Whether you’re a lifelong Vermonter, a new resident or simply a visitor to our green state, you’re probably well aware that the Burlington area is a food-lover’s paradise.
But did you know that there’s a now a food-focused walking tour of Burlington?
Burlington Food Tours offers a cultural walking tour of the downtown area, with tasty sampling stops along the way at various vendors at the farmer’s market as well as specialty food shops and area restaurants. The experienced guides also provide some Burlington food history and overview of the area farming and locavore culture along the way.
My friend Jennifer and I decided to take the 2.5-hour tour on a sunny Saturday in July. We met our guide, Andrea, and the other tour participants — a few visitors from Saratoga, N.Y., a mother-daughter pair from Iowa and two other locals, like ourselves — at our first stop, the East Shore Vineyards Tasting Room on Church Street. We were treated to, along with an assortment of local cheeses, a tasting flight of wines, produced locally from grapes grown on Grand Isle. The hands-down favorite among our group was East Shore’s Louise Swenson, a crisp, refreshing white with notes of citrus.
Our next stop was the downtown farmer’s market, which was bustling on such a beautiful day. We sampled wood-fired bread from Naga Bakehouse, organic bitters from Urban Moonshine, honey vodka and elderberry cordial from Caledonia Spirits, sharp cheeses from Shelburne Farms, internationally-inspired pastries from The Nomadic Oven and more, all while enjoying the beautiful sunshine and cool lake breezes.
Another highlight of our tour was a special stop at Pistou, where we were served a delightful caprese-like salad of local heirloom tomatoes and creamy ricotta, prepared especially for our group as the restaurant is not normally open during the day.
The tour concluded with visits to Church Street shops Lake Champlain Chocolates (I can now highly recommend the chocolate milk shake) and the Saratoga Olive Oil Company, where I could have spent hours, sampling all the unique varietal oils and richly-flavored balsamic vinegars.
If you’re looking for a unique way to introduce your out-of-town guests to the gastric delights of downtown Burlington or just want an excuse to be outside, enjoying some delicious treats, drinks and sights on a warm-weather Saturday, check out Burlington Food Tours; be sure to arrive hungry!
All photographs by Julianne Puckett.