Eat: An A-to-Z Guide to Vermont Food and Drink

In the quite hamlets of the Green Mountain State, you'll find some of the best food and drink in the Northeast.

By Nina Fedrizzi | Illustrations by Richard Faust

Alchemist

Sample the Alchemist brewery’s Heady Topper, the state’s much touted unfiltered IPA, at the Three Penny Taproom, in Montpelier. You can also snack on modern pub fare, like stout-braised lamb short ribs. threepennytaproom.com

Barr Hill Gin

On the banks of the Lamoille River, stop by the Caledonia Spirits distillery, which you can tour while you taste this award-winning small-batch gin. It’s made with raw organic honey, which gives it subtle floral notes that vary with the season. caledoniaspirits.com

Cloudland Farm

At this family farm near Woodstock, chef Ira White prepares a prix fixe dinner on Friday and Saturday. Cloudland’s farm-fresh products feature in dishes such as brisket with tomato gastrique, made with grass-fed Angus beef raised on-site. cloudlandfarm.com

Downtown Grocery

Chef Rogan Lechthaler is a Vermont native and a veteran of top kitchens in Boston and Mississippi. Tables at the eclectic Ludlow restaurant he founded with his wife, Abby, can be scarce—but don’t give up. The wait’s worth it for dishes like braised salmon collar with ponzu sauce. thedowntowngrocery.com

Eggplant Parmesan Subs

Costello’s Market is one of Middlebury’s favorite sub shops. Owners Carolyn Costello and John Hamilton are serious about Italian food: Their porchetta is roasted over apple wood for 10 hours. The eggplant Parmesan sub, gooey with cheese and topped with marinara sauce, is a standout. costellosmarket.com

Fried Chicken

At the scene-y Misery Loves Co., in downtown Winooski, it’s all about the flaky fried chicken for two. Soaked in buttermilk, dredged in Wondra flour and served with an emulsified honey-butter dipping sauce, it’s like a little slice of the South tucked away in the North Country. miserylovescovt.com

Gelato

Using Vermont milk and maple syrup, third-generation gelato maker Carlo de Prato, of Leonardo’s Italian Gelato & Sorbet, creates nontraditional gelato varieties, such as coconut, maple and mint chocolate chunk. leonardosgelateria.com

Hen of the Wood

Since 2005 chef Eric Warnstedt and William McNeil’s Waterbury restaurant has showcased regional ingredients in its riverside dining room. Dishes like mushroom toast and rabbit leg with buttered celery root shine. There’s a second location in Burlington. henofthewood.com

Inn at West View Farm

You might not expect to find lemongrass soup and pork wontons at an inn in Dorset. Here chef-owner Raymond Chen, who cut his teeth at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Mercer Kitchen, in New York City, puts his spin on ingredients from nearby farms. innatwestviewfarm.com

Jasper Hill Farm

You can’t visit Vermont without sampling Jasper Hill’s award-winning Bayley Hazen Blue, a star of cheese boards at restaurants around the state. Named for a Revolutionary War road commissioned by George Washington, Bayley Hazen takes on a rich toasted-nut sweetness when aged. jasperhillfarm.com

Kitchen Table Bistro

A historic farmhouse said to have been a stop on the Underground Railroad is the setting for Steve and Lara Atkins’s food. Steve enlists everyone from duck farmers to fiddlehead foragers for mustard-crusted pork shoulder and other dishes. Save room for Lara’s frangipane tart with poached pears. kitchentablebistro.com

Lavender Tuna

It may sound a little out of the box, but the signature Lavender–Black Pepper Crusted Ahi Tuna, by chef Monica Lamay, of Sonoma Station restaurant, in Richmond, hits all the right notes: Delicate, earthy, with the bright, acidic pop of balsamic vinegar, it’s the kind of dish you dream about for months afterward. sonomastation.com

Myer’s Bagels

You’ve got to try the Montreal-style bagels from Myer’s, in Burlington. Here chef Lloyd Squires, who worked at Montreal’s famous St-Viateur Bagel shop, hand rolls dough that is then boiled with a dollop of honey, baked in a wood oven and sprinkled with a special spice blend. The result? Magnifique. myersbagels.com

Neapolitan Pizza

How do you make pizza that tastes straight out of Naples? At downtown Burlington’s Pizzeria Veritá, the answer is simple: imported San Marzano tomatoes, homemade mozzarella and a 900-degree oven that turns out blistered pies in 90 seconds. Order the Mais, made with roasted sweet corn and crème fraîche. pizzeriaverita.com

Osteria Pane e Salute

After years working in Italy, restaurateurs turned farmer-winemakers Deirdre Heekin and Caleb Barber wanted to re-create the family osterie that inspired them. Their Woodstock restaurant uses ingredients from their farm. The wine list highlights some of Italy’s lesser-known regional varietals. osteriapaneesalute.com

Pho

This Vietnamese noodle soup is a great remedy for North Country winters. Chittenden County offers a handful of shops, and in Winooski you’ll find two of the best: Pho Dang Vietnamese Café and Dharshan Namaste Asian Deli. 802-655-0707 and 802-654-8000, respectively; no websites

Quechee

The town of Quechee is known for the Simon Pearce glassblowing factory, store and restaurant. Diners can take in views of the Ottauquechee River and its covered bridge while enjoying chef Brian Gazda’s sea scallops with an apple-ginger emulsion, juniper-rubbed venison and other dishes. simonpearce.com

