Where should we eat in Burlington, VT?
September 18, 2008 1:20 PM   Subscribe

Where should we eat in Burlington, VT this weekend?

I am going to be in Burlington, VT with my brother and our mom & dad this Saturday night. As a group, I think that we'd better stick with something safe -- American, pub food, BBQ!!, seafood. Nothing too adventurous.


-Downtown. We'd like to be able to walk around in the evening and check out the town. (Bonus Question: How's parking??)

-Reservations. My mom doesn't want to have to wait. She has a backup restaurant where she already has a reservation (T-Bones (Worst of WEB 1.0 WARNING!)). If I can't secure a reservation, then we're going to have to default to her plan.

-Good (or at least decent) food. Good service. Good atmosphere. It should be sit-down, with a server, not order at a counter.

Here are some options that I've found that look ok:

The Vermont Pub & Brewery

The Daily Planet

Big Fatty's Pit BBQ

Thoughts on these places, or anywhere that I might have overlooked?
posted by TurkishGolds to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Clarification: In case it's not clear, this is for dinner. This Saturday night, September 20. Around 8:00 PM.
posted by TurkishGolds at 1:32 PM on September 18, 2008

Flatbread Pizza - Downtown - it's AWESOME!!! I miss Flatbread sooo much...

The Vermont Pub & Brewery is decent too, but if I had only time for 1 meal in downtown VT, it would be Flatbread.
posted by xotis at 1:43 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]

American Flatbread truly is awesome, but they don't take reservations for parties under 12 or something like that. It's a very popular joint (with good reason), so you may have a bit of a wait. IMHO, it's worth it.

The VP&B is okay -- the food isn't anything to write home about, and the atmosphere is a little, um, blah or something for my taste. Definitely not the same warm, inviting vibe of American Flatbread. (Disclaimer: I am a vegetarian, so their meat dishes may be great.)

If you want really good, I mean gourmet good, Chinese food, try A Single Pebble. It ain't cheap, but... yum!

I know my in-laws loved Halverson's -- they had dinner there a few times during their stay with us. There is definitely a nice, cozy pub feel to the place. Looks like there are complaints on the page I linked to re: the service, but my in-laws thought everything was fantastic. (I've only eaten lunch there and it was good -- not a lot of veggie options, though.)

For other possibilities, check out the Seven Days (Burlington alternative weekly) nightlife/restaurant guide.
posted by lovermont at 2:26 PM on September 18, 2008

Not sure if it is too adventurous, but Leunig's is downtown, has consistently good food, sometimes has entertainment (singers, etc.) and takes reservations. Lovely atmosphere overall.
posted by Shebear at 2:27 PM on September 18, 2008

Oops, I meant HalvOrson's, not HalvErson's.

(And I realize Chinese food may be "adventurous," but damn, the food at Single Pebble is worth living on the edge!)
posted by lovermont at 2:32 PM on September 18, 2008

Seconding Flatbread Pizza. It's been a year since I ate there and I still remember how incredibly, deliciously, loverly good every morsel was.
posted by HeyAllie at 2:39 PM on September 18, 2008

I haven't been to Burlington for years since I moved. But given your parameters I'd 2nd Vermont Pub & Halversons.

Also Coyotes Cafe was awesome for southwestern food if that's not too crazy.

That said I'd also agree with the Single Pebble. Way awesome and one place I truly miss.
posted by austinetsu at 2:43 PM on September 18, 2008

Three Tomatoes on Church Street has some good food...if Italian is an option.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 2:46 PM on September 18, 2008

I really miss the bison burger at Sweetwater's on Church St. And I know it's not downtown, but I had some of the best meals of my life at the Starry Night Cafe about 30 minutes south of Burlington, right on Rt 7. Well worth the drive.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:57 PM on September 18, 2008

1. Flatbread is a must - even if the wait is tough. Maybe try lunch?
2. Luenig's is fun, a bit more "gourmet" but good.
3. Smokejacks
4. Daily Planet
5. Three Tomatoes is pretty cheap and good.
6. Penny Cluse for breakfast
7. Magnolia for breakfast

Vermont Pub and Brewery is okay, but not a destination, IMHO.
posted by k8t at 3:03 PM on September 18, 2008

I just moved from downtown Burlington. Here are my thoughts.

