Sugar houses, or sugar shacks, are a staple in New England. In addition to offering fresh maple syrup, they can double up as restaurants. Visitors are invited to learn more about the maple industry, enjoy sweet snacks, and experience a sense of community that can’t be found in supermarket aisles. Read on to learn more about the top sugar houses in Massachusetts.
Stop by The Red Bucket Sugar Shack for a full pancake breakfast, and then watch the owners make pure maple syrup. You can even view the boiling process. Children and kids at heart will love learning more about the industry, craftsmanship and tradition involved in the family-owned and -operated business. The Red Bucket’s season typically closes in April, so watch its site for updates.
Located in Hardwick, this sugar shack is a small, family-owned farm. Stop by to get an inside look at the dedication and craft that goes into making maple syrup. The benefit of visiting a smaller, lesser-known sugar house is the authenticity that comes through. You can learn a lot about the family just by reading the shack’s blog with updates on the farm! Hardwick Sugar Shack allows the public to stop by during open houses on Sundays throughout the syrup season.
North Hadley Sugar Shack is one of the few sugar houses that stays open year-round with its fresh farm market and deli. Of course, maple syrup-making season is only in the winter, so be sure to swing by at that time to see the experience first-hand. If you’re lucky, you may even get to try the shack’s incredible Bourbon Maple Syrup, which flies off the shelves quickly. It also has strawberries, asparagus and other seasonal fruits and vegetables throughout the summer.
This small sugar shack in Westhampton serves up not only delicious pancakes with bacon but also all other breakfast eats. Stop by early in the morning during maple syrup season to grab a seat. The eatery is seasonal only, so check its website to learn when to stop by – typically the last Saturday of February through the second Sunday of April every year.
The Strawbale Cafe at Hanging Mountain Farm is truly a farm-to-table experience. This breakfast café is open year-round, except during the month of January. Enjoy traditional sugar-house eats during the maple syrup season, including waffles, pancakes, meats and eggs. During the rest of the year, Hanging Mountain Farm switches to a more creative breakfast menu giving you variety – it even has some gluten-free eats! Dine outside on the patio overlooking the farm, and then check out the unique gifts inside the gift shop. From February to March, you can learn more about how the shack makes its delicious maple syrup.
High Hopes Farm Sugar House is open seasonally to visitors during the sugaring season, February through April. Stop in for an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet with pancakes, french toast, home fries, bacon, sausage, ham and home-made maple syrup all for less than $12 per person. It’s quite a steal and a local favorite! Visitors can always watch the syrup being produced in the evaporator if they come during a period of cold nights and warmer days.
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