Ok, maybe you’ve heard of these restaurants, maybe you haven’t. But one thing is for certain – if you don’t know exactly where they are located, they may be pretty hard to find. Sure, we all know the places that are in our downtown areas or on the main drags, but if you venture out a little off the beaten path you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you’ll find.
1. The Vermont Inn, 78 Cream Hill Rd., Mendon
The restaurant attached to the inn is a hidden gem. The food is delicious, the atmosphere warm and inviting, and the host and staff are attentive and friendly. The hard part is finding it! There is a sign for the Inn on the main road, but as you drive up the street next to it to park, the entrance is not clearly marked. Be on the lookout because you won’t want to miss it!
2. Aztlan Foods - 40 Foundry St., Waterbury
What a find! And 'find' is exactly right... This place is a little hard to locate, but it's definitely worth the hunt. Trust us, it's worth it. Made to order burritos and bowls and serious spice for anyone who wants to bring it on. They have frozen burritos to go, too. Call ahead, they have limited hours, often closing at 3pm.
3. Hen of The Wood – 92 Stowe Street, Waterbury
Tucked away off the main road is the amazing Hen of the Wood. Even when you find it, you might think twice as the sign on the building says "Waterbury Feed Company," but trust us, this place is a must. The service is consistently impeccable and everything, and I mean everything, is wonderful here. If you can’t decide, try about 6 of the small plates (mind you the portions are generous) and enjoy as your taste buds explode in flavor and freshness. Pictured is the Halibut Crudo, Buttermilk, Chilies. Yes, please!
4. The Storm Cafe - 3 Mill St., Middlebury
A lovely location right on otter creek that might be missed if you don't watch carefully. Delicious food, attentive service, lovely setting - this place has it all. And the The Misty Knoll Chicken is so memorable that you'll want to order it again and again.
5. The Wooden Spoon Bistro - 1210 Williston Rd., South Burlington
Don't be distracted by the Dunkin Donuts out front - head on back for this family owned place that dishes out some wonderful food. Don't miss the truffle fries!
6. Green Goddess Cafe - 618 S Main St., Stowe
This delightful joint may technically be on Main Street, but it could be overlooked because it's not located in the village. Next to a furniture store, insurance company and preschool, you'll find the Green Goddess. Known for their excellent breakfast sandwiches and design-your-own salads, Green Goddess also snagged the Seven Daysies award for Best Vegetarian. Way to go!
7. Three Stones - 105 Canal St., Brattleboro
Head off Main Street and onto Canal to have some of the best Mexican food ever. It may not look like much on the outside, but trust us, you'll love it here. And to top off the fabulous food, the sangria is great!
8. Stone Soup Restaurant - 7 Brook Rd., Strafford
You could be looking right at the Stone Soup Restaurant and never know it due to the lack of signage. However, step inside for some of the most incredible dining you'll get in Vermont. No sign, no advertising, impeccably prepared local products and vegetables prepared so perfectly, they will change the way you look at side dishes forever.
9. Kismet - 52 State St., Montpelier
Get ready to redefine farm to table dining! Kismet may be a little hard to find and there might be a shortage on parking, but you'll forget about all of that when you get a meal that is creative, thoughtful and oh so delicious.