My drinking experience in Burlington has changed dramatically over the last 9 years. As a college student I frequented many of the college bars that dominate the drinking scene.
As I moved away from the college student lifestyle and into adulthood (ha!), I became more interested in getting a drink somewhere I can actually hear the people I am with, and sit down. Sitting down in a bar is important now.
Here are my favorite places to grab a drink in Burlington, Vermont.
Best Drink with a view
Splash is located at the very bottom of Main Street right on Lake Champlain (literally, the dock is floating on the water). This is my favorite place to have some cocktails in the summer, and watch the sunset over the Adirondack Mountains in the distance. There is a bar, and about 20 tables that sit on a swaying dock. If there is no room to sit, just order a drink from the bar and sit on the dock! Dogs are welcome at Splash, and they do a great job bringing a bowl of water and keeping dogs comfortable!
Where: 0 College St.
Tip: Cash Only (there is an ATM)
Best Beer Selection
I wrote about The Farmhouse in the dinner edition of Eat Your Way Through Burlington, and its delicious local burgers go perfectly with all of the craft beer they offer. The Farmhouse has 24 taps, including Hill Farmstead and Lawson’s (some of the best beers in the country).
There are three places you can drink at the Farmhouse. In the summer, head out back to the beer garden where there is often a band playing. In the winter, head downstairs to the speakeasy-esque basement bar. Or grab a seat at the large bar in the main dining room.
Where: 160 Bank St.
Tip: Come here before you plan on eating dinner and put your name on the list (it is often a long wait) then enjoy your time drinking beer while you wait for your table.
Best Place for a drink in Winooski
Technically in Winooski, the Mule Bar is one of my favorite places to enjoy craft beer and some tasty food. The beer selection is not as large as The Farmhouse, but it rotates often. The location is perfect, right on the road in the Winooski circle, and when it is warm the tables outside are a great place to gather with friends and throw back some beers. The food here is also worth having, particularly the pork belly poutine!
Where: 38 Main St. Winooski
A Comfortable Environment with Daily Specials
Drink is a bar/lounge with comfortable seating where you can spread out and play board games while sipping one of their daily specials or specialty infused liquors.
The best day to come to Drink is on Wednesdays for Wine Down Wednesday. For $10, you get 4 different wines with 4 different foods to taste. Typically, three different cheeses, some bread, olive oil and a dessert (mini cupcake, cake pop or chocolate).
Where: 135 St. Paul Street
Dive Bar with great People Watching
I can’t have a list for drinking in Burlington without my favorite dive bar, E Sox. This bar is right on Main Street, next to Nectars, and offers prime window seating for people watching. The drinks are strong- you have been warned! One drink at ESox leaves me with a nice buzz.
Write your name on the wall in chalk, and chat it up with the moody, but friendly bartenders. If you go to ESox, tell them I sent you, you will probably get a loving comment like, “We miss Katie like we miss herpes”.
Where: 194 Main St.
Tip: When no music is playing, the bartender will give you money for the jukebox if you ask nicely!