More than 24 different custom loose-leaf teas and herbal blends line the shelves at Teatotaller Tea House for patrons to peruse. Panini sandwiches stuffed with sweet and savory fillings, scones, and gluten-free treats accompany cups of freshly steeped tea or specialty coffee drinks.
After the Stark Mill brewery closed, many feared Manchester would fall victim to the unchecked infiltration of commercial and contract beers. Determined to save New Hampshire's Queen City from such a foamy fate, master brewer Peter Telge gathered his wits, a group of supporters, and 20 years of brewing experience to reopen the historic Millyard District brewery under the name Milly's Tavern. Now operating as a brewpub, Milly's is home to a passionate staff that serves up juicy burgers, baby-back ribs, and beer-battered fish 'n' chips alongside microbrews crafted in the onsite brewery.
Milly's microbrews are pure works of art, even earning the 2009 Readers' Poll award for Best Local Microbrew from New Hampshire Magazine (not to be outdone, their chili won as well). The all-natural brewing process begins with imported malted barley, sometimes up to 1,300 pounds of it, depending on the beer. After stirring the barley by hand and singing it to sleep with a lullaby, brewers blend it with hops from Washington’s Yakima Valley and Europe’s agricultural hotspots. An Old World–style fire heats the brewing system, caramelizing the sugar to imbue batches with unique and subtle flavors. Milly's always keeps at least 12 beers on tap, ranging from cream ales and IPAs to stouts, porters, and seasonal brews.
Milly's is not just a place to relax and enjoy a leisurely pint. At night, the eatery transforms into a nightclub and lounge, treating guests to DJ tunes, live entertainment, and local musical acts. When not setting the scene for evening revelry, the space can be used to host affairs for up to 100 people, with special catering options available.:
Heather and Gary Labbe unveil a passage to bygone eras with the ornately decorated Clipper Merchant Tea House, "a destination that is simply unforgettable," according to Tea Time Magazine. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the home-turned-luncheonette holds up to 40 guests in rooms that, despite brandishing the same elegant woodwork and birth certificates, take on different identities through an assortment of statues, vases, paintings, and knickknacks. Inside the Colonial-themed Hawthorne room, diners toast with more than 80 different teas that swirl around inside each of their cups. Toward the back of the house, the China Room plays host to a couple who can scale the Tower of London's three tiers of tea sandwiches, warm scones, and petite desserts. Antique china, silver, and linens—all of which Heather inherited from her aunt—help whisk visitors further into the depths of grandeur.
At Water Street Café, you can get your fill of fresh comfort food. Every home-style dish and side the cooks serve up is homemade, from the soups and chowders to the orange cranberry bread. During the early morning hours, guests can tuck into generous portions of fluffy pancakes, loaded omelets, and gourmet eggs benedict with thick, juicy slices of ham and grilled prime rib. Though breakfast is this modest café's bread-and-butter, the cooks also whip up an expansive lunch menu that conquers hunger with fried clams, meaty sandwiches, and a menu of flame-broiled, certified black Angus burgers crowned with pulled pork, sautéed mushrooms, and whiskey barbecue sauce. The eatery's full bar is manned at all hours of the day—staffers concoct mimosas and zesty bloody marys to spice up breakfast, and they serve up beer, wine, and cocktails during long afternoons.
Water Street Cafe is also open for dinner one day a week. Every Friday until 8 p.m., guests are invited to chow down on fried haddock, flame-broiled prime rib, and fried whole belly clams.
Eschewing modern mixes and thickeners, the dessert designers at Maple's transform fresh milk, eggs, and cream into a host of more than three dozen gelato and sorbetto flavors crafted in-store in front of salivating patrons. Maple's ice engineers buy ingredients directly from Maine's local family farms and embrace traditional artisanal methods such as working with microbatches and running chunky cream through a cotton gin.