There are a few things that come to mind when you picture a good, old-fashioned Vermont meal such as maple syrup made on site, farm to table freshness and a mom & pop shop that has been around for as long as you can remember. Not only do these 12 restaurants define VT, but they will fill your belly and soul with pure Green Mountain State goodness. We hope you’re hungry!
1. Al’s French Frys - 1251 Williston Road, South Burlington
Al's French Frys is the kind of place you remember from your childhood - and it really hasn't changed since then. '50s diner vibe, cafeteria style service, and some of the best hand cut fries you'll ever taste. There is plenty of vinegar here for splashing on your "Frys."
2. Leunig’s Bistro - 115 Church Street, Burlington
Leunigs Bistro is a French bistro & bar and one of the oldest, continually operating restaurants in downtown Burlington. Serving lunch, brunch and dinner right on picturesque Church Street Marketplace, Leunigs offers some the best people watching and live music in the area.
3. Miss Bellows Falls Diner - 90 Rockingham Street, Bellows Falls
Built in the 1920s by the Worcester Lunch Car Company, Vermont's only surviving barrel-roofed diner was moved here from Massachusetts in 1942. You've got to love a place that serves delicious breakfasts all day!
4. Vergennes Laundry - 247 Main Street, Vergennes
This is an incredible gem. They serve, quite literally, the best scones you'll ever taste in your life, but there EARLY. They sometimes run out of their most popular items pretty quickly.
5. Prohibition Pig - 23 South Main Street, Waterbury
Don’t be surprised if everyone waiting in the crowd at Prohibition Pig is smiling. Why? Well, they know what they’re in for! This VT burger joint has some of the best food around. Duck fat fries, burgers and the zesty sauces right on the table are just a few reasons why we love it here.
6. Eaton’s Sugar House - 5894 Vt Rt 14, South Royalton
If you want quintessential Vermont, look no further than the wooded offbeat house with down to earth home cooking. There is a little gift shop inside with lots of maple products if you don't get our fill with the yummy pancakes and French toast. Naturally, it's all served with real VT maple syrup.
7. Silver Fork - 4201 Main Street, Manchester
The owners, Melody and Mark (the chef), are famous not only for their food, but their welcoming atmosphere as they are always on hand with helpful suggestions. Prepare yourself for wonderful food, a nice wine selection, creative cocktails, attentive service and a lovely ambiance. With only 26 seats, the menu is extensive and varied, reflecting the chef's culinary experience in Baltimore, Germany and Puerto Rico. Who wouldn’t enjoy a goat cheese soufflé with fig jam followed by the osso bucco and a portabello mushroom stuffed with lobster? Reservations here are a must.
8. Fried dough and other fair food
Some foods are simply a requirement to eat when spending a day at the fair.
9. Solo - 95 Middletown Road, South Londonderry
The farmhouse atmosphere and welcoming service make you feel like you're part of the family. Start off with something light, such as the endive salad, or something meatier like the spanish octopus or sea scallop/hamachi carpaccio. All entrees are scrumptious, with a special nod to the farm pheasant.
10. Downtown Grocery - 41 Depot St., Ludlow
The Downtown Grocery is definitely on our bucket list for dining in Vermont. You'll never know what to expect as the menu changes every day with wonderfully thought out dishes using the freshest ingredients possible. The specialty drinks are perfectly paired with every meal. This is a place you will definitely return to for many years.
11. Our House Bistro - 36 Main Street, Winooski
With over two dozen types of Mac & Cheese to choose from, Our House Bistro is a dream for comfort food connoisseurs. The big favorite here is the lobster Mac & Cheese, but there are dozens of different concoctions including chicken parm to plain to crab to peanut butter and jelly (don't laugh – it’s an incredible Thai version) to anything else you can think of that could go into a bowl of Mac n Cheese. Meals come in individually baked cast irons skillets and the portions are HUGE.
12. Green Mountain Sugar House - 820 Route 100 N, Ludlow
This is the kind of place that people expect when they come to Vermont. In addition to delicious and hearty meals, their maple creemees are out of this world!
13. Cold Hollow Cider Mill - 3600 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Waterbury Center
Sometimes you just have to skip the balanced meal... Especially when we're stocking up on hot cider donuts from the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. And, yes, we can make a meal our of these!
14. Dorset Inn - 8 Church Street, Dorset
For more than 219 years, The Dorset Inn has offered traditional New England hospitality including gourmet dining, fine wine & great spirits. These trademarks of a quintessential Vermont experience are just a few reasons why The Dorset Inn continues to thrive.