Adult Dinner Tour #4 – Saint Johnsbury| 10.06.18
Updated June, 2022
(Note: New restaurants and culinary options have opened in the last year. We will be redoing this tour, and possibly adding a second tour over the summer.)
Saint Johnsbury has a wonderful downtown when it comes to ease of walking. There are many shops and restaurants to choose from and navigating sidewalks and traffic is easy (this is not the case for all NEK towns).
There are also some wonderful restaurants to choose from, all offering different flavor profiles, making this another perfect spot for an adult dinner tour.
Take the St. Johnsbury Dinner Tour
Click on the links to view more information from each restaurant.
There are two ways you can start off this adult dinner tour (What is an ‘adult dinner’?). One is to start at Pica Pica, a Filipino restaurant located on Main Street at the top of the hill. Starting here means you need to walk into downtown, or you’ll need to drive to a second parking location. We choose to start here because there are some wonderful and unique options to be had.
This restaurant is cozy and beautifully decorated. We start with ordering a couple of drinks. They only carry beer and wine, but they also have a variety of Filipino fresh fruit juices which are a great way to start your tryst into this cultural cuisine.
Appetizers here offer a variety of flavors. We recommend the spring rolls, crispy and filled with pork– a change from typical vegetarian options at Chinese or Thai restaurants. They also have a pork belly dish and Pica Pata a crispy, pork knuckle that is marinated in a vinegar marinade overnight and fried before serving (this is a special they run often the chef said).
One app here offers plenty of food to start your dinner tour, but if you decide to stay for an entrée, try the Adobo. This is a traditional Filipino comfort dish and consists of chicken and pork cooked with vinegar and soy sauce and served with rice and vegetables.
If you are looking for something to do between restaurants, this is the perfect opportunity to take a look at the beautiful art gallery located within the Atheneaum – St. Johnsbury’s Library. Their collection includes the famous painting, “The Domes of Yosemite” by Albert Bierstadt. And it gives you a little time before moving on to your next culinary treat.
From here, we drive to a parking lot on Railroad Street and head up the hill to Salt Bistro. This is our second stop, but could be the alternative start to your dinner tour if you prefer to just walk from restaurant to restaurant.
Salt Bistro has a wonderful appetizer menu, cocktails, a small, but nice deck for outdoor dining, and a beautiful indoor dining space full of character. Live music Thurs. – Sat. nights during the warmer months complete the ambiance.
We recommend the cremini mushrooms in gorgonzola cream sauce – a rich, succulent dish that will have you wanting to lick the bowl! Or, if you are looking for a fresh, more agricultural option – with the taste of Vermont’s hills built right in, we recomment the bruscheta, with added filet mignon for a more hearty starter.
When you’ve finished at Salt, follow the sidewalk down the hill and around the corner. You’ll soon come to the Kingdom Taproom/Table. This duel restaurant/bar is located on two stories of a store front with the taproom in the basement of an old block building, but the descent sets the tone for one of the most creative locations in the Kingdom.
Featuring a selection of beers that range from dark to light, with the line up for all 15 taps listed on a menu and on the chalkboard wall. Though beer is the feature, the menu doesn’t suffer. With inventive, filing, and beautifully plated options, it is no surprise that everything tastes fantastic. Bread with hummus and oil is served warm. The pretzel bread is another one of our favorites. These provide snacks while we settle on other options for the table.
Some of our favorite options from the Appetizer menu include the cheese plates – with rotating selections from around the area; the charcuterie board, serving fresh meats with an assortment of spreads like mustard and chutney; and the pulled pork sliders.
Actually, you’re better off just ordering a pulled pork sandwich and splitting it (or taking anything you don’t finish home for later). Their pulled pork is the best I’ve had in Saint Johnsbury, and beats out many other restaurants I’ve tried. Plenty of BBQ sauce without being too wet, there is sweetness provided by maple syrup and the spice rub from the roast are detectable in the final product. The portion size is also huge. Another great option is their flatbread – weekly specials give you plenty of variety.
They also have one of the greatest selections of draft beers in the the area. A full bar, plenty of seating, and a distinct vibe produced by the basement space, metal accents and Edison bulbs makes the space calm and appealing.
The Taproom is dark, so be careful not to get too sleepy. It also makes it easy to lose track of time.
Upstairs from The Taproom is its sister restaurant Table. This is a comfortable, bright space with beautiful wood floors, and a glass front that faces the street. Their appetizer menu offers a few more great nibbles to add to your tour, sometimes we grab a bite here and then swing downstairs for a drink at The Taproom if we are keeping it light and hoping to make it to more locations.
Another great spot to add to your tour is Central Cafe, right acrossed the street from Kingdom Taproom and Table. A coffee house by day, this St. Johnsbury restaurant offers a spectacular dining expreience. This is one of our favorite date night spots (read our Central Cafe review here), but on an adult dinner tour, we like to end our night here with a wonderful dessert and a coffee. They are not open for dinner every night so check their NEK Eats page or Facebook for their hours.
A few other spots you could add to your dinner tour, depending on what you are in the mood for, include Anthony’s Dinner, walk back towards the intersection, cross the end of Eastern Ave and head out of town. This is a bit of a walk, but with an assortment of diner foods like poutine, burgers, and a fried fish platter, this may be just what you’re looking for at the end of the night.
Anthony’s also has an assortment of delicious pies, like every good diner should!
Or, back near The Taproom, you’ll find Whirligig Brewery. Try one of their original brews, including ciders, and see what the food counter has – an independent business, their are often Indian inspired menu items, and other delicious treats to try. You can also head back up the hill towards Salt, and stop in at The Distillery for a flight tasting, or see who they have for a pop up restaurant that night.
Pop Up restaurants and Catering services have become quite the thing in St. Johnsbury with many of the restaurants throughout town offering their spaces to a rotating list of chefs throughout the week. When planning your tour, check Facebook pages, or our calendar to see what’s coming up. Or, just wing it, and see what you find – that’s our favorite way of doing an Adult Dinner Tour.
There are many little shops to look through between your restaurant experiences. Many have their own culinary selections for you to enjoy. Or catch a movie at the theater.