Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > All New England Archive >
Jun 15, 2009 07:12 AM

Burlington/Lake Champlain vacation advice and suggestions

I'm planning a week long trip to Vermont next month (mid-july). We will be staying in Colchester, but are open to day trips and will definitely be taking a day trip to Plattsburgh, NY. My question is threefold:

1.What are the food things that I absolutely must try while I am in the area?
2. Can I find Poutine without going to Montreal? (Didn't renew my passport in time)
3. Is there a weekday Farmer's Market close to Colchester?

I would appreciate any advice or suggestions from those who know the area.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Must try Trattoria Delia, Love this place. Fantastic service and food, wonderful experience.

    Also, if you feel up to driving, Hen of the Woods in Waterbury (it's just a bit off of Exit 10 on Interstate 89, about a half hour drive from Colchester I'm thinking, give or take a few mins).

    The Burlington Farmer's Market is really good from all I've heard: but it is on Saturday.

    The New North End Farmer's Market is Wednesdays... here's a list of the farmer's markets in Chittenden County:

    1. You are in for a treat! What a great area.

      My favorite restaurants in Burlington (just south of Colchester) are:

      Leunig's Bistro - a French bistro right on Church Street
      The Daily Planet -- a funky quasi-vegetarian place downtown
      The Penny Cluse Cafe - great breakfasts

      In Colchester, there is the favorite Blue Line Diner. Don't miss this!

      Definitely take the car ferry from Burlington to Port Kent. It's great on a nice day.
      If you drive south once you get on the NY side, you can take the Ticonderoga Ferry back to Vermont. This is a small open ferry that can carry about 10 cars and gets pulled along on a cable that runs under the water. It's run by a private organization and it's a hoot.

      Here is a link to the Ti Ferry:


      Libby's Diner
      1 Roosevelt Hwy, Colchester, VT 05446

      Leunig's Bistro
      115 Church Street, Burlington, VT 05401

      Daily Planet
      15 Center St, Burlington, VT 05401

      Penny Cluse Cafe
      169 Cherry Street, Burlington, VT

      2 Replies
      1. re: jlbrown

        I've heard great things about The Rudder Club in Essex, NY. It's the new restaurant at the Essex Shipyard. A short walk through a quaint little town from the Essex-Charlotte Ferry. Great food, and Lakeside dining with reasonable prices.

        1. re: randyshrman

          I also like the Kings Inn in Port Henry, NY if you do head south to the car ferry in Ticonderoga. They have terrific Prime Rib--you'll never leave hungry. They also have rooms for rent as well.

      2. Vermont's best restaurant right now is Hen of the Wood in Waterbury, absolutely worth the 35 minute drive south on I-89 from Colchester. Superb fresh and local ingredients, wonderfully thoughtful menu. Your biggest issue will be trying to get reservations, esp. on a Friday or Saturday.

        Trattoria Delia in Burlington is also superb, and very romantic. However, if you struggle to see in low lighting, be forewarned, it can be very dark in there.

        In Plattsburgh, I love Anthony's, which has very good food and an exquisite wine list. They have a moderate price bistro section, and a more expensive restaurant section. Both are tasty.


        I like Leunig's atmosphere, it is great for people-watching and has a somewhat Parisian feel and look, but the food is rather ordinary and forgettable.

        I'm definitely not a fan of Penny Cluse for breakfast. Overrated, serving up rubber pancakes and generic 3rd-rate bacon, along with a healthy dose of server indifference. Beware.

        1. Here are my thoughts:

          1. This area doesn't have a great deal of "area specific" foods. However, some unique spots are Beansie's Bus (Burlington). Yes, it is a converted school bus that serves Michigans (hot dog with meatsauce) and homemade fries. Certainly unique and memorable. The is also Brigante's snack bar in Colchester that serves Michigans. You will find that Michigans are also known as Red Hots in the Plattsburgh area.

          2. I'm not sure where to find Poutine. I am pretty sure that A&W in Middlebury has it. I would say it is worth the trip as this is one of the last drive-in restaurants left and the food is actually quite good (burgers, onion rings, fries, and great root beer). Worth the 40 minute ride plus you can stop at Otter Creek Brewing on your way.

          3. Not sure about weekday Farmers Markets

          I would suggest the following restaurants:

          1. Kitchen Table Bistro , Richmond
          2. Hen of The Wood, Waterbury
          3. Trattoria Delia, Burlington
          4. Inn at Shelburne Farms, Shelburne
          5. Martone's, Essex (lunch)
          6. Tiny Thai, Winooski (lunch)
          7. Ramunto's, Williston (pizza)
          8. Junior's , Colchester (pizza)
          9. Drunken Noodle, Essex (lunch)

          The culinary star of this area, in my opinion, is cheese. If you like cheese, be sure to try as many local varieties as possible. There are dozens from Cheddar to Chevre. Grab a bottle of wine, a few varieties that are to your taste, a crusty baguette, head for spot on Lake Champlain and you will have a great lunch that can only be served up in Vermont.

          3 Replies
          1. re: TonyO

            The lunch idea of wine, baguette, and Vermont cheese is pure genius. Are there any particular Vermont cheeses you recommend? (I like cheese in all varieties from stinky to sharp to mild)

            1. re: justlauralibrarian

              A few of my favorites :

              Does Leap Goat Cheese: I have yet to have a better goat cheese anywhere
              Shelburne Farms Cheddar: You can sample at the store and pick a favorite (and this could also be a good spot for your picnic)
              Constant Bliss: Not sure how to describe, but remember it was tasty

              There are plenty of good wine shops around (try Beverage Warehouse in Winooski, 5 minutes from Colchester). The Fresh Outlet on Pine Street is also a great spot for cheese, bread, wine, olives, and cured meats. Probably the best place for "one stop shopping" for a picnic.

            2. re: TonyO

              Great list! However, we found the service at Inn at Shelburne Farms rude and snotty.

            3. Without a doubt, eat dinner at A Single Pebble on Pearl street downtown Bton. Gourmet Chinese that is delicious!!
              Penny Cluse for breakfast is a must but can have long lines.