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The Essential Restaurants of Burlington, Vermont

Farm-to-table, crafty cocktails, and lots of cheese

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Despite its small size and the fact that it spends up to half the year covered in snow and ice, Vermont outshines much of the U.S. with a bounty of locally grown food. Year after year, the Green Mountain State ranks number one for the availability of local food to its citizens, with myriad farmers markets, CSAs and public school districts with farm-to-school programs for children.

Little surprise then, that farm-to-table dining abounds in the state’s largest city. In fact, it’s tough to find eateries not serving locally grown fare. Combine Vermont’s finest ingredients with talented chefs, stellar craft cocktails, locally brewed beer, cider and wine and it all reaches exceptional heights. Here are the best places to take in Vermont’s delicious harvest. All that, and it’s only a few hours in the car from Montreal and Boston.

Looking for cheap eats, brunches, or bars in Burlington? Head over here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Farmers and Foragers Food Truck

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112 Lake St
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 238-0144
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The name speaks for this food truck’s ingredients; popular menu items include Boyden Valley top-round cheesesteaks with locally-foraged mushrooms, the Perch Po’Boy with Lake Champlain perch, house-made tartar sauce and serrano slaw, braised local pulled pork, and, of course poutine (a popular dish given Burlington’s proximity to Quebec), complete with Maplebrook Farm cheese curds. (Farmers and Foragers sometimes parks here at Foam Brewers, but check online for the truck’s exact schedule.)

2. Bleu Northeast Seafood

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25 Cherry St
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 864-8600
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Chefs Douglas Paine and Wayne Freeman serve sustainably-caught New England seafood along with Vermont’s local crop. Lake Champlain perch sandwiches, Misty Knoll Farm chicken breast, mushroom risotto with sheep’s milk cheese, peas, black truffle, and pan seared scallops are all excellent reasons to visit this posh dining room.

3. Hen of the Wood

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55 Cherry St
Burlington, VT
(802) 540-0534
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The Burlington location of chef Eric Warnstedt’s acclaimed restaurant opened in the swanky Hotel Vermont in 2013, eight years after the original Waterbury location. And it impresses: the concise menu from chef de cuisine and James Beard Award semifinalist Jordan Ware notes the farms from which most vegetables were sourced each week. A second page is devoted entirely to Vermont cheeses. The food may be uncomplicated, but nibbling on Hen of the Wood’s mushroom toast with house bacon and poached farm egg, or rabbit leg with buttered celery root, parsnips and cranberries is nothing short of extraordinary. Hen of the Wood is famous for the rustic yet sophisticated farm-to-table cuisine that put Burlington on the map as a culinary destination. The bar at the famed eatery is a reflection of this ethos and quality. Hen of the Wood’s beverage program is a destination of its own too, offering locally sourced beer, wine and an impressive list of craft cocktails shaken, stirred and poured by attentive and knowledgable bartenders.

4. Juniper

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41 Cherry St
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 651-5027
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Hotel Vermont undoubtedly has Burlington’s most stylish lodgings, so it comes as no surprise that its bar and restaurant, Juniper, is equally chic. Take a seat at the copper bar or opt for an Adirondack chair next to the fire pit on the patio with sunset views of Lake Champlain. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Juniper’s menu highlights local products. Start with Vermont Creamery’s St. Albans baked brie followed by Maple Wind Farm chicken with Fresno chili, maple ginger, baby greens and grains, and cherry toasted almond vinaigrette. It doesn’t get more local than fried Lake Champlain perch, caught from lake waters a few blocks from the hotel. The freshwater fish is served with frisée, malt vinegar, shallots, and hazelnut oil. In addition to an all-natural, locally-focused wine list, the drinks menu is comprised almost entirely of Vermont-made ciders, beers and spirits, including their very own lines of vodka, gin, and bourbon. Cocktails keep it seasonal with autumnal treats like the Golden Hour, chamomile-infused gin, yellow chartreuse, apple cider, lemon, and honey syrup.

5. ArtsRiot

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400 Pine St
Burlington, VT
(802) 540-0406
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This quintessential live music and community art space draws crowds to Burlington’s South End arts district. Event-goers, hungry locals and even the farmers themselves enjoy casual fare from chef George Lambertson, with creative Asian-inspired vegetable dishes sourced from nearby Half Pint Farm and Jericho Settlers Farm. Fish is line-caught from Wood Mountain Fish, and Vermont Mangalista pork (the cute curly-haired kind) comes from Royalton Farms for his Mangalista pork taquitos, barbecue pork ribs, pork cheek carnitas, and crispy pork belly.

