Great food near Waitsfield, Vermont
I'm heading up to Vermont for Labor Day weekend and will be staying in Waitsfield. This is not my first trip to the area, so American Flatbread is already on my list of places to eat (yum!). What I'm looking for are a few other dinner recommendations that wouldn't involve an hour long drive (so anything in Vergennes, Middlebury, Shelburne, Burlington, etc. are out). Feel free to throw in lunch recommendations as well -- these can certainly be farther away from Waitsfield, as we will be driving all over the area during the day. Thanks!
For pub food and good beer try the Alchemist in Waterbury...only open from 4 onwards. For the best Thai try The Royal Orchid in Montpelier - good for lunch and dinner. Lunch? Picnics from Eat Good Food in Vergennnes are always on my menu.
Using the search menu on this site comes up with a large amount of suggestions.
Christophe's on the Green, Vergennes;
Storm Café, Middlebury;
Café Shelburne, Shelburne;
The Black Door in Montpelier has great bistro food, and Conoscenti, also in Montpelier, is very good Italian (though I heard they just changed ownership). The Alchemist in Waterbury (already noted) is exceptional beer with good food. In Waitsfield, we enjoy Easy Street cafe for lunch. They also have good, and good-value, dinners.
Alas, Conoscenti's has gone downhill with the new owners. I don't care for The Black Door myself. Very bland and oversalted food, and the service has been terrible every time I've 'risked' a visit. Never again!
Lunch in and around Waitsfield I would recommend La Pattiserie which is located across the street from the Shaws in Waitsfield (on your left hand side heading South on 100 - sign says Royal Chocolates). They have good coldcut sandwiches (ask for the hot pepper relish if you like spicy - homemade and great), and excellent rumball choclates. Cool older couple run the joint.
Also I would recommend the Warren Store in Warren. Follow 100South, past the Sugarbush Access Road...the road will split (Rt100 will hang right - but you should turn left). Follow that a pinch, and the Warren Store in on your right. Very good deli in the back, and a bunch of baked items.
If you want more family friendly scene, try out Perrelli's Pizzeria (in the location of the old Valley Pizzeria) which is between the two Waitsfield town areas (between Shaws & the Mobil near Bridge St). Also, I am guessing most people would like Easy Street Market, which is on the left hand side on Rt100 South, just past the Rt17 split. This place also serves supper. I'd recommend the lunch, although I don't like their attitudes sometimes (e.g. I feel like I'm just a revenue stream, and not a welcome customer)
To switch things up a little bit from normal sandwiches, check out Michael's Good to Go in the Mehuron plaza in Waitsfield. You can see their menu, and many others, at http://www.madriverbytes.com
For supper, the Spotted Cow is typically salty and buttery - so if thats your thing - hit that up. If you do, I recommend the fish soup which gets a couple shots of sherry & rum I believe. I don't really eat there anymore as it seems they use too much salt in their dishes.
Chez Henri is closed for the season (but typically is buttery and slow). Warren House is a waste of time and money (it fools a bunch of people). Common Man is a good joint - more of a fine dining operation - and located off the Sugarbush Access Rd on German Flats. They open at 630, and are closed a couple days of the week.
Paradise Deli has good quick sandwiches - burgers/egg sandwiches/deli sandwiches and is off the Sugarbush Access Road on the left hand side if you are headed up the Mountain.
If you want Wings - you can get those in Waterbury at Waterbury Wings. I personally don't think they are amazing - but some people love it. That is across from the Shell station in Waterbury off 100.
Couple buildings down is the Alchemist, as mentioned previously. I personally hate their beer, but some rave about it. The food is pretty good. Arvads (next door) is fair - I wouldn't bother with it.
In Bristol VT, which is maybe a little over 30 min from Waitsfield, is the Bobcat Cafe which is a cool place. Good beer, good food, etc.
Other places in Waitsfield; I wouldnt bother going to the Den, I'd only recommend Jay's for breakfast or lunch. Neither are standout - but decent. I didn't like Bongiornio's on Rt17. The HydeAway Inn on Rt17 is a cool supper joint - its like home-cooking food.
Also - beware that they are doing construction on Rt100 between Waitsfield and Moretown. The waits can be pretty long getting thru there.
If you goto Smokejacks in Burlington - get the mussels.
Also - I would recommend the Green Room in Burlington if you are looking for tasty (fine dining level) food - American Tapas style.
One of the greatest things, I find, about VT restaurants is that most of them are perfectly fine with customer dressed casually.
Hope that helps
Thanks so much for all of the great feedback, especially on the Spotted Cow and the Warren house -- I've been contemplating trying both of those places on each of my prior visits, but they never really captured my imagination. And I appreciate the heads-up on the Route 100 construction.