Our first stop in the ski capital is always one of the best bars in Stowe. Doc Ponds is a funky gastropub from the team behind acclaimed restaurant Hen of the Wood, with intriguing options for both food and drink. While the menu changes with the seasons, expect an eclectic mix of locally sourced ingredients, such as acorn squash stuffed with rice, Bayley Hazen blue cheese, and crispy oyster mushrooms; and grown-up takes on nostalgic flavors, like the Doc Smash Burger with special sauce. These days you can even sometimes get it to go (you’ll be able to order online if takeout is available). Take me there.
Edson Hill Restaurant
For those who visit Vermont seeking plenty of space, fresh air, and a warm fireplace, the picture-perfect bed-and-breakfast Edson Hill has all three—plus a hidden gem of a farm-to-table restaurant. The Edson Hill menu offers modern takes on New England classics, such as a wintry Market Fish set with parsnip purée, teardrop peppers, and pine nut dukkah. Whether or not you book a room at the hotel, snag a reservation for dinner. The charm level is quite high at this cozy spot just 10 minutes from Mount Mansfield. Take me there.
Brand-new as of winter 2023, The Alchemist finally has a cozy taproom on the Mountain Road to sip Heady Topper, Sterk Wit, and more of the brewery’s world-class beers. The Beer Cafe and Garden has a laid-back vibe, meant to harken back to the Alchemist’s original brewpub that was in Waterbury Center (if you know, you know). Open four days a week from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Stowe cafe is a beer-centered spot, with the famous Vermont IPA on tap for $5 among other styles on draft, plus a selection of specialty bottles and cans you can only get from the source. There’s also a light menu of snacks like pretzel rolls with beer cheese dip and bar nuts. If you can’t swing a visit between Thursday and Sunday, you don’t have to miss out on the Alchemist: It’s open daily for brewhouse tours and retail sales to-go. Take me there.
The WhistlePig Pavilion on Spruce Peak
There’s nothing better than a hot toddy after a cold day of skiing and snowboarding—and the ultimate place to grab one of these in the ski capital of the East is just steps from the slopes. The WhistlePig Pavilion at Spruce Peak, the village at Stowe Mountain Resort, highlights Vermont-made rye whiskeys in a variety of drinks, including several “Winter Warmers,” such as the Puffy Coat with PiggyBack Rye and Vermont hot cider. Sip your drink by the glow of the wood-burning fireplace, which is used to heat up giant blocks of raclette. Try the gooey cheese with a toasty baguette, Vermont wagyu kielbasa, and sliced apples and pears; or melted atop a bowl of Alpine Venison Chili. Take me there.
Michael’s on the Hill
Make time on your weekend getaway for a date night at Michael’s on the Hill. This fine-dining favorite has a quintessentially Vermont view overlooking rolling hills and a menu that would be at home in the French countryside. Known for chef Michael Kloeti’s locally sourced cuisine and superior white-glove service, Michael’s on the Hill remains the standard for high-end dining in Vermont. Dishes like Roasted Mushroom Tartine with truffle honey gastrique; Skillet Chicken with smoked cheddar mashed potatoes and cider sauce; and Smoked Maple Syrup-Glazed Pork Shank with cranberry mustard and confit-garlic polenta can be ordered a la carte, as part of a tasting menu, and even for curbside pickup. Take me there.
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