6. Monarch and the Milkweed

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111 St Paul St
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 310-7828
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By day, Monarch is known for its stand-out brunch. In the evening, a hip crowd bellies up to a small bar where an apron-clad mixologist explains the process of making spiced beet cordial for the Recovery Pod cocktail. She shakes it into a pink frothy liquid with Buffalo Trace bourbon, Amontillado sherry, lemon, egg white and sesame oil and pours it into a coupe glass with a dusting of green matcha. On weekends crowds flock to this self-proclaimed “fine diner” for former Hen of the Wood pastry chef Andrew LeStourgeon’s pastries. But they stay for the bacon cheddar Gruyere quiche, waffles with house-churned butter, blueberry pancakes, cocktails, and cannabis confections.

7. American Flatbread Burlington Hearth and Zero Gravity Brewpub

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115 Saint Paul St
Burlington, VT
(802) 861-2999
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Organically-grown wheat is used to make fresh dough daily at this popular pizzeria and brewpub. American Flatbread’s Burlington location at City Hall Park partners with Diggers’ Mirth Collective and Pitchfork Farm to provide locally grown vegetables for their beloved pizzas and salads. Thin wood-fired crusts are topped with organic tomatoes, locally-made cheeses and meats like house-made maple-fennel local pork sausage and free-range chicken. The pizzeria is also home to the original Zero Gravity Brewpub. Now famous for its cans of crisp Green State Lager pilsner, Zero Gravity Craft Brewery began in 2004 here, it pours from 18 taps, along with a varying array of cask-conditioned beers. Beer aficionados should also consider Zero Gravity’s South End brewhouse, complete with tasting room, retail shop, and sunny beer garden.

8. The Farmhouse Tap & Grill

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160 Bank St
Burlington, VT
(802) 859-0888
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Though this casual, family friendly grill is known for locally-raised burgers and a long craft beer list, the Farmhouse has a full menu of hearty seasonal dishes. In colder months, warm up with a bowl of Vermont cheddar ale soup. In summer, enjoy salads like Jericho Settlers Farm cucumbers with Butterworks Farm yogurt, shaved fennel, and olive tapenade. Underneath this Burlington favourite lies one of the city’s best drinking dens. Communal seating, a roaring fireplace and over 30 draft beers makes this subterranean bar a charming place to warm up with a libation in winter. In the warmer months, Farmhouse’s above-ground beer garden is a happening outdoor patio with occasional live music.

9. Leunig's Bistro

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115 Church St
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 863-3759
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A Burlington institution, Leunig’s has been serving French bistro fare since 1980. Its prime location on the pedestrian-only Church Street Market Place offers al fresco lounging in summer and cozy romantic dining in winter. Chef Donnell Collins sources local ingredients for crowd-pleasing seasonal menus, including an elegant France-meets-Vermont brunch on weekends. This impressive spread offers everything from duck confit poutine to classic French omelettes, plus local cheese and charcuterie. A waffled Croque Madame comes with Vermont’s North Country Smoke House ham, Gruyere on a Belgian waffle with béchamel and a sunny-side-up egg. It’s a fancy affair: here, “steak and eggs” means filet mignon with béarnaise and asparagus.

10. Honey Road

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156 Church St
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 497-2145
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In 2018 Honey Road received two James Beard Award semifinalist nods for Best New Restaurant and for Best Chef Northeast for Cara Chigazola Tobin. That praise is due: Middle Eastern flavours meet Vermont produce with flair at this busy Mediterranean mezze restaurant. Chigazola-Tobin worked previously as chef de cuisine at acclaimed Boston restaurant Oleana, while Allison Gibson (Shelburne Farms and Hen of the Wood Waterbury) runs front-of-house. This dream-team duo offer a vegetable-focused menu incorporating flavours from pide to grilled octopus or beet labneh.

11. El Cortijo

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189 Bank St
Burlington, VT
(802) 497-1668
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A sister restaurant to the Farmhouse Tap and Grill, El Cortijo sprung from the Farmhouse’s popular beer garden Taco Tuesdays. Housed in a former diner, the trendy taqueria is now an institution of its own, offering a (self-proclaimed) “farm-to-taco experience”. While Mexican food is hardly native to northern Vermont, the organic vegetables, meats and cheeses used in these tasty tacos, certainly are. It’s a tough choice between mole with sweet potato or carnitas with avocado crema, but whichever you choose, wash it down with margaritas from El Cortijo’s extensive tequila selection.

