Vermont has a huge abundance of places to eat. Over the years, some great, legendary restaurants have come and gone with some newcomers that certainly fill in the gaps. It’s getting tougher to find great, local restaurants as the number of chains seem to be increasing. Though popular due to convenience and price, chain restaurants can be hit or miss most of the time in terms of food quality. Below is a list of some of my favorites, throughout Vermont, not really in order of preference.
- Darshan Namaste Asian Deli, Winooski, VT.
This little gem is a very small place on 212 Main St. The food is simply fantastic and the portions are HUGE. Kind of ironic because the dine-in area is very small. The heating system inside isn’t all that great but the hot food warms you up. The house chow mein is delightfully spicy and the soup is simply to die for. These two dishes are so fantastic that I haven’t tried their other menu items yet! Prices are very low too and others LOVE this place. Don’t believe me? Check for yourself.
- Harringtons of Vermont 5597 Shelburne Road, Shelburne, VT
I never pass through Shelburne without stopping here, especially in the morning. Fresh baked scones, muffins, cinnamon roles and MUCH more. They also put out samples of smoked bacon early in the morning and from the aroma, you’d swear you just walked into food heaven. I’ve been visiting Harringtons for many years and it’s nice to see some familiar faces behind the counter. At noon time, the soups are great too, especially the chili. Definitely a favorite!
- Panera Bread, Williston, VT
This is probably the only chain restaurant to make my list and though the food is good, it’s not spectacular (like Harringtons). The reason I like this place so much is the cleanliness in the kitchen. I have inside information that Panera (in Williston anyway) are ultra fussy about how the food is handled and prepared. If something falls on the floor, into the trash it goes. I also have some inside knowledge about many of the other chains, that would horrify you. For that reason, I stopped eating at a lot of the chain restaurants. Panera offers all you can drink coffee, provides wi-fi so it’s a great place for an informal business meeting so it’s on my top 5 list.
- Martone’s Market. 16 Main St, Essex Junction, VT 05452
I’ve been going to this place for years, even before my days working at IBM. The sandwiches are huge and the meat is very fresh. The pastries are also excellent, especially the cinnamon rolls. I can’t drive through Essex Jct 5 corners without stopping here.
- Chef Leu’s House. 3761 Shelburne Rd. Shelburne, VT 05482
This is about the only Chinese restaurant in Vermont that I enjoy. Though my wife likes the Chinese buffets, the only one half way decent is located on the Derby Road in Newport. When it comes to freshly made Chinese, Chef Leu’s has always been great, especially the egg rolls and sweet and sour chicken. The fried rice is excellent too.
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