Burlington, VT is one of the coolest cities in the Northeast. With amazing views of Lake Champlain, and the wonderful cobblestone streets boasting big and small businesses, it’s no wonder people flock to this quaint city for vacations.
We were headed there for one of my favorite events, the Vermont Brewers Festival. It’s such a blast and it’s held right on the waterfront where you can sample over 150 beers from lots of craft breweries for 4 hours while overlooking the lake. It really doesn’t get any better then that. We always head in on Friday via the ferry, which is the best way to kick off the weekend. We’ve been to this event 2 other times, so I knew which Vermont goodies I was after from prior experiences. Burlington has some AMAZING food and one of our first stops was Lake Champlain Chocolates.
Lake Champlain Chocolates
Now I know that you can get their chocolate at a lot of places, but this is a retail store so the selection is huge. They have some of the BEST chocolates in my opinion so we popped in for a treat. I went with my stand by which is dark chocolate and caramel with sea salt- outstanding! We also ordered a few almonds coated with toffee crunch, dipped in chocolate then rolled in cocoa power. Ummmmmm I don’t think I need to say anything else.
They also had caramel apples that they were making fresh right in the front window that looked divine. Thankfully they are right on the main drag so you can easily find them and treat your sweet tooth. Next stop was Farm House Tap and Grill just off of Church St at 160 Bank St.
Farm House Tap and Grill
They have one of the best outdoor patios in the area. We only stopped in for a drink, but the menu looked wonderful with offerings like a summer quinoa salad with grilled zucchini, mint yogurt, hazelnuts, lemon and feta or how about one of their housemade burgers or charcuterie all farm to table. We decided to head elsewhere for dinner since the wait was fairly long, and I have to say that we made a great choice in doing so despite the awesome menu at Farm House. With no prior knowledge of a lot of the restaurants, and a huge variety to choose from, we ended up at Sweetwaters. All 4 of us were raving about the food and it’s a MUST try if you are in the area. We started out with pulled pork nachos and I had the sesame encrusted tuna paired with some of the best Thai peanut noodles I’ve ever had.
I’m still dreaming about this dish (and the killer nachos). My friend had the Mahi bruschetta which was also delicious and highly recommended. Later that night, we were in the mood for a little something sweet and stumbled upon My Little Cupcake- JACKPOT! It’s exactly what we were looking for. Lots of mini cupcakes with all sorts of fun flavors to choose from like Salted Caramel and French Toast. We tried the Butterfinger along with Coffee and Donuts which is a cappuccino cupcake with vanilla buttercream topped with the cutest housemade glazed donut! These cupcakes Hit. The. Spot! After a day and night of fun, we decided to head to bed so we could be ready for the beer fest.
Coffee and Donuts
On Saturday mornings, the Burlington Farmers Market is held right in City Hall Park from 8:30-2:00. There are a ton of local vendors offering all sorts of local products like salsas, baked goods, soaps, crafts and lots of ethnic foods. It’s a fun thing to check out! As we headed for the festival de heavenly (AKA VT Brew Fest), I knew there was one spot we’d be grabbing a snack once inside, and it’s at A-Maize-ing Kettle Corn. The name really does say it all.
This is some of THE BEST kettle corn and it’s always served warm and fresh. It really makes for the perfect snack and will satisfy your sweet and salty tooth. They also have a cart on Church St so keep an eye out for it. I’d say you could start with a small bag but you’d just regret it. Go for the gusto and get the big boy. The people you are with will appreciate it (that’s if you’re willing to share). Another street vendor that’s an absolute favorite is Hong’s Chinese Dumplings. Please do yourself a favor and visit them. The dumplings are made from scratch by the sweetest little woman and they will knock your socks off. After a fun day of drinking craft beers, it was time for dinner, and our tradition is to head to Splash.
It’s right on the water and always offers a cool vibe and great sweet potato fries. Between the 90 degree sunny day and the palm tree planters on the dock, we almost felt as though we were in the Caribbean. Such a great spot! Unfortunately Sunday was upon us and it was time to leave the Green Mountain state, but the trip would not be complete without a stop at The Skinny Pancake (Ironic, I wasn’t feeling too skinny when I left :).
They offer all sorts of savory and sweet crepes like Apples and Brie, Brownies in Bed (OMG the description for this looks insane!) and Cannelloni crepes. I decided to go with the Breakfast Burrito crepe which was delish, but you can’t have breakfast without dessert so we ordered my absolute favorite, the Nutella crepe.
This is something that I must have every time I’m here and you should too! It’s SOOO good! Burlington has some excellent local food businesses and it’s a great place to not only visit, but eat!