12. Penny Cluse Café

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169 Cherry St
Burlington, VT
(802) 651-8834
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Breakfast and lunch are served all day, every day at this twenty-year-old crowd-pleaser. The extensive menu includes everything from nutty house-baked granola with maple syrup to gingerbread pancakes, biscuits and gravy, huevos rancheros, omelettes and beyond. Wash it all down with local beers and bloody marys.

13. Butch + Babe's

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258 N Winooski Ave
Burlington, VT
(802) 495-0716
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Every city has that hip, “up-and-coming” neighbourhood; in Burlington, it’s the Old North End and Butch + Babe’s is the perfect excuse to visit it. A highly-shareable menu offers cheesy dips du jour and mac and cheese pancakes (yes, Vermonters love cheese, which is no surprise for anyone who has ever had Vermont cheese).

Dukbokki at Butch + Babe’s
Butch + Babe’s/Facebook

14. Misery Loves Co.

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46 Main St
Winooski, VT
(802) 497-3989
Visit Website

If you ask a local where to drink in Burlington, they will tell you to head to neighbouring Winooski for some of the Champlain Valley’s hippest haunts. One of which is Misery Loves Company, an acclaimed farm-to-table bar and eatery whose strong relationships with local farmers are reflected in the quality of its food and seasonal cocktail program. Hearty brunch offerings are also on the table (with $5 mimosas on Saturdays): the menu shines with creative snacks like cheddar beignets with honey butter, small plates like tater tots with smoked fish, trout roe and crème fraîche, or 18-hour smoked brisket hash with fried eggs and salsa verde.

Rye toast, swordfish bacon, house yogurt, and vegetables
Misery Loves Co./Facebook

15. Waterworks Food + Drink

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20 Winooski Falls Way
Winooski, VT 05404
(802) 497-3525
Visit Website

Inside Winooski’s historic Champlain Mill lies a Burlington Stalwart, Waterworks. Choose from a long list of cocktails and classic Vermont fare. Enjoy it all while watching the rapids of the Winooski River flow by. In winter, they’ll be frozen: an equally magnificent sight.

1. Farmers and Foragers Food Truck

112 Lake St, Burlington, VT 05401

The name speaks for this food truck’s ingredients; popular menu items include Boyden Valley top-round cheesesteaks with locally-foraged mushrooms, the Perch Po’Boy with Lake Champlain perch, house-made tartar sauce and serrano slaw, braised local pulled pork, and, of course poutine (a popular dish given Burlington’s proximity to Quebec), complete with Maplebrook Farm cheese curds. (Farmers and Foragers sometimes parks here at Foam Brewers, but check online for the truck’s exact schedule.)

112 Lake St
Burlington, VT 05401

2. Bleu Northeast Seafood

25 Cherry St, Burlington, VT 05401

Chefs Douglas Paine and Wayne Freeman serve sustainably-caught New England seafood along with Vermont’s local crop. Lake Champlain perch sandwiches, Misty Knoll Farm chicken breast, mushroom risotto with sheep’s milk cheese, peas, black truffle, and pan seared scallops are all excellent reasons to visit this posh dining room.

25 Cherry St
Burlington, VT 05401

3. Hen of the Wood

55 Cherry St, Burlington, VT

The Burlington location of chef Eric Warnstedt’s acclaimed restaurant opened in the swanky Hotel Vermont in 2013, eight years after the original Waterbury location. And it impresses: the concise menu from chef de cuisine and James Beard Award semifinalist Jordan Ware notes the farms from which most vegetables were sourced each week. A second page is devoted entirely to Vermont cheeses. The food may be uncomplicated, but nibbling on Hen of the Wood’s mushroom toast with house bacon and poached farm egg, or rabbit leg with buttered celery root, parsnips and cranberries is nothing short of extraordinary. Hen of the Wood is famous for the rustic yet sophisticated farm-to-table cuisine that put Burlington on the map as a culinary destination. The bar at the famed eatery is a reflection of this ethos and quality. Hen of the Wood’s beverage program is a destination of its own too, offering locally sourced beer, wine and an impressive list of craft cocktails shaken, stirred and poured by attentive and knowledgable bartenders.

