New England has so much to explore and this time we are headed to Burlington, Vermont to experience what this city has to offer in terms of dining, entertainment, and accommodations!
When we decided to visit Burlington, Vermont – we asked ourselves what we really knew about Vermont other than that they had the best maple syrup in the world? I had previously visited Norwich, Vermont for a trip to King Arthur Flour and had nothing but great memories. Generously, the Sheraton Burlington Hotel invited us to get to know what the city had to offer and we happily accepted the challenge!
Located on the eastern shoreline of Lake Champlain, Burlington seriously is the perfect blend of New England charm with a hint of that outdoorsy adventure feel.
And the best part is that the Sheraton Burlington Hotel is just steps away from all the fun things to do in town! They welcomed us into town with a fun goodie package with a cookbook, maple kettle corn, and local beers for us to sample as we stepped foot in our Sheraton Club Level Guest Room. If you’ve never stayed at a Sheraton before, know that the Sheraton Club is your best friend when traveling, with complimentary breakfast, all-day snacks like granolas and fresh fruit, as well as nighttime appetizers you can grab before heading out to dinner. It also has a business center desk with printer, making it super easy to print your travel tickets when needed. It’s seriously one of my favorite perks at Sheraton Hotels all over.
Let’s start with some breakfast recommendations in Burlington. First, and quick simply the easiest, is breakfast in bed at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel. Who doesn’t enjoy a leisurely breakfast while enjoying the snow fall outside? Mind you we arrived in Burlington on the coldest day of the season, so a warm breakfast in bed seemed like a good idea in a -15F day. I decided to go with the pancakes and a crock of warm maple syrup, and the husband went with an omelette with the usual sides. Can we just talk about the magic of maple syrup? Warm, silky sweet heaven, that’s what is it!
Another option for breakfast is Swingin’ Pinwheel Cafe and Bakery the quaintest, most adorable place with incredible food. It was the perfect spot to meet with the ladies that run the Burlington Edible History Tour, Elise and Gail. The tour, though seasonal, sounds like something I would definitely want to come back for. The fact that it blends two of my passions, history and food, makes it all more enticing.
And speaking of enticing, here’s what we ordered for breakfast: Eggs Cassidy (two corn cakes topped with house chili, and two poached eggs and hollandaise), a Wafflini (signature flaky pastry filled and baked in a waffle iron, stuffed with your choice VT Bacon & Maple, and sprinkled with powdered sugar), and pancakes with sides of apple sauce and red cabbage, and homage to Gail’s Brooklyn upbringing. The food at the Swingin’ Pinwheel is home-style and very well prepared and the service was stellar.
Soon enough you’ll be hungry for lunch – and if you’re like me, you’re always hungry for tacos. Stop in El Cortijo Taqueria y Cantina, a “farm to taco” experience that will make you eat more tacos than you’d ever think possible. I’ll just leave the list of tacos they offer here and you’ll understand why it was one of our favorite spots in Burlington:
- FRIJOLES – black beans, salsa taquera, avocado crema, queso fresco
- CALABAZA – squash, quinoa, roasted garlic & habanero crema, cabbage
- POLLO – pulled chicken, guajillo crema, salsa verde, lettuce
- CARNITAS – seasoned pork, fermented kohlrabi, salsa taquera, lettuce
- CARNE – beef shoulder, chimichurri, radishes, lettuce
- CHORIZO – pork sausage, guajillo salsa, queso fresco, cabbage
- CAMOTE – sweet potatoes, braised kale, guajillo salsa, pepitas
- LENGUA – beef tongue, salsa verde, escabeche, radishes
- PESCADO – crispy fish, tequila lime crema, cabbage slaw
Ok, I have you back at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel and mind you, it’s not because they hosted my stay. So, can we talk about this burger and the story about how I had almost three burgers in one weekend? The night we got in, it was freezing cold and we stumbled into the bar starving for food. My husband ordered this burger at the bar and as soon as he had a bite, made me have a bite exclaiming it was one of the best burgers he had ever tasted and I agreed. The next day, I was set to interview the chef during lunch – and he comes out with not one, but two burgers (one for him, one for me) so we could eat while I interviewed him. That was my second time encountering (and devouring) that burger. And then, last but certainly not least, the day we were leaving, we decided to grab lunch and of course, I ordered it one last time.
What made this burger so good? It was a Vermont-raised, 8 ounce hand formed burger topped with Cabot Creamery Sharp Cheddar Cheese and hand cut Vermont maple bacon, all served on a soft country roll. To say that one of the best burgers I’ve ever had can be found in a pub called Tuckaway’s in Burlington, Vermont is quite the feat – but I’d happily return to -15F weather for a bite of this burger!
After all that burger talk, it’s time to wind down and talk about drinks. Granted, I’m such a lightweight drinker and can only have a couple before my husband puts me to bed, but below were two of our favorite waterholes in Burlington. First up, Citizen Cider. These guys are taking fresh local apples and fermenting them into some of the tastiest cider ever. We came in one day after lunch and settled into one of their communal tables, were we ordered a cider tasting and a corndog (you only live once, have the corndog). Our ciders included: Mr. Burlington, Citizen Cellar: Tulsi, The American, and Citizen Cellar: Apricot. My favorite? The Mr. Burlington, aged sur lies in reclaimed American oak bourbon barrels, finished with orange peel and Urban Moonshine bitters, and the juice pressed at Happy Valley Orchard in Middlebury, VT. The orange peel and bitters really gave it a special flavor – sad I didn’t bring a bottle home!
Last, but certainly not least, is Pizzeria Verita. If you love Neapolitan pizza and expertly crafted cocktails, this is the place for you. They feature both Vermont and Italian spirits, so it’s a joy to watch the bartenders create magic. We had a show to catch at the Flynn Theater so we rushed out without tasting the pizza, but it was well recommended – next time!
As you can see, Burlington, Vermont is a city that must be on your travel bucket list – the food, the drinks, and the tacos – it’s all worth the trip!
Disclaimer: We were guests to the Sheraton Burlington Hotel, who covered our stay and travel. Meals and other expenses were are own, as are the opinions expresses on this blog. Thank you for supporting the brands and businesses that make Cooking with Books happen!