DINING AL FRESCO IN MANCHESTER

August 9, 2022

Summer days in Manchester, Vermont provide plenty of sunshine and warmth. Gardens are flourishing and the greens are lush and vibrant. This is the time that many locals, and visitors alike, take advantage of the gorgeous weather and enjoy dining al fresco at one of the local favorite haunts. Many of our restaurants and cafés offer patio and outdoor seating options throughout the season, with some providing incredible views of Vermont’s vistas.

Now is the time to take advantage of Vermont’s natural beauty and breathe in the fresh air, all while tasting some of the best food available in Southern Vermont. Dinner reservations are recommended at most area eateries, but not required.

Depot Street Burgers

This Chef owned and operated restaurant is serving up some of the best burgers in Vermont. They offer an extensive burger menu for carnivores and herbivores alike – including the Falafel and Beyond Burgers.  Not into burgers? Join them on Fridays starting at 3 pm for their Friday Night Fish Fry. Thirsty? Try their locally crafted sodas or a shake. The Depot Street Burger family looks forward to serving you their handcrafted delicious eats and drinks. Seasonal outdoor seating.

Social House

Social House (SoHo) offers a Mediterranean-based menu with sharing and family-style options. Open Tues – Sat (+ occasional holiday Sunday), guests can enjoy lite bites and drinks from 3pm-5pm, and a sumptuous dinner from 5pm until closing, all in a warm and cozy ambiance that includes two private rooms and seasonal outdoor seating.  They also offer off-site catering options.

Raven’s Den Steakhouse and Taproom

Menu items cater to a variety of tastes; from a tender and juicy Black Angus steak to a classic seafood dish, to fettuccini Bolognese, all offered with a salad bar stocked with seasonal produce, handcrafted dressings, Vermont cheeses, and freshly baked local bread. Visitors can enjoy an upscale meal in the dining room, a custom cocktail in front of the stone fireplace, a grass-fed burger in the tavern or dining al fresco on the outdoor seasonal patio with views of the green mountains as a backdrop.

curate

CurATE Café: Artful Cuisine

If you haven’t visited the Southern Vermont Arts Center lately then you have not only missed some of the best art on display in Vermont but, an incredible dining experience at curATE café. Open for lunch and dinner Thursday through Saturday, brunch on Sunday, curATE artfully crafts small plates, salads, artisanal sandwiches, gourmet coffee beverages, and offers a full bar — all in the artful setting of SVAC’s galleries and grounds. The café will be the perfect spot for a lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch or afternoon beverage. Join them indoors or on their seasonal outdoor patio and curate your own experience.

Depot 62 Café

Situated amid the hustle and bustle of a high-end, eclectic antique and home goods showroom, this Turkish-Mediterranean restaurant is “a local secret worth knowing about.” Depot 62 offers a totally organic menu for lunch, dinner, and dessert, along with an excellent, appropriate selection of wines by the glass. Grab a single table, a seat at the copper-clad communal table in the middle of the shop or take a seat outdoors in season.

Amy’s on the Road

Amy’s on the Road operates one of the most unique dining experiences in town. From mid-April through mid-October, the 1968 23′ Airstream “Land Yacht” trailer nicknamed “Peg” serves breakfast and lunch. Amy’s mission is to offer FRESH food fast. With many delicious items from breakfast sandwiches, crispy fried chicken sandwiches, to the vegetarian’s favorite falafel.  The freshly baked muffins and cookies are also a big hit. They have daily specials, and there is always an ethnic and vegetarian option on the menu!

Gringo Jack’s

Gringo Jack’s Southwestern Bar and Grill has been bringing a wide and delicious variety of authentic Mexican, Tex-Mex, and Southwestern foods to Manchester for over 20 years, and we hope it’ll be at least 20 more! The restaurant has a great, comfortable atmosphere, and the large patio out front is perfect for sipping a drink and watching Manchester roll by. Go for the basics of house-made guacamole, original recipe chips, and killer margaritas, or dive in all the way with fajitas, enchiladas, and more!

NEW TO TOWN

We are excited to welcome a southern home cooking kitchen in the Green Mountains. Guests will enjoy house-smoked barbecue, artisan cocktails, craft brews, and fine American wines.  Pearl’s Place & Pantry is a newly renovated space with cozy indoor and al fresco dining with a beautiful firepit. Open for dinner only Thursday – Monday.

