Back to the Beginning

I moved to New Hampshire in the Summer of 2012. This decision to move was made on more or less a whim, and the only thing I was sure of was that I wanted to try something new. I certainly succeeded in that.

I knew nothing about New Hampshire. I didn’t know how to pronounce Nashua (Nash-oo-ah? Where was the emphasis?) Did I have an accent? Would I develop a Boston accent? Was NH the state on the coast or the one shaped the same, but upside down? My next step was to go to my local library and read. I learned about state birds and the Merrimack River and first-in-the-nation politics and the White Mountains. But what I didn’t find in those badly outdated books was this blog, that’s for sure, and I certainly didn’t learn about food.

During my first week in New Hampshire I stopped by Riverwalk Cafe in downtown Nashua. It was quite a bit smaller than what it is now, but I remember getting a good breakfast and a good iced coffee. Sometimes when you’re slightly panicking and starting to maybe regret moving 1,200 miles away from everyone you know, good coffee and a solid breakfast can help you feel like you’re going to be okay.

Fast-forward over 5 years later, I can say with a certain degree of confidence that I know a few things about New Hampshire, and can properly pronounce Nashua and occasionally even Pembroke and Contoocook. The Riverwalk Cafe has aged well in those 5 years too and is now a beautiful space for music and grabbing a hot beverage, a cocktail, and/or a delicious meal. Last weekend I was hiding inside from the frigid temperatures with a really good book and hot meal. I’m a firm believer that these two things can fix most problems. I warmed my belly first with a hot chai-der, which is a delightful combination of chai tea and apple cider. I would HIGHLY recommend trying this.

I completed my hearty brunch with one of their breakfast sandwiches which was stuffed with eggs, cheddar cheese, spinach, tomato, and ranch dressing. Oh my goodness you guys, served on a fresh slightly-toasty biscuit this was pure joy. The ranch dressing added an extra tanginess that I have never experienced on a breakfast sandwich before, and it is a game-changer. My book takes place in various locations in the south, and this sandwich was basically the shrimp and grits home cooking that I needed at that moment.

So here is my advice, dear friends. Read more books. Read more about food, too, and if you know someone moving to New Hampshire, send them a link to the Stay Work Play blog and encourage them to stop by Riverwalk Cafe if they like coffee, music and great food. It might just make them feel at home. If you’re local, be sure to check out their Facebook page to see what’s going on at this fun little spot.

Have you discovered any unique, tasty food or drinks lately? Let us know! Be sure to email us at to share your ideas of any New Hampshire related food/drink/venue/organization that you think should be featured in our “Eat Drink Play” blog posts.

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