Eating Out in Burlington, Vermont: The Best Restaurants

2E0BY35 Overlooking of Lake Elmore State Part With Beautiful Autumn Foliage and Water reflections at Elmore, Vermont, USA
2E0BY35 Overlooking of Lake Elmore State Part With Beautiful Autumn Foliage and Water reflections at Elmore, Vermont, USA | © Felix Lipov / Alamy Stock Photo
Lucy Freeland

As the largest city in the state of Vermont, downtown Burlington succeeds in treading the line between a relaxed, lakeside city and an up-to-the-moment hub of vibrant cafés, restaurants, galleries and cultural events. Following on from our initial look at the restaurants in the area, we delve further into Burlington’s culinary scene, bringing you some familiar faces alongside some exceptional newcomers.

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Revolution Kitchen

Revolution Kitchen

Founded in 2013, Revolution Kitchen currently retains its unique position as the only restaurant in Burlington to feature an all-vegetarian menu. Here, Asian flavours meet local Vermont ingredients, creating sensational flavour combinations that set Revolution Kitchen apart from its contemporaries. Begin with guacamole filled wontons, Cuban black beans, cashew queso and salsa fresca followed by a Laksa noodle pot with broccoli, bok choy, carrots, tofu and rice noodles in an aromatic, spicy coconut broth. The stars of the show are the desserts: not only do they vary frequently according to seasonal change, but they always feature something deliciously indulgent. Opt for the decadent chocolate banana cream pie and finish off the evenings with a final glass or two of their handpicked wines.

Stone Soup

Courtesy Stone Soup
Zabby and Elf’s Stone Soup has family and a genuine love of good, nutritious food at its core, the chefs briefed to prepare all dishes as if they were destined to be consumed by their own family and friends. The culinary vibe is grounded in New York Jewish cooking and contemporary vegetarian cuisine, offering delicious options ranging from fresh challah and macaroons to hot brisket and maple-glazed tofu. The smell of bread and freshly made pastries greeting diners in the morning wafts from the open kitchen, which together with the soft music makes for a gentle and relaxed start to the day. Lunch and evening favourites include indulgent macaroni and cheese, punchy enchilada casserole and wonderful, fresh bowl piled high with steamed kale and brown rice.

August First

The locally owned bakery and café August First is famous for creating everything from scratch using the very finest, freshest ingredients. In the bright, airy and cheerful bakery space, enjoy their signature authentic Hungarian crescent pastries filled with walnut meringue or apricot almond filling or perhaps a soft chocolate cookie, drizzled with creamy caramel and dusted with sea salt to go alongside a piping hot coffee. The locally sourced ingredients used to fill the delicious, handmade bread rolls for breakfast sandwiches and lunch options result in a truly exquisite dining experience. Opt for a chickpea and herb salad piled high with protein-rich bowl of chilled chickpeas, wild rice, feta cheese, fresh dill and basil, olives, walnuts, spinach, and honey drizzle, or go for fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, roasted red peppers, lettuce, balsamic vinegar and olive oil on crispy baguette.

Bleu Northeast Seafood

Bleu Northeast Seafood prides itself on sourcing seafood raised in sustainable fisheries and served simply, to preserve the fresh flavour. The fish itself arrives from the cold Atlantic water of the New England coast, Alaska and the Maritimes, paired with flavours that reveal the sophistication of the chefs, drawing out unseen tastes and textures. Begin with a flourish and enjoy fresh shucked oysters served with mignonette, hot sauce and American caviar or perhaps Mount Desert Island mussels in a tomato saffron broth served with roasted fennel, a splash of absinthe, rouille and croutons. From here, progress to a cedar-roasted Faroe Island salmon with a warm fingerling potato salad, bacon vinaigrette and roasted green beans or move away from fish towards frenched chicken breast in wine, with smoked cheddar mashed potatoes, frilled leeks and a red wine jus.

Handy’s Lunch

Beginning as a simple, all-American diner in 1945, Handy’s Lunch has evolved considerably since its humble beginnings, but retains that zing of American attitude with its family atmosphere and delicious, traditional fare. Start the day off in the best way with a Big Daddy breakfast, or head over for lunch and enjoy a ham and bologna sub loaded with everything from lettuce and onion to pickles, honey and a kick of Dijon mustard. For something a little heartier, choose a juicy Texas burger or hot dog with delicious sides of tator tots, pickled beets or crispy onion rings.


Founder Kevin and Kathi Cleary bring over 40 years of industry experience to their L’Amante endeavour. The result is a diverse restaurant offering the very best in customer service along with a commitment to the Vermont Fresh Network, supporting local ingredients from small farms and independent producers. The restaurant space itself boasts crisp tablecloths, minimalist decor and streams of light issuing in from the large windows, making for a sophisticated yet relaxed ambience. Enjoy squash blossom fritters stuffed with taleggio cheese and drizzled with truffle and honey oil before tucking into a potato crusted seabass with sautéed greens and a citrus buerre blanc. All dishes can be matched with exquisite wines, hand-picked by Kevin and Kathi to match the flavours of the food, adapting to seasonal change.

Leunig’s Bistro

Building upon its initial status as Church Street’s premiere coffee shop and café back in 1980, popular with artists, hipsters and business professionals of the day, Leunig’s Bistro has gradually evolved into one of the finest eateries in Burlington. The jaunty, Parisian feel of the café is detectable in the current bistro set-up, offering a true bohemian vibe whilst promising the height of professional, efficient customer service. Begin with a Canadian favourite, poutine, consisting of French fries topped with cheese curds and smothered in duck gravy, before lightening things up with the sophisticated and magnificent pan-seared cod crusted with roasted tomatoes and Kalamata olives, sprinkled with house-made Maple Brook ricotta and served with caper and lemon gnocchi, sautéed baby spinach, wild mushrooms, roasted aubergine and broccolini with fennel pollen and honey broth.

Trattoria Delia

Established in 1993 by Thomas and Lori Delia, Trattoria Delia reflects the cultural and culinary prowess of Italy – a true celebration of Thomas’ Italian heritage. Befitting the gastronomical traditions it champions, Trattoria Delia is situated in the historic Vermont House, originally a turn-of-the-century hotel steeped in tradition itself. In the centre of the dining room sits a large stone fireplace, filling the space with a convivial ambience, alongside the characterful beams and Italian pottery scattered hither and thither. Begin with snails in herbs, rich butter, olive oil and Sambuca with wood-grilled garlic crostini before progressing to wood-grilled Spanish octopus, roasted potatoes, Castelvetrano olives and salsa verde.

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