The Best Restaurants Near Lake Champlain

CXDY0R Grand Isle on Lake Champlain, Vermont, New England, United States of America, North America
CXDY0R Grand Isle on Lake Champlain, Vermont, New England, United States of America, North America | © robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Chloe Hay

Home to crystal clear waters perfect for swimming and scuba-diving, visitors to Lake Champlain, Vermont, will find it easy to work up an appetite. After a day’s watersports, fishing, walking, or cycling you’ll want a delicious meal. We pick the 10 best places to find one in the valley.

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Waterworks Food + Drink

For unrivaled views of the stunning Winooski River, reserve a table at Waterworks Food + Drink. Much more than just a dining experience, guests are also able to learn about the history of the Champlain Mill while tucking into delicious, innovative takes on American favorites. Separate menus are available for brunch, lunch, and dinner, and all feature rich, indulgent dishes. For a dinner to remember, start with the whipped feta with farm beans, olive oil, and grilled bread to share; follow with either the pan-roasted swordfish served with gold rice or the Waterworks steak frites, with crispy garlic and parsley fries. End on a chocolatey high with a plate of churros. Regular live music events take place here, too; check out what’s coming up on the website.

Hen of the Wood

Showcasing the richness of Vermont’s farming heritage, Hen of the Wood uses as much locally sourced produce in its dishes as possible. Taking things back to basics, the menu changes daily depending on what local ingredients are available. Previous menu items have included ham-wrapped rabbit loin served with apples, kohlrabi, and crème fraîche, Gulf of Maine hake with cippolini onions, potato, and pine nuts, and grilled octopus with sunchokes, scallions, and ginger. Those eager to try local food at bargain prices will want to stop by 4-5pm or 10-11pm each day for $1 oysters.

Splash at the Boathouse

Bar, Restaurant, Seafood, American, $
Where better to enjoy idyllic sunset views over Lake Champlain than actually on it, atop a floating dock? That’s exactly what guests can do at the gorgeous seafood restaurant, Splash at the Boathouse. The most sought after place to dine throughout the spring and summer months, guests are treated to glorious panoramas stretching across the water to the Adirondack Mountains of New York. The menu is simple, and the food is exquisite. Think appetizers of coconut shrimp and buffalo tenders, entrées of fresh Maine lobster and cranberry walnut chicken salads, and, of course, there is a fully stocked bar for anyone wanting to enjoy a cocktail as the sun goes down.

Ruthcliffe Lodge & Restaurant

Restaurant, Italian, American
Situated right on the lakefront, the Ruthcliffe Lodge & Restaurant offers delicious Italian-American style cuisine. Acclaimed chef and owner, Mark Infante, has developed an appealing and varied menu of seafood, chicken, beef, veal, various pasta entrees, homemade soups, seasonal greens and garden veg. Guests have the choice of sitting inside or out overlooking the water, plus an extensive selection of handpicked imported and domestic wines are also on offer to accompany the meal.

Shore Acres Inn & Restaurant

Located in the heart of the Champlain Islands, the family run inn and restaurant sits on the majestic Lake Champlain with stunning views of the Green Mountains. Relax on the lake shore with a glass of wine, read a book or take in the views. Under the direction of Chef Dan Rainville, the restaurant offers a variety of different dishes, including bistro and traditional plates such as the signature apple island chicken and old fashioned Yankee pot roast. It is open from 10.30am until 4pm and is also available for private parties and weddings in the off-peak season.

Trattoria Delia

Cafe, Restaurant, Italian, $$
An authentic Italian trattoria nestled in the heart of picturesque Vermont, Trattoria Delia has been keeping locals happy and full-bellied since 1993. Stepping through its doors is like stepping back in time to Old World Italy. The bare-brick walls and roaring fire make this restaurant welcoming: the perfect setting for a romantic dinner. The menu is divided into antipasti, primi, and secondi, and diners are spoilt for choice. Choose between the scamorza, calamari, or cold meat plate for a beautiful antipasto to share, and then tuck into a warming bowl of tagliatelle or gnocchi for your starter. The real star of the show is the choice of secondi. Ossobuco alla Milanese (braised veal shank), polipo alla brace (wood-grilled Mediterranean octopus), and brasato di manzo (slow-braised, boneless beef short rib) are all served with sides of grilled vegetables and sage-butter-roasted potatoes.

The Daily Planet

Restaurant, Thai, Italian, $
Diners can take a culinary trip around the globe at The Daily Planet. With an expansive menu featuring dishes from Thailand, France, Japan, Italy, and, of course, the USA, this is the perfect restaurant to please everyone in the dinner party. The restaurant gives guests the choice of where they would like to enjoy their meal as well: choose to dine in the solarium; the romantic, copper-filled dining room; or with a cocktail in hand in the bubbly bar area. Favorite dishes include pan-roasted lamb lollipops, almond crusted swordfish, and caramelized sea scallops.

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