The Pub is a fun place to go with your college buddies. Reasonably priced food (for the area) but it isn't anything too special. Good beer. There will be a wait and the service has really taken a nosedive in the last few months.

I really did not like Daily Planet. Expensive, small, not worth it. However, my friends love it so YMMV.

Nthing Single Pebble. Gourmet Chinese food, you have to call ahead to get a table (in fact, if you want to eat there, call TONIGHT!!!) but the atmosphere is nice and the service is spectacular.

Check out Sweetwaters. It's located at the bottom of Church St and I believe they take reservations. Good food, somewhat reasonable.

I also enjoyed American Flatbread but the last time I went there they did not take reservations and it was a long wait.

There's a fantastic gourmet Japanese restaurant called Sakuras located at the top of Church St if you like that style of food.

As for parking, there's two or three parking garages located around Church St but I'll let you in on my secret spot: Elmwood Ave. If you're familiar with the area, drive down Pearl St towards the waterfront. Once you pass the top of Church St, Elmwood Ave is the next street on the right. The Post Office is right on the corner and there will be like 15 spots for you to park. I've always managed to find a spot here (unless something major is going on like the 4th of July or the Jazzfest).

Burlington is a fun town to visit and you can really do no wrong! Enjoy yourself.
posted by Diskeater at 3:52 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

Having eaten most places on Church Street, my recommendation is: throw a rock. Whatever it hits, eat there. Seriously, all restaurants on Church are great. You can't go wrong at the New England Culinary Institute or any other place mentioned.
posted by jdfan at 3:54 PM on September 18, 2008

NECI is closed now.
posted by k8t at 4:00 PM on September 18, 2008

I'm in Burlington right now with people who have lived here for 20+ years! They say...

- American Flatbread is always a good choice, there's cheap parking garages right nearby if there isn't street parking. Very walkable to downtown.
- L'Amante they say is delicious, downtown, takes reservations, a little high end but recognizeable food
- I think the VT Pub and Brewery is delicious, food is always great, a little on the casual/noisy side but if you like beer, it can't be beat and I've eaten there with big groups and we always get good service.
posted by jessamyn at 4:06 PM on September 18, 2008

Leunig's on Church St. is an absolute must. I go to Burlington once a year and I always have to stop here. The food is to die for and there is always something for everyone.
posted by pleasantries at 4:20 PM on September 18, 2008

Fair warning -- Its college season. I would recommend patience finding parking, dealing with locals, and possibly even calling liberally for reservations.

-American Flatbread - nthing.
-Single Pebble - nthing (amazing, spendy)
-Three Tomatos is good Italian
-Vermont Pub & Brewery - Enjoy the beer - you've tasted the food elsewhere.

Pretty much everywhere on Church Street is great.
posted by SirStan at 5:18 PM on September 18, 2008

Having been to Big Fatty's on a couple of occasions, I'd say that it meets your BBQ criteria, but that's about it. It's really good, too, but it's order at the counter, and pretty college-kid filled, which you may or may not like.

Three Tomatoes is great, The Scuffer, which used to be the Rusty Scuffer is fairly decent as well, though they don't take reservations, there won't be much of a wait. On the bright side, while T-Bones isn't the restaurant of choice by any means, it doesn't totally suck, either.

Finally, more for the record than anything else, if you want a great lunch, I'd totally recommend the Red Onion. It's a pretty granola place, but they have my new favorite sandwich.
posted by papayaninja at 4:50 PM on September 19, 2008

Don't leave us in suspense....where did you wind up eating?
posted by Diskeater at 11:26 AM on September 23, 2008

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