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Feb 8, 2010 05:18 AM

Vermont lunch stop/Driving 91 North from CT to Canada border?

Looking for suggestions for a good family lunch stop for our drive next Sunday from southern CT to Magog, Quebec.

We've done the drive a number of times before. From a timing and familiarity standpoint, we usually pull over in White River Junction, and shoot over the bridge to the 7 Barrel Brewery in NH for lunch, before continuing on. but looking for something different, and frankly, better.

Needs to be along 91, fairly close (10 mins or less from highway on/off?), and "time-efficient". We leave in the AM, so places south of the VT border probably won't work (Northhampton MA has lots of options, but we'll clear that too early for lunch), and anything north of St. Johnsbury is probably too far/too late in the day. Thinking maybe Hanover, NH, but don't know the town, or the options

With 2 kids, 9 and 7, but they are adventurous and enthusiastic eaters, so no reason to dumb down suggestions. Any thoughts welcome. TIA!

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  1. Your in my bailiwick, now. So sorry you had to settle for 7 Barrel Brewery. Just a few ideas off the top of my head...First choice, hands down, is The Tip Top Cafe in White River Junction, VT. Always fresh, interesting and delicious. Also in WRJ is a relatively new place called the Tuckerbox. A lunch and coffee place. It's right across from the railroad station. Not too far away (3 miles maybe?) up rte 14 is Big Fatty's, Hartland VT. A BBQ place. Just a couple of tables, give your order at the counter. Amazingly good BBQ, brisket etc. and sides. If you can't make it as far as WRJ, there's the Windsor station Pub in Windsor VT. I'll keep thinkin'...

    1 Reply
    1. re: VTer

      Well, the growlers are good :-).

      Tip Top looks interesting, but keep 'em coming. Especially interested in any Hanover recs you might have

      Bellows Falls to St. Johnsbury is right in the timing "sweet pot"...WRJ approx. +/- 45 mins to 1 hour north or south on 91.



    2. I was up that way a week or so ago; we stopped at the Flying Goose Brew Pub in New London, NH. It may be slightly south of where you want to stop, but it was a decent lunch break - good portions, excellent onion rings and good beer, too. It's about a mile off the interstate.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sopobungalow

        This is off of I-89, not I-91. Nothing is Hanover is stupendous. Lots of people like Yama, a Korean (actually more like just "Asian") place that recently opened up a second spot in downtown Hanover. (The first one is in Lebanon NH) I was disappointed though it's a nice bright space -- I will try it again, I'm sure. Molly's is ok, do not go to Murphy's. Lou's is a old-timey lunch counter type place, always decent in a pinch - big portions. The Indian place (can't remember the name --it's a few doors past the Ben and Jerry's) is good -- not sure if they're open for lunch. Across the river, in Norwich is the Norwich Inn which does a nice, fresh lunch (and I think still makes their own beer -- but not if you're driving, of course)...still thinkin'

      2. In Hanover-- we like for lunch:
        Yama-- Korean and sushi mainly
        Lou's Bakery -- great diner basics
        Canoe Club-- a little nicer but good lunch and fine for kids
        I'd avoid Molly's and Murphy's both...

        one exit up in Lyme NH is Stellas Kitchen-- lovely warm rustic Italian. I've not been for lunch but dinner is very nice.

        3 Replies
        1. re: madisoneats

          Thanks, madisoneats (and the other posters)! Keep the suggestions coming, but right now, Canoe Club looks like my lead horse...

          1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

            One other place in Hanover for a quick, good lunch is Umpleby's bakery. They, like Yama, are in the new building so they've only just moved in last year. I went to Umpleby's when they were in Bridgewater, VT. Great soups. I still recommend Tip Top Cafe in WRJ over Canoe Club any far...but it sounds like you are determined to go to Hanover. Maybe the professor will add some comments.

            1. re: VTer

              VT-er...we too like Tip Top Cafe and love to have dinner there...but as the parent of pretty sophisticated eaters ages 10 and 8 (and Hanover residents) i'd say Canoe Club is tops for lunch. Reason for that is they actually have a GREAT kids menu...not many places offer kids sized mesclun salads and smoked bacon and scallion mac and cheese-- it makes my kids feel like real people, and I dont have to pay full menu prices. I also think Hanover is just a nice stopping point-- you can stretch your legs, poke into a bookstore, pick up your Green gear and still be gone in an hour.

        2. Just circling back. would up at Canoe Club last Sunday (8 days ago), and had a great meal all around. 4 adults, 4 kids, consensus was universally really good meals. I had the locally cured pastrami Ruben, can't recall what others had. Very inexpensive as well, at least by lower Fairfield CT standards. Plus, had a nice seat by the door, on the leather couches, club shairs and Morris chair, around a low table, which was great after 3 hours of driving.

          Thanks all for their recos!

          1 Reply
          1. Maybe this is too late......but how about Colatina Exit in Bradford (about 15 minutes north of Lebanon/Hanover). Great wood fired oven pizzas, pastas and salads. We've enjoyed many "road meals" there on our way between Boston and St. Johnsbury, VT.