then Adelle’s is your place. This quirky coffee spot is all about the community vibes. There is plenty of cozy seating, their coffee and tea are from the New Hampshire seacoast area, and they also sell locally made art. Every Friday night Adelle’s hosts game night, so be sure to bring your Scrabble set and your game face. If that’s not enough reason to drop in, they have cold brewed iced coffee, which can be hard to come by. Not in the mood for iced coffee? A couple of other favorites are their frozen flavored chai and Irish cream latte. You can also ask for your drink in a mason jar, which is pretty awesome.
#SpoonTip: Ask for their flavored whipped cream on your drink. It’s to die for.
4. White Heron Tea and Coffee – Portsmouth, NH
White Heron is that place you go to catch up with an old friend and accidentally stay for hours. The white walls, vaulted ceilings, and wood beams make for a subtly stunning interior. Make sure you go hungry because you won’t be able to resist one of their USDA certified organic soups, salads, or sandwiches to go with your beverage. They have a pretty insane variety of coffee and tea, so your wish is basically the barista’s command. You really can’t go wrong, but the café mocha and chai tea are a couple favorites. If you don’t have time to stay for a bit, you can place an order online and they’ll have it ready for you to pick up in 20 minutes. Totally convenient way to get your fix.
5. Flight Coffee Co. – Dover, NH
This rustic, yet warm and homey spot is for true coffee connoisseurs. Flight is a premium coffee shop that values fair trade and quality of product and service. You know you’re getting a cup of caffeinated excellence every time you walk through the doors. Their brewing methods include French Press, Aeropress, Siphon, Hario V60, Eva Solo, Clever Dripper, Beehouse, and Chemex. On top of that, they have a pour over bar. If you don’t know what any of that means (like me), not to worry. The baristas will be happy to answer any questions and their recommendation is always best, as they’re incredibly knowledgeable about the products. They have simple espressos and lattes as well, but it’s always nice to have options. A visit is definitely worth your while.
6. The Coffee Station – Newmarket, NH
The Coffee Station isn’t exactly a coffee shop, but more of a drive thru coffee shack. It’s the hidden gem of Newmarket because if you blink, you’ll probably miss it. Some also refer to it as the Crack Shack, which is rather fitting because once you try their coffee you won’t be able to stay away. It’s that addictive. Their coffee flavors change daily, but some of the best include hazelnut, cookie butter, French toast, carrot cake, and caramel vanilla. They often have “happy hour” when you can get a discount on your drink, and to stay updated just visit their twitter page. The Coffee Station is exciting to stop by because you never know what you’re gonna get.
7. Lil’s Cafe – Kittery, ME
Okay, so you might have to leave the state to find this one, but don’t worry; it’s only about 25 minutes down the road, and it’s well worth the drive. This café is adorable, and the atmosphere is so welcoming that you’ll wish your lunch break was just a little longer. Aside from their killer coffee, Lil’s is famous for their crullers (AKA delicious deep fried donuts smothered in a glorious, sticky glaze). When you’re done stuffing your mouth with heavenly bites of fried goodness, check out their vinyl vault. And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a vault filled with vinyl records. Pretty cool.