The 9 Best Foods to Try in Vermont

Maple Syrup and More Foods to Eat in Vermont
Roy Morsch / Getty Images

If you're Vermont-bound, you're in for a delicious adventure: Vermonters are spoiled by the respective abundance and richness of the state's agricultural harvest and natural resources. Flavors like maple and cheddar are inextricably linked to Vermont, while companies like Ben & Jerry's have broadcast Vermont's progressive attitudes and penchant for sustainability to the world far beyond the Green Mountain State's borders. As you roam from the shores of Lake Champlain to the state's high ski peaks, be sure to indulge in these distinctly Vermont foods and to wash them down with a cold Vermont brew.

01 of 09

Maple Syrup

Vermont Maple Syrup
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The same sugar maple trees that light up Vermont's landscape when their leaves flame in the fall produce a sweet gift each spring. Vermont may be the sixth smallest state by area, but it's the number one maple-producing state in the U.S. (In fact, in 2020, Vermont produced 2.2 million gallons of maple syrup—more than double the amount that second-ranked New York produced.)

Until you've tasted pure, Vermont-harvested maple syrup, you haven't truly experienced how complex and rich this sticky substance can be. Start your days with syrup-topped pancakes or waffles at places like Papa Pete's in Bennington (known for their giant pancakes), or The Waffle Cabin, with outlets at many of Vermont's ski resorts. Don't stop at syrup, though. Everything comes in maple flavor in Vermont, from ice cream at April's Maple in Canaan to Vermont Distillers' bourbon and liqueurs. The Vermont Maple Sugar Makers' Association will help you find sugarhouses statewide like Runamok Maple, the famous inventors of sparkle syrup.

02 of 09

Cheddar Cheese

Grafton Village Cheese Co. in Grafton, Vermont

Kim Knox Beckius

Cheddar is far from the only cheese produced by the 50-plus cheesemakers along the Vermont Cheese Trail, but sharp white cheddar is the state's choicest dairy product. Like maple, cheddar is omnipresent in Vermont, and you'll have opportunities not just to sample it, but to become a connoisseur. Vermont's unique, farmer-owned Cabot co-op has won world's best awards for its cheddars for more than two decades. Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro is known for its cheeses aged underground, including the Cave-Aged Cheddar it produces in collaboration with Cabot. Witness cheesemaking in action at Grafton Village Cheese in Grafton, Plymouth Artisan Cheese in Plymouth Notch, Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, or at America's oldest cheese factory: Crowley Cheese in Mount Holly.

03 of 09

Heirloom Apples

Vermont Apple
Josh Fiedler Photography / Getty Images

Many rare and historic apple varieties—including some nearly lost or forgotten—are cultivated by Vermont's devoted growers. If you're eager to sample these apples of old, one of the best destinations is the farm market at Scott Farm Orchard in Dummerston, Vermont. In addition to preserving more than 130 apple varieties, the farm also sells heirloom apple trees once each year. There are heirlooms among the 120-plus varieties of apples grown at mega-orchard Champlain Orchards in Shoreham, too. Visit during the pick-your-own season, and appreciate the care given to the trees that flourish here on 300 lake-view acres.

04 of 09

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

Visitors at Ben and Jerry's ice cream factory in Vermont
jonathansloane / Getty Images
Address
Waterbury Village Historic District, VT 05676, USA

Creative flavors and social consciousness have made Ben & Jerry's a Vermont success story. Visit the company's Waterbury, Vermont factory for ice cream at its freshest. You'll find all of your favorites like Chunky Monkey and Phish Food, and can pay your respects to the eternally memorialized in the Flavor Graveyard.

Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09

Cider Doughnuts

Homemade Sugared Apple Cider Donuts
bhofack2 / Getty Images

Sugary, apple-y dough orbs are a staple at Vermont apple orchards and farm stands in the fall. They taste best when fresh-made and washed down with cold cider, so for the ultimate experience, head to Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury (not far from Ben & Jerry's). While you're here, you can watch a doughnut robot constantly turning out these delicious treats.

06 of 09

Lake Champlain Chocolates

Lake Champlain Chocolates made in Vermont

Courtesy of Lake Champlain Chocolates

Address
750 Pine St, Burlington, VT 05401-4854, USA
Phone +1 802-864-1807

With each bite of finely crafted chocolate, you're supporting the conservation of Lake Champlain. Isn't that sweet? As a certified B Corporation, Lake Champlain Chocolates gives back by protecting the body of water its factory overlooks. Free factory toursallow you to observe the chocolate-making process: Visit weekdays before 2 p.m. for your best chance of seeing chocolatiers at work. Be sure to buy a few delicate truffles to savor right away, along with sturdier chocolate bars to transport home (if they last the trip, that is).

07 of 09

Grandma Miller's Pies

Address
52 Hearthstone Ln, South Londonderry, VT 05155-9617, USA
Phone +1 802-824-4032

Do you like savory pies, or sweet? Grandma Miller's in South Londonderry, Vermont has you covered with both homemade meat pies and an incredible array of some 30 fruit and nut pies. Plus, they offer up other baked specialties such as crunchy granola and rum raisin pound cake. But back to the pies—you'll find unique varieties like shepherd's pie, mincemeat, blackberry peach, and black bottom bourbon pecan. And if you can't choose just one to devour now, take home several frozen, unbaked pies to enjoy later. You'll also find Grandma Miller's sweets stocked in some Vermont markets, but nothing beats a visit to the company's iconic red barn.

08 of 09

Wood-Fired Bread

Wood-fired Bread - Earth Sky Time Community Farm Vermont

Courtesy of The Wilburton

Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside: There is nothing not to love about wood-fired bread. At Earth Sky Time Community Farm in Manchester, Vermont, you can find fresh loaves six days a week, including gluten-free options right out of its Llopis oven. In Elmore, Vermont, wood-fired, hearth-baked breads are the specialty of Elmore Mountain Bread. The bakery isn't open to the public, but you'll taste the craftsmanship in each sourdough or yeast loaf you purchase at a local market or consume at a Stowe-area restaurant.

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09 of 09

Lamb

Rack of lamb on plate at family meal in Vermont
yellowdog / Getty Images

The lamb you'll find on farm-to-table menus in Vermont is most likely local, all-natural, and pasture-raised, meaning that it'll be some of the tastiest you'll ever encounter. It's also a throwback to the Vermont of yesteryear, when millions of sheep grazed before the cow boom. Check the seasonal menus at restaurants like The Kitchen Table Bistro in Richmond or Hen of the Wood in Waterbury and Burlington if you're craving beautifully prepared lamb. Vermont Land Trust will guide you if you'd like to buy lamb from a farm to cook yourself.

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9 Foods You Must Try in Vermont