10 Hours of Eats & Drinks In Burlington, VT
Our family has a small slice of paradise on Grand Isle in Vermont that we visit every year for a few days and relax, unwind and have quality time together. Its LOVELY and very important to make time for amidst busy schedules. It is a yearly highlight. Usually during our Vermont week we take a day trip into Burlington. I LOVE Burlington. Its super chill, laid back and we always have a great time there. This trip I decided that I wanted to do a fun blog post and showcase some of the culinary highlights of what the city has to offer. Listed below are my 3 suggestions for finding really cool spots to check out when visiting a new area (SPECIAL SHOUT OUT: Charlotte at The Skinny Pancake…thanks for all your help and recommendations)!!!!
My suggestions for scouting out good spots to eat, shop and hang out when visiting a new place…
- Ask people you know that grew up in the area or who frequently visit
- check online resources (Yelp, Eater, local food blogs)
- MOST IMPORTANT TIP: TALK TO THE LOCALS!!!
Here is my list of must hit spots if you are in the area for a day! I hit them all within 10 hours…and let me say this…it was a GREAT CULINARY EXPERIENCE!
BREAKFAST: THE SKINNY PANCAKE
I ordered: Noah’s Ark (Noah’s Ark: 2 eggs to order, 2 slices of North Country Smokehouse bacon, and 2 crumpled cinnamon sugar sweet crepes served with a side of local maple syrup) $9.95
I loved this culinary play on words and food. Super cute and DELICIOUS! The staff was super friendly, the food was tasty and I always love a place with a patio! I arrived right when the restaurant opened and within about an hour there was a long line out the door…for good reason this place is terrific. They are open 8am-10pm and have a great lunch menu and full bar and evening comedy performances! Super fun spot. TSP has several other locations (including the Burlington Airport) and a few food carts throughout the area. LOVED THOSE CREPES!!! http://skinnypancake.com
LUNCH: PICNIC AT WATERFRONT PARK
Our family enjoys picnics and with such a beautiful view in Waterfront Park it was the perfect setting for a lovely lunch on the lawn. There are several large swings, many shaded spots and benches along the way…plenty of options to find a space to sit back, relax and take in the beauty of Lake Champlain and watch the boats roll in and out of the marina. Beside the park is: ECHO Leahy Center, this is a really cool kid focused museum with interactive exhibits geared towards educating visitors about the local lake ecology. http://enjoyburlington.com
DINNER (1st round): THE FARM HOUSE
Everyone I talked with about the local food scene, highly recommended 2 places for dinner: 1. The Farm House and 2. Hen of The Wood. So I decided to check them both out! I believe that farm to table is more than just ‘a concept’ or ‘approach to food’ I believe it is the way food should be. I seek out places, chefs and growers who believe this as well and I support them and love to promote them. Fresh food, local food…is the best! The Farm House Tap & Grill (depending on the season) sources about 2/3 of their food from local Vermont farms and purveyors. LOVE THAT!
I ordered: Hand Pulled Mozzarella (grilled Red Hen bread, tomatoes, shaved fennel, salsa verde) $11.95 Vermont Cheese (apple butter, Jasper Hill Bayley Hazen Blue, Champlain Valley Triple, Blue Ledge Lake’s Edge, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar) $15.95 and Fried Adams Farms Chicken (honey, brown butter glaze, nitty gritty spoon bread, braised kale) $21.95 IT WAS ALL DEVINE (but that kale was extra special)!!! http://farmhousetg.com
DINNER (2nd round): HEN OF THE WOOD
I have a dear friend in Charleston who is originally from Vermont and has repeatedly for 2 years spoke so highly of Hen of the Wood, that I knew that it was a must on this trip. Upon snagging a seat at the chefs counter I met one of the chefs who was cooking (who as chance would have it had formerly worked in Charleston at 2 restaurants that I absolutely adore…I instantly knew I was in the right spot)!!! This is a great space that features a diverse Vermont focused menu. (FUN SIDENOTE: I always enjoy seeing Shepard Fairey’s artwork adorning restaurant walls)!!!!
I ordered one of the signature and staple items: Mushroom Toast (poached egg, house cured bacon) $14. I loved the egg on top! Can’t wait to go back! http://henofthewood.com
BREWERIES: FOAM BREWERS/QUEEN CITY BREWERY/MAGIC HAT
Foam Brewers: Really enjoyed checking out this really cool brewery located down at Waterfront Park. Great view of the water, cool outdoor patio, cheese plates and baked goods available and the list of upcoming events looked really fun too! http://foambrewers.com
Queen City Brewery: This really fun and tucked away treasure has a long list of beers to check out…definitely need to revisit this place more than once to check them all out! One of the fun features that I really enjoyed was the wall of beer cans all lined up and down the ceiling to floor shelves (many of which I never heard of but loved looking at). http://queencitybrewery.com
Magic Hat Brewery: I am a huge Magic Hat fan! I have enjoyed their seasonal beers for over a decade and was really excited to tour the facility and sample the newest stuff! My favorite was the S.M.A.S.H HITS IPA! Super funky space…LOVED IT! http://magichat.net
EXTRA: Lake Champlain Chocolates (check out the factory and retail location). I am obsessed with everything they make! These artisan chocolates are made with local ingredients and are AMAZING! I buy them for every holiday to stuff easter baskets, christmas stockings, gift baskets and little treats for (myself). http://lakechamplainchocolates.com
LOVED MY TIME IN BURLINGTON! THANKS TO EVERYONE I MET WHO SHARED THEIR SUGGESTIONS, OFFERED THEIR KINDNESS AND FOR CONTRIBUTING TO MY ONGOING…