People in Boston and beyond keep Parker’s on their hot list when wanting a nice drive and a taste of a different pace of life with something really yummy to eat and some great shopping. Phantom Gourmet also touts it as a worthy drive from far and wide but it’s only 25 minutes from Nashua and about 18 minutes from Manchester if starting from the intersection of Rtes 293/101. It’s also under an hour from Keene, so we’re cross-referencing it there too.
Coming from almost anywhere though, it starts getting noticeably more rural by the mile so that when you get close you’ll think “Nahh, it couldn’t be on this back country of a road,” but that’s right where it is. A tucked away “find.”
And before going on, they do close each year from late December to early February, just so you know.
The restaurant part of Parker’s is a homey and rustic “breakfast all day” kind of place with a really good lunch menu also, and we have yet to order anything from either that we haven’t found delicious. We also love their comfy atmosphere and that the dining room looks out on nature because of their many windows facing their natural woods. Definitely a ‘bring-the-kids-and-guests’ kind of place. There can be a wait on weekends, especially Mother/Father’s Day weekends, and they don’t take reservations. BUT!…
The saving grace to any wait there is that you can put in your name immediately upon arrival, and there’s a super fun country store/gift shop that has two floors of LOTS of affordable treasures. And, of course, in season, the Sugar House is in full swing with famtours where you can see how 40 gallons of sap becomes one gallon of maple syrup. Parkers sells not only its own maple syrup, but pretty much anything else that has maple in it including maple popcorn, maple cream, maple peanut butter, maple fudge and even maple jelly beans! What I’d highly recommend is their Maple Sugar though because it’s phenomenal on everything! It flavors and sweetens any cereal and if you lace it over cut up strawberries, peaches or other fruits or berries and then leave it to marinate at room temperature, the fruit yields a sort of liqueur (non alcoholic) that’s downright addicting! Maple sugar is also great for baking so if you’re tempted to buy a fair quantity while there, it absolutely won’t go to waste. Their maple sugar is pure sweet gold.
Parker’s also carries all sorts of interesting sauces from hot to not, some old fashioned candies, condiments and other novelty food items. We’ve particularly found their gift shop a great place for stashing stocking stuffers and affordable token gifts (specialty recipe collections, kitchen gadgets and other things not found everywhere).
Downstairs is another whole story. It has Southwestern, from dream catchers to very nice jewelry, clothing, household/décor items and a good collection of restful music CDs with a listening tower so you can hear before you buy.
If you want to visit on weekdays, you won’t find yourself alone there but it’s a great time to go for obvious reasons (this is a very popular place). Yet I must say, we’ve been there during both very busy weekends and on a Tuesday morning, and not once have we ever been disappointed or felt that any wait time has not been well worth it. Very highly recommended!
1316 Brookline Road,