American Flatbread

Vermont’s wood-fired pizza institution is a must for uncomplicated good food.

By Molly McDonough

You might get déjà vu stepping into this warm, brick-walled downtown Burlington restaurant, with its earthen-dome oven, pizzas sliced rectangularly, and handwritten manifestos strung from the walls spouting wood-fired philosophy. Turns out that it’s a cousin of Flatbread Co., a chain with more than a dozen locations from Davis Square to Maui. But those are spinoffs; the owners parted ways over a decade ago. There are only three original American Flatbreads—in Waitsfield, Middlebury, and Burlington—and they are the real deal.

Founder George Schenk started slinging pies in a rudimentary wood fired oven in the late ’80s. Calling them flatbreads, he distinguished his business from your average pizza joint; instead, these pies were wholesome, nourishing, and farm-fresh. Schenk is known for his quirky artwork and essays that pay homage to food revolutions and civil disobedience—but you don’t have to be a hippie to get down with his pizza. You just have to love thin charred crusts, creative toppings, and the highest-quality Vermont cheeses and meats sourced straight from the farm.

American Flatbread

115 St Paul St, Burlington, VT


  • Must Have

Punctuated Equilibrium

This gorgeous vegetarian pie with roasted red peppers, red onions, kalamata olives, and dollops of snow-white VT chèvre is a local favorite.

  • Insider Tip

Dress your pies to your liking; just ask your server for a side of the house-made wood-fired tomato sauce, garlic-infused olive oil, or Grana Padano cheese. They’re free!

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