BORED’s Coffee Tour of Burlington (2021)
College students and coffee are practically synonymous. Nothing can keep the eyes open and the knowledge flowing like a warm cup-o-joe. And like many a college town – campus and Burly aren’t short of coffee stops for you enjoy some java. That’s where we step in.
As part of an annual tradition, our team split up and hit up a few on-and-off campus coffee stops to taste test the beans and check out the vibes so that you can find the perfect place for you. (And see how the stack up to our 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016 picks)
General Atmosphere: Think Olive Garden mixed with Krispy Kreme. Can’t imagine it? Then go check it out for yourself. Tucked away on Farrell Street in South Burlington this bread shop is one of my favorite and most reliable cafe’s. There is very little space inside to sit and enjoy, but if you do choose to “dine in” you will be graced with the opportunity to watch fresh bread being baked. That’s right. Just on the other side of a plexi-glass window you are privy to the bakery where klingers pops out the most aesthetically pleasing creations.
Coffee Rating: While their latte’s will have you wired and content from dawn to dusk, I think that Klinger’s underground specialty is their Maple London Fog. The Vt Maple is a surprisingly kick-ass compliment to the earl-grey tea and steamed milk. Visitors are welcome to their own decisions, but I recommend this combo at least once.
Price: If you’re choosing between Starbucks and Klingers, choose Klingers. For around the same amount of money you can get a higher quality coffee with less of the waiting. Plus you don’t get to watch fresh bread being made when you go to Starbucks, do ya?
Food: Did I mention this is a bakery? So you better believe that your breakfast sammies will be made with fresh bread and scones DAILY! Along with the hot breakfast items there is also a beautiful shelf of fresh baked goods such as croissants, cookies, pies, and other savory/sweet treats.
General Atmosphere: Take this opportunity to explore the adorable and quaint town of Richmond. This coffee spot is less than 20 minutes from Burlington and really serves the cutest vibes. After ordering your coffee, take a walk down to Richmond park (which has a farmers market every friday in the summer) and play down by the river. Your baristas will always be full of fun and positive conversation and will deliver some of the coolest products to you.
Coffee Rating: I am usually a plain old black coffee kind of gal, but at Sweet Simone’s I stray from my usual order. At Sweet Simone’s you will want to order the Maple Latte. This latte delivers such a clear and smokey espresso kick while filling your head with a maple aroma. My usual issue with latte’s is the over sweetness, but this cafe dances on the line perfectly. A good coffee alternative would be any of their smoothies and teas.
Price: Remember how I said this is some of the best coffee you’ll get in Vermont? Well that comes through in their price. Don’t be surprised to pay 5 dollars or more for a latte, but expect to enjoy that drink a “latte” more.
Food: Again this will be an expensive option, but Sweet Simone’s has a fantastic bakery selection with many extremely healthy alternatives. Maybe not so much the cupcakes and cookies….but I digress. Make Sweet Simone’s your first stop before skiing down Bolton.
Kru Coffee Collective
Atmosphere: The new kid to the block in terms of coffee shops in Burlington Kru does an outstanding job making its presence known. The interior is almost following a Victorian design that somehow makes the coffee or tea your drinking taste more grand. Another thing that makes it stand out is that despite covid it is still open for you to get a drink and sit down inside which is very comfortable and creates a space that you can study, draw, or even talk with friends in.
Price: Due to the high quality the price is debatably worth it but it isn’t going to be kind on your wallet if you make a trip to Kru on the daily.
Atmosphere: With covid going on the atmosphere has taken some hits, now you aren’t allowed into the store and they bring your drinks outside for you to enjoy. But before and I imagine post Coronavirus, This shop has displayed a lovely quiet and distinguished personality. If you want to experience an incredible espresso based drink made by people who clearly love the art they are creating. It is an extremely worthwhile place to check out.
Leunig’s Petit Bijou Kiosk
General atmosphere: The atmosphere is whatever is happening on church street. Because Leunig’s Petit Bijou is a kiosk, they have outdoor seating made up of a few tables with three chairs around each. Especially with covid, the tables are spaced out, have hand sanitizer at the cashier, and clean ther pens after each use. It felt safe to eat and drink at their establishment.
