Raff’s Cafe, Haverhill

Fresh Start

Back at home I put the unpleasant airline experience behind me making plans with Joe to go Maple Sugaring. Vermont was holding it annual Maple Sugar Festival. On that weekend sugar houses, craft stores, Inns and Restaurants across the state celebrate all things  Maple by opening their businesses to truckloads of tourists. Maple is King this weekend from pancake breakfasts to crocheted maple leaves! I was interested in the sugar houses with their boiling, bubbling sap but it would be quite a drive to get there so Joe suggested meeting at his sister’s restaurant, Raff’s Cafe,  for breakfast before we headed to Vermont.

Raff’s Cafe

Raff’s cafe  is located at 620 Primrose St, Haverhill right off RT 495. It’s in a little strip mall. The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch, open from 6 AM and closing at 2 pm.

When I walked in around 9 am it was completely full. I made a detour to the “powder room” to wash off the hour + drive.  When I came back out a small table had opened up. I introduced myself and experienced a flashback from Cheers…where everybody knows your name!

I’ve been friends with Joe for more than 30 years but had not met his sister. Still when you’ve been friends for so long the family hears your name and they made me feel like they had known me forever. The dynamics of the staff and the customers also made me think of Cheers. Lots of banter and no one seemed to be a stranger. Clearly this was a popular local breakfast spot.

While I waited for Joe I was offered coffee, tea, hot chocolate a soft drink, water…something, anything…even my breakfast! Joe’s sister, Bobbie-Jo suggested I have my breakfast and they’d leave an empty plate for Joe telling him he’d already finished his (joke). I finally caved and accepted a hot chocolate with loads of whipped cream. (Yummy) I’d just finished it when Joe arrived.

Bobbie-Jo and Chuck, Co-Owners

We ordered breakfast which came cooked to perfection by Chuck, the co-owner. Our table was near the kitchen and I was entertained by the oldies that drifted out the half door.


I was amazed at the prices. The menu was comprehensive with all the old favorites and all very reasonably priced! (see page 1 below) In fact I’d have said they were priced below average. I love bacon but am very fussy about how its cooked. The bacon here came out of the kitchen cooked to perfection! I also had French Toast, another win!


You can’t beat this little gem for price, quality or friendliness. If you are in the area, stop in. I am sure you won’t be disappointed!

Photos by Joe St. Jean, Take Pride Photography

(This endorsement is totally unsolicited. They didn’t even know I was writing about them)


Posted in Food, Massachusetts, People, Travel and tagged , , , , , .


  1. Have known Chuck since he was in high school with my son …..they formed a band back in the 80’s and practiced in my attic on Dexter St in Haverhill …… My family have since moved to Florida …… In September of 2016 we made a trip back and visited family and friends …….. had several wonderful meals at Raffs and caught up on old times ….. first time meeting B.j ( Chuckie’s wife ) and immediately fell in love with this sweet lady …… Looking forward to future trips back to Haverhill ……and stopping in to my favorite little diner …..Raffs …… and seeing all the new people that are now my BFF ……

  2. I always come back to Raff’s when I come home. Great food and atmosphere, just like it said in the article.

    Chris Swartz

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