The progressive metropolises of Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco are often heralded as the vegan meccas of America, but the quiet town of Burlington, VT makes a strong showing in the name of both quality and quantity. Savory plant-based fare can be found in nearly every eatery, and the overload of vegan dessert options is enough to induce a week-long sugar rush. For everything from vegan ice cream to CBD-infused chocolate, put these vegan-friendly restaurants, grocers, and food stands on your list the next time you visit the home of Ben & Jerry’s. 


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Pingala Café (@pingalacafe) on

1. Pingala Cafe 
The savory menu lured us in, but the desserts keep us coming back. While we developed an addiction to this riverfront cafe’s crunchy, peanutty Broccoli Bites and feel-good Buddha-ful Bowl, the well-stocked pastry case always catches our eye. Earlier in the day you’ll find everything from chocolate peanut butter cupcakes (provided by local vegan bakeries Knead and Sweet Alchemy), cinnamon rolls, banana bread, cookies, cake slices, and Bless Bombs—raw vegan bites infused with 20mg of CBD. The selection always dwindles toward the evening hours, so call by noon to reserve your favorite sweets before they sell out. 


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Knead Bakery (@kneadbakeryvt) on

2. Knead Bakery
We walked into this all-vegan boulangerie with the intent to order a croissant and a cupcake, but we walked out with a full baguette, several sweets, a savory scone, and two orders of tofu scramble. This bakery is off the beaten path, but it’s a true gem of Burlington. Baguettes, English muffins, and country loaves are available on the daily along with a rotating selection of specialty breads such as focaccia, challah, and carraway. On the pastry side, you’ll be delighted to find both plain and filled croissants, sweet and savory scones, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, sweet breads, cookies, and more. The shop also offers a breakfast and lunch menu which highlights its famous breads while adding some vegetables and tofu dishes to balance out the carb overload. 


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Sweet Alchemy Bakery +Cafe (@sweetalchemyvermont) on

3. Sweet Alchemy
Technically, this vegan bakery is located about a half an hour drive out of Burlington in Essex, but its treats are distributed throughout Burlington. It specializes in gluten-free delights that lack the unfortunate gritty texture of most gluten-free goods. Locals can find the best-sellers at a number of stores and restaurants around town including Dobra Tea, Pingala Cafe, and City Market Co-op. The frosted donuts, strawberry vanilla cupcakes, brookies, and coconut chip tea cakes are among this bakery’s best. 


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by The Skinny Pancake (@skinnypancake) on

4. The Skinny Pancake 
Head to this local favorite on the waterfront of Lake Champlain for enormous stuffed crepes and live music. Vegans can go sweet or savory here. After polishing off the Vegan Monster (a chickpea-based, gluten-free vegan crepe filled with housemade seitan, pesto, roasted squash, spinach, and caramelized onions), create your own dessert by pairing the vegan crepe with local maple sugar and a squeeze of lemon, blueberry compote, or fresh strawberry and banana slices. Enjoy your Parisian treat while listening to one of the local Burlington bands rock out on the patio overlooking the water. 


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Burroughs Chocolate (@burroughschocolate) on

5. Burrough’s Chocolate
Considering Burlington is home to the Lake Champlain chocolate factory, it can be hard to compete in the chocolate business as a solo entrepreneur. However, Burrough’s Chocolate offers a product Lake Champlain doesn’t have—raw CBD chocolate. The bars—which come in Maple, Mint, Mocha, Coconut Milk, and CBD-infused—can be found in grocers around town including City Harvest and Healthy Living Market & Cafe. This chocolatier also pops up at the weekly Saturday Burlington Farmers’ Market where he sells his bars, cacao powder, and Iced Coconut Milk Mochas—a market exclusive that sells out fast.  


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Lake Champlain Chocolates (@lcchocolates) on

6. Lake Champlain Chocolate Factory
Who doesn’t love a free chocolate factory tour? Guided tours are held Monday-Friday from 10am-2pm, and self-guided tours are allowed after 3pm. While not all the chocolate is vegan, you can still get your fill of samples both on the tour and in the adjoining shop. Pro tip: save money by opting for the “factory seconds” bins. These are filled with individually wrapped chocolates that weren’t quite aesthetically perfect for retail, but still taste the same as the beautifully packaged products. They’re heavily discounted and sold by the pound. Vegan-friendly options include any pure dark chocolate varieties, Dark Chocolate Almond Bark, Dark Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Coins, and the Raspberries & Dark Chocolate Bar.  


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miss Weinerz (@missweinerz) on

7. Ms. Weinerz
One may enter the Burlington Farmers’ Market with the best of intentions, but thanks to the Ms. Weiners booth cleverly camped right outside the entrance, one always leaves with a doughnut. It takes an iron will to walk by the table piled high with brightly frosted oversized doughnuts without purchasing one, and if the visual element doesn’t get you, the lingering aroma of maple sugar will do you in. These doughnuts are unique in that they’re made with a sourdough starter which lends a chewier, breadier texture than the typical cake or raised variety, coupled with a pleasantly sour taste to balance out the sweetness. Note: the cream-filled and honey glazed doughnuts are not vegan; stick to the maple sugar and fruit-glazed options. Beyond the farmers’ market, Ms. Weinerz stocks at various coffee shops and grocers around town on a planned schedule.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Healthy Living Market and Café (@healthylivingvt) on

8. Healthy Living Market & Cafe 
Whole Foods Market does not exist within the entire state of Vermont, but this local co-op is all a vegan needs. Swing by the bakery department for housemade vegan cupcakes in four different flavors, brownies, muffins, and the occasional seasonal pie. While you’re there, pick up a package of vegan momos provided by the local Napalese restaurant Sherpa Kitchen


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ben & Jerry’s (@benandjerrys) on

9. Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop
It would be a shame to visit Burlington and not enjoy at least one scoop of Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy ice cream. This is where it all started. The busy shop on Church Street always carries two non-dairy options and offers additional flavors in the pint freezer. Whether you choose Chocolate Salted n’ Swirled or Caramel Almond Brittle, we highly recommend you top it with the vegan cookie dough chunks. 


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by The Vermont Juice Company (@vtjuiceco) on

10. Vermont Juice
When you need to eat something restorative after a few too many scoops of vegan Ben & Jerry’s, head to Vermont Juice. The town’s only cold-pressed juice shop carries a wide range of raw juices, sustaining smoothies, hearty acai bowls, and a few decadent raw desserts. Nothing says balance like a green juice and raw mocha cheesecake. 


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Uncommon Grounds Coffee & Tea (@ugbtv) on

11. Uncommon Grounds Coffee & Tea
Bring your laptop and get some work done at this laidback community coffee shop. It offers a selection of plant-based milks along with several vegan-friendly baked goods. Pair your oat milk cappuccino with the vegan banana bread or a dark chocolate cupcake for a potent afternoon pick-me-up. 


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Willow’s (@willowsbagels) on

12. Willow’s Bagels
“Bagels. Baked goods. Coffee.” The shop’s motto really says it all. Pop in for a freshly baked bagel and vegan schmear ranging in flavors from plain to caramelized onion. For something more substantial, go for one of the vegan-friendly signature sandwiches such as the Yashi—a bagel spin on a bahn mi. Don’t leave without a box of the rotational vegan baked goods such as the giant gooey cinnamon rolls, tender berry poptarts, or moist blueberry muffins. 


Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and fitness enthusiast living in Orange County, CA.

Photo credit: Ms Weinerz

Share this

The Great Big VegNews Birthday Celebration is HERE! Get a FREE Vegan Jamaican Summer Recipe Book.