The Skinny Pancake

The Skinny Pancake Burlington

The Skinny Pancake was actually the first restaurant I ate at in Burlington, even before we had an apartment secured. I reserved my judgment on whether it was really awesome because it seemed pretty touristy, but after eating there three times, I have to admit that it’s simply delicious. The entire menu is crepes, and you can choose between sweet or savory. I mostly chose savory, and would sometimes mix in a little sweet by adding apple chutney. Everything is organic, local, and made fresh right in front of you.

You have to stand in line to order, and then you take a number and your food is brought to you. My only complaint is that the line is always out the door, so this is not a great restaurant to be in and out of, especially for a Sunday brunch situation. However, the food was always worth the wait.

This place is Vegan friendly, offering a yummy sweet potato shell for your crepe if it’s vegan. It’s also Gluten-free friendly. You can rearrange or remove ingredients as you please – they are very accommodating!

Like most restaurants in Burlington, The Skinny Pancake offers local beer in the form of Vermont microbrews. Some are even on tap! But don’t let that discourage you from getting other drinks – they make a mean bloody mary as well! Definitely a Top 5 restaurant if you’re going to eat somewhere in Burlington, and friends who visited me would agree!


Burlington: American Flatbreads Tries to Not Be Pizza

American Flatbreads local organic food pizzas Burlington Vermont

Everyone and their cousin recommended that I go to American Flatbreads if I’m in Burlington, and with good reason. This place is delicious! It’s also a great place to take friends, as the meals are pretty big and therefore good for sharing. The only issue I have with American Flatbreads is that the “flatbreads” they make are clearly pizzas, and they don’t even try to hide it. Even the little buzzer you hold while you’re waiting is a pizza! So, really, American Pizzas is pretty great.

Zero Gravity Brewery microbrews Burlngton Vermont

The restaurant also serves as a brewery, called Zero Gravity. I’ve had their draught and it’s very hoppy, which I like. Vermont is known for having amazing microbrews, and most of them are IPAs (they are home of Magic Hat, after all). This was a pretty big change from New York, where the best beer bars had mostly stouts and porters on draught. My palette has definitely expanded, and I can’t honestly say which I like better than the other. I guess it depends on my mood!

American Flatbreads pizza Burlington Vermont
See this flatbread? It’s a pizza. (Photo Credit:

In a state known for bomb-diggity cheese, “flatbread” restaurants are out of this world good. Again, all the food is local and organic (they have signs everywhere reminding you), and you can definitely taste the difference. One of the topping choices, The Vermont Sausage, has Vermont-made goat’s cheese with farm-fresh pork, maple-fennel sausage, and caramelized onions. If that doesn’t make your mouth water, I don’t know what does.

What’s my favorite thing here? Definitely the brunch menu. Mainly because the restaurant has an Eggs Benedict flatbread (pizza) that has hollandaise sauce all over it. Oh, it is so good. This would be another Top 5 Burlington Restaurants in my book.

Don’t Refer to a Dive Bar as a “Dive Bar” in Burlington

dive bars, Burlington, Vermont, Green Mountain State, pool table, game of pool, night life, bars

One cool project I decided to take on during my time in Vermont was to blog about the different dive bars in Burlington. I started at the bar in my neighborhood, T Ruggs Tavern. T Ruggs was a pretty nice dive bar, with a few flat screen televisions, a jukebox, a backyard patio with Christmas lights strung around, and a pool table.

Even with all the perks, this bar was the kind of place where the bartenders knew you by face and regular customers consisted of a group of the same 70-year-old men taking up half the bar’s counter space to bitch about sports and swap tales of the good old days. It had that neighborhood feel, the feel of, oh, you know, a dive bar.

But when I showed up with my camera, questions were raised. Mostly people were just curious, and some requested that I photograph them. They asked why I was taking pictures and I said that I’m a blogger looking to write about the best dive bars in the area. Saying this, as I soon realized, was the equivalent of me wrapping my body in raw bacon and throwing myself to the lions.

“A dive bar?! What do you mean a dive bar?!” said the bartender, her eyes wide in disgusted shock at my words. “You think this is a dive bar?”

I, being dumb, said, “Well yeah! It’s a nice dive bar, but it’s still a dive bar. It’s a neighborhood bar!” The bartender glared at me and stalked off to the other side of the bar’s counter to talk about what I had just said with a few of the regular customers.

At this point, one elderly dude decided it was chill to put his arm around me and tell me “how it is around here.” He said that to call this place a dive bar was to insist that it was dirty, grungy, and attractive to a trashy crowd of people. I was surprised to hear this. I also felt embarrassed to have stuck out so much for being offensive and seemingly ignorant. I liked T Ruggs a lot and I generally prefer a dive bar to any other type of bar/club on most days. While I admit that a lot of dive bars are kind of dirty, I didn’t think that was part of the actual definition of a dive bar.

So I went straight to Wikipedia on my phone and looked it up. This is what I found:

“A dive bar is an informal bar or pub. Such bars are sometimes referred to as neighborhood bars, where local residents gather to drink and socialize.”

As I was reading this, the bartender came back over to me and asked, “If this is a dive bar, what do you consider NOT to be a dive bar?” I responded with the first local bar name that popped into my head, Nectars. Anyone who has ever been to Nectars would know that it has two levels of “club” space, the first of which is generally used for 80s and 90s nights, while the lower floor will either have live music or a DJ. In my opinion, if a bar is hoppin’ enough to host decade themed parties every weekend and a DJ, it’s not a dive bar. It’s not the place where everyone knows your name. It’s not the place you go to on a casual Wednesday after work.

But the bartender responded, “Nectars?! Now THAT’S a dive bar!”

Honestly, I was so confused. I told her what my understanding of “dive bar” was when I said that T Ruggs fit the category, and I apologized for offending anyone. Now the older guys were kind of teasing me, saying I come in here and mess things up because I don’t know any better. I thought about reading my Wikipedia definition out loud, but I thought it useless information to bring to a group of offended drunk people all over the age of 60.

And so that ended my pursuit of the best dive bars in the town, because apparently dive bars in Burlington don’t like to be called out for what they are. Whatever.