Stowe, Vermont

Peep these spots around Vermont’s highest peak for fabulous dining, drinking, and foliage views.

Credit: Chris McIntosh
  • Current
    Weather

Clouds & 37°

  • When
    to Visit

Year round

  • Population
     

5,223

  • Founded
     

1763

By Jacqueline Cain

Nestled at the base of Vermont’s highest peak, Stowe is tops in New England when it comes to winter activities. But there’s no need to wait for the snow to start falling to enjoy everything the Ski Capital of the East has to offer: Take advantage of foliage season and make a road trip to Mount Mansfield, where you’ll discover beautiful views as well as cozy bakeries, excellent breweries, and peerless fine dining. So grab your chicest flannel and check out our picks for the ultimate fall weekend in Stowe.

Nestled at the base of Vermont’s highest peak, Stowe is tops in New England when it comes to winter activities. But there’s no need to wait for the snow to start falling to enjoy everything the Ski Capital of the East has to offer: Take advantage of foliage season and make a road trip to Mount Mansfield, where you’ll discover beautiful views as well as cozy bakeries, excellent breweries, and peerless fine dining. So grab your chicest flannel and check out our picks for the ultimate fall weekend in Stowe.

Peep these spots around Vermont’s highest peak for fabulous dining, drinking, and foliage views.

Credit: Molly Ford

Woodland Baking & Coffee
Lucky are those who wake up in Stowe, for not only are they starting a new day in one of New England’s cutest towns, but they can also get in line early at Woodland Baking & Coffee. The café and breakfast hotspot landed on the Mountain Road in 2021, but its roots in town go much deeper: owner Matt Carrell is a lifetime local. He’s equally as passionate about coffee as he is about pastries. Regional suppliers like Burlington’s Vivid Coffee Roasters bring the beans. (FYI, it’s not a Vermont cliché to order the maple latte—in fact, it’s our go-to move at this cozy coffeehouse.) Baked goods also have local flavor: whole-grain pastries like the excellent croissants are made with organic flours milled by Elmore Mountain Bread. Savory sandwiches arrive on tender brioche, or opt for a breakfast burrito with house-made hot sauce. There may be a wait to place your order, but it will be worth it. Take me there.

Credit: Molly Ford

Dedalus
Beloved Burlington wine shop and market Dedalus added a Stowe location in 2020, bringing its wonderful weekly wine tastings and Insta-worthy cheeseboard skills directly to the Mountain Road. Stop by to stock the lodge for the weekend with a few bottles of bouncy German Riesling or charmingly rustic, food-friendly red (and don’t hesitate to ask the staff for recs). Along with the top-notch selection of natural wines, small-batch cheeses, cured meats, and other artisan provisions, this outpost also has an in-house café and bakery—which is perfect, because your spread certainly needs a fresh loaf of sourdough, does it not? If the seasonal, weekly Wine Garden & Grill isn’t open during your fall or winter visit (remind us why we don’t live in Vermont year-round?), you can still get prepared foods from this talented team: The sandwiches to-go are stellar. Try the mortadella handheld on house-baked focaccia with pickled vegetables and aioli. Take me there.

Courtesy of Doc Ponds

Doc Ponds
Beer sipping, record-flipping Doc Ponds is the casual kid-brother to elegantly agrarian Hen of the Wood (more on that spot in a few). Here, chef Eric Warnstedt takes on bar food—such as classic onion dip and potato chips, Peel & Eat Shrimp, and a Crispy Chicken Sandwich—with the care and attention of a multitime James Beard Award Semifinalist (because that’s what he is). While the menu changes with the seasons, expect eclectic uses of locally sourced ingredients. That said, when it comes to the mainstay Doc Smash Burger, we usually opt for American cheese instead of Vermont cheddar: There’s something extra nostalgic—not to mention, drool-worthy—about its melty mingling with the zesty special sauce. Doc doesn’t take reservations, but it does have an online waitlist, and it occasionally offers takeout (you’ll be able to order online if that’s available). Take me there.

Credit: Molly Ford

The Alchemist
Known to most Bostonians for making a craft beer holy grail—Heady Topper Double IPA—The Alchemist offers plenty of other brews at its big, beautiful production facility just down the road from Stowe Mountain Resort. We’re always ready for a Heady, but we also love the likes of Sterk Wit, a 7% Belgian witbier with subtly spicy notes of banana, clove, and orange peel. The Alchemist’s indoor tasting room is currently closed for renovations, but the brewery is open daily for cans to-go and tours at 5 p.m. (as well as at 4 p.m. on weekends). It also has a tented, outdoor beer garden open Thursday through Sunday for enjoying pints on-site, as well as “nibbly bits” like pretzel rolls with beer cheese dip, chips, and mixed nuts. Take me there.

Credit: LuvLens

Edson Hill
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 and tavern. The culinary team at Edson Hill creates modern takes on New England classics, such as a baked Jasper Hill Farm cheese set with seasonal cranberry-apple chutney and locally baked bread; Herb-Roasted Statler Chicken with saffron risotto, smoked romesco, and charred broccolini; and Orecchiette with Scallop and butternut squash, organic mushrooms, and sage cream sauce. Whether or not you book a room at the hotel, you’ll want to snag a reservation here for dinner. The charm level is quite high at this cozy spot just 10 minutes from the mountain. The cozy tavern also takes dining reservations, and has a patio open this fall for drinks on a first-come, first-served basis. Take me there.

Credit: Oliver Parini

Michael’s on the Hill
Make time on your weekend getaway for a special date night at Michael’s on the Hill, located on the connector road between Stowe and neighboring Waterbury Center. This fine-dining favorite has a quintessentially Vermont view overlooking rolling hills, and a menu that would be at home in the French countryside. Set in a 19th century farmhouse, it’s quaint and snug, with the feel of somebody’s lived-in home (with white-glove service, that is). Chef Michael Kloeti’s locally sourced cuisine—think: Roasted Mushroom Tartine with truffle honey gastrique; Country Fried Quail with tamarind barbecue sauce and fall vegetable slaw; and Smoked Maple Syrup-Glazed Pork Shank with cheddar mashed potatoes, crab apple purée, and braised greens—can be ordered a la carte, as part of a tasting menu, and even for curbside pickup. Take me there.

Hen of the Wood
Chef Eric Warnstedt rose to prominence in the early aughts for Hen of the Wood. Also located in Waterbury, this rustic, former grist mill boasts beautiful stonework and natural woods; it’s a setting well-worth the 15-minute drive from Stowe. Veggie-focused apps are shareable, and if there’s ever a time to strap in for a multi-course meal, this is it. Whichever route you decide, make sure to order the Hen of the Woods Mushroom Toast. A thick slab of grilled bread topped with the namesake spores, bacon, and a poached egg, it’s one of the only staples on the menu, so you know it’s going to be good. Pair it with a natural wine from Shelburne Vineyard or La Garagista for a true taste of Vermont terroir. Take me there.

J.Q. Louise and Molly Ford contributed reporting.

 

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