We all know that looks can be deceiving, and this is certainly true when it comes to dining in Vermont. Just because a restaurant is in a small or unlikely location, it doesn’t mean that the food isn’t out-of-this-world delicious. We don’t need our meals to be served on bone china with Waterford Crystal to make it taste good, nor do we need to travel to a metropolitan city to find culinary delights. Here are 11 examples of restaurants that are fantastic without needing to overdo their decor. We love them just as they are!
1. Newport Ciderhouse Bar & Grill- 150 Main Street, Newport
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You may be a bit unsure you're in the right place when you step through the door at the Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center. You'll see an amazing variety of co-op stations offering everything from a fresh bakery to maple syrup to an Eden Cider tasting bar. However, on the left is the Ciderhouse - an amazingly funky space with some of the best food you'll ever have. A true hidden treasure, this is a place that will have you coming back for more.
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An unexpected treat is the Eden Cider production center, located downstairs from the Ciderhouse. Ask for a tour from a friendly server at the Eden tasting bar to see out how their cider is made. Both interesting and informative, you'll get more than just a meal if you check this out before or after you eat.
2. Lil' Britain - 116 North Main St., Bennington
If you're in the mood for dynamite fish tacos or bangers and mash, look no further. While their fish n' chips are what they're famous for, you may want to try the chip sandwich. French fries on a butter bun may sound strange, but trust me... it's delicious!
3. Silver Fork - 4201 Main St., Route 7A, Manchester
With only 6 tables and 5 bar stools, this intimate place will provide you with charming service and outstanding food. The ever changing menu is always exciting and each dish is out-of-this-world delicious. The Silver Fork rivals top restaurants in any metropolitan city around the world. Lucky for us, it's right here in Vermont! Pictured is the lobster portabella and veal oscar.
4. Crazy Russian Girls Neighborhood Bakery - 443 Main St, Bennington
With a name like Crazy Russian Girls Bakery, you've just got to give it a try. Wander up to their display case and you'll have a hard time choosing because everything looks delicious. And the looks here AREN'T deceiving!
Check out this hand painted gypsy tattoo cake. It's a work of art!
5. Sandwich Shoppe - 52 Merchants Row, Rutland
It may not be fancy, but this family-owned and operated burger and sandwich joint is phenomenal. The menu is a huge mural style chalk wall with some of the most creative burgers and deli style sandwiches you'll ever find. Try something a little out of the ordinary - you'll be glad you did.
6. Bar Antidote - 35 Green St., Vergennes
The open and the decor is unassuming, simple and clean at Bar Antidote. Try to go when they have live music which is always a nice treat. The food is very tasty and you'll enjoy their eclectic menu with fresh & local ingredients and always cooked just right.
7. Moon Dog Cafe - 295 Main St., Chester
This quirky all-in-one shop has the best of everything - especially their food! You'll enjoy the fun dishes such as French toast stuffed with cream cheese and bananas or a ham, apple and brie sandwich.
8. Manhattan Pizza & Pub - 167 Main St., Burlington
If you're looking for an unassuming and easygoing pizza joint for a slice - you found it! You'll find consistently delicious pizza (among other things) and an amazing beer list. Who doesn't love a pool table in the back of a place for a quick game? The best part is that it won't break your bank.
9. Three Penny Taproom - 108 Main Street, Montpelier
The Caprese Buratta (pictured) is just one of the amazing offerings at Three Penny Taproom. Many people come for the beer and end up staying for a delectable meal. The well thought out menu is small but all options are delicious. The service is the perfect pace and the sandwiches are great. A must try!
10. Mad Taco - 2 Village Square, Waitsfield & 72 Main Street Montpelier
You'll love the tasty and thoughtful tacos in a fun room furnished with the cook's travel pictures to Latin America. The chefs clearly spend time thinking about the food (housemade tortillas) and have a good time pumping them out to hungry customers.
11. Mike’s Tiki Bar - 44 Belden Hill Rd, East Burke
This is a fun outdoor bar at the base of the Kingdom Trails mountain biking routes. Sit outside on benches in the sun and try one of the 30 or so beers on tap.
And adjacent to the Tiki Bar...
Who knew the best Mexican food in the NEK would from a food truck? They are dishing out some of the best burritos ever made! If you're in East Burke, then Mike's Tiki bar is worth the stop.
What are some other deceptively delicious restaurants in Vermont? Keep the conversation going!