Supporting local businesses is an accessible and impactful way to foster our local economy by keeping money close to home and supporting our neighborhoods and communities. As the holiday season approaches, try to make an effort to put your money towards locally-owned, small businesses in the Burlington area over big chain stores and restaurants!
Restaurants and groceries
Taco Gordo is a full-service bar and taqueria in the Old North End, located at 208 North Winooski Ave. The owners, Charlie and Shane, started Taco Gordo as a pop-up spot on Church Street in 2014 where they gained popularity on Friday nights at the Art’s Riot truck stop. In 2018, Taco Gordo set up shop on the corner of North Union and North Winooski where business took off. Taco Gordo offers dinner service Tuesday-Saturday, 5-10 PM, for indoor and outdoor dining and takeout. Their food is amazing – as proven by the ever-present line outside on weekend nights. Taco Gordo is one of my favorite restaurants in Burlington — as is their Little Gordo Creemee Stand on South Union Street — and I recommend it to anyone looking for local restaurants to support in the area!
Henry Street Deli
Most off-campus UVM students are very familiar with Henry Street Deli, but for those who aren’t, I’ll offer a brief introduction. Henry Street Deli is a locally owned deli and market that offers classic American food, and arguably the best breakfast sandwiches in town. Located at 11 Henry St. in the Old North End, Henry Street has been an established local business in Burlington for decades and is the go-to spot for breakfast after a night out. If you’re looking for a quick place to pick up something for breakfast or lunch, I definitely recommend opting for Henry Street over some of the big chains in the area like Dunkin’ and Starbucks.
Pho Hong is another amazing option if you are searching for delicious local and BIPOC-owned restaurants to support in Burlington. Located at 325 North Winooski Ave, Pho Hong is an incredible spot for pho and other traditional Vietnamese dishes in a casual indoor dining setting. Pho Hong is open 11 am to 10 pm Tuesday through Saturday and is definitely worth trying out if you haven’t had the chance yet!
Locally owned by two working moms, Tomgirl Kitchen is a juicery and eatery with the mission of promoting health and wellness in the Burlington community by providing nourishing recipes to help us feel our best. From its roots as a small cart in the back of a pick-up truck nine years ago, Tomgirl has grown into a successful, brick-and-mortar kitchen located at 266 Pine Street in Burlington. Tomgirl sources their ingredients from dozens of local partners including Green Mountain Creamery from Brattleboro, Pitchfork Farm from Burlington, and Champlain Valley Apiaries from Middlebury!
Momo’s Market is a locally owned neighborhood market at the intersection of North Street & North Willard Street in the Old North End. To off-campus UVM students and locals, Momo’s is known for reliably having all the essentials. What makes Momo’s special is how dedicated they are to actively and intentionally supporting the local economy. Momo’s deliberately employs people directly from the neighborhood — all of their staff live within 0.5 miles of the market! Supporting Momo’s also supports local companies as they use local businesses for products and services, and source as many ingredients as possible for their prepared foods from local suppliers, including ShadowCross Farms, All Souls Tortilla, Amber Ridge Maple, and many more!
Locally owned and conveniently located on Church Street, Maven is a skate shop that carries men’s and women’s apparel and sneakers, skate decks, trucks, wheels, and more. Maven is a shop worth supporting no matter your level of skating experience. Since 2005, Maven has supported the skate community in Burlington through various service projects. Every year on the last Saturday in August, Maven supports Friends for A_Dog in putting on a major city-wide event, “A_Dog Day”, featuring skateboarding, art demos, and musical performances to celebrate the lasting influence of Andy “A_Dog” Williams on the Burlington skate community.
Speaking Volumes is a locally-owned book and music supply store with two locations at 7 Marble Avenue and 377 Pine Street. In the heart of Burlington’s South End, Speaking Volumes houses an expansive collection of vinyl, vintage stereo equipment, concert posters, books, magazines, and art collectibles. The cozy living room atmosphere at Speaking Volumes makes it a great place to stop by and stay a while.
Old Gold is a locally owned vintage market that has been in business in Burlington since 1973. Located at 151 Cherry St, Old Gold provides a friendly and welcoming shopping experience and is the perfect spot to find for unique pieces and fun costumes and accessories!
Old Spokes Home
Old Spokes Home, located at 331 N. Winooski Avenue, is a bike shop and 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission of creating access to bikes and the opportunities they provide for the whole community. The shop provides affordable bikes to ensure that people can get to their jobs efficiently and conveniently, and gives kids bikes to enable them to grow up active on two wheels. The shop plays an active role in advancing the Burlington community by training new mechanics to build critical job skills and by teaching youth to fix bikes at home to foster empowerment and self-efficacy. Shopping at Old Spokes Home is an easy way to directly support our community!
Any one of these businesses are a great option if you are looking to support locally-based small business owners in Burlington this season. The website Love Burlington is also an amazing resource that allows you to filter through every business in the city to find locally-owned, BIPOC-owned, and woman-owned companies, shops, and restaurants in the area!
— Carolyn D’Auria