Whoa! Loosen your belts, folks. We decided to explore places in the Upper Valley where you can stop in for a sweet treat now and again, and the results were delightfully overwhelming.
We lost count at more than 20 independent bakeries, cafes, restaurants, and coffee shops serving everything from apple cider doughnuts to baked Alaska.
That’s a lot of sweets! And as Mae West famously said: “Too much of a good thing is wonderful.” Feel free to dig in at one of these five sweet spots.
- King Arthur Flour, on Route 5 in Norwich, Vermont, makes so many different types of bread their online shopping site offers ways to narrow down your search so you can find exactly what you’re in the mood for. You can shop by type—sourdough or challah—or by what’s available each day of the week—oatmeal cinnamon swirl every Sunday, for example. And they are member of the Local First Alliance, just like we are, so you can stop in at the shop seven days a week, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Head to the Pleasant Lake Cheesecake Company, at the Scytheville Row Shopping Center, in New London, New Hampshire. Cheesecakes come in three sizes—2 inch mini, 6 inch, and 9 inch. Get a taste of “cheesecake bliss—almond coconut crunch, chocolate hazelnut, crème brûlèe, peppermint bark—and you’ll never go back to store-bought, prepackaged cheesecakes again. The bakery is open Tuesday through Saturday, on Newport Road, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- The emphasis at Piecemeal Pies, in downtown White River Junction, Vermont, is more on the savory than the sweet. The bakery is modeled after British pie shops, offering hearty meat pies such as rabbit and bacon, beef and mushroom, and smoked trout and fennel. But veggie pies are on the menu, too, as are sweet pies and handy “hand” pies to walk out the door with. Hours of operation at Piecemeal Pies are unusual. Stop in for brunch on Friday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday are set aside for pre-order and pick-up only.
- There’s only one shop in the Upper Valley dedicated to cupcakes, and that’s Dazzle, located on Hanover Street, in Lebanon, New Hampshire. This small shop is cute as a button, as are the cupcakes, ranging in flavors from margarita—vanilla cake soaked in tequila and lime juice—to caramel macchiato. The bakery recently added mini pies to the menu. They’re pretty darned cute—and tasty too! Stop in Tuesday, noon to 5 p.m., or Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, a graduation, a promotion, or a wedding, Lou’s Restaurant on Main Street, in Hanover, New Hampshire, can make a cake for the occasion. Cake flavors include red velvet, carrot, and peanut butter fudge, and they think of all the little things that you might forget, too. You don’t have to run to the store for candles and paper products. Lou’s can fix you up so you walk out the door with everything you need. The bakery at Lou’s is open 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.