J. Morgan’s Steakhouse is a Montpelier staple and so popular among locals that reviewers often advise out-of-town visitors to make their reservations well in advance if they want to guarantee a table. From the extensive wine selection to the children’s dinner menu, there’s something for everyone at this widely respected steakhouse. Served with a whole, buttery lobster on top, the creamy Lobster Mac and Cheese is a fan favorite and just one more reason for J. Morgan’s cult status.
100 State St, Montpelier, VT 05602 +1 802-223-5222
If you’re a beer lover, you owe it to yourself to check out Three Penny Taproom in downtown Montpelier. The name itself is enough to attract brewing aficionados, but look at the taplist on their website and you’ll be sprinting to this upscale bar in no time. The intriguing menu emphasizes artisan sandwiches and flatbreads to go along with their New England-brewed lagers, IPAs (India Pale Ale) and witbiers (Belgium-style ale) as well as a craft beer selection from Hills Farmstead. Each dish is made to order and uses only the freshest local ingredients, including cheeses from Vermont creameries and vegetables from nearby farms.
108 Main Street, Montpelier, VT 05602 +1 802-223-8277
One look at The Skinny Pancake‘s menu will have your mouth watering; sweet and savory crêpes of every variety are a specialty of this local joint. Almost every evening there’s a live music event spotlighting one artist, often local. While listening to the tunes, you have to try the Heart Breaker: a sweet crêpe with warm Nutella, strawberries, bananas and whipped cream.
89 Main St, Montpelier, VT 05602 +1 802-262-2253
For the full five-course Italian dining experience, reserve a table for two at Sarducci’s. Sarducci’s is the ideal date night spot owing to the view of the Winooski River by the porch and the river deck (both of which are open during the warmer months). The intimate, romantic ambience of this reasonably priced restaurant is emphasized by the wood-burning oven inside the restaurant, which adds a warm glow and tantalizing smell to the atmosphere. Don’t pass up the Florentine pizza, but leave room for dessert.
3 Main St, Montpelier, VT 05602 +1 802-223-0229
Asiana House is just one of the reasons Montpelier is a culinary melting pot. Take an authentic Japanese restaurant and put it in an old converted bank and the result is a half-modern, half-traditional interior design. If dining alone, nab a seat at the polished wooden bar and treat yourself to a sake martini. If you’ve come with a date or some friends, you’ll be seated in the main area where you can see the re-purposed bank vault. The sushi is locally sourced and always fresh, making this a favorite of sushi and sashimi lovers.
43 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05603 +1 802-225-6180
If you’re not in the mood for Italian, American or Japanese food, head over to Tulsi Tea Room, with its wholly vegetarian, Indian-inspired menu of sweet treats and savory dishes. This gorgeously mellow restaurant offers delicacies such as Blue Moon cakes (rich chocolate cakes filled with organic blueberry sauce) and Raw Cupcakes made with organic, local honey and coconut butter. If you crave something less sugary, order homemade chapatis with ghee, traditional Indian flatbreads baked until crispy, golden-brown and dosed in fragrant Indian butter.
34 Elm St Montpelier, VT 05602 +1 802-223-1431
There aren’t many places nowadays that rely on word of mouth for exposure, rather than on social media; Philamena’s is one of these rarities. Not quite a hole-in-the-wall but more of a one-of-a-kind breakfast nook only found in the heart of Montpelier. Philamena’s opens before most people are awake, and closes right after lunch, but the foot traffic is always moving inside this bustling cafè. They always use local eggs, milk and meat for their delectable cheese omelettes and flaky butter biscuits, which are served from opening time to closing time.
41 Elm Street, Montpelier, VT 05602 +1 802-223-5217
Sweet Melissa’s is a lively downtown bar geared towards Montpelier’s younger crowd. It doubles as a popular concert venue, which is the perfect accompaniment to its curated collection of Vermont-brewed craft beers. The chilled out vibe and friendly regulars accentuate the old-school dive bar ambience and bring to life the underground music scene of Montpelier. Almost every review you will read will rave about Melissa’s strong-bodied beers, spicy wings and terrific taste in music. If you happen to be there on the right night, you might just meet owner, sweet Melissa herself.
4 Langdon St, Montpelier, VT 05602 +1 802-225-6012
The Mad Taco adds yet another cuisine to the Montpelier melting pot: a modern spin on traditional Mexican street food. Whether you want a pulled pork burrito drenched in tangy enchilada sauce (a Mad Taco specialty known as the Colorado wet burrito) or avocado-stuffed quesadillas, Mad Taco will satisfy your palate with a spicy kick from their homemade hot sauces. The unlabeled collection is displayed proudly and colorfully on each table, forcing you to play hot-sauce-roulette. Definitely not for the fainthearted.
72 Main St, Montpelier, VT 05602 +1 802-225-6038
Salt‘s exemplary courses are replaced each season so that no combination of ingredients is ever served twice. Founded by Suzanne Podhaizer four years ago, the menu here promises to awaken your taste-buds with gorgeous culinary masterpieces based on innovative flavor combinations. Chilled spinach soup with dandelion petals, raw oysters with rhubarb-honey sauce and flourless chocolate cake with candied orange were just three offerings on last spring’s tasting menu.
207 Barre Street, Montpelier, VT 05602 +1 802-229-6678