Milkshakes were invented in the mid 1800s, and by the early 20th century had taken over America as one of her most iconic treats. Most New Hampshirites grew up on frappes, delightful mixtures of ice cream, milk, and flavorings that make any summer evening just a little bit sweeter, and can even brighten up the dreariest winter afternoon. Browse our picks for best Granite State milkshakes, whether you’re looking for a quick local treat, or you dedicate yourself to total list domination.
Good burgers and great shakes go hand in hand, so it should come as no surprise that a place which excels in one would knock the other out of the park. Enter BRGR Bar, a sleek Portsmouth eatery of relatively new provenance that offers up mighty milkshakes in both adult and kid-friendly varieties. The under-21 or non-drinking crowd can enjoy flavors like sea salt caramel pretzel and Nutella s’more, while older patrons can enjoy selections like thin mint and key lime pie. Pair your frosty treat with spectacular fare like the aforementioned burgers, as well as Vietnamese French fries and a huge array of house-made sauces.
Quintessentially New Hampshire, perennially delicious. This seasonal and cash only ice cream option has been lighting up faces and calming cranky kids (and adults) since 1981. Choose from a wide variety of flavors, and options like extra thick and malted for a classic summer treat guaranteed to satisfy appetites and tummies.
A legendary location that doesn’t look like much, but more than makes up for with stellar, handmade food and folksy, friendly wait staff. Though their frappes may not measure up to fancier millennial interpretations, their classic preparation and quality ingredients make this a must-stop, even if you aren’t driving a truck. Choose from chocolate, vanilla, coffee, mocha, or strawberry, and prepare to take some sweet steps down memory lane. Make a meal of things and order up some famous cruller French toast.
For those ultra late night milkshake cravings that simply cannot be ignored, try Red Arrow Diner’s 24/7 service. These frappes are timeless, and best when enjoyed alongside the insanely tasty diner-fare served by the Red Arrow, like fried macaroni and cheese or the classic stuffed French toast.
The Big 1 has been scooping up smiles since the 1950s, and shows no signs of slowing anytime soon. Choose from 49 flavors of top quality ice cream, blended into frappe fantasies by one of the friendliest staffs in state. Cash only and family run, this Nashua location offers one of the freshest, tastiest milkshakes in the Granite State.
The Airport Diner has achieved recognition for its milkshake, in no small part because political big-wig Marco Rubio considers himself a devoted fan of their frappe. This Manchester mainstay is as American as political primaries and pie, and mixes up one of the best milkshakes in New Hampshire.
Lexie’s has become so entrenched in the New Hampshire food scene, it’s practically part of the Lexie-con. In addition to the creative and crazy-good sandwiches being served up, the milkshakes are, unsurprisingly, divine. Choose from classic flavors like vanilla and chocolate, or more interesting takes like Oreo-Mint or the outstanding Sweet and Salty.
The anti-chain chain, T-Bones somehow manages to deliver individualized, friendly service of quality, delicious food to a good portion of New Hampshire through their five locations. Their Oreo shake reigns supreme, and never fails to do the trick on sweltering summer afternoons.
Puritan Backroom offers one of the tastiest adult milkshake experiences in state, one certainly not approved by its namesake group. A wide selection of “mudslides” to suit any taste, each with a decadent kick. Try the Churro Slide, or the Milky Way Slide. This Manchester location also offers traditional frappes for younger patrons, or those who prefer their shake without the twist.
In addition to their excellent-and-extensive menu, Lou’s creates some pretty great shakes. Decidedly classic, this Hanover hotspot offers chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and mocha, as well as limited-time special flavors like Creamsicle. Make them malted for an even more nostalgic treat!