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Weekend trip to Burlington and Montpelier, VT

We will be spending a weekend in Burlington and Montpelier next month, and would really like some recommendations for a lunch and dinner in each town. We have 3 kids (ages 13, 6,3) who have a great appreciation for food, so the sky's the limit! We'd also like to know of any fun and inexpensive stops along I-89 that may have some nice options for quick grab-and-go breakfast fare and/or lunch choices. Thanks very much!

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  1. There is not much in Montpelier, Black Door for dinner. Waterbury (on the way up to Burlington) there is Alchemist and Hen of the Woods. In Richmond is Sonoma Station and Kitchen Table. Burlington, I would do Flatbread for lunch, L'amante or A Single Pebble for dinner. Or take a drive down to Shelburne and do Shelburne Farms tour with kids in the afternoon and catch dinner at the Inn at Shelburne Farms, it's absolutely beautiful!

    Check the past boards for details,all these places have reviews and comments... and always make reservations for dinner, the choices are few and the good ones are always booked and if you don't make a reservation you will be eating at a tourist trap on Church Street and that is just sad.

    6 Replies
    1. re: biggirlco

      I have a hard time seeing a 6-year old and a 3-year old enjoying L'Amante or Inn at shelburne Farms....way too formal. Great spots for adults, but kids?

      Maybe your kids are different, but most 3-year olds want Olive Garden or something of that ilk. And unfortunately, most adults who'd visit L'Amante or Inn at Shelburne Farms or Hen of the Woods would be praying that their expensive evening out wouldn't be spoiled by children who may not know how to behave in restaurants. I apologize if that sounds unkind, but 3-year olds have spoiled too many of my dining experiences for me to think otherwise.

      1. re: signothetimes53

        I see your point in some ways but if I took my kids to Olive Garden they would complain about the crappy food... although we've never been, i can imagine. Also, if you don't bring your 3 year old to a nice restaurant and show them how to behave how will they ever know how to behave? Lastly, I have taken my kids to Shelburne Farms, just this summer and they were perfectly fine... as well as L'Amante. I'm assuming someone on Chowhound might want the better stuff than Olive Garden.

        So I'll amend it to dinner at Flatbreads or A Single Pebble for the more casual "kid" friendly.

      2. re: biggirlco

        Burlington is great just walk around church steet you will find plenty. The New England Culinary Institute is based out of both Montpilier and Essex Junction (close to burlington) so have a nice dinner at the Inn at Essex and check out the NECI outlets in Montpilier too. Wish I could say more but havnt lived in Burlington for years.

        1. re: biggirlco

          In Montpelier, I beg to differ here. :)

          Sarduccis for italian is a good place. The food is cooked fresh and well made with reasonable prices (on main street near the river)
          That Thai place, Royal Orchid I think it is, always gets good reports (on Elm street past the courts building)
          And Oh what's that place... On State street, replaced that other place that didn't last long... Restaurant uhm some woman's name WHAT IS IT? Sophia? Ophelia? Something like that (or possibly very different but reminding me of those), that gets good reviews, as well.
          And for breakfasts, there's the Coffee Corner, which has some interesting choices alongside the standard breakfast diner fare (they have an actual chef). I've never had a bad meal there, and the prices are reasonable.

          I'd say for a town the size of Montpelier, we're doing pretty darned good. :)

          1. re: Morganna

            Phoebe's? The one next door to the awful Julio's Cantina?

        2. In Montpelier, I would recommend Ariel's Riverside Cafe just off River Street. I ate there last week with friends and had a great meal and a great time. Standouts were a pork and duck terrine with homemade onion marmalade, a pork chop with molasses glazed sweet potatoes, and a trout with fresh corn beurre blanc and a fresh corn salad. The place is somewhat casual and staff is pretty relaxed and friendly so I don't think there would be a problem bringing your kids.

          http://www.arielsriverside.com/defaul...

          1. For lunch in Burlington, I'd recommend Tommy's City Grill (love the Huevos Rancheros, love the Philly Cheese Steak) on Shelburne Rd, or Sadie Katz's Deli (love just about the whole damn menu) downtown on Bank St. Ditto the Single Pebble rec for dinner.

            1. In Burlington, agree w/all and anyone who likes American Flatbread--smells great from the moment you walk in due to wood oven but for me personally, it's all about the amazing microbrews (house and guest) available at that location. The flatbread selections only add to that--great ingredients, you can tell they care about flavor. Thought the Church St scene was pretty fun but was there during the jazz festival and that certainly added to the experience :) If your clan appreciates and respects the truly good, do not miss Hen of the Wood although I've heard that recent press is contributing to a lead time for reservations. Plan now.

              1. Just a plug to make a reservation wherever you decide to go. This month is extremely busy with visitors and college parents' weekend, so without one, you might be out of luck. There are some restaurants that don't take reservations, but thought I should mention that. Good luck!

                2 Replies
                1. re: Addisonchef

                  Thanks to everyone for all the tips and recommendations! We're looking forward to our trip, and also can't wait to see the fall colours in the area. I've heard that I can find cider donuts somewhere in Waterbury... does anyone know where exactly this shop is? Thanks so much!

                  1. re: f00die

                    On Rt. 100, the main road between Waterbury and Stowe, Cold Hollow Cider Mill

                    http://www.coldhollow.com/