It’s hard to travel when you have severe and conflicting food allergies (e.g. corn and wheat are usually a substitute for each other) and most North American restaurants seem to feel the need to throw dairy into just about everything.
That said, Vermont is one of the easiest US states to navigate with dietary issues. Maple syrup, produce, dairy and organic food are what the state provides to the rest of the country; and, Vermont loudly promotes its artisan food creations.
We planned our trip destinations based purely on food/coffee; below are our recommended discoveries.
Catalyst Coffee Bar, St. Albans
St. Albans is the first town that you encounter on arrival in Vermont from Québec. This little city is known as the location of the northernmost land-based battle during the Civil War. Across the street from the battlefield, on the main strip, is this little coffee shop.
We lucked out because we crossed the border quickly and reached our destination a lot faster than expected… and the cafe was open and serving customers at 7am.
Monarch and the Milkweed, Burlington
Burlington is a confusing mishmash of side streets, town squares, and chain restaurants. And, while trying to find a different breakfast cafe, we stumbled into Monarch and the Milkweed.
I’m glad we did because they have a mouthwatering delicacy that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about: the deep-fried hash-brown block.
Natural Provisions, St. Johnsbury
Whole Foods doesn’t exist in Vermont. But, in its place are a plethora of community-based organic markets. Natural Provisions is one such place.
We popped in here to grab some deli items and found one of the things we miss most from the US: Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Stowe Street Cafe, Waterbury
For some reason this place reminded me of Michelle.
Perhaps it was the New England blue walls… or the hand-painted fish on the wall… or the artsy-crafty appearance… or the no-nonsense attitude of the owner. I really couldn’t put my finger on it but the restaurant had some serious Michelle vibe.
The food was pretty fantastic too! It’s a rare thing to get to enjoy a handmade gf breakfast sandwich.
Down Home Cafe, Montpelier
I have mixed feelings about this place. The chef was also our server… so we could get the rundown on ingredients. But, the menu options were very Southern, which felt very out of place in Vermont.
If you’re pining for Southern delicacies as fried green tomatoes, fried catfish, chicken fried steak, and buttermilk biscuits… this is your place.
Newport Natural Market and Cafe, Newport
On our way out of Vermont (via Newport), we found another organic food market right on the waterfront. It was a great (and beautiful) place to stop for a juice.