Mystic's octopus ceviche special. Photo provided by Mystic Restaurant and Bar

By Gordon Dossett, Vermont Country

Bronwyn on Battenkill 

Here, you’ll find a Bavarian beer hall vibe, with an outdoor area that opens in May. Bar manager Aaron Rushinski’s cocktail concoctions include the Taconic and Sour, a lovely mingling of tart and bitter with a luxurious egg white froth; the Czech Yourself, an excellent rendition of a Negroni; and the Liebestrank, a twist on a Moscow Mule with mint-infused whiskey and pomegranate shrub. Perhaps the best: Erdbeere Spritz, a not-too-sweet mixture of fig liquor, sparkling riesling, housemade strawberry shrub and lemon.

5403 Vermont Route 7A, Arlington, VT 05250

At Bronwyn’s, from left: the Erdbeere Spitz, the Taconic Sour, the Liebestrank, the Czech Yourself, and, of course, mandatory pretzel. Gordon Dossett — Vermont Country


Yes, a Greek-infused Italian restaurant — not fancy, but good: beer, wine, pizza and pasta.

4931 Main St., Manchester Center, VT 05255


Copper Grouse at the Taconic Hotel

Patrick, the wizard behind the bar, offers for summer: The Thought of an Idea, Raindrops on Roses, and the dangerously delightful Last Word — lime juice, gin, Luxardo and Chartreuse (a nod to the nearby Carthusian order and use of an increasingly rare potion made by monks in France).

3835 Main St., Manchester, VT 05254 

Two standout drinks for summer at the Copper Grouse: The Thought of an Idea, left, and the dangerous Last Word. Gordon Dossett — Vermont Country

Crooked Ram 

Since its humble opening as a taproom serving charcuterie, the Crooked Ram has gone full service, with outdoor/indoor dining, craft beers, tasty cocktails and food.

4026 Main St., Manchester, VT 05254


Curate at the Southern Vermont Arts Center

Small welcoming venue. Surround yourself with art. Try the Curatini.

860 SVAC Drive (off West Road), Manchester, VT 05254


The Hub at the Weston Theatre

A scenic half-hour drive from Manchester, you can eat in a converted farmhouse and stay for a show next door.

719 Main St., Weston, VT 05161



Old School. Decent wine list. Best duck in Manchester area.

10 Tollgate Road, Winhall, VT 05255 (off Route 30 toward Bromley)


Mystic Cafe

The local spot for artisan cocktails, ingredients made from scratch. Fresh-made pasta, exquisite bistro food.

4928 Main St., Manchester, VT 05255


Pasta is made fresh daily at Mystic Restaurant and Bar. Photo provided by Mystic Restaurant and Bar

Silver Fork

Often cited as the town’s finest restaurant, Silver Fork is usually booking two months out. If you can, go!

48 West Road, Manchester, VT 05254 768 8444

Social House

Great staff — ask for guidance! Try the Braised Short Rib Forestier.

1716 Depot Road, Manchester VT 05255


Thai Basil

Only Thai for miles. Outdoor and indoor, with fancy cocktails; try “Pad See-U.”

4940 Main St., Manchester VT 05255


Ye Olde Tavern

An atmospheric 1790s tavern. Ask about occasional candlelight dinners.

5183 Main St., Manchester, VT 05255


Gordon Dossett traded the traffic and urban ugliness of Los Angeles for the Green Mountains. He lives with his teenaged children, a cat and a dog, packing urban sprawl into one home. He likes making to-do lists and losing them.

Vermont Country magazine

Vermont Country has a hyperlocal focus on the Green Mountain lifestyle, its personalities, events, attractions and culture. The magazine appears six times a year, designed to complement the state and four-season living. VtCo magazine is a Southern Vermont publication of Vermont News & Media.

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