Out-of-the-way Coffee Shops in the Upper River Valley (VT/NH)?
February 12, 2012 9:20 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a good coffee shop/hiding spot in the NH/VT Upper River Valley (but not in Hanover/Lebanon/WRJ)?

What I'm looking for is the sort of place where I can linger for a few hours and get some serious reading/writing/grading done on the days where the office and the home offer too many distractions. When I lived in the Pioneer Valley, my go-to was the Montague Book Mill, which was perfect -- just far enough away from the five colleges that I wouldn't bump into many people I knew, and just comfortable enough for me to really get stuff done when I was there.

My criteria:

1. It should be less than an hour's drive from the Hanover area. (I'm happy to go even a little further northward, actually).
2. It shouldn't be in Hanover, Lebanon, or White River Junction. I know all about the Dirt Cowboy, Umpleby's, Rosey Jekes', the Tuckerbox, and the like. But I want a place that's a little further away from the college community.
3. It should be open past 2pm, and (ideally) open on Sundays.
4. It should have tables and decent lighting, so I can work.
5. It'd be a great bonus if they had good loose-leaf teas, too.

I'm happy to drive a little if I can find a nice rural place where I'm unlikely to bump into many people I know from Hanover, and where I can buy a drink every hour and stick around to get work done for decent stretch of time. So, does the place I'm looking for exist? And if so, where is it?
posted by .kobayashi. to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I always love the public library and some of the ones around there allow coffee [Lebanon and Hanover to be sure and hey almost no students and great hours. Hanover even has a fireplace.] That said, a few places that I like that might be good.

1. Breaking Grounds Cafe in Bethel. Excellent for working but I can't find their hours anywhere. I know they're open Sundays. They have great food and coffee and I'm not sure about teas. Great tables, chairs, lighting and wifi. Also next door to the Cockadoodle which has good pizza.
2. King Arthur Flour in Norwich has a good cafe and is open later but I don't know what they're like for extended hangout. Good snacks though.
3. I have not been to any of the places in Bradford but it's a neat little town and it might be worth a peek to check out the Whistle Stop (maybe not open late enough) and Local Buzz.
4. The Four Aces Diner doesn't really meet your timing requirement [open til 3] and might be too busy but it's a great diner that you might not have been to in the area.

But I agree with you, this is a vexing problem. Around here in Randolph [a little too far] we have the Depot and the Three Bean Cafe, both of which are pretty good for this sort of thing [Depot has an upstairs where you can just hang out] but far from perfect.
posted by jessamyn at 10:56 AM on February 12, 2012

Ellie's in New London, NH isn't bad. Fireplace, decent tables, coffee, wifi, and a staff that doesn't mind loitering.
posted by kaszeta at 1:31 PM on February 12, 2012

Now that I think of it, Capitol Grounds in Montpelier as well
posted by kaszeta at 1:32 PM on February 12, 2012

Baba-A-Louis Bakery in Chester, VT is lovely and meets your criteria. Google puts it at a 43min drive.

Moon Dog Café also in Chester would meet your criteria as well - though beware, chock full of hippies. I love it, but it might be a bit busier/full of patchouli than what you're looking for.
posted by sonika at 1:41 PM on February 12, 2012

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