OUT OF TOWN FAV’S

Johnny Seesaw’s

Fresh fare rooted in tradition. Johnny Seesaw’s restaurant serves up simple inventive food with deep connections to the surrounding area and the inn’s heritage. Incorporating local ingredients with a fresh twist, our menu celebrates Vermont and elevates comfort food. At the base of Bromley Mountain, this historic restaurant on-site at Seesaw’s Lodge is just a hop, skip and a jump from Downtown Manchester, translated to less than a 15-minute drive. Discover fine food in a casual atmosphere, reservations are highly recommended for their dining room and seasonal outdoor deck. Johnny Seesaw’s Bar, Hut and Bootlegger’s Tavern are all on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The Publyk House

With its barn board paneling and multiple fireplaces, The Publyk House continues to exude warmth, character, and charm.  With a nod toward the past and an eye on the future, just one step into the lobby, and you’ll feel the warmth of the brick hearth and smell the aroma of honey-baked bread. The dinner menu includes some of the old-time favorites: Baked New England Cod, Blue Ox NY Strip, Slow Cooked Prime Rib, and Herb Roasted Chicken. As always, diners are treated to the bountiful salad bar & fresh honey wheat bread loaf and whipped maple butter with their meal. Located just 25 minutes south of Manchester, The Publyk House is worth the trip for their ample seasonal outdoor patio seating with magnificent views of the Bennington Monument and Bald Mountain.

Manchester and the surrounding area offer so many unique dining options. Check out our entire list of what to TASTE.

Coming in from out of town? Looking for a Staycation to enjoy the tastes of Manchester and the area? Below are a few unique lodging options to lay your head for a night or two – or for as long as you like!

Barnstead Inn

The Barnstead Inn is quietly situated, yet just a leisurely stroll of two blocks from the center of Manchester. This lodging property is loaded with warmth, hospitality, and Vermont charm. Plus, enjoy a locally sourced, farm-to-table, scratch-made Chef’s special of the day for breakfast. With a recent renovation, they now feature 23 wonderful rooms and suites, spacious, yet cozy—each with a private bath, seasonal air conditioning, new smart TV, wireless Internet access, refrigerators, and firm comfortable beds – all of which are all tucked into a New England carriage house built in the 1830s. Enjoy their outdoor patios and firepits, on-site tavern, and homemade breakfasts. Seasonal outdoor pool. A perfect venue for micro weddings and pop-up social events.

Brittany Motel

This quaint family-run motel is nestled just outside Manchester Village with a beautiful view of Equinox Mountain.  They have a relaxed vibe and take pride in providing affordable accommodations while making guests feel at home.  Wake up to fresh-brewed coffee in the breakfast room and return after your day of exploring to relax on the patio or by the campfire before retiring to your cozy room for a comfortable rest.  Whether you are here to shop, dine, fish, hike, or just get away- you will get a great sleep at a great price with great hospitality!

Econo Lodge

Located deep in the heart of the picturesque Green Mountains, the Econo Lodge in Manchester provides travelers with access to all of the area’s renowned attractions. Spend a day in nature hiking at Emerald Lake State Park or driving along Mount Equinox Skyline Drive, where you will be greeted with panoramic views of three states and five mountain ranges. Plus, they are Pet Friendly!

The Chalet Motel – Travelodge by Wyndham

Escape to the heart of the Green Mountains and enjoy an outdoor pool, sauna, and comfortable guest rooms at The Chalet Motel, A Travelodge by Wyndham. Off VT 11/30, this contemporary hotel is minutes from shopping and dining in the Village of Manchester.

Want to extend your stay but looking for other lodging options not listed already? Check out the full list of some of Vermont’s best lodging options and STAY with us at a beautiful resort, boutique hotel, charming inn, or modern motel. While in town, get out and SHOP between meals. With the internationally recognized Manchester Designer Outlets, boutiques not found anywhere else, art and artisan galleries, and cute mom-and-pop shops, our quaint small Vermont town is a shopper’s paradise any time of year.

Not a shopper but want unique experiences? EXPERIENCE all that the area has to offer and take in a theatrical production, attend an art exhibition, or enjoy any of our music festivals.  The arts and culture scene in Manchester is second to none. Take a HIKE, literally, on some of the best trails in the state.

Craig Light
Author: Craig Light

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