L.A. Burdick

Review by: Michael Stern

“Have a mouse on the house,” said the girl behind the counter many years ago when I told her I was a first-time visitor to L.A. Burdick. As soon as I sunk my teeth into the dark chocolate ganache of this cute little cocoa creature, I knew that I had found candy heaven.

Long ago, it was Cissy Hicks, erstwile chef and proprietor at the Dorset Inn in Vermont, who suggested a detour to Walpole to experience this amazing chocolatier, and I’m sure glad I did. For chocolates, as well as for pastries and a cup of hot chocolate, there is no other place that delivers so much pure and perfect satisfaction.

The hot chocolate comes in three varieties: white, milk, and dark. The milk is liquid velvet, a chocolate daydream, so rich and fully satisfying. Dark hot chocolate, made from chocolate shavings and steamed milk, is a cocoa steamroller, the most potent chocolate food or drink imaginable. It is only sweet enough to round out the cocoa bean’s inexorable intensity. Even sipped in the tiniest increments, it is overwhelming … in the best possible way.

To go along with that hot chocolate (or coffee, which seems downright ghostly in contrast), there are fantastic pastries. Gugelhopf, the Austrian/Swiss bundt cake that is perfumed with lemon and vanilla, is as buttery as cake can be. The almonds and hazelnuts that go into Burdick’s classic Linzer torte are balanced by a slight haze of cloves. A cherry Danish is more delicate than most croissants; and the croissants seem like they might actually float off the plate.

All these wonders can, of course, be taken away. Or they can be enjoyed here in a pleasant little tea room with nicely-clothed tables topped with heavy brown paper.

If you like chocolate, do make this a road trip destination.

There are Burdicks in Boston and New York. The one in Walpole, New Hampshire, is what the management calls “home base.”

What To Eat

Chocolate-Covered Ginger

Hot Chocolate

Linzer Torte


Cherry Danish


L.A. Burdick Recipes


What do you think of L.A. Burdick?

One Response to “L.A. Burdick”

Ron Lewis

June 23rd, 2012

Yup, this sure is chocolate heaven on earth, but it’s far more. The restaurant in the room next to the chocolate shop is, well, angelic! Burdick is arguably the best in New Hampshire, and probably among the best in the other 49 states as well.

Walpole is like a movie set, a small, hidden New England gem of a town, but not exactly on most people’s beaten path. The divine food and chocolates are in southern New Hampshire, maybe five minutes from the Vermont border and I-91.

Is it worth the Walpole turn-off if you’re nearby? Oh my, yes! This is because Mr. Burdick is an absolute, remarkable perfectionist. He spent a couple of years getting training and experience with multiple famed chocolate chefs in Europe. He came back, opened a shop near Harvard College, and went on to best his tutors from France, Belgium, and Germany. You see, his American chocolates went on to win a European award for the best chocolates in the world. He also went on to open a restaurant and, later, a gourmet food store in the small block he dominates in Walpole, the town he now lives in.

To describe the remarkable foods and desserts he offers would take too long. Besides, the menu changes with the seasons. Complex flavors are its hallmarks. You will find many and varied choices made with the highest level of skill. If you are looking for a low-cost, maybe chain, restaurant, don’t go near Walpole. I love Roadfood too, but that ain’t the right characterization for Burdick.

If you want an exceptional meal that you’ll talk about and remember for a long time, then take a trip into Walpole and enjoy the product of the finest food talents. This at modest prices, too, at least when compared to the famous, big city, multi-star places known by many expense account customers and/or foodies.


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