Must Visit Restaurants in Vermont

 

Black Sheep Bistro: (253 Main Street, Vergennes) Reservations are highly recommended at this intimate gem that serves local ingredients with a French-inspired flair. The menu revolves around what is fresh and seasonal, so menu options may change, yet one of the most famous side-dishes here is the buttery, sinfully delicious garlic mashed potatoes! For an appetizer, you can do no wrong with selecting the crab salad stack, which is paired with avocado, tomato and pickled asparagus before moving onto the main course! This menu offers something for everyone, from Thai poached haddock or a whole roasted trout for the seafood lovers, a bistro steak with mustard cream for the carnivores or the delicious roasted vegetable and chickpea cakes for those who adhere to a meat-free diet!

Cajun’s Snack Bar: (1594 VT-100, Lowell) A seasonal operation that is open only during the summertime, this place serves Cajun inspired, delicious fare in the midst of the rural Vermont mountains! Operated by Jason and Amanda Boutin, locals and tourists alike line up here each season to get their hands on a taste of truly authentic Acadian food coupled with excellent customer service and a commitment to quality. There is literally nowhere else in the entire state that you can get food like this, so be sure to eat as much as you can while you have the opportunity! Appetizers range from fried alligator bites and crawfish tails to frog legs which are served with a spicy dip, while some of the favorite heartier meals include a catfish, oyster or shrimp po’boy! They also have an amazing lobster roll, as well as a well-loved swamp dog, which consists of a natural casing hot dog smothered with cheese and their signature “swamp sauce!”

Hen of the Wood: (92 Stowe Street, Waterbury) Although there is a sister location in Burlington, this Waterbury restaurant is the original, offering excellent food and an impressive wine selection coupled with absolutely impeccable service. Start your meal with one of the several small plates, ranging from fresh oysters to crispy rabbit loin and mushroom toast. You can certainly make a meal out of two or three small plates, as portions are very generous, yet the entrees here are nothing short of spectacular. A roasted duck breast paired with roasted vegetables, polenta and maple drizzle is sure to satisfy any palate, while the wood-fire roasted broccoli accompanied by toasted hazelnuts and farro provides a tasty and substantial vegetarian option!

The Jay Village Inn: (1078 VT-242, Jay) This five-star rated Inn also houses one of the best restaurants and pubs in the entire northeast kingdom! Serving the best of breakfast, lunch and dinner, you literally cannot go wrong with anything you select here, and as the portion sizes are more than generous, you will certainly not go away unsatisfied! Breakfast not only offers some of the most delicious mimosas and Bloody Mary’s you will taste anywhere, it is also the perfect time to order one of their signature omelets accompanied by a side of the house made corned beef hash. Lunch options range from fresh curd poutine to an applewood smoked BLT, with many options for salads or burgers available as well. In the evening, you can either cozy up to the bar, sit beside the giant fireplace or stake your claim outside by the pool depending upon the weather. Dinner here is no joke, boasting a perfectly cooked barbeque platter or herb encrusted rack of lamb! The rooms are clean and beautifully maintained, and offer a cheaper alternative to booking a room at the nearby Jay Peak Resort.

The Mad Taco: (5101 Main Street, Waitsfield) This is a no-frills stop that offers its menu selections on a board located just above the register. Pick what you want, pair it with one of the many beer selections, and prepare to be absolutely amazed. While the laid- back atmosphere may cause you to underestimate the mastery of the cooking behind the scenes, this is hands down the best tacos you will eat in Vermont, period. The smoked pork belly taco coupled with fresh jalapenos, pico de gallo and cilantro is one of their most popular dishes, while others prefer the fresh fish taco, which is accompanied with avocado and cilantro. There are also a number of amazing burrito and fajita combinations to choose from as well, complete with a selection of house made hot sauces which range from flavorful and smoky to absolutely blistering!

Prohibition Pig: (23 South Main Street, Waterbury) This place is infamous for serving up some of the best barbeque in the entire state. Serving both lunch and dinner, you can indulge in everything from a hand-sliced beef brisket sandwich to a pit smoked half-chicken or chopped pork barbeque platter! While the meat choices here are absolutely mind-blowing, what makes this place truly spectacular is its variety of authentic southern side dishes! Here, you can order hush puppies, cheddar grits, collard greens and/or maple baked beans, as well as the blackened green beans, which might be the best vegetable you have ever experienced! Be sure to come early, as this place fills up fast!

Simon Pearce: (1760 Main Street, Quechee) The atmosphere at Simon Pearce is absolutely breathtaking. Situated in an old mill, you will dine alongside a waterfall and have the opportunity to explore the lower layer, where you can watch glassblowers hard at work creating the name brand’s famous creations! The food here is certainly noteworthy as well, as are the spectacular and imaginative cocktails. The emphasis here is on presentation as well as taste, so everything from your basic but delicious Simon Pearce burger to the fancier options, such as local cheese or charcuterie board are sure to please your taste buds as well as your eyes!

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