Chai tea rating: This tea was surprising since most of the chia teas on Main Street are watery. The tea did not taste like it was watery or overall sweet. You could taste the masala chai tea and it was accompanied with whole milk. The tea was creamy and was well balanced. The ice to tea ratio was almost perfect as the ice didn’t water down the drink over time. I rate this tea a solid 9/10. The one thing I would say is that I wish it was slightly bigger.
Price: There were two options for sizes a small and a large. The small was $3.50 and a large was $4.00. Overall the prices for this chai latte were very affordable. This trip will not hurt your pockets.
Food: When visiting Leunig’s you can’t just stick to getting your coffee or tea. They have so many great food choices whether it is their white truffle and parmesan fries ($8), their granola parfait ($4.5), or their famous beignets (1 for $1.50). The beignets are light and airy. They have a nice heaping of powdered sugar on top. After you eat one, you want to get another. Overall, the food is fresh, exciting, and affordable.
Overall atmosphere: The atmosphere in dobra tea is warm, comfty, and feels like a warm hug. The tea house has a blue and green exterior and can not be missed while walking along church street. Inside the lights are dimmed and the house smells like a collective of spices. You are greeted by a few people at the counter that are more when welcome to give you recommendations for what tea you should get. Once you order you can sit inside either at tables or in a section with cushions and a table (seen in picture). It is a great spot to go to do work and to get away from the cold.
Chai tea rating: This warm chai tea was rich with flavor and did not disappoint. It was denifty made with milk as it was creamy and did not seem watered down. It was a bit on the sweeter side and the warm spice lingered at the end. It comes in one of the house cups with a spoon (see as pictured). This tea was a 7/10.
Price: The prices at dobra tea are pretty good there teas mostly range from $5-7 a person. The chai tea was $5 for a cup and $6 for a mug. Overall the teas are affordable, and the quality matches the price. Some of the food was a bit expensive on a college budget, but you can still get some food and sweets on the cheaper side.
Food: The food at Dobra tea is pretty good. There did not have a lot of options because of the Covid but each food item that I got was tasty. By far my favorite food item from dobra tea was their dumplings ($5). Each plate comes with three vegetable dumplings so it is more of a snack instead of a meal (hence a small plate). The dumplings themselves are in a delicious sauce and after eating one you crave more. I ended up getting two of these plates.
Overall atmosphere: Henderson’s is an on campus cafe on the third floor of the davis center. The cafe is currently for take out only so there are arrows and pathways to show you to the register. There are some other drinks and snacks that are available in the cafe you are waiting to order. The staff are very friendly and some of them are even UVM students. The drinks come in a receivable cup and the straws are compostable (points for sustainability). They have extra milk, sugar, etc for people if they want to add anything to their drinks before leaving. This is a great stop before class or while doing work at the Davis center.
Chai tea rating: Henderson’s chai iced tea latte with a shot of vanilla and oat milk is probably my favorite of the bunch. The tea blend is a house special from Vermont Artisan Teas. The tea blend is on the spicier side with a black tea blend, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and blackpeper. The drink is creamy and the chai tea is rich and does not taste watered down. The drink comes in three sizes: 12 oz, 16oz, and a 24 oz. Because this is my daily spot in the Davis center (accessible and on campus), I get the 24 oz chai. I will miss this tea so much once i am home, I got the tea blend at Henderson’s (as pictured above). This tea is 10/10.
Price: The overall price varies for what you want. The lattes are a bit more expensive. But, because it is on campus students are able to use their cat scratch and their points for paying. The bakery items are around $3-4 and the drinks can range from around $2-6. The prices of the drinks increase with other types of milk but it is fairly priced.
Food!: Most of the food at Henderson’s are bakery items including scones, brownies, cookies, biscotti, and muffins. They all pair great with what drink you choose. The baked items are already packaged but so they are easy to take on the go. My favorites are the pumpkin muffin or whatever fruit scone they have available.