Top Picks For You
Vermont Travel Guide

Food and Foliage: Your Guide to the Perfect Fall in Vermont

Locals and pros give their advice for the very best of autumn.

Vermont may be famous for cheddar cheese and maple syrup, but that’s only skimming the surface of what this stunning Northeast state is known for. Vermont leads the nation in breweries and brew pubs per capita; is home to food staples like Ben and Jerry’s and Jasper Hill Farm; and has food-based experiences and food tours that will tantalize anyone who enjoys getting to know a place by its food culture.

Not only a great place for bites and brews, but Vermont is also home to the Green Mountains. This mountain range runs 250 miles through the state and provides some of the most stunning views through the seasons–but is especially beautiful as Summer greens make way for Fall scenes.

Being able to combine the food and foliage experience Vermont has to offer is nothing short of a win-win situation. We’ve done the research and asked the professionals (as well as locals) to help curate the perfect places to eat, drink and explore the scenery in any part of this state.   

Exceptional Bites

Whether you’re looking for the perfect sandwich for a hike or want an elevated cocktail experience, Vermont has no shortage of amazing places to grab a bite. Here are a few food stops that are worth driving out of the way for.

Doc Ponds

Dubbed “a top spot for foodies and beer nerds,” Doc Ponds is located in Stowe. The menu is dotted with local delicacies, like Vermont cheddar and ham, used in creative and comforting ways. Add a draft beer menu with local favorites like Lawson’s, Foam, and von Trapp to the mix and you have the perfect Vermont-style meal.

Continue Reading Article After Our Video

Recommended Fodor’s Video

Stowe Sandwich

Whether you’re looking to eat in or grab-and-go, Stowe Sandwich, in Stowe, is a must-try. While it’s known for its menu of fried chicken sandwiches, there is something for even the pickiest of eaters, from grinders and cold sandwiches to hot paninis. In fact, you may want to plan on sharing so you can try more things–and each will be as delicious as the next.

Simon Pierce

At Simon Pierce in Quechee, you will be dazzled by the overall experience. The dining room at the mill sits on a stunning waterfall and beautiful windows immerse you in nature. Or, take a seat at the modern industrial-style bar and grab a cocktail and Vermont cheese plate for aperitif hour–or just because.

Au Comptoir

Au Comptoir in Woodstock takes the cocktail scene to another level with classics as well as its own unique cocktail menu. Quaint and beautiful with exposed brick and marble tables, this cocktail bar is the perfect way to either start or finish an evening. Add on a cheese board or caviar service to set the tone.

Santé

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @santewoodstock

Also located in Woodstock is this newly-opened farm-to-table eatery. Order a variety of Santé’s small plates to share, while sipping on a local craft beer or cider. The best part? Since it’s new (it just opened its doors in July 2022) it’s still a hidden gem, so you can avoid the crowds.

Chop House

Located in the Manchester Village -based The Equinox Hotel, is the Chop House. With an Orvis stone hearth as a backdrop, Chop House is great for an upscale meal of steak and seafood that isn’t your normal fare. While the menu does change, highlights include asparagus soup and lobster skins.

The Downtown Grocery

While the name may deceive you, Ludlow -based The Downtown Grocery isn’t an actual store: It’s a restaurant that seats between 10 and 16 people a night and serves up meals that are frequently raved about. Owners Abby and Rogan Lechthaler pride themselves on using local, house-butchered meat and sustainable seafood. The menu is always changing and evolving, but the quality of the meal stays consistently delicious.

Brews and More

Vermont has no shortage of beer, and while it can get overwhelming to pick, every brewery will have something interesting and unique to offer. While these are a few standouts, there are lots more to choose from. And, while this state may be known for its beer scene, there are also plenty of cideries, distilleries, and wineries that call this state home, too.

Harpoon Brewery Taproom

A New England staple, Harpoon’s Windsor location serves up craft beer, cider, and seltzers, along with pub-style food. Sit inside and take in the cool vibes or opt for an outdoor spot in the beer garden.

Von Trapp Bierhall

Located in Stowe, Von Trapp Brewing showcases beer done in the Austrian lager style. The bierhall serves up fresh Austrian-style fare, like cheddar lager soup and chicken schnitzel, to complement the sippers as well as keep a piece of the family’s heritage alive.

Alchemist Beer

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Alchemist Beer (@alch3mistb33r)

Alchemist in Stowe is happy to welcome beer lovers for tours and tastings. While the indoor tasting room is currently undergoing renovations, the outdoor beer garden is fit for fun with games and some food options. However, feel free to bring your own packed lunch and snacks, too.

Village Garage Distillery + Servicenter

It’s really not in your best interest to miss out on grown-up grilled cheese and bourbon bread pudding as well as sip on some fabulous spirits at Village Garage Distillery + Servicenter. Located in Bennington, Village Garage is also open for tours and tastings and has a cocktail menu that elevates classic cocktails into Vermont-style classic cocktails. (Try the Nor’easter: Village Vodka, milk, in-house coffee liqueur, and maple syrup.)

