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Going Out (and Checking In) for Breakfast

Written by Melissa Pasanen on . Posted in Taste of the Landscape

Photo by Melissa Pasanen.

Several years ago, my younger son took music lessons in downtown Burlington every Saturday morning. About half the time, when some other activity was not scheduled right on top of the lesson, we’d cross the street afterwards for breakfast at Handy’s Lunch.

Handy’s is a three-generation landmark with a horseshoe-shaped counter, a warm welcome and strong coffee poured into classic, thick-walled, diner mugs. The food is also classic: good, straightforward breakfasts with crisp home fries and perfectly cooked eggs that aren’t trying to be anything more than they are.

As we ate, we’d enjoy the dynamics around the counter, joke about the legendary Yankees-Red Sox rivalry and just take a break from the jam-packed weekend schedule.

Those music lessons are long gone, as are the mornings when our two teenage sons woke up before 10 or 11 a.m., but we all miss the ritual of those Saturday morning breakfasts.

In our family (and those of most people I know), all four of us seem to be going in different directions at once, barreling toward the day that the boys will be gone for good.

Juggling the work schedules of three of us ― not to mention the boys’ sports and other extra-curriculars ― to find time to just hang out together is a challenge, even though we know it should be a priority.

One thing I still try to do is take the boys out to breakfast every so often, usually when they have a late-start morning at school. It’s an affordable and tasty investment in staying connected, not to mention a great way to start the day.
Some of our favorite places for breakfast in the Burlington area include Handy’s Lunch, the Dutch Mill, Mirabelles, and Penny Cluse. Around the state, we recommend The Mix Café in Jeffersonville, Stella’s in Hartland and Up For Breakfast in Manchester (coming in our winter issue). We’d love to hear about your favorite breakfast place! Email Vermont Life Food Editor Melissa Pasanen at or tell us via Twitter @VermontLife or on our Facebook page.

Melissa Pasanen

Melissa Pasanen

Contact Melissa Pasanen at and follow her on Twitter at

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