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Manchester, VT

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I'm heading to Manchester for a week with the family on June 25. I'd appreciate restaurant recommendations. We're staying at Equinox and we'll be with a 2-year old, who'll join us for some meals. Because we'll be there for a full week, it would be great to hear about the full range of places - from classics to casual.

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  1. Lucky you! Lots of great places to eat. there.Two of our favorites are:

    Up for Breakfast: a tiny little second-floor place with great breakfasts. Worth the wait.

    Candalero's Southwestern Grill: inspired Mexican food Good for lunch or dinner.

    Both should be good for a child.

    1. I never found anything too outstanding for dinner in this area, but you and your little one might like the Little Rooster Cafe for breakfast. I loved Zoey's Deli for sandwiches, very cool. With all of the natural beauty in that area, get it to go and eat outside. There's a fantastic recreational park (swings, etc) not far from downtown; I'm sure you can ask at the hotel.

      I did have a very nice dinner, outside in the courtyard at The Perfect Wife. If you're there on a nice night and like al fresco dining (as I do), you should check it out.

      There's a Harrington of Vermont store there. You can pick up some of their famous ham or smoked meats to take home. The honey mustard is good, too.

      If you have time, check out the Orvis flagship store. It's like LL Bean on steroids. They have a stocked fishing pond there, so your little one may like to see the rainbow trout close up.

      1. I second Up For Breakfast. Al Ducci's is a nice sandwich shop for lunch, very relaxed. Dorset (10 minute ride) has a couple nice places for parent only or parent-kid dinners: Dorset Inn, Barrows House, Inn at West View Farm. Or get takeout at the Dorset Union Store or Essex Green and have a picnic at the Dorset Quarry. Manchester locals like the Sirloin Saloon for its salad bar, etc.

        Don't miss the farmers market in Manchester (Thursdays) and Dorset (Sundays) for good local stuff.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ywerther

          FYI - Essex Green is closed.

          Manchester Farmers' Market is Thursdays 3-6pm at the Rec. Center on Route 30. And there's plenty for the kids to do while the adults shop.

          Dorset Farmers' Market is Sundays 10am-2pm on Route 30, about 6 miles from Manchester.

          I'm not a huge fan of Candalero's but I think it's one of a handful of places you can eat outside in the summer. For sandwiches and other lunch stuff, I prefer the Lawyer & the Baker over Zoey's.

        2. I'd stay away from Candaleros mediocre food at best. Up for breakfast is good but is pretty expensive and you don't get hashbrowns, you have to order them seperately. The Rooster is always good, get there early if it's the weekend. The Sushi Boat has really nice sushi, you should check them out. Al Ducci's is great, as is Bistro Henry.

          Have fun!!

          1. Sherri's Cafe in Manchester is very good for breakfast or lunch, without the wait you would have at Up for Breakfast...the Spiral Press Cafe, located in Northshire Bookstore (definitely worth a stop) has great sandwiches and cookies...be sure to grab an ice cream cone at the window outside...it's local Wilcox Dairy ice cream. Al Ducci's is also a must for any foodie...try the farro salad or any of the sandwiches. Zooey's Double Hex (near Route 7) has good burgers and homemade potato chips. Dinner is another story...nothing is really great, but you can have a pleasant, locally sourced meal at the Perfect Wife. The Depot Cafe, located in a home furnishing store, has wonderful thin crusted pizzas, cooked in a wood burning oven, like Taleggio and carmelized onion. They have a small but delicious menu of Turkish food, also. The local Chinese restaurant, I think it is called Panda Garden, is ok for old school Chinese in a comfortable, child friendly place.
            I would avoid Sirloin Saloon.

            1. I really like the Gourmet Deli on the far end of Manchester. I never see it spoken about here but they are great, great chicken salad.....good for little ones too.

              1. We just came back from a week in Manchester.
                The best place,by far,is Chantecleer Restaurant
                They have a $30 3-course meal (Wed.-Fri.)that cannot be beat.
                Their strawberry mascarapone dessert was worth the price alone!!!!
                The place was packed each time we ate there with locals and out-of-town-guests.
                By far you should really try this place!
                We ate at the bar and their bartender,Billy,was outstanding.
                The staff was freindly and helpful in telling us about other places to try while we were there.
                They make a Caesar salad for two for $18 at your table which is worth the price alone also.
                We hit Sirloin Saloon one night also.
                This is like an upscale Ponderosa with a bar.
                The place was packed also and they have a nice salad bar(one of the few good salad bars in town).
                For breakfast we did a place called "Up for Breakfast".
                The place was excellent both for food and service and their turkey hash is very,very good.
                We were told by a few local folks that their potatoes usually come out cold and on our second visit there,sure enought,the home fries were cold.
                We told the staff and they said and did nothing so I guess this is standard fare there---LOL.
                We also hit the Little Rooster for breakfast also.
                They have really good home-made hash that we really liked.
                We ate pizza in town one night.
                Monday night,we were told,all the pizza joints in town all have 1/2 price pizza so give that a try.
                The area is really depressed and many restaurants are running all kinds of specials to get you in so pick up one of their local "on the town" magaines that are usually found in motels and Inns and look for good bargains around town while you are there.
                Many restaurants are laying people off and it's a sad sitution there.
                The Lawyer and Baker is an excellent choice for lunch and theyo ffer a breakfast as well although we didn't have breakfast there.
                The sandwiches were great for lunch.
                We also hit Zoey's for sandwiches.
                This place is consistently good for sandwiches and grinders.(they make their own breads!).
                Friends of ours hit the Reluctant Panther again.
                We didn't go with them because we heard the place was so over-priced and mediocre.
                They reported.,again(this is their 2nd (and last)try there) that the place is still awful and way overpriced.
                Use your own judgement on this one.
                We also went to the Perfect Wife for dinner one night.
                We ate off the bar menu at this place and we liked the burgers and beer.
                This place was also empty of patrons like most of the place we went to.
                Expect no waiitng lines like we have seen in the past in Manchester.
                Another place to avoid is the Equinox Resort.
                The food was really mediocre and the prices were really high.
                Try Mulligan's instead for bigger portions and much lower prices.
                Have a good trip!
                Catnip