An hour north of Boston, Nashua sits close to the Massachusetts border. It’s a worthwhile as a destination by itself, or as a rest stop when traveling further into New Hampshire.
Aside from nearby shopping and natural wonders, downtown Nashua is a charming place to get dinner or a drink. This laidback locale is also home to a small cache of quality coffee spots. Here are a few standout places to get your caffeine fix.
Riverwalk Cafe & Music Bar
Combining live music, cocktails and coffee, Riverwalk is a true gem in Nashua. Musicians frequently play the venue both weeknights and weekends. A well-stocked bar with house cocktails like a “Hemingway Daiquiri” or “Corpse Reviver No. 2” ensures a lightheaded good time to accompany all this music. Want a more stimulating fix? The house-roasted coffees come hot or cold in a variety of styles and flavors. As if all that weren’t enough, Riverwalk has menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tasty sandwiches appear morning, noon and night, while the latter offers rice bowls and yummy apps like pot stickers.
35 Railroad Sq
Bonhoeffer’s Cafe & Espresso
Big fireplaces, tasteful lighting, and comfy leather chairs give Bonhoeffer’s Cafe a cozy spaciousness. If you miss out on the fireplace seating (there are only a few chairs), thankfully there’s plenty of table space to enjoy a hot cup of coffee. The beans are roasted in-house and purchased direct-trade, meaning the profits go straight to farmers from places like Uganda and Papa New Guinea. If you’re feeling hungry, past customers recommend the quiches or handmade crepes (served until 2 p.m. on weekdays).
8 Franklin Street
If you’re looking for something more substantial than just java, Pressed Cafe boasts “fresh, clean food” to match its “exceptional coffee.” That “exceptional” cuppa comes courtesy of the George Howell Coffee Company, headquartered in nearby Acton, Massachusetts. Their artisan, small-batch offerings can be prepared as any of the usual fare: espressos, cappuccinos, lattes. There’s also a wide variety of cold beverages, including uncommon delights like ginger-turmeric lemonade.
108 Spit Brook Road
jajaBelle’s Pastry and Coffee Shop
Since opening in 2014, jajaBelle’s has combined the best of a cafe and bakeshop. Sandwiches (lunch or breakfast) and a rotating assortment of pastries from coffee cake to banana bread are a few of the treats you’ll find here. (The sweet roster has even included homemade Pop Tarts). The highlight of jajaBelle’s, however, is probably its selection of Greek pastries, like baklava and spanakopita. After satisfying your sweet tooth, you can indulge any number of tasty drinks, from dirty chai to a banana smoothie or fresh-squeezed strawberry lemonade.
182 Main Street
This option is more of a diner than the other suggestions here, with a full breakfast and lunch menu that includes casual favorites like the turkey club or blueberry pancakes. The real attraction here is the restaurant’s location: it sits right beside the tiny Nashua Airport, so guests at the Midfield Cafe can enjoy the sky-bound sights of planes arriving and departing. Just be sure to arrive early; the Cafe closes at 2 p.m.
83 Perimeter Road
By Alexander Castro