Foam Brewers

Want to combine views with brews? Foam Brewers, located in Burlington, has a stunning waterfront taproom that is the picture-perfect backdrop for sipping on some sours and IPAs. Time it right and you can partake in a release party from House of Fermentology, a small batch, craft producer that focuses on mixed fermentation and wild ales. And, if you’re hungry, the on-site eatery, Deep City, serves up brunch, dinner, cocktails, and other local beers.

Shacksbury

Does anything else scream Fall the way foliage and cider does? We think not. Shacksbury, located in Vergennes, develops organic and complex sippers that pay homage to the outdoor, active lifestyle that Vermont natives know and love. Yes, it creates a stunning classic cider, but also has specialty and cellar release options that will appeal (get it?) to just about everyone.  

Hill Farmstead Brewery

Located in Greensboro Bend, Hill Farmstead Brewery is a can’t miss for beer lovers. With lots of different options from Imperial porters to German-style brews, it may be worth blocking out a few hours–or at least time for a return visit–to try everything that you fancy. Stunning views of rolling hills and a rustic-style taproom make this a great place to sit and sip until you’ve had your fill.

WhistlePig Whiskey

In the same building as Simon Pierce, you’ll find the WhistlePig Whiskey Parlour, a cozy, sophisticated spot to sip some of the good stuff. Or take in the more laid-back vibe at the WhistlePig Pavilion, which has cocktails along with inspired bites. No matter your style, a visit to WhistlePig will be a happy highlight.

Food Experiences

Outside of places to sip and snack, Vermont is full of immersive food-driven experiences. From baking classes to crazy cones, Vermont has some great options for those who want to get a little more hands-on in the food scene than just sipping and snacking.

King Arthur Baking

If you love anything about food, there is no way you can miss King Arthur Baking Company. The brand’s flagship campus is in Norwich and it is chock full of activities for bakers and anyone who has a sweet tooth. Stock up on bakeware and kitchen tools at the retail shop; learn a new skill at one of the hands-on classes; take a walk through the bakery to learn more about the process; or grab a coffee and pastry at the cozy cafe.

Ben and Jerry Factory

While in Vermont, take a tour of the Ben and Jerry factory. Learn a bit about the brand’s start and then get a heaping scoop of ice cream at the end. Don’t want to wait for your sweet treat? Head straight to the scoop shop for a cup or cone of one of the many flavors it offers. And, don’t miss the flavor graveyard. This could be your chance to plead your case to bring back your favorite retired flavor.

The Essex

Cook and relax? All the yes. The Essex, located in Burlington, not only will send you home a better chef, but will also take all the stress out of your shoulders while doing it. Dubbed “Vermont’s Culinary Resort and Spa,” treat yourself to the brand’s cook academy, and then indulge yourself in a hydrafacial at the spa. The Essex also has several on-site restaurants that boast fresh, delicious food that’s grown on-site or locally-sourced. Looks like your inner foodie will be going home full.

Premier Leaf-Peeping

When it comes to the perfect Fall shot, foliage is necessary. While just about any place in Vermont would do when it comes to leaf-peeping, there are a few very extraordinary spots that are worth the drive, hike, or bike for.

Old First Church in Old Bennington

“It’s actually the site of Robert Frost’s grave, and always a fan favorite,” says Glen Sauer, co-founder of Village Garage Distillery in Bennington.

Harmon Hill

According to Nicole Sauer, Harmon Hill is for those who want to spend the day immersed in nature and see various shades of yellow, red, and orange. There is a hike involved, but she says the view is worth it.

Bennington Battle Monument

“If you go up Monument Ave where the Bennington Battle Monument is, there are 200-year-old houses and old trees bending from their weight. It’s just up the hill from the Old First Church,” Sauer explains.

Smuggler’s Notch State Park

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Vermont Tourism (@vermonttourism)

Located in Stowe, Smuggler’s Notch State Park offers exceptional views of the bright Fall colors of the Green Mountains. There are several trails to hike, or you can ride through and stop along the way. No doubt that here you will find your perfect peeping spot.

The Gardens At Von Trapp Greenhouse

While no longer open to the public regularly, there are several open garden days that are hosted by the local rotary for a small fee. Check the schedule and book tickets as these gardens should not be missed in any season.

Quechee Gorge

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Derrick Mills (@derrickphotos_)

Located in Quechee, Quechee Gorge is dubbed “Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon.” Pack a picnic lunch and take in the views of this gorge-ous sight. Your Instagram feed will thank you.

Sugarbush Farm

Is there anything better than food with a view? Sugarbush Farm is a third-generation business in Woodstock, known for its cheese and maple syrup. However, the views here are too good to pass up. (And the samples don’t hurt, either.)

0 Comments