I moved to the north shores of Massachusetts almost four years ago when my husband took a job at Green Meadows Farm in Hamilton, Massachusetts. I had been living in Somerville, Massachusetts, which I loved, and was a bit anxious about moving to the suburbs.
I was amazed at how quickly we were integrated into a vibrant, creative, albeit rural community. The area has come to feel like home, and as we get ready to move again, I’d like to share some of the spots I’ll be saddest to leave behind. If you find yourself on our splendid North Shore of Massachusetts, do visit these indie spots.
Coffee: Atomic Café
265 Cabot Street, Beverly, Massachusetts
This neighborhood hot spot isn’t just the best coffee on the North Shore; it’s the best I’ve had in all of New England. John hand selects farms to source his beans, roasts the coffee in house, and has cultivated the best baristas around.
Bakery: A&J King
48 Central Street, Salem, Massachusetts
This is my absolute favorite place to be on a Saturday morning. Andy and Jackie are true artisan bakers, and their shop is a beautiful showcase of their craft. Is there anything better than fresh-from-the-oven sourdough bread? Also, try the seasonal fruit tarts with local ricotta — yum!
Farmstand: Green Meadows Farm
656 Asbury Street, South Hamilton, Massachusetts
I must offer full disclosure here: I used to manage this farmstand so I’m a bit I’m biased. But believe me when I say, the produce is beautiful, the meats are amazing, and Diana has a knack for locating the best (and hardest to find) local and organic goods. Also, they brew Atomic Coffee, so that makes them the best place in Hamilton to stop for a cup of java.
Beer: Gulu Gulu Café
247 Essex Street, Salem, Massachusetts
The Gulu is a Czech-inspired bar with a funky Salem vibe. The beer list features local favorites (including selections from Brooklyn and Dogfish Head, my two favorite breweries), as well as some more unusual Belgian and German offerings. During the day, this is also my favorite place to study, as the chairs are comfy, the food is delicious, and the servers don’t discourage lingering.
282A Cabot Street, Beverly, Massachusetts
Brunch is my favorite meal, and Tryst does it right. Their eggs are sourced-locally and cooked perfectly, and the portions aren’t so huge that you’ll spend the rest of your Sunday recovering. The Bloody Mary’s are also a treat. And, with their newly expanded dining room, it’s easier than ever to get a table.