Best of Burlington
August 31, 2011 7:20 PM   Subscribe

I just moved to the Burlington, VT. I don't know a lot of people here and I certainly don't have the lay of the land yet. Who is the best _________ in Burlington? Please fill in the blank with hairstylist/honest auto mechanic/housekeeper/shoe repair guy/guy who makes the best local maple syrup/lady who sells the best homemade cookies/gynecologist/eye doctor/barista/dentist/other person who makes your life better because they do what they do so well you would travel back to VT just to let them do their thing for you if you moved out of state. All other recommendations on how to settle into VT life after extended time in NYC welcome as well.
posted by slateyness to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
You might find the Seven Daysies instructive.
posted by the_blizz at 7:45 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

the_blizz beat me to that exact link! The rest of the paper online should make for helpful reading as well.

Speaking from the tourist perspective, I can suggest going to Penny Cluse for breakfast. It's a must for us every visit.
posted by booksherpa at 7:49 PM on August 31, 2011

Like the_blizz, I think 7Daisies is terrific. I can answer some of these that the paper doesn't, but not all of them

hairstylist: Nathan at Indigo

honest auto mechanic: Kaigle's on Shelburne Road, unless you have an import in which case the answer might -- or might not -- differ

housekeeper: Let me know when you find a great one

shoe repair guy: Onion River Cobbler, Winooski

guy who makes the best local maple syrup: Likely to be someone you work with; let me know if you need to be hooked up next spring

gynecologist: Let me know when you find a great one

eye doctor: Dr. Puma, Advanced Vision Care

barista: Start at the Daily Planet or Leunig's

other persons who make life better: include City Market fresh foods; Hannaford groceries; Mirabelle's sandwiches; my vets; my doctors and masseur; enough other places and people that I'd have a hard time moving away.
posted by vers at 8:04 PM on August 31, 2011

Stella is the best store for women's shoes.
Four Corners is best sandwich shop.
The tailor on Church Street on the upper blocks (past the mall) is great.
I like Speeder and Earls for coffee.
posted by k8t at 8:29 PM on August 31, 2011

Beer: Switchback. You'll thank me later.

Oh sure, go to VT Pub and Brewery or Honey's. But you'll always come back to the Switchback. Best thing about that damn state.
posted by Diskeater at 9:17 PM on August 31, 2011

Hmm...the Daysies and everyone else mostly have this covered, but here are a few things that should help you get a feel for the place and/or shouldn't be missed for various reasons:

Burlington Farmer's Market, City Hall Park- see, be seen, eat wonderful things. Saturday mornings.

Cheese- yeah, maple syrup gets all the attention (rightly so), but vers is right. You'll find it everywhere, and the right thing to do is to buy it from someone you know who makes it themselves. Incidentally, don't get that Grade A Fancy shit just because it has the best name. Go for the Grade B or Dark Amber. Anyway- cheese. Artisanal cheese in Vermont is spectacular if you're into that sort of thing and it's widely available. My favorites are Willow Hill Autumn Oak, Twig Farm Tomme, Blue Ledge Lake's Edge, and Shelburne Farms Two-Year Cheddar.

Speaking of Shelburne Farms, you should go there when you have visitors. Brunch is amazing at the Inn (which is not open year-round) and the Farm Barn is a great place to bring kids. It's 20 minutes out of town but totally worth it. Also a great place to see an outdoor concert.

Lastly, to really get the lay of the land (literally), you should do two things: get out on the lake and climb a mountain. Both of those things are easier than you might think if you aren't normally inclined to do either. To get out on the lake, the easiest thing to do is take the Burlington-Port Henry ferry, which you can do on foot or a bike (or a car) and it takes about an hour. More fun though is to take one of the cruises from the boathouse, or even better hire a sailboat. It's not terribly expensive and this guy is awesome. His name is Gideon and he used to drive tanks in the Israeli army. Fantastic dude.

The easiest way to get up high enough to see around is Mt. Philo, which is about 25 minutes south of Burlington. It's an easy climb or you can even drive to the top. You won't find a better view of the lake, farmland, and Adirondacks for less effort.

Feel free to memail me with questions, and welcome!
posted by GodricVT at 7:05 AM on September 1, 2011

Hello and welcome!
A second for Switchback. It is brewed in South Burlington and sold by the glass in pretty much every bar and restaurant. They don't bottle it, so here is an excuse to go out for a drink or buy a pony keg. It is freakin delicious.

American Flatbread on Saint Paul Street is a very popular spot for tasty food, but they also make very tasty beer. Try going just after dinnertime on a weeknight to avoid the rush.

Try out Hong's Chinese Dumplings. This is a food cart on Church Street, near Borders. This tiny lady will make you delicious dumplings by hand, right on the street which is sort of urban I guess.

Favorite brunch spots not yet mentioned: Magnolia Bistro near Saint Paul and College Streets, Sneakers on Main Street in neighboring Winooski.

Speaking of the diminutive town of Winooski, there are some really great spots there. Keep your eye on the Monkey House; sometimes there is really good music, always different and usually obscure. Cupps is a bakery on Winooski Falls Way; they make an eye-popping cup of coffee and perfect chocolate chip muffins. Tiny Thai is yummy and BYOB. One of my favorite things to do is walk around by the falls, both above and below the hydro dam.

Best coffee: definitely Vermont Coffee Company. You can buy the beans at City Market. My favorite variety is Tres Mariposas. Best cafe: I'm not much of a cafe rat, but I do like Uncommon Grounds on Church Street, opposite the mall. Muddy Waters on Main Street is good too, but it's also really popular and often crowded. They make a really good milkshake.

As for women's health, I've been to Vermont Women's Choice on Mansfield Ave, below the Planned Parenthood, and they were pretty good. I have also been treated well at the Planned Parenthood itself and the University women's health clinic. But I haven't found anyone great.

A One Automotive treated me pretty well, and didn't charge me an arm and a leg to repair and inspect my VW last year, but I've only been to them once. E & E Tire on Riverside. Those guys are awesome. They do inspections, but only in the summer. The rest of the year they pretty much only do tires.

Ok, I'll stop now. I've lived here for 10 years or so, and I think it's pretty great, so I do tend to go on. It is nice to see some local MeFites come out of the woodwork once and awhile. Do drop me a line if you want to get a beer or a coffee or have a question or whatever.
posted by vortex genie 2 at 11:49 AM on September 1, 2011

One thing I forgot, then I promise I'll shut up already. Half-price burger night at The Scuffer, which is on Church Street across from City Hall. The burgers, both meat and veg, are quite good, and their fries are my favorite.
posted by vortex genie 2 at 11:51 AM on September 1, 2011

I already love it here- these answers make me even happier to have more to explore. Thank you all!!!
posted by slateyness at 9:08 PM on September 1, 2011

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