This is a tough one - I went to UVM for four years, then lived in Burlington for another 6 months after college so there are so many places I love in this small city. Besides being within an hour of amazing ski slopes (for you cold loving people), there are so many breweries, restaurants and coffee shops to check out. All while enjoying some killer views of Lake Champlain.
but first, coffee
- MUDDY WATERS; this one comes to mind first because of their vibe and overall atmosphere. Super cool space serving not only amazing coffee and maple lattes, but also beer on draft and live music some nights. Think wooden chairs and cool plants on the walls. 🌿
- MAGLIANERO; went here this morning and wow they make a good latte! The latte art was also perfection (highly instagrammable.) Ricki had a maple latte and I went with hazelnut, each one was gone in close to 5 minutes.
- AUGUST FIRST BAKERY: cute spot for some yummy breakfast and a cup of coffee. Try the avo toast, it comes on a thick piece of their freshly baked bread mmmmm. 🥑🍞
- UNCOMMON GROUNDS; this place is always busy and it's right on Church Street so probably the best coffee stop between shopping. Good coffee, but hard to sit down if you're trying to do some work and not as cool of a vibe as Muddy Waters.
- NEW FIND; MONARCH AND THE MILKWEED; quintessential cafe, serving delicious pastries, a pretty bomb chicken and waffles and coffee in the prettiest mugs. And the tables are marble so you'll get the perfect overhead shot.
my fave restaurants
- PIZZERIA VERITA; just trust me on this one - I think it's actually my favorite pizza I've ever had, not just in Burlington. I always get the Cherry Amore because it's drizzled with warm honey, omg. The Mais is also unreal with corn, basil and creme fraiche. If you're not too full after eating a whole pizza to yourself (at least that's what I do) then you need the Nutella pizza for desert.
- FARMHOUSE TAP & GRILLL; for whatever reason, I hadn't eaten at this place in years until the other night. I was really missing out because we had such a delicious meal. MUST TRY the cornbread and their onion rings. All of their burgers are also amazing, then if you have room for dessert, the maple cheesecake is bomb. Not to mention their beer list has every VT beer you've ever wanted.
- LEUNIGS; gotta love this place. Classic french style bistro on Church Street. The food is always delicious, so you can't go wrong. I also love that if you go early or late (3:00-5:30 or past 9:30) they offer a bistro menu for $20!
- HEN OF THE WOOD; I actually haven't made it here yet but all I hear is amazing things. I love how their menu changes daily based on what ingredients are available locally. I mean, right now I'm seeing winter squash fritters and mushroom toast on their menu...yes please.
FOAM has to be my favorite. It's located right by the lake (awesome in the summer) and the beers there are my favorite. When I go to a brewery, I just want to try some beers (or ciders) and be able to hang out for a while. Foam, Zero Gravity and Citizen Cider are probably the best for chilling because they all have a relaxed atmosphere and lots of room to sit and hang out. Magic Hat is cool if you want to do a tour and then taste their brews in the tasting room. Fiddlehead (20 minutes away in Shelburne) definitely makes some good beers but it's just a small tasting room with nowhere to sit and stay a while.
If you're in Vermont, you gotta spend lots of time outdoors. My favorite thing in Burlington is the bike path that goes for miles along the lake front. In the spring, I would either go for some scenic runs or rollerblade during sunset. BTW, Burlington sunsets are about as good as Nantucket sunsets, which is a big deal. Brave the cold in the winter to watch the sun set over the lake, it's worth it. If you're in the mood for a winter walk, Red Rocks park is the perfect web of trails to cross-country ski or just get outside and walk through the woods. And it's beautiful!!