Unique, by definition, means remarkable, special or unusual, and Vermont restaurants certainly have their share of unique dining. From views to booze, these 10 restaurants can impress even the most distinguished foodie. Let’s check some out, shall we?
1. The Cliff House – Stowe, VT.
Enjoy being on top of the world at the Cliff House, which brings dining to new heights. At 3,625 feet up, the views of the mountain and valley are stunning and the only way to get there is by the gondola. Now these employees have an epic commute!
2. Slayton Pasture Cabin – Stowe, VT.
You’ll have to work for this one! There is nothing greater than the reward of delicious homemade soups, sandwiches and baked goods at the Slayton Pasture Cabin located at the crest of the x-c ski trails at the Trapp Family Lodge. Whether you ski, hike or showshoe, you’ll earn your hearty lunch, which you can enjoy in a rustic cabin in front of a roaring fire in the middle of the woods. You won’t see anyone else that doesn’t appreciate the serenity of blue skies and peaceful trails.
3. Simon Pearce Restaurant – Quechee, VT.
The staff motto here is "quality without pretense" and guests enjoy spectacular views overlooking the waterfall and covered bridge. Simon Pearce is best known for its handmade glassware and pottery, which you can watch being made in their workshop at The Mill. Naturally, they also have retail shop to enjoy before or after you dine.
4. Hen of the Wood - Waterbury, VT.
Make reservations well in advance, as the restaurant is popular among locals and tourists alike and is a “must-visit” for anyone visiting Vermont. This 40-seat restaurant located in an old grist mill will impress even the most discerning foodie. The chefs turn simple ingredients into masterpieces, showcasing the vibrancy of fresh and local produce, meats and cheeses.
5. The Silver Fork – Manchester, VT.
With only six tables and five bar stools, this tiny, unpretentious eatery is not to be missed. Specializing in international recipes, specifically Puerto Rican and German, the Silver Fork offers exceptional service, taking ample time with each guest to make sure they choose the perfect dish for them. Rumor has it it’s the best food in Manchester! Oh, and right now they have Autumn sangrias. That’s right….. Autumn Sangrias!!! The red is made with Grenache & pomegranate apple cider and the white is made with Gewürztraminer and spiced apple cider. Both are laced with spiced rum and topped with chopped apple. Yum!
6. NECI on Main – Montpelier, VT.
The New England Culinary Institute (NECI) produces classic and modern cuisine by collaborating between students and award-winning chef-instructors. For 30 years they have been teaching students to make connections with farmers, between landscape and food, and between seasons and culinary traditions. Your meal just may be made by the countries newest “it” chef!
7. The Garden of Eatin’ Café – Williston, VT.
Located in the Gardner’s Supply Company, this quick and easy café is undeniably tasty. Whether you grab your lunch to go or eat at a table in the greenhouse, this is a great place. Besides, where else can you get a bowl of soup and a watering can in one place?
8. Full Tilt – Burlington, VT.
This comfort food and ale house has a few things you haven’t seen in years. Literally! 1980’s arcade games and pinball machines are the main attraction! The toughest thing here is choosing what to play first: Pac Man or Asteroids.
9. Ruthcliffe – Isle La Motte, VT.
A beautiful bed and breakfast with sweeping views and seclusion is a delight. The restaurant on premises serves American/Italian fare as well as a full bar service and excellent wine list. For an adventurous commute, they offer boat dockings for restaurant guests.
10. Beloved Hot Dog Stand – Burlington, VT.
Let’s have a moment of silence for the many, many good years (and dogs!) served with a smile by “The hot dog lady on Church Street." We miss you!
What are your favorite unique dining spots in Vermont? We’d love to hear from you!