Delirious from an expectantly traumatic Costco run on a Saturday morning, a day of driving, and trail mix for lunch, me, my beloved mom, and little brother drove into Burlington, Vermont. As we walked to dinner, I was taken aback by the "Hallmark small town a week before Christmas" of it all. Lights were strung, the streets abuzz despite the low 20 degree temperatures, and a feeling of warmth radiated from every shop window. I fell asleep skeptical. Was the perfect Vermont escape of my dreams a reality? The next few days were a realization that well, Heaven on earth exists-just under six hours from New York and with excellent vintage shopping, to boot.
Where to eat:
Penny Cluse Café The unofficial meal of the Veurink family is a lazy breakfast. We love to sleep in, take our time getting up, and indulge in the most important meal of the day. When I read all the ravishing reviews on Penny Cluse, I felt skeptical. Don't worry though, this was quickly dissolved with the rest of my doubts about the beauty of Burlington after my first bite of pumpkin bread french toast. Highly recommend the banana bread, but really the whole menu. Expect a wait!
Butch & Babe's A little celebratory dinner was in order, so we walked a quick ten minutes over to Butch & Babe's. What I was impressed by was the array of vegan and meat based options. I loved my plant based charcuterie board, the atmosphere, and the quirky nightly specials.
Uncommon Grounds I really think I've been to six coffee shops with the name "Uncommon Grounds" which feels ironic, but this was a lovely little cafe. All three of us got Maple Lattes (when in Rome) and pastries one morning. School work was intended to be completed in this relaxing atmosphere but was quickly traded for a Leonardo DiCaprio marathon back at the apartment.
American Flatbread Remember when I talked about being delirious from a day of driving? American Flatbread was the thing that revived all three of us. The wait was super long, we were all cold, and it was getting late. Note: We eat like Midwesterners when we're all together. A 7:30 PM dinner is just out of the question. Turns out, the wait was worth it. The pizza was nothing like the New York slice I worship, but delicious in its own right.
August First Bakery On our way out of town, we stopped at August First for breakfast and coffee. As a New Yorker, it felt foreign to be seated immediately in a space large enough to pull your chair out from the table with mumbling fourteen apologies in two different languages. But, no worries, I quickly adjusted and embraced the simple beauty of eating out anywhere other than Manhattan. The skillets we ordered were excellent, especially the vegan one.
Note: Is this a bad travel guide if I only include shopping and eating? Would it be honest for be to include anything else? Likely not. I tried to lead the family on a hike, which landed us in Ben and Jerry's Corporate HQ parking lot. We watched a lot of excellent movies, sang a lot of Hall and Oates in the car, and went to the local food co-op at least once a day. I know there are lots of outdoors activities that Burlington is iconic for, but I had a lot of WSJ Magazine/Elle backstock to catch up on.
Where to shop:
Old Gold A wall of jeans, organized by style, brand, and size caught my eye as I walked into Old Gold. Nothing is better than vintage Levi's, expect organized vintage Levi's. Even mom found an adorable 70s embroidered top from Old Gold. There are some less than ideal new clothes mixed in with the vintage, but for the denim selection, this place is worth visiting.
City Market I took to Instagram to confess my love for this grocery store, but knew I had to write more. At least once a day, one of us formulated an excuse to wander around this clean, modern, spacious grocery store and left with either a bottle of wine, organic shampoo, or some sort of produce. Being both a New Yorker and a grocery store aficionado, the real test of a vacation is the grocery store I can escape to.
Crow Bookshop Another test of a vacation destination is the local bookstore. I stared longingly at its picturesque window displays in the falling snow from inside Mom and Grant's personal favorite, Eddie Bauer. When they'd had their fun, we darted across the street and into the shop. Sometimes store that mix used and new books can feel off, but this store was lovely in so many ways. I picked up a few books I hadn't heard of thanks to the Staff Recommends section.
Dear Lucy Lastly, I would be remiss not to mention this adorable shoe store. With a great inventory, (I mean, at least a dozen styles of Danskos) all the footwear felt realistic in a really refreshing way. I picked up some Tretorn sneakers, but opted for my Blundstones for the entirety of the trip.
Stay tuned for part two of our Spring Break jaunt in Montreal. x