The Bored Team brings you the third installment of our (not-quite-annual) Café Crawl! These are a few of our favorite spots in Burlington for a cup of joe, a mug of tea, or a dee-lightful pastry. We’ve done our best to choose a mix of the well-loved and the brand-new, the common haunts and the hidden gems for you, but we know we didn’t catch ’em all, so tell us about some of your favorite spots in the comments! Cheers!
$ – cheap
$$ – reasonable
$$$ – pricey
Price: $$ [although it’ll put you back a dollar or so more than some of our other local coffee joints, it’s worth it for some of the most delicious brews in the Queen City]
Atmosphere: hipster, minimal, laid-back, artsy [part coffee haven and part art gallery, Maglianero’s industrial-chic space is one of the coolest spots in Burl. The big warehouse-y space is filled with tables and chairs to spread out on, or you can bring a stool right up to some of the enormous windows overlooking lower Maple Street and the waterfront for some A-plus views and people-watching. Being a little off-the-beaten-path, Mag’s is an especially great homework spot since it is more likely to be filled with other people immersed in books or plugging away on laptops than groups of tourists.]
Most Popular Baked Good: Barrio Tarts [since these are sourced in from Barrio Bakery—another awesome café on the other side of town in the North End—you can’t count on having them around every day, but be sure to taste them if you’re lucky enough to stop by when they’ve just been delivered!]
Best Coffee Alternative: Chai Latte [but if you’re going to go in for coffee anyway, these guys make an awesome latte. If you’re feeling fancy, try “The Pedestrian”, one of their espresso specials].
Monarch and the Milkweed
Atmosphere: They call themselves a “Pastry Shop Fine Diner” and I can’t think of a better name for it. It has a dainty, sophisticated, European feel with tall glass windows, clean white walls, and rich wooden tables. The pastry case lures you in as you walk in the door and the smell of coffee brings you even closer. The staff is friendly and attentive and there is a light buzz of people enjoying their meals.
Most Popular Baked Good: The chef/owner of Monarch, Andrew LeStourgeon, took inspiration from his role as a pastry chef at Hen of the Wood and brought it directly into the pastry case at Monarch. You can find everything from fruit muffins to Linzer Tarts, but I highly recommend the donuts – they’re about two bites of pure deliciousness. The pumpkin is perfectly iced with real pumpkin seeds.
Best Coffee Alternative: Monarch has some great freshly squeezed juices, pressed right in the kitchen. Tropicana can step aside: their freshly squeezed orange juice is a perfect start to your day.
Speeder and Earl’s on Church Street
Atmosphere: Speeder and Earl’s is a great quick-stop coffee shop. It’s store front stands out but when you go inside it’s just a small hole in the wall coffee shop
Most Popular Baked Good: They had a variety of baked goods like scones, muffins and croissants. Super yummy looking muffins.
Best Coffee Alternative: Get the hot chocolate! You can get Speeder and Earl’s coffee on campus!
Atmosphere: “Chill as heck” – Barista. It’s a friendly place, but not overwhelming. So like, you can huddle in a corner and do your work without being bothered OR you can strike up a conversation with an old lady next to you about the supermoon (true story).
Most Popular Baked Good: The banana bread is reported to be some of the best in town, and my tastebuds can attest. It goes fast, though, so make sure to stop by on a Monday morning/early afternoon to win a slice before it’s all gone. Their rum cake is also a good one!
Best Coffee Alternative: Chai Latte! It’s sorta predictable but great nonetheless.
Atmosphere: This cozy, rustic coffee shop, lined with wooden tables and leather backed chairs sets the soothing mood for a good book and a warm drink.
Most Popular baked good: The coconut dipped macaroon is absolutely amazing!
Best coffee alternative: It would be a tie between their hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick in it or their hot chocolate!
Scout & Co.
Atmosphere: Scout & Co. has a location in Burlington ONE and in Winooski. The ONE location is a cool, modern vibe. The shop is spacious and feels like the kind of place where you could sit down on your laptop doing homework for hours, or grab a quick cup of coffee with a group of friends. There are even picnic benches outside for when it’s warmer out (did I mention they make their own ice cream?!)
Most Popular Baked Good: Scout & Co. has something called a Wafflegato. It’s a scoop of smoked maple and sea salt ice cream on top of a waffle, with a double shot of espresso on top. I didn’t try it, but I did get a fantastic cultured chamomile cream donut, which was delicious.
Best Coffee Alternative: Does ice cream count?? There’s always hot chocolate though to get those warm drink vibes.