Driving Dinner Tour #3 – Central NEK

By: Tabitha Armstrong | 06.29.19

Farmland and Lake Views Highlight the Restaurants in Orleans County

steak-burger-from-carriage-house-restaurant-in-orleans-vtThe Central portion of the NEK, or lower Orleans County, is easy to reach – sitting just off I-91. This makes it a great place to start a driving food tour. And the first stop is in sight from the exit ramp.

The Copper Plate is a stationary food truck located at Riverside Farm Stand. Serving home-style food, this truck is a local favorite and has been for the past few summers. Fresh salads (not all garden) perk up any of the main menu items and bring summer to your plate.

fried shrimp dinner from the Copper Plate food truck in Barton VTBut beyond that, diners notice the quality of the food –  shrimp and scallops when available, local burger, fresh vegetables on all the sandwiches, and a beautiful spot to sit. Many of the veggie items come from the farm stand; others are sourced for towns nearby. The owners pride themselves on keeping everything as local as possible, and if not local then it is within a few hours’ drive.

After eating, take a stroll through the flower beds and green houses. Don’t forget to enjoy the river. This will relax you and get you ready for the next leg of the tour. From Barton there are many beautiful drives to take. We suggest going through Orleans, past Willoughby Falls, and out to Brownington.

flatbread pizza in Orleans VT

If you are looking for something to do, visit The Old Stone House. But if you are ready for more culinary experiences follow the back roads to the Orleans Country Club. More than just a great place to golf – the restaurant and bar have wonderful apps and bar to enjoy. Flatbreads and their ever creative specials are more filling choices; plan accordingly depending on where you think you may head next.

After leaving the Country Club there are two ways you could go.


Option A is to head back into Orleans and stop at the Carriage House. Open 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch, they are open for dinner Tues. – Sat. until 8:30. Finish filling up here – there’s plenty to choose from. Try burgers and special sandwiches off the menu or check out one of their delicious specials. Most entrees change weekly based on what ingredients are available so you get a lot of seasonal specials and fresh seafood here.

Family friendly restaurant in Orleans VermontIf you finish up before 9, swing into Orleans Village Pizza for a couple of drinks and a fun bartender. This local’s bar will leave a smile on your face as you finish up your night. A game room, live bands, monthly trivia, last Saturday Karaoke, free pool Wednesdays, and nightly beer specials keep the atmosphere fun and friendly.

Option B is to leave the Country Club and head through Westmore, back down into Barton, and up the hill to West Glover. Enjoy the beautiful view as you cruise past Lake Willoughby and some fantastic farms, then along Crystal Lake before you come back into town. The back road leading to West Glover offers its own beauty and prepares you for what’s to come.

Parker Pie is located in the old West Glover General Store. The building itself takes you back to another time, as does the location. Surrounded by farm land, Parker Pie has a fantastic outdoor space where you can dine and let the kids play. The back bar is built in an old barn that was beautifully remodeled. There is an easy atmosphere here and a lot of charm. Another restaurant known for local produce, they serve a number of craft and local beer on tap. Pizza, poutine, large salads, and a few great apps will help fill you up. Tacos and $2 drafts on Tuesday, Wednesday night burgers, or fresh raw oysters on Friday add some variety to the menu.

Whichever tour option you choose, you’ll be creating fantastic memories – and when paired with great food, there’s no better way to spend a summer.


Check out our other Dinner Tours on NEK Eats