Vegging Out: Burlington, Vermont

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Burlington, VT delivers crisp mountain air and jaw-dropping sunsets over Lake Champlain. A vegetarian visitor to Vermont’’s largest city will not be disappointed by the food either. Feast your eyes and taste buds on these delectable destinations.

Zabby & Elf’s Stone Soup

For almost fifteen years, Tim Elliott and Avery Rifkin have run one of Burlington’s most veg-friendly restaurants. The large tables, local art, and exposed kitchen promote what co-owner Tim describes as a “community place…with bustling energy.” In addition to the hot buffet and salad bar, there are soups, sandwiches, and blackboard specials; featuring seasonal dishes like their popular seared brussels sprouts with sun dried tomato pesto. Visiting Stone Soup is a lot like experiencing a trip to the farmers’ market, from the lively atmosphere to the dishes created weekly from farm fresh foods. Another long time favorite meal is Stone Soup’s Vegan Lasagna, which happens to include a homemade tofu filling inspired by a Vegetarian Times recipe from the nineties! Stone Soup also caters to gluten-avoiders, so pick up your gluten-free dessert from the baked goods counter on your way to the cash register.

August First
Husband and wife team, Jodi Whalen and Phil Merrick, saw a need in Burlington for a true bakery and café—similar to something you’d find in the country. August First promotes a “made from scratch philosophy…it’s a place that’s not just about the food, but about the feeling behind it,” says bakery co-owner Jodi Whalen. The bakery operates in an old industrial garage off the beaten path, between downtown Burlington and Lake Champlain. Natural light fills the open space, which Jodi and Phil designed to be, what they describe as, an “extension of their home.” They support their community at every turn; even their aprons are locally made from used men’s dress shirts! Everything is homemade, from the fruit jam to salad dressings to daily soups. Must-have items include the Chipotle Cheddar breakfast sandwich, homemade granola (you can pick up a bag to go!), Hungarian sweet rolls, and the Curried Tofu Salad sandwich.

Sabertooth Bakery (pictured)

Since last April, Evie Michaelson has been spreading sweet surprises in the form of vegan desserts from her bike cart. During the warmer months you’ll find her on College Street, and you never know when she’ll pop up at a local music show, art opening, or festival! Find out which cafes and grocery stores will stock her goodies during the chillier seasons at her website. When you’re lucky enough to catch Evie toting her bright pink cart, be sure to try one of her most popular picks—the chocolate cupcakes topped with peanut butter frosting and a homemade peanut butter cup!

American Flatbread

American Flatbread prides itself on being a cozy and tasty haven for the Burlington community. Recently, they received awards for best family restaurant and best pizza from the local free paper. The most popular vegetarian pizza on the menu is the Punctuated Equilibrium, a harmonious combination of Kalamata olives, oven-roasted sweet red peppers, handmade Vermont goat cheese, red onions, and fresh rosemary and other fresh herbs. Their chefs use locally sourced, organic ingredients whenever available and they’re always happy to make a vegan or gluten-free pizza. In the mood for a cold one? Choose from ten micro-brewed beers on tap, crafted on the premises. The inviting atmosphere is heightened by the wood-fired oven and open kitchen, allowing everyone to watch their delicious creations come to life. Where else will you find tomato sauce and caramelized onions made from scratch in a cauldron over a wood fire?

Magnolia Bistro

Shannon Reilly and July Sanders launched Magnolia Bistro five years ago, aiming to provide “five star service in a laid back atmosphere,” July says. On any given day, you might see “college students in their pajamas sitting at a table next to people in business suits.” If you’re a breakfast lover with a sweet tooth, the Oatmeal Pancakes are divine. Looking for something savory? The Western Tofu Scram and the Locavore Omelet (changes seasonally!) are especially popular. Magnolia’s takes environmental sustainability and social responsibility into account in all areas of their business and their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed—they’re the first certified green restaurant in the state of Vermont!

Corinne Bowen is a freelance journalist and copywriter, living in Baltimore, MD with her husband and daughter. She blogs about her adventures in writing, veggies, marriage, and motherhood at

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