Where to Stay for First-Rate Food

5 Places to Stay for Foodies

Vermont hospitality has a rich history and a strong connection to community. Country inns, picturesque B&Bs, lavish hotels, and unforgettable resorts offer world-class hospitality, immersive experiences, and luxurious accommodations. Sleep and eat well at these five lodging destinations serving up cuisine that will surprise and delight.

The Essex Resort And Spa

The Essex Resort and Spa is the premier destination for culinary arts in Vermont. From the moment you enter the lobby café to check-in at the front desk flanked by cases of baked goods, your appetite and your senses will be hungry for more. The culinary themed guest rooms feature décor inspired by the textures and colors of food.

The two on-site restaurants, Junction and The Tavern, showcase local foods, Vermont beers, and cocktails crafted with local distilleries. An AAA Four Diamond and Wine Spectator Award certified restaurant, the Junction is a true interactive restaurant, featuring an open kitchen for a behind-the-scenes experience of the dishes being created. The seasonal menu showcases ingredients as local as the resort’s own organic vegetable and herb gardens. For a more casual dining experience, head next door to The Tavern to enjoy a pub menu featuring the same local ingredients and attention to detail.

To truly immerse yourself in this culinary destination, take a class at Cook Academy for up-close instruction with culinary professionals. The variety of courses offers something for everyone, including basic techniques, simple menus, kids’ and multi-recipe classes. The small class sizes ensure personalized attention, so you’ll walk away with new skills, recipes and inspiration.

INSIDER TIP: When exploring the resort’s herb and vegetable gardens, be sure to say hello to Penelope and Stewart, their Nigerian Dwarf Goats.

The Lodge at Spruce Peak

Located at the base of Mt. Mansfield and Stowe Mountain Resort, The Lodge at Spruce Peak is Vermont’s only ski-in, ski-out luxury lodging destination. Surrounded by over 2,000 acres of preserved mountain wilderness, visitors will find themselves distant from crowds and close to nature. Enjoy curated outdoor adventures, with year-round recreation and activities for all ages – a guest experience designed to connect you with the mountain.

Guests can immerse themselves in a farm-fresh culinary scene with course after course of mouthwatering fare at one of the two signature restaurants. At Tipsy Trout, premium seafood is paired with a culinary approach that is uniquely Vermont. Featuring Vermont’s best raw bar, this cocktail-forward, seafood rich menu highlights coastal-inspired entrees and unique wine offerings.

Serving breakfast, lunch, après, and dinner, Alpine Hall celebrates Vermont mountain culture, bringing together the work of the region’s best growers, farmers, makers, and artisans. Chef Sean Blomgren and his team serve a simple yet highly elevated menu combining the best ingredients and hand-crafted techniques.

The vibrant Village Center at Spruce Peak offers more casual dining experiences, but with the same attention to fresh and local. Check out The Pantry & Beanery for a great breakfast and grab-n-go meal options, and shop a wide selection of grocery items, gifts, Vermont craft beer, and a curated selection of wine. Take a stroll through the Village before or after dinner to take in the sights, do some window shopping, and savor a sweet treat.

INSIDER TIP: For the best après ski experience, make a reservation at the outdoor Spruce Peak Village Pergolas, or stop by the WhistlePig Pavilion in the heart of the Village.

Rabbit Hill Inn

Lower Waterford
Located in northern Vermont, Rabbit Hill Inn specializes in relaxing, romantic adult getaways with unparalleled hospitality. This luxury 19-room full-service bed & breakfast boasts luxe accommodations with a variety of décor styles, including traditional, American country, contemporary, and transitional. Most rooms feature fireplaces and several offer whirlpool tubs for two and oversize showers. Many rooms have furnished porches and capture the views of the neighboring White Mountains. Unplug without the distraction of a television or phone – by design, these have been omitted from the guestrooms.

The dining options at Rabbit Hill Inn provide for a deliciously romantic Vermont experience. Enjoy the innovative cuisine of a relaxed fine-dining experience, with Four Diamond award winning seasonal cuisine. Begin dinner with a skillfully crafted cocktail before savoring cuisine that is truly a work of art. Under the direction of Executive Chef Andrew Hunter, the Inn’s culinary team delivers today’s American cuisine while incorporating classical and new techniques to create frequently changing seasonal and innovative dinner menus.

To round out this culinary experience, enjoy the bountiful breakfast and complimentary afternoon sweets, included in the room rate. The full candlelit breakfast features fresh-baked treats, fruit, yogurt, and homemade granola. Choose from two hot entrees which change daily, such as raised waffles with chocolate ganache, Dulce de Leche, toasted coconut, and plenty of Vermont maple syrup. After a fun-filled day, return to the inn for afternoon seasonal beverages and house-made pastries in the common areas.

INSIDER TIP: For a true Vermont experience, enjoy the Maple Martini, made with Vermont vodka and Sapling Maple Liqueur.

The Reluctant Panther Inn

The Reluctant Panther Restaurant features contemporary American cooking in a relaxed yet elegantly upscale atmosphere. Twenty deluxe rooms and suites span across three buildings, each with an elegant design, antique furnishings, and museum quality artwork.

Offering Manchester’s finest dining, it’s no surprise that Executive Chef Sigal Rocklin was awarded “Vermont Chef of the Year” in 2018. Chef Rocklin sites Vermont’s sense of community and abundance of local farms and purveyors as what makes Vermont her first choice for her culinary career. In 2017, Chef’s Lobster and Brie Fondue was awarded best tasting dish at the ‘Taste of Vermont’ event as well as being featured in the Small Luxury Hotel cookbook.

The Reluctant Panther Restaurant showcases the best of Vermont in an intimate setting. With a focus on sustainability, the culinary team works with local farmers, cheesemakers, and producers to create innovative menus that change with the seasons. Complimenting the culinary offerings is the Wine Spectator award-winning wine list, specialty craft cocktails, and local Vermont beers.

INSIDER TIP: In the warmer months, dine on the outdoor covered terrace to take in view over the gardens and Mount Equinox.

Four Columns Inn

Four Columns Inn is southern Vermont’s ultimate culinary getaway. You will feel welcome as soon as you walk through the door. Each of the fifteen rooms has been renovated and decorated to offer a unique style. Established by a French chef and his wife in 1969 as an oasis for sustainability and luxurious healthy living, the tradition of culinary excellence is continued with three distinct dining experiences.

The original restaurant was the first true farm-to-table in the United States and the Inn has been a topnotch culinary destination ever since. The new onsite restaurant prides itself on sourcing Vermont foods and ingredients from local farms and artisans. If you seek out the finest culinary experiences while traveling, you will enjoy this meticulously prepared farm-to-table fare. Every wine aficionado will find something to satisfy their tastebuds on the six-page wine list.

Want a more casual experience? The Tavern at Four Columns Inn offers a casual gathering area with elevated comfort food and an extensive Vermont beer list. Signature offerings include chicken pot pie and beef and beer stew.

For breakfast, Inn guests are treated to a complimentary continental breakfast which includes croissants, muffins, toasts, yogurt, quiches, cereals, gluten-free vegan granola made in Vermont, and delicious jams. Your day is bound to be remarkable when you start with these fresh treats.

INSIDER TIP: Andrea’s Table is open to the public for dining Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.