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Nov 19, 2007 05:44 AM

Top Foodie Destination in New England?

I am looking to go to one city/town in New England for the weekend and would like to know what people think are the top foodie destinations in Northern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine. I have heard very nice things about Portland, ME but am inclined to go to Burlington VT. Does Burlington rank up there as a food destination in New England?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Trattoria Delia in Burlington is the best place I've been since leaving the Twin Cities back in 1988. The atmosphere was wonderful. The service was impeccable. It was our anniversary and they greeted us with flutes of prosecco, gratis. The food was absolutely fabulous.

    Since I went in Sept. I've seen one comment about a food item not being all they'd hoped for and the manager being a bit snooty about it, but all the other comments I've seen from people place this restaurant as a top-ranked place. :)

    Just half a block away from Trattoria Delia is Suiza's, a Brazillian BBQ place. I'm no expert on Brazillian BBQ, I only know what I like, and this place was fantastic. Loved it from beginning to end.

    Also, A Single Pebble is high on a lot of folks lists (though there are some folks who think they're over rated, I haven't been there since they moved away from Central Vermont, so I can't comment on that).

    I've also been hearing good things about Big Fatty's BBQ, but I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. I'm SO looking forward to trying it out. :)

    I can only assume that the Portland food scene is a bigger, with more choices, simply because Portland has roughly six times the population that Burlington has. :)

    1. Hi Morgana- Portland has about 65,000 people, so I'm not sure about the 6x statement. What Portland does have though are 3 Food and Wine "best young chefs in America" and a few more that may at some point deserve the honor. Burlington is a great town, but I think a true foodie is going to fare better in Portland.

      7 Replies
      1. re: joss2

        I am a little biased as a Portlander, but I also love Burlington...However, I don't think you can beat the talent in Portland. Rob Evan of Hugo's and Duckfat and Corey of 555 get a lot of buzz....Not to mention Fore Street's Sam Hayward....Accolades aside, the seasonal and local ingredient and seafood here can't be beat! Save Burlington for a longer weekend when you can cross over into Canada and hit Montreal!

        1. re: Bunnyfood

          Funny. I'm actually coming from Montreal, which is why I liked the idea of not driving too far to get to Burlington.

        2. re: joss2

          From the city of Portland website:
          "With a metro population of 230,000, the Greater Portland area..."

          The metro population of Burlington is 38,000. 38,000 times 6 is 228,000.

          Most restaurants will be serving the metro population, not just those living within the city limits.

          1. re: Morganna

            Burlington Metro population is 140,000.

            1. re: Big Fat Moe

              *grin* Actually, it's even more than that! Ok, ok, apples is not equal to oranges! That'll teach me to google too quickly. So the metro Burlington area is actually a whole bunch closer in population. Which means Portland, with its more diverse restaurant, scene wins on that score.

              I still stand by my original point, though, that Burlington counts as a good foodie destination for a weekend, simply because there are enough restaurants there to fill up a weekend of meals with great food and service. :)

              BTW, ask me how surprised I was to find that the population of Portland is a bit less than double that of Burlington. The few times I've been there it's seems sooo much larger... :)

          2. re: joss2

            For a weekend trip, Burlington has as much to offer as Portland. There are only so many places you can have a meal in a three day period. I've listed four "true foodie" (whatever that means, maybe I don't rank as one?) destinations in Burlington. Those along with the other really good if not outstanding fare in the area (I didn't even go into Roque's, or some of the other great places in Stowe), I stand behind my implied statement that Burlington is a foodie destination worthy of a weekend trip.

            I didn't say Burlington had -more- to offer, obviously with a population six times that of Burlington, Portland is going to have more options. But that doesn't change that on a typical weekend trip, you're going to have two dinners, maybe two lunches, maybe a brunch or two instead. Burlington can certainly compete with that. :)

            On top of this, Burlington is mostly compact. All four of the suggestions I gave are within walking distance downtown, and near all the best shopping on Church Street.

            I will add here that I have been to Portland but never for an entire weekend. We tend to avoid large cities for our get aways because we're kinda reclusive (we live in rural central Vermont and don't get up to Burlington more than once a month or so). So my preference for compact might color some of this, but I really must emphasize that I'm not saying Portland isn't "better" in a lot of ways, I'm just trying to do justice to Burlington as well. :)

          3. I've lived in both Burlington and Portland. Portland is a food destination, Burlington is not. Portland is second in the nation with restaurants per capita, so yes plenty to choose from. If you wanted to venture outside of the Burlington area and go south on rt. 7 or into Waterbury than you may be able to make a weekend out of it. Plenty of threads on Portland restaurants here.

            3 Replies
            1. re: mjp81

              How long ago did you live in Burlington?

              1. re: Morganna

                Just left a couple of months ago so I still have a good idea as to what is going on in the Burlington area. With a great location like Adriana's had theres not much of an excuse to not succeed. All of Church st. seems to be made up of lack-luster places, which is really too bad. Luckily you don't have to walk far to Flatbread or Magnolia.

                1. re: mjp81

                  Boy, what a peeing match! How about a compromise? Montpelier or Maine's Rockland-Camden area? Montpelier is right off I 89 If one shoots up to the Waterville area from Rockland and picks up the Benedict Arnold highway north to Quebec, one has the added benefit of a very scenic drive.

            2. Thanks for all the helpful replies. Any other foodie hotspots in New England other than Burlington or Portland that may not be on my radar?

              1 Reply
              1. re: thelonious777

                Out of the ordinary: Tony's in Thornton, NH. Great Italian using local ingredients.
                Thai Nakon Ping Restaurant in North Conway, NH. Excellent Thai!

              2. Hi,
                You would be very happy coming to Providence. We have some of the best restaurants in the country, let alone New England.

                Al Forno's
                Mill's Tavern
                Pane E Vino
                Ten Prime Steak & Sushi

                Those are all very highly regarded restaurants, any of which will be excellent.
                Also, there are many small, ethnic places, lots of great little food markets, and the quirkiness of Rhode Island.