Lyndonville, VT: Loving the Small Town Charm, Fall Foliage and Food!
and photos, unless otherwise noted, by
Eric Hurwitz. Page
created on 9/10/17.
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Downtown Lyndonville, located in the largely unspoiled
Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, looks like something out of the 1940s.
With a splendid village green, old brick buildings, a few restaurants
and traditional downtown businesses (check out Green Mountain Books at
1055 Broad St.), Lyndonville has certainly not
become gentrified or precious like some other Vermont towns that have
sold out to transplants with agendas. Lyndonville does have its rough
edges, but more importantly, this small town never pretends to be
something it isn't. You could picture Andy Griffith walking down
the street to Floyd's Barber Shop here, although, yes, the southern
drawls would have to be replaced by New England accents. The
bottom line is that if you like towns that haven't changed much over
the years -- and have not become depressed -- then Lyndonville is
certainly worth a visit. It is a great place to walk and strike up
conversation with one of the friendly locals.
The location is also ideal, near Burke
Mountain for skiing and Lake Willoughby for summer recreational
opportunities -- not to mention incredible fall foliage during
OK, enough of the foliage. I'm
We understand and after a long trip to the northernmost part of
Vermont, you deserve it. Here are two places in Lyndonville that I
think you will absolutely love...
The Lyndonville Diner
From the name to the dining experience, there is kind of a sweet
feeling -- so greatly missing in restaurants today -- when visiting the
Miss Lyndonville Diner. Even if the Miss Lyndonville Diner didn't have
diner decor and ambiance, the place would still feel like a trip back
I think that the Miss Lyndonville Diner's greatness resides in its
authenticity -- not diner authenticity, necessarily, but the kind of
down-to-earth feeling that you get from a close-knit family outing.
It's like you've arrived in someone's living room, while waiting for
that piping hot homemade food to be lovingly served. Now I can't say
that it is like this all the time at the Miss Lyndonville Diner, but it
was certainly the case the times we dined there. Everything we've had
at the Miss Lyndonville Diner is terrific, but I recommend going with
breakfast at the counter or booths -- especially the pancakes, muffins,
and anything you can put real Vermont maple syrup on! The roast turkey
dinner and maple cream pie for lunch or dinner are out-of-this-world.
I love looking at the Miss Lyndonville Diner menu almost much as eating
the food. It is one of those menus that builds up the appetite
with its nice drawing of the Diner, handwritten-style “Miss
Lyndonville” font, food photos and appetizing names and
descriptions like “Vermont Breakfast Sampler” (two buttermilk pancakes,
two strips of bacon, two sausage links, two eggs). Or, how about the
“Country Homefry Casserole” (home fries, sausage, onion and cheddar
cheese topped with two eggs. and served with homemade toast). Then
there’s the “Maple Cured Ham Steak” with raisin sauce, “The Vermonter”
(a “grilled patty, served open face on a toasted roll with plenty of
steak fries all smothered with beef gravy, and 3 lettuce blend with
fresh cucumber, tomato and red potato slices,)” and the “Fresh
Strawberry and Blueberry Pie.” It’s the kind of menu that is not only
extensive, but extends a kind of feeling back to childhood when, on
vacation, we loved looking at long, descriptive roadside restaurant
menus and getting a whiff of that homemade food from the kitchen. I
know, those are simple thoughts, but that’s the point: you should never
forget the little things because someday they become the big things
that provide sustenance in the memory sector of our hearts.
The Miss Lyndonville Diner feels like the ideal place to stop in after
a day in the fresh country air, a cool Vermont morning with the fog
lifting, skiing at Burke Mountain (for the record, I am not a skier but
love the season!), foliage drives, or any time of the year in the
beautiful Northeast Kingdom. There’s just something so nice about
coming in from the rural environs in the morning and into a diner with
the smell of hot coffee, the aroma of fresh muffins coming out right
out of the stove, the talk of the town going on at the counter, and
generally seeing local Vermonters awaken as a close-knit community.
The Miss Lyndonvile Diner always seems busy, at least when I have
visited through the years, and that is a real testimony to the Diner.
There are other quality choices in the region for breakfast, lunch and
dinner, but the Miss Lyndonville Diner seems to have that magic touch
that not only brings in the locals, but also vacationers like us. The
food and atmosphere are certainly factors in this appeal, but there’s
this almost unexplainable “X factor” that can only be experienced by
being there. If in the area more and relying on dining out at local
restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I wouldn’t mind coming
back here twice in the same day.
Originally starting as a Sterling diner car in 1951 at the current
location, the Miss Lyndonville Diner, unfortunately, suffered a fire in
1979 when the establishment was soon gutted but quickly renovated.
Thank goodness for the reopening -- this is one of the most welcoming
diners in New England!
Interesting Miss Lyndonville Diner tidbit: throughout its history, the
Miss Lyndonville Diner has been a special occasions place. Owner Janet
Gray told NewsLinc in a Nov. 22, 2013, interview
that “We’ve had people bring their newborn babies here on the way home
from the hospital, and people coming before their engagement parties.”
Miss Lyndonville Diner is located at 686 Broad St., Lyndonville. Tel.
Lyndon Freighthouse Market and Cafe
Tapping into organic and natural locally sourced foods, the Lyndon
Freighthouse does a terrific job serving healthier versions of comfort
foods without having the items taste like cardboard. It’s a welcoming
place, too, located in a renovated 1878 freighthouse with a long
farmer’s porch on the outside and a rustic Vermont feel on the inside.
The farm-to-plate approach is certainly unique in this region and the
presence of Carmen’s Ice Cream parlor with “nearly 100 flavors of hard
and soft serve ice cream, frozen yogurt, organic ice cream, and
creative sundaes” makes the overall experience that much better.
Breakfast and lunch items at the Freighthouse include pancakes (made
with organic flour), omelets (made from organic eggs) organic beef
burgers, wraps, salads, Vermont beer and wine (that would be for
lunch!), homemade desserts and Starbuck’s Coffee.
Certified organic grass-fed beef burgers on a handmade bun.
Photo source: Freighthouse Market and Cafe Facebook fan page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/Freighthouse-Market-Cafe-142485849116834/posts/
Adding to this appealing mix is the Farmhouse Pantry selling local
products that support sustainable agriculture, small family farms and
individual farmers and craftsmen. The Lyndon Freighthouse is located at
1000 Broad St., Lyndonville, Vt. Tel. (802) 626-4000. Web site: http://www.thelyndonfreighthouse.com/.
Looking to stay at a first-class hotel
with amazing mountain views near Lyndonville? Try the Burke Mountain Hotel and Conference Center in East
For more to do than just looking at a
downtown, eating and seeing foliage, please check out the Northeast Kingdom web site for complete travel, vacation and seasonal
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