There are some remarkable restaurants, diners, and coffeehouses in the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire and Vermont to enjoy a delightful brunch with friends and family this holiday season, and all year long. There are sweet and savory crepes, eggs Benedict with poached Maine lobster, French toast prepared with homemade cruller donuts, English savory pies, signature brunch cocktails, and more! After sampling the rich and alluring culinary delights you may be inspired to host a more intimate brunch in the comfort of your new home (we’ve included an introduction to the preparation of egg strata below, a classic brunch favorite). Here are some of the best places for brunch in the Upper Valley to enjoy this holiday season and throughout the year.
New Hampshire Brunch
Lou’s Restaurant & Bakery: Located in Hanover, New Hampshire Lou’s has been serving up exceptional food and baked goods to locals in the Upper Valley since 1947. Lou ran the restaurant for 33 years. The current owner and management team took over operations in 2018 and have continued the tradition of “from-scratch, locally sourced modern diner cuisine and service” that has kept patrons coming back for more delicious food year after year.
The restaurant is open from 6:30am to 3:00pm daily and is highly recommended for brunch. You will cozy up next to friends and family in a diner style booth as you look over the daily menu and specials and make a very difficult decision on what to order. Everything is delicious. Whatever you decide will be good.
Eggs Benedict, Chicken and Waffles, Biscuits & Gravy, Buttermilk Pancakes, and Cruller French Toast (prepared with homemade glazed cruller donuts) are on the menu daily, amid a host of many other breakfast and lunch items. And there are also specials. Recent breakfast specials have included a Red Flannel Hash (corned beef hash w/roasted beets and potatoes and topped with free-range poached eggs) and Pauly’s Waffle (cheddar Belgian waffle w/peppered candied bacon crumbles and topped with two free-range over easy eggs).
Pine Restaurant: Located in Hanover, New Hampshire this restaurant is part of Hanover Inn: a boutique hotel overlooking Dartmouth College Green. Pine Restaurant serves brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11:30am to 2:30pm. Reservations are required, and the dress code is business casual.
Large plates include a Green Tea Poached Salmon (w/butter lettuce, marinated fava bean, slow roasted tomato, white asparagus, and green goddess dressing), Maine Lobster Benedict (poached egg, buttered poached lobster, béarnaise, Portuguese muffin and crispy potatoes) and Fluffy Lemon Ricotta Pancakes (served with warm Vermont maple syrup and whipped butter).
Piecemeal Pies: British inspired meat pie shops can prove difficult to locate in the Continental United States. But Piecemeal Pies in White River Junction, Vermont has you covered (and they recently opened a second location in Stowe, Vermont). They are open 10:00am to 3:00pm Wednesday to Sunday at the WRJ location. The lunch menu will provide you with a hearty and delicious meal as you gather with friends and family for a unique New England brunch.
The English Savory Pies are baked fresh daily, and the selection will vary. You’ll always be surprised. Selections might include Rabbit & Bacon, Curried Lamb, Beef Mushroom & Blue Cheese, and Smoked Trout and Fennel. You can always add to your pie with an organic green salad or with a Full English Pie Plate (parsnip potato mash, rabbit cider gravy, and buttered peas with mint). Scones, danishes, and cinnamon buns are also baked fresh daily and there are cocktails (Mimosas and Bloody Misake) and hard cider on draft.
The Skinny Pancake Quechee: The first Skinny Pancake (aka crepe) was served in 2003 from a food cart on Church Street in Burlington, VT. The first brick & mortar restaurant was opened four years later in Burlington. They have continued expanding the operation in and around Vermont. There are now locations at the Stowe Mountain Resort, Montpelier, BTV Airport, University of Vermont, and Albany, NY. The Upper Valley location, in Quechee Vermont, was opened in 2018.
The Quechee location is open 8:00am to 3:00pm Saturday and Sunday for you, your family, and friends to gather and enjoy a delicious brunch (they are also open during the week with varying hours, but closed on Wednesday).
The Sweet Crepes Menu includes the Lovemaker (fresh strawberries and chocolate hazelnut spread w/whipped cream) and the Pbb&bee (peanut butter and organic banana w/VT honey and whipped cream). The Savory Crepes Menu includes the simple and satisfying Lumberjack (ham and cheddar cheese) and the always delicious Johnny Crepe (VT maple BBQ pulled pork, caramelized onions, and cheddar cheese in a cornmeal crepe).
Tuckerbox: Coffee, espresso and authentic Turkish cuisine are bringing the community together at this industrial coffeehouse in White River Junction VT. Breakfast menu items are served from 9:00am to 2:00pm on Saturday and Sunday for your perfect weekend brunch.
Breakfast menu items include a Granola Steamer (homemade almond coconut maple granola w/fresh berries and steamed milk) and Sucuk & Eggs (Turkish beef sausage w/two fried eggs topped with mountain thyme and Turkish herbs, toast and home fries). Brunch cocktails include a Mediterranean Mimosa and a Tuckerbox signature Bloody Mary.
In Your Kitchen
Your Kitchen: Hosting a brunch at home is a great way to enjoy your new kitchen and impress your friends. Preparing a simple and elegant brunch can be quite easy and delicious with egg strata.
The main ingredients for egg strata include eggs, cheese, bread, milk, and seasoning (salt & pepper). A simple assembly in a buttered dish, baked for 35-50 minutes at 350ºF will provide you and your guests with a delightful brunch in the comfort of your home. Egg strata are very forgiving and easy to personalize with your favorite ingredients: sausages, smoked meats, onions, and vegetables. Anna Stockwell posted an egg strata article, “How to Make a Breakfast Strata Without a Recipe”, outlining the preparation in detail on Epicurious.com (these are simple basic steps).
Your brunch should include beverages: a French press pot of coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice and cocktails are brunch staples. Fresh cut flowers on the table make an elegant and simple finishing touch.