It’s that time of year for all-things-autumn, Halloween, and leaf-peeping (why does that sound so creepy?) — Anyway, Burlington is the perfect spot to make all your pumpkin-spiced dreams come true. This town — which is located on the beautiful Lake Champlain — is filled to the brim with friendly open-minded people, great bars and breweries, and delicious food. Ride a bicycle along the water, go for a drive through the countryside, or take a stroll down Church Street — and once you’ve worked up an appetite or are ready for a drink, here’s where we recommend you check out.
1. Hen of the Wood
You’ll hear a lot about this place because it’s the star of Burlington. Some locals understandably told us it’s overrated— but we loved it! You’ll need to make a reservation well in advance or try your luck at the bar, but Hen of the Wood is worth all the hype. The atmosphere is rustic, chic, and cozy, and the menu is adjusted every day to source super local and in-season farm-to-table ingredients. You’ll hear “farm-to-table” a lot here in Vermont, as great pride is taken in the local offerings.
Juniper is located right next to Hen of the Wood inside the Hotel Vermont, just above the lobby. We stopped here for a fantastic Eggs Benedict brunch without the long waits and huge crowds at some other popular spots.
3. Bleu Northeast Kitchen
You’ll fine Bleu right next door to the Hotel Vermont at the Courtyard by Marriott. We really enjoyed our dinner here — more delicious oysters, super fresh ingredients and friendly staff.
4. Honey Road
If you like creative Mediterranean small plates, you’ll love Honey Road with its interesting flavor combinations and delicious offering of orange wine. We loved the hummus, cauliflower, spanakopita, chicken wings, and roasted carrots with feta. 😋
5. Farmhouse Tap and Grill
This is a great spot for a burger and a beer. They also have an incredible selection of ciders. We tried to go to Citizen Cider but didn’t want to wait an hour for a seat so we happily wandered over to Farmhouse and tasted a few of the cider selections while also enjoying an excellent burger and beet salad. We’re huge fans of dry cider and really liked Citizen’s Wit’s Up. Our favorite, though, was Graft Cider Field Day Rhubarb Rosé.
6. The Skinny Pancake
This restaurant has a great location close to the lake and a few others. They also have a spot in Burlington’s very small airport. We checked out these two locations and enjoyed them both. The crepes are so tasty and — like everywhere in Burlington — came with super friendly service.
7. The Vermont Pub Brewery
We’re not big beer drinkers but the brews at VPB were outstanding. The greatest part is you can get 3 oz samples for $1.50 each — so try them all. Our favorite was the Burley Irish Ale, but every one we tried was fantastic. The Tulach Leis is super unique and worth a try if you like your beer a little sour with a higher alcohol content (like we do).
What town is complete without a great Irish pub? We loved Finnigan’s because they have excellent bartenders, a solid pool table, and a projector screen to watch the games. You can also get Guinness on tap — which is always a plus for us.
Want a traditional, crispy east- coast slice of pizza? Then Piesano’s is your place. This is the pizza of our youth, where you walk up to the counter, order a slice, shake on some parm and oregano, fold it in half, and try not to burn your mouth as you walk away and stuff it in your face. Absolutely perfect!
10. The Whiskey Room
The place has a nice ambiance, great selection of whiskey (obvs) and also a range of other wine, beer, and spirits. Try the French fries, too! You won’t be disappointed.
What are your favorite spots in Burlington? Let us know in the comments.