10 Must-Try Restaurants in Burlington, Vermont

From farm-to-table brews to Himalayan cuisine, these Green Mountain State restaurants top the rest.


Photo by ArtsRiot via Yelp

Just south of the Canadian border and located on Lake Champlain, Burlington makes for a captivating New England getaway year-round. Whatever the season, it’s hard not to fall in love with the charming shops of Church Street or the impeccable views along the waterfront. What really makes the place special, however, is its range of innovative restaurants who make the most of their access to fresh, high-quality ingredients grown in Green Mountain State. Before your next (or first) trip to Vermont’s biggest (but still small) city, we’ve narrowed down the many amazing picks to just 10 of the best.

ArtsRiot photo by Luke Lawtry.

ArtsRiot

There’s no shortage of music venues in Burlington, but South End’s ArtsRiot is by far the most unique. In this renovated warehouse, you’ll find art galleries, performance venues and a counter-service restaurant serving up globally-inspired sandwiches for dinner and equally eclectic dishes, like scrambled eggs with kimchi, for dinner. Sunday brunch. Additionally, ArtsRiot was recently acquired by brewing enthusiast Alan Newman (who co-founded the Boston Beer Company’s beer business incubator, Alchemy & Science), so the can and draft selections are first class.

400 Pine St., Burlington, 802-540-0406, artsriot.com.

A single pebble

Chef-owner Chiuho Sampson left a career in photojournalism in Taipei for culinary school in Vermont and never looked back, until she took over A Single Pebble in 2008 and rediscovered her love for childhood kitchen. Now the rest of us are wowed by the family-style Chinese dishes on the menu. From sliced ​​marinated beef coated in a thick Cantonese-style sauce to cellophane noodles with ground pork and ear mushrooms, each dish bends in bold flavors. Can’t take the burden of choosing what to order? Tasting the chef’s nine dishes will put your appetite in good hands.

133 Bank Street, Burlington, 802-865-5200, asinglepebble.com.

The Farmhouse Tap & Grill Photo by Kevin T. via Yelp

The Farmhouse Faucet and Grill

At this Burlington gastropub, the long list of draft and bottled beers is as notable as the menu showcasing the richness of Vermont’s many small farms. The meat for the lamb burger, for example, comes from the nearby Tamarack farm; the pork for the schnitzel, meanwhile, comes from Vermont Heritage Grazers, which raises premium Berkshire hogs. (Don’t worry, vegetarians, you’re covered in great food, too.) Relax from a seat at the beautifully carved wooden bar, or while hanging out in a heated beer garden that looks like the back patio of a a friend.

160 Bank Street, Burlington, 802-859-0888, farmtg.com.

hen of the woods

Chef Eric Warnstedt shot to fame as the farm-to-table king of the Green Mountains in the early 1990s, and scoring a table at the James Beard Award nominee’s Hen of the Wood restaurant in Waterbury continues to be a tough challenge. Olympic athlete. Thankfully, more diners have been able to experience his rustic-yet-upscale culinary creations since a Burlington location opened inside the Vermont Hotel in 2013. Its post-modern barn aesthetic — consider the gorgeous ceiling beamed geometric shapes and elegant hickory tables – perfectly complements Warnstedt’s cooking. Think: marinated habanada cauliflower, scallop crudo with crispy potato and marinated pears, and ribeye for two with candied peach jus.

55 Cherry St., Burlington, 802-540-0534, henofthewood.com.

Photo of Honey Road by Kristin Teig.

Honey road restaurant

If you want to simulate the feeling of the Mediterranean sun on your skin, take a seat at the Honey Road bar during golden hour. Between rays filtered through gleaming glass canopies, eclectic lamps lining the ceiling, and James Beard Award-nominated chef owner Cara Chigazola Tobin’s wonderful mezze, including harissa chicken wings and stuffed dolma with lamb, you’ll instantly feel transported to a fancy Turkish cafe. Before you head home, save room for a sweet finish to your meal: sticky saffron and pistachio buns, perhaps, or a scoop of orange blossom and walnut baklava ice cream.

156 Church St., Burlington, 802-497-2145, www.honeyroadrestaurant.com.

Juniper photo by Dylan Griffin.

Juniper Bar & Restaurant

Hen of the Wood isn’t the only destination-worthy restaurant at the Vermont hotel. See: Juniper, which offers an equally casual yet refined dining experience. Local produce and dairy define the delicious small plates, covering everything from roasted carrots with pistachio hummus to spicy Montreal brisket poutine. Main courses, on the other hand, are rich, decadent and come with two sides, while you fancy a mushroom stew with goat gnocchi or duck confit with cranberry and honey truffle demi-glace, bring a hungry crew and order accordingly.

41 Cherry St., Burlington, 802-651-5027, hotelvt.com/juniper.

Bistro & Cafe Leunig

If you ask any Burlington local where to have a fabulous meal, chances are they’ll point you to Leunig’s. After all, this French-leaning Church Street institution has become downtown Burlington’s premier day-to-night dining destination (and people-watching spot). In the morning, grab a fresh croissant and an expressive espresso at its cafe-like kiosk, Le Petit Bijou de Leunig. Later, return to the main dining room for a lunchtime cup of onion soup au gratin based on beef and duck broth. And when you’re done exploring the city, end the evening with a plate of steak frites and a glass of merlot in true Parisian style.

115 Church Street, Burlington, 802-863-3759, leunigsbistro.com.

Cookies and Gravy at Penny Cluse Cafe. / Photo by Clarina P. via Yelp

Penny Cluse Cafe

Your weekend companions may not be too enthusiastic about queuing – and there will be be a line – to this beloved local brunch spot (a magnet even for influential political figures, apparently). Convince them to wait, though, because any complaints will end as soon as they take a bite of the seasonal gingerbread pancakes, called “Bucket-o-Spuds” (home fries in the form of nachos), or thigh of chili-lime chicken served with coconut rice. Even better, while their mouths are full, you’ll be free to say, “I told you so.

169 Cherry St., Burlington, 802-651-8834, pennycluse.com.

Sherpa Kitchen Photo by Angel H. via Yelp

Kitchen Sherpas

Just a block and a half from bustling Church Street Market is this down-to-earth Himalayan and Nepalese joint. The intimate 20-seat space is perfect for a quick lunch between stops for window shopping, so pop in to browse a menu featuring several varieties of momo (steamed dumplings) served with a mouth-watering sweet tomato sauce. You’ll likely notice lots of chicken tikka masala orders coming out as well, but we recommend filling up with the hearty garlicky sherpa stew, which will keep you full until dinner.

119 College Street, Burlington, 802-881-0550, Facebook.

Zero Gravity Photo by Norma T. via Yelp

Zero Gravity Taproom

Burlington is the smallest largest city of any state in the country, so it’s perhaps a little surprising that it has so many craft breweries. Zero Gravity earns 10s across the board for froths like its lush, citrusy “Conehead” IPA, best enjoyed in the spacious dining room’s beautifully preserved antique bar (which once featured in a John Wayne movie) . Thanks to the brewery’s recent merger with neighboring restaurant Great Northern, the ales are now also enjoyed alongside contemporary bar fare like roast eggplant báhn mì or ‘dirty’ fries with smoked pork, sweet chili aioli and spicy pickles.

716 Pine St., Burlington, 802-497-0054, zerogravitybeer.com.


Comments are closed.