Hotel Vermont press

The Essential Farm-to-Table Dining in Burlington, Vermont

By: Heather Platt
September, 22 2017

Despite its small size and the fact that it spends up to half the year covered in snow and ice, Vermont outshines the rest 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, 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 tips elsewhere in Vermont? Consider Eater’s 38 Essential New England Restaurants.

1. Farmers and Foragers Food Truck

112 Lake St
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 399-2511

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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 closeness 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.)

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. Juniper

41 Cherry St
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 651-5027

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Located in the Hotel Vermont lobby, Juniper is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As a member of the Vermont Fresh Network, it raises money for the local agricultural and culinary community by offering complimentary flatbread in exchange for donations to the network. As for the menu, 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.

4. Hen of the Wood

55 Cherry St
Burlington, VT 05401
(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 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.

5. ArtsRiot

400 Pine St
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 540-0406

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This quintessentially Burlington live music and community art and performance 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 Point Farms 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. American Flatbread Burlington Hearth

115 St Paul St
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 861-2999

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Organically-grown wheat is used daily to make the dough at this popular pizzeria and brew pub. American Flatbread’s Burlington location 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 local free-range chicken.

7. The Farmhouse Tap & Grill

160 Bank St
Burlington, VT 05401
(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 seasonally-inspired 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.

8. Leunig’s Bistro

115 Church St
Burlington, VT 05455
(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.

9. Honey Road

156 Church St
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 497-2145

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Middle Eastern flavors meet Vermont produce at this new Mediterranean mezze restaurant. Chef Cara Chigazola-Tobin who worked previously as chef de cuisine at acclaimed Boston restaurant Oleana in Boston, 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 flavors from around the Mediterranean.

10. El Cortijo

189 Bank St
Burlington, VT 05401
(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. It’s 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.

11. Revolution Kitchen

9 Center St
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 448-3657

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Vegetarians rejoice: this refined meat-free eatery has an Asian-influenced menu which changes nightly, offering seasonal fare with plenty of gluten-free and vegan options like crispy tempeh maki rolls with ume paste and pickled shittakes.

12. Butch + Babe’s

258 N Winooski Ave
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 495-0716

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Every city has that hip, up-and-coming neighborhood; 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 (Vermonters love cheese, which is no surprise for anyone who has ever had Vermont cheese).

13. Misery Loves Co.

46 Main St
Winooski, VT 05404
(802) 497-3989

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Slightly off the beaten bath of Burlington’s downtown market place (technically in Winooski), the stand out cocktails, creative seasonal plates and hearty brunch offerings at this unassuming eatery make it a must-visit while in Burlington.