Experience the NEK Through Your Taste Buds
There are many great restaurants in the three counties that make up Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Many restaurants in Orleans County, Caledonia County, and Essex County feature local and regional ingredients, have beautiful views, offer unique experiences, or can just help you relax at the end of a long day.
They say the way to the heart is through the stomach. If that is true, then the NEK will surely find a lifelong home in yours. Take our NEK food tour (rules) and experience the region through your taste buds. As you travel from location to location be sure to enjoy the sights along the way and the beauty offered by Vermont’s scenic roads.
Take The Food Tour
Essex County Restaurants
Traveling in Vermont’s northeastern most county? If so there are two restaurants on our tour that are bound to help you experience Vermont flavors. Both are on Main Street in Island Pond so they are easy to find. And with very different menu options, so eating at both is no problem.
KT Ray’s on the Pond: This restaurant features fresh blueberries throughout its menu. Combining the sweet fruit with a number of other ingredients enhances the main entrée. Potion sizes are sure to fill you up, and everything you order has a homemade taste, showing the care put into planning the menu, the recipes, and in the preparation. Prime rib on Friday combined with the Friday Night Live next door makes for a perfect evening out. Check out KT Ray’s and their full menu here.
The Essex House and Tavern: Local VT maple syrup appears in many menu items at this renovated Hotel. Still offering rooms upstairs, the Essex House is carrying on a long standing tradition in Island Pond – and they have renovated the building beautifully. Recently updated, their new menu features delicious apps, burgers, pasta, and themed nights like the all you can eat fried shrimp on Wednesday night. This restaurant is also just across the street from the Friday Night Live concerts so you are in perfect proximity for a night out. Click for more info on the Essex House and Tavern and their full menu or see a review of the Essex House – all 3 items featured in this review are still on the menu
Caledonia County Restaurants
Caledonia County offers a number of attractions that bring out the history and beauty in Vermont. From the bike paths in Burke to the covered bridges in Lyndonville – there is plenty of sightseeing available. Museums, art, farmers markets, hiking trails, rivers, and beautiful back roads will make hitting these two tour locations well worth the trip. Combine some of the local attractions with lunch, dinner, or even just some cocktails and you will create memories not soon forgotten.
Juniper’s: Juniper’s Restaurant is located at the Wildflower Inn on Darling Hill in Lyndonville. This restaurant has sweeping views of area mountains and valleys. Sitting on the patio or in their new beer garden brings the Vermont Dining Experience to a whole new level. The menu at Juniper’s features local produce, meats from area farms, and hearty meals that will leave you full and satisfied. Eating at either the main restaurant or at the new The Spokeeasy Lounge and Beer Garden count on the tour. The main restaurant is casual with a leaning towards a fine dining atmosphere. The Spokeeasy on the other hand is perfect for those in bike gear, and those looking for a more tavern like atmosphere. Click here to see more about the restaurant and view Juniper’s menu.
The Burke Publick House: This restaurant in East Burke is the perfect way to end a long day on the trails (bike trails that is – it is summer after all). An extensive menu filled with pub favorites (including Scotch eggs) and options that put a Vermont spin on International favorites make dining here an experience you don’t want to miss. Throughout the season this restaurant features live local music and a number of paint-‘n-sips, all the more reason to check them off your food tour list. Read our review of the Burke Publick House here.
Orleans County Restaurants
Many of the routes connecting Essex and Caledonia Counties cross through Orleans County. Home to many of the lakes in the region, as well as expansive hay fields, great hiking, state parks, and wonderful museums there are many places to visit near to one of the restaurants on your tour.
Noonan’s Supper Club: At the top of the county, this Newport, Vermont restaurant has a view that includes Lake Memphremagog. Located at the Newport Country Club, the restaurant is open to the public. Mixing local ingredients with inventive recipes and artistic flair, Noonan’s offers outdoor dining, live music and fish and chips on Fridays, and buffets throughout the season. Members of the Country Club and avid golfers can find lunch and a pub menu available if there are looking for an earlier meal, of just a snack after a day on the course. For Noonan’s full menu click here .
The Highland Lodge: This Inn is home to a wonderful little bar and restaurant in Greensboro, VT. Covered porch seating offers views of Caspian Lake with more outside dining offered in the back garden. New menus are available every week, featuring local meats, produce, and food products like VT maple syrup, relishes, and more. A line of Vermont drinks are also available such as Barr Hill products, and Hill Farmstead beers on tap. Themed menu nights and a evolving menu makes each time you dine here a new adventure. Click for more information on the Highland Lodge House Bar or read a review of this restaurant here.
Copper Plate: The Copper Plate is a food truck located just off I-91 at the Riverside Farm Stand. This restaurant in Barton, Vermont has a covered outdoor seating area as well as charming seating along the river. Being at the farmstand allows you ample opportunity to check out local and regional fruits, vegetables, and food products. There are also green houses and field gardens to walk through while you wait. Ingredients are sourced as local as possible. The owners like to say, the fresh ingredients they use can be picked in the morning and be on your plate in the afternoon. Serving traditional snack bar food, house made salads and slaws, and with daily specials, this Barton food truck has become a local favorite. For the Copper Plate’s full menu click here.
Orleans Country Club: Open to the public, the Orleans Country Club restaurant has put out an extensive flatbread menu, wonderful apps, and a list of delicious yet simple menu options this season. The club house features a wonderful covered, screened in, outside dining area as well as the bar and main dining room. Offering lunch and dinner throughout the week, this casual restaurant in Orleans is the perfect place to unwind after a busy day or week. Golfers find plenty to satisfy their hunger, or thirst, after time on the course, while the general public finds the location comfortable and relaxing. Looking for more casual dining with a very affordable price tag – this is the place. For information on the Orleans Country Club Click Here.
We hope you enjoy our tour of NEK Restaurants. We will be putting out a few mini tours throughout the rest of the season so don’t miss them.