55 Cherry St
Burlington, VT

4. Juniper

41 Cherry St, Burlington, VT 05401

Hotel Vermont undoubtedly has Burlington’s most stylish lodgings, so it comes as no surprise that its bar and restaurant, Juniper, is equally chic. Take a seat at the copper bar or opt for an Adirondack chair next to the fire pit on the patio with sunset views of Lake Champlain. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Juniper’s menu highlights local products. Start with Vermont Creamery’s St. Albans baked brie followed by Maple Wind Farm chicken with Fresno chili, maple ginger, baby greens and grains, and cherry toasted almond vinaigrette. It doesn’t get more local than fried Lake Champlain perch, caught from lake waters a few blocks from the hotel. The freshwater fish is served with frisée, malt vinegar, shallots, and hazelnut oil. In addition to an all-natural, locally-focused wine list, the drinks menu is comprised almost entirely of Vermont-made ciders, beers and spirits, including their very own lines of vodka, gin, and bourbon. Cocktails keep it seasonal with autumnal treats like the Golden Hour, chamomile-infused gin, yellow chartreuse, apple cider, lemon, and honey syrup.

41 Cherry St
Burlington, VT 05401

5. ArtsRiot

400 Pine St, Burlington, VT

This quintessential live music and community art space draws crowds to Burlington’s South End arts district. Event-goers, hungry locals and even the farmers themselves enjoy casual fare from chef George Lambertson, with creative Asian-inspired vegetable dishes sourced from nearby Half Pint Farm and Jericho Settlers Farm. Fish is line-caught from Wood Mountain Fish, and Vermont Mangalista pork (the cute curly-haired kind) comes from Royalton Farms for his Mangalista pork taquitos, barbecue pork ribs, pork cheek carnitas, and crispy pork belly.

400 Pine St
Burlington, VT

6. Monarch and the Milkweed

111 St Paul St, Burlington, VT 05401

By day, Monarch is known for its stand-out brunch. In the evening, a hip crowd bellies up to a small bar where an apron-clad mixologist explains the process of making spiced beet cordial for the Recovery Pod cocktail. She shakes it into a pink frothy liquid with Buffalo Trace bourbon, Amontillado sherry, lemon, egg white and sesame oil and pours it into a coupe glass with a dusting of green matcha. On weekends crowds flock to this self-proclaimed “fine diner” for former Hen of the Wood pastry chef Andrew LeStourgeon’s pastries. But they stay for the bacon cheddar Gruyere quiche, waffles with house-churned butter, blueberry pancakes, cocktails, and cannabis confections.

111 St Paul St
Burlington, VT 05401

7. American Flatbread Burlington Hearth and Zero Gravity Brewpub

115 Saint Paul St, Burlington, VT

Organically-grown wheat is used to make fresh dough daily at this popular pizzeria and brewpub. American Flatbread’s Burlington location at City Hall Park partners with Diggers’ Mirth Collective and Pitchfork Farm to provide locally grown vegetables for their beloved pizzas and salads. Thin wood-fired crusts are topped with organic tomatoes, locally-made cheeses and meats like house-made maple-fennel local pork sausage and free-range chicken. The pizzeria is also home to the original Zero Gravity Brewpub. Now famous for its cans of crisp Green State Lager pilsner, Zero Gravity Craft Brewery began in 2004 here, it pours from 18 taps, along with a varying array of cask-conditioned beers. Beer aficionados should also consider Zero Gravity’s South End brewhouse, complete with tasting room, retail shop, and sunny beer garden.

115 Saint Paul St
Burlington, VT

8. The Farmhouse Tap & Grill

160 Bank St, Burlington, VT

Though this casual, family friendly grill is known for locally-raised burgers and a long craft beer list, the Farmhouse has a full menu of hearty seasonal dishes. In colder months, warm up with a bowl of Vermont cheddar ale soup. In summer, enjoy salads like Jericho Settlers Farm cucumbers with Butterworks Farm yogurt, shaved fennel, and olive tapenade. Underneath this Burlington favourite lies one of the city’s best drinking dens. Communal seating, a roaring fireplace and over 30 draft beers makes this subterranean bar a charming place to warm up with a libation in winter. In the warmer months, Farmhouse’s above-ground beer garden is a happening outdoor patio with occasional live music.