Rotisserie

At Rutland’s Table 24 restaurant, chef-owner Stephen Sawyer prepares jerk chicken fondue, butternut-squash ravioli and other global comfort food. But it’s the wood-fired rotisserie that sets this place apart, turning out crispy chicken and juicy prime rib flavored with the smoke of apple and hickory woods. table24.net

Silver Fork

After 20 years in Puerto Rico, Melody French and her chef husband, Mark, opened a six-table-five-bar-stool restaurant in Manchester to bring some spice (tamarind barbecue shrimp mofongo, smoked salmon with mango) to the Green Mountain State. thesilverforkvt.com

Trattoria Delia

A fire roars in the exposed-beam dining room at Thomas and Lori Delia’s downstairs trattoria, a Burlington mainstay since 1993. An Italian-wine list complements specialties from across that country, from fresh pappardelle to red-wine-braised beef cheek. trattoriadelia.com

Uah Tortillas

Born in the Maya village of Ticul, Alejandra Bolles grew up in a family that cooked tortillas over an open flame. Her legend lives on at her daughter’s Three Stones Restaurant, in Brattleboro, where three types of tortilla are handmade: fried salbute; panucho, stuffed with beans; and the griddle-cooked uah. 3stonesrestaurant.com

Vergennes Laundry

Entering this bakery in downtown Vergennes is like visiting another place: Brooklyn? Paris? Or some other world entirely, where baker-owner Julianne Jones creates French breads and pastries. Up front, her husband and co-owner, Didier Murat, pours lattes and Old World wines. vergenneslaundry.squarespace.com

WhistlePig Rye

During the American Revolution, rye whiskey became the patriot tippler’s answer to British-controlled rum. Today that fiery New England spirit is alive and well at Shoreham’s WhistlePig, a whiskey maker that grows, harvests and bottles rye aged for at least 10 years in American oak barrels. whistlepigwhiskey.com

Xtra Worthy Burger

What’s better than a grass-fed Black Watch Farm beef burger grilled over a hardwood fire with a side of beef-tallow fries and a Vermont craft beer? Two patties, which is how one of the state’s best burger joints, in a restored 1850s railroad freight house in South Royalton, does its double-decker, Xtra Worthy. worthyvermont.com

Ye Olde Tavern

Step back in time at this Manchester restaurant, a 1790s tavern with antique furniture and slanted doorways. Dine on New England lobster bisque and other dishes in flickering candlelight before the hearth’s crackling fire. yeoldetavern.net

Zero Gravity Craft Brewery

The craft-beer counterpart of Vermont’s popular American Flatbread pizza restaurants set up shop in 2004 with a 10-barrel brewery next to American Flatbread’s Burlington outpost. More than a decade later Zero Gravity still turns out a rotating variety of pizza-friendly styles—from crisp pilsners to Belgian ales. zerogravitybeer.com

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STAY
RCI affiliated resorts in Vermont include:
Smugglers’ Notch Resort 0300
Cozy family-style homes scattered across several neighborhoods (linked by a free on-demand shuttle service) in the scenic Green Mountains. 4323 VT 108 S, Jeffersonville
Member Reviews: “Something for everyone.”
“The ski slopes are nicely groomed.”
“A nature lover’s dream.”
Crafts Inn 5024
A 117-year-old destination in the heart of Vermont, just six miles from Mount Snow, complete with on-site saunas, a racquetball court and an indoor pool.
10 W. Main St., Wilmington
Member Reviews: “Archetypal Vermont at its best.”
“Clean, comfortable and rustic.”
“The bucolic backdrop provided a lovely setting.”
The Seasons Resort 4989
Sprawled over a 17-acre meadow in the Mad River Valley, this nature-friendly resort balances outdoorsy adventures with plenty of enticing downtime options. 1815 VT 100, Warren
Member Reviews: “Quiet, serene, a good place to relax.”
“The proximity to outdoor activities is outstanding.”
Mountainside Resort at Stowe 0667
One- to four-bedroom condos that overlook tranquil Mount Mansfield; an ideal base for a skiing or snowboarding vacation. 171 Cottage Club Rd., Stowe
Member Reviews: “Very family oriented.”
“So much beauty to behold.”
“You can walk out of the resort straight to the hiking trails.”
For complete member reviews (as member reviews have been condensed) and additional resort listings, visit RCI.com or call 800-338-7777 (Weeks) or 877-968-7476 (Points). Club Members, please call your specific Club or RCI telephone number.

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Non-RCI affiliated resorts:
Hotel Vermont
Modern accommodations in the center of downtown Burlington. 41 Cherry St., Burlington; 855-650-0080; hotelvt.com; doubles from $270 a night
The Inn at Mountain View Farm
This historic farm has been restored as a country retreat. Darling Hill Rd., East Burke; 802-626-9924; innmtnview.com; doubles from $215 a night
The Inn at Round Barn Farm
Mountains and meadows surround this B&B. 1661 E. Warren Rd., Waitsfield; 802-496-2276; theroundbarn.com; doubles from $205 a night
Waybury Inn
Ideally located for exploring the Green Mountain National Forest. 457 E. Main St., East Middlebury; 802-388-4015; wayburyinn.com; doubles from $135 a night
  • NOTE: Information may have changed since publication. Please confirm key details before planning your trip.
  • Published: Fall 2015