The Best Places to Eat in Burlington- If You Aren’t Paying

One thing my friends and I learned early on in college is that we love dressing up and going out to dinner together. It was a nice bonding experience early on in the year, though we quickly encountered a significant problem- we have exactly $0 to spend on dinner downtown every weekend. However, one of my friends is from South Burlington and constantly has new food suggestions of places he's been going for years and it all sounds delicious, especially compared to the food in the dining halls.

So here it is; a list of the best places to eat in Burlington next time your parents come up and will pay for your meal, or if you win the lottery, or find some money in an old jacket/vest pocket as it gets colder.


1. Sweetwaters

​Ah yes, Sweetwaters. The classic destination I force my parents to go to, and have hooked my roommates and their families on as well. They should probably give me a commission for the amount of times I have recommended their restaurant to friends at this point! This restaurant was recommended to me and my mom while I was here for Accepted Students Day back in April, by a now-sophomore girl who was giving us a tour of the Christie-Wright-Patterson complex. Sweetwaters, located on Church Street, serves “bistro fare made with fresh, local ingredients”,  and during the warmer months (if they ever come back) has a nice outdoor seating area as well. Personally, I love the Short Rib Mac n Cheese ($18.95), and the Chicken Gorgonzola Salad ($11.95) if you're in the mood for something a little less rich.


2. Pizzeria Verita

​Pizzeria Verita is an upscale Italian restaurant down on St. Paul Street, about a block off of City Hall Park. Their menu focuses almost entirely on pizza (though there are antipasti and salad, along with gluten-free options as well) that is cooked in their wood-fired oven right in the dining room. My one roommate actually was the one who suggested this place, and I’m so happy she did. Honestly they have the best pizza I’ve had since getting to school, and being from New Jersey I consider myself somewhat of a pizza aficionado. My favorite is the Diavola ($16), which is essentially a pepperoni pie, but substitutes the usual pepperoni for slices of soppressata. For dessert, their Pizza Alla Nutella ($10) is ridiculously good, but also very rich.

3. El Cortijo Taqueria

​El Cortijo is a small Mexican restaurant located in a refurbished diner on Bank Street on the same block as Dobra Tea off of Church Street. This place was yet again recommended by one of my roommates, and I remember her dragging me there one night for a “roomie date” when all of our friends had left for the weekend and we were alone on our hall. They have ridiculously good food, and no matter what you get on their menu make sure you get an order of their Guacamole ($7.95), which is ridiculously good- and I don’t usually even like Guacamole.


5. Mirabelles Café

​When looking for somewhere to get breakfast downtown a couple of months ago, my roommates and I stumbled upon Mirabelles, on Main Street one block up from Church Street. Even though their menu is small in comparison to some of the other places on this list, they still have a lot of good options, and also their entire case of freshly baked goods (the Macarons are amazing in every flavor). My favorite thing to get are the Blueberry Pancakes ($7.50), which are PACKED with blueberries and so good.

6. The Skinny Pancake

​Would this even be a list of places to eat in Burlington if I didn’t mention The Skinny Pancake (or Skinny P’s as we call it)? Not only do they have a location down at the waterfront on the corner of Lake and College Streets, there is also a Skinny Pancake right here on campus, in L/L in the Marche. Their menu is almost entirely focused on crepes both sweet and savory, and many with unusual but delicious fillings. One such example of this is my favorite, the Josh Panda Crepe ($12.95) which is two crepes filled with chicken tenders, hash browns, and sausage gravy. Another favorite are the admittedly basic Lemon Classic Crepes ($4.50 –totally unbeatable price also) if you have more of a sweet tooth.

If you’re feeling especially generous, take me with you. Please.