160 Bank St
Burlington, VT

9. Leunig's Bistro

115 Church St, Burlington, VT 05401

A Burlington institution, Leunig’s has been serving French bistro fare since 1980. Its prime location on the pedestrian-only Church Street Market Place offers al fresco lounging in summer and cozy romantic dining in winter. Chef Donnell Collins sources local ingredients for crowd-pleasing seasonal menus, including an elegant France-meets-Vermont brunch on weekends. This impressive spread offers everything from duck confit poutine to classic French omelettes, plus local cheese and charcuterie. A waffled Croque Madame comes with Vermont’s North Country Smoke House ham, Gruyere on a Belgian waffle with béchamel and a sunny-side-up egg. It’s a fancy affair: here, “steak and eggs” means filet mignon with béarnaise and asparagus.

115 Church St
Burlington, VT 05401

10. Honey Road

156 Church St, Burlington, VT 05401

In 2018 Honey Road received two James Beard Award semifinalist nods for Best New Restaurant and for Best Chef Northeast for Cara Chigazola Tobin. That praise is due: Middle Eastern flavours meet Vermont produce with flair at this busy Mediterranean mezze restaurant. Chigazola-Tobin worked previously as chef de cuisine at acclaimed Boston restaurant Oleana, while Allison Gibson (Shelburne Farms and Hen of the Wood Waterbury) runs front-of-house. This dream-team duo offer a vegetable-focused menu incorporating flavours from pide to grilled octopus or beet labneh.

156 Church St
Burlington, VT 05401

11. El Cortijo

189 Bank St, Burlington, VT

A sister restaurant to the Farmhouse Tap and Grill, El Cortijo sprung from the Farmhouse’s popular beer garden Taco Tuesdays. Housed in a former diner, the trendy taqueria is now an institution of its own, offering a (self-proclaimed) “farm-to-taco experience”. While Mexican food is hardly native to northern Vermont, the organic vegetables, meats and cheeses used in these tasty tacos, certainly are. It’s a tough choice between mole with sweet potato or carnitas with avocado crema, but whichever you choose, wash it down with margaritas from El Cortijo’s extensive tequila selection.

189 Bank St
Burlington, VT

12. Penny Cluse Café

169 Cherry St, Burlington, VT

Breakfast and lunch are served all day, every day at this twenty-year-old crowd-pleaser. The extensive menu includes everything from nutty house-baked granola with maple syrup to gingerbread pancakes, biscuits and gravy, huevos rancheros, omelettes and beyond. Wash it all down with local beers and bloody marys.

169 Cherry St
Burlington, VT

13. Butch + Babe's

258 N Winooski Ave, Burlington, VT
Dukbokki at Butch + Babe’s
Butch + Babe’s/Facebook

Every city has that hip, “up-and-coming” neighbourhood; in Burlington, it’s the Old North End and Butch + Babe’s is the perfect excuse to visit it. A highly-shareable menu offers cheesy dips du jour and mac and cheese pancakes (yes, Vermonters love cheese, which is no surprise for anyone who has ever had Vermont cheese).

258 N Winooski Ave
Burlington, VT

14. Misery Loves Co.

46 Main St, Winooski, VT
Rye toast, swordfish bacon, house yogurt, and vegetables
Misery Loves Co./Facebook

If you ask a local where to drink in Burlington, they will tell you to head to neighbouring Winooski for some of the Champlain Valley’s hippest haunts. One of which is Misery Loves Company, an acclaimed farm-to-table bar and eatery whose strong relationships with local farmers are reflected in the quality of its food and seasonal cocktail program. Hearty brunch offerings are also on the table (with $5 mimosas on Saturdays): the menu shines with creative snacks like cheddar beignets with honey butter, small plates like tater tots with smoked fish, trout roe and crème fraîche, or 18-hour smoked brisket hash with fried eggs and salsa verde.

46 Main St
Winooski, VT

15. Waterworks Food + Drink

20 Winooski Falls Way, Winooski, VT 05404

Inside Winooski’s historic Champlain Mill lies a Burlington Stalwart, Waterworks. Choose from a long list of cocktails and classic Vermont fare. Enjoy it all while watching the rapids of the Winooski River flow by. In winter, they’ll be frozen: an equally magnificent sight.

20 Winooski Falls Way
Winooski, VT 05404

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