New Hampshire’s White Mountains are home to some of the best outdoor activities in the country and although a cold beer from the Moat or Tuckerman Brewing after a big day in the mountains is refreshing, it’s the coffee shop that counts most when you need to wake up and motivate yourself for a day outdoors. The White Mountains have some great coffee shops, staffed by some of the nicest people in the Northeast, and serve up the perfect blend of coffee and mountain time.

Credit: Tim Peck

Frontside, North Conway

Whether you’re visiting North Conway for climbing, hiking, or skiing, Frontside is the go-to place for a coffee. Their coffee is nutty and earthy, yet smooth and clean. Their signature maple latte isn’t overly sweet and is a perfect drink for fall and winter mornings. Beyond the coffee, Frontside’s bagels are some of the best in the area and are a must-order with any drink.

Inside, Frontside is modern and clean while the staff is friendly and efficient. Don’t get turned off by a long line—Frontside can handle the rush and the coffee is totally worth it. There’s seating inside and out, making it the perfect place to sit and chat with friends or people-watch. Order Ahead is an option here and the website is super easy to navigate.

Mad River Coffee Roasters, Campton

Located just off of exit 28 on Route 93, Mad River Coffee Roasters is a must-stop for caffeine-fueled ski days at Waterville Valley or keeping your energy high while tackling classic hikes like Welch-Dickey and Sandwich Dome. Its proximity to the highway also makes it an easy pit stop for adventures further afield. The coffee shop’s exposed wood interior provides rustic appeal while an abundance of outdoor-adventure-inspired art keeps the stoke as high as caffeine levels. There are ample places to sit inside—from simple stools to leather-clad couches—and, if the weather allows, there is a great deck and ample outdoor seating.

You can’t go wrong with a simple coffee at Mad River and if you like what they’re brewing, bags of beans are available. (FYI, Mad River Coffee Roasters was voted “Best Cup of Coffee North of Concord” by NH Business Reviewreaders in 2021.) Their daily specials typically offer at least one must-try breakfast—think mouth-watering huevos rancheros—but if you prefer baked goods, you’ll want to go for a cannoli. They haven’t won any awards for them, but we venture to guess they’re the best cannolis north of Boston’s North End.

Credit: Tim Peck

The Met, North Conway

Walking into the Met in North Conway is like strolling into Central Perk from Friends, or that 90’s coffee shop that made you feel cool in your flannel shirt as you flopped down on a couch to hang out with your crew. Dark-stained display cases host an array of sweet and savory treats, with quiche, bagels, and a variety of croissants expanding like an open fan before you as you approach the counter. The cashiers are friendly and the coffee is delivered quickly, even when it’s as crowded inside as a pleasant fall weekend on Cathedral.

Upstairs, couches still exist—a remnant of coffee houses that were pleased to have friends loiter for hours chatting, since replaced at most shops by hard tables and chairs which provide space for a computer but little comfort for company. Although the coffee is good, it’s the variety of food on the menu that makes the Met a great place to go when looking for treats to please a crowd. Like other coffee shops in the area, the Met offers the convenience of Order Ahead and they have a modern, brighter, second location conveniently located at Settler’s Green.

Credit: Tim Peck

Autumn Nomad, Jackson

Coffee may be an essential part of the morning routine, but delicious baked goods are a great complement to any cup of joe and there are plenty in Jackson Center at Autumn Nomad. When pulling into Autumn Nomad, you’ll be charmed by the bright exterior decorated to reflect the season. The inside is light and airy with lovely coffee cups and tea towels on floating shelves. But it’s the baked goods that grab the eye. Beautiful cakes adorn the shelves and display cases, sitting beside cookies and a variety of sweets. Hearty soups and lunches are also available. Again, the staff is kind and patient and willing to recommend drinks and snacks. While you’ll enjoy every sip of your coffee, it’s the food that will draw you back again and again.

The Moon Bakery and Cafe, Lincoln

You’ll find the Moon Bakery and Cafe just down the road from Loon Mountain on Lincoln’s bustling Main Street. With a modern aesthetic featuring brick, exposed beams, and chalkboard signage, the Moon Bakery and Cafe would look at home in any city, but grab an outdoor table and it’s clear you’re in one of the Northeast’s most recognizable mountain towns. Drink options abound from coffee to smoothies to homemade hot chocolate, although a favorite is the espresso for getting ready to grind out any number of classic trips off the Kancamagus.

As the name implies, you will find numerous delectable baked goods in the case in front of the counter. You’ll find everything from typical breakfast fare like muffins and cinnamon rolls to treats like cookies to brownies. The recently established company, Burgeon Outdoor, is located right next door. If you’re planning to try anything on, stop there first, before eating breakfast.

Credit: Tim Peck

InkWell Coffee and Tea, Littleton

Littleton is a great place to visit. From the fun candy shop and great biking scene to an amazing farmer’s market and delicious beer, Littleton has something for everyone. When filling your coolers with beer from Schilling, make sure you stop in across the street and grab a morning brew at InkWell Coffee and Tea. The space is small but bright and covered in natural wood. A small selection of treats sits atop the large counter. Coffee, espresso, and tea are served to order and there’s a lovely menu of caffeinated treats. The servers are helpful and the coffee is buttery and smooth. Make sure to sample a cookie or brownie on your visit or grab a heartier sandwich or bowl if you’re planning on heading in for a beer across the street.

Honorable Mention: Basic Ingredients Food Truck, Bristol

When you have a ski adventure brewing at Mount Cardigan or Ragged Mountain, or when the ice has perked up on Newfound Lake, you’ll want to pay a visit to the Basic Ingredients food truck. While your coffee choices are limited (think basic cups of joe, not lattes) you’ll want to save your calories after seeing their food. Basic Ingredients serves one of the best breakfast sandwiches in the state and after seeing their bacon, egg, and cheese on a biscuit you’ll just have to have one. Save room for a scone or sticky bun—or, better yet, grab one for a midday pick-me-up on the slopes or ice.


Debate about the best coffee shops in the White Mountains is like a good cup of joe itself: strong and heated. If you have a favorite place to get caffeinated in the Whites, we want to know about it! Tell us in the comments below.