Best of Burlington, Vermont | 2023 Summer Travel Guide

With an eye on what’s new for 2023, Yankee’s editors round up the best attractions, eateries, and hotels in Burlington, Vermont.

By Yankee Editors

Apr 29 2023

Best New Restaurant in Burlington, Vermont: The Grey Jay in Burlington Vermont

Best New Restaurant in Burlington, Vermont: The Grey Jay

Photo Credit : Amanda Young, Courtesy of The Grey Jay

With an eye on what’s new for 2023, Yankee’s editors round up the best attractions, eateries, and hotels in Burlington, Vermont. For more of our Vermont picks, check out our comprehensive Best of Vermont 2023 guide.

Downtown Stay | Hotel Vermont, Burlington

Ten years on since making its debut in the Queen City, this independent boutique hotel continues to set the pace with its chic Vermont-centric decor and emphasis on local products (right down to the Burlington-roasted Brio coffee you’ll sip from a mug made by Waterbury’s Jeremy Ayer). Depending on the season, you can borrow a bike or snowshoes to go exploring, then return to the year-round culinary delights of the hotel’s farm-to-table restaurant, Juniper.

Family Outing | ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington

ECHO’s waterfront location sets the stage for kids’ deep dive into the wonders of science and nature. Among the 100-plus hands-on exhibits are a replica shipwreck and a mini “news studio” for budding TV reporters; a revamp in 2020 added the permanent exhibits “Awesome Forces” and Engineer It.” Live critters remain the undisputed stars, though, with more than 70 species—fish, amphibians, and reptiles—on hand to greet young visitors.

Local Market | City Market, Onion River Co-op, Burlington

Self-described as a co-op/grocery hybrid, City Market keeps Vermont front and center at its two Burlington stores, with nearly three-quarters of its vendors based in the state. Grab-and-go meals featuring local breads, meat, and produce; selections from 50-plus area breweries; and packable treats like chocolate “Bernie Bars” make it a bonanza for travelers. Meanwhile, support for local food systems and nonprofit partnerships make it a boon to the community.

New Restaurant | The Grey Jay, Burlington

Opened last year the same week that longtime breakfast oasis Penny Cluse Café shuttered for good, this brunch specialist has kept the spirits of a.m. diners high with Eastern Mediterranean–inspired fare (falafel Benedicts, shakshuka, house-made simit bread) that borrows inspiration from its parent restaurant, the much-revered Honey Road. Don’t miss the doughnuts by Honey Road’s James Beard–nominated pastry chef, Amanda Wildermuth.

Sports Stop | J Skis x Ski the East Intergalactic Headquarters, Burlington

Call it an only-in-Vermont mashup: ski shop meets museum meets family-friendly bar meets community gathering space. At this freewheeling Main Street newcomer, you can browse gear from J Skis and apparel from Ski the East, then stick around for snacks at the J Brewskis bar and lounge and catch some of the alpine action playing nonstop on the big monitor.

Vegan Restaurant | Pingala Café, Burlington

Comfort food gets a conscience at this 100-percent-plant-based eatery, whose Crunchwrap Supreme—a grilled wrap loaded with vegan chili and queso, brown rice, and tostadas—earned raves from the Food Network’s Guy Fieri. And with Pingala’s recently added second location and roving Broccoli Bar food truck, there’s even more of the vegan yumminess (including gluten-free desserts) to go around.

Check out our full 2023 Best of New England Summer Travel Guide to find our current editors’ picks in all six New England states.