Five new restaurants to explore in Vermont

Visitors to Niramit can admire the intricate Victorian architecture in the dining room while they enjoy their food. Photo provided by Lorianna Weathers.

While the views of rolling mountains and pastoral fields are more than enough to make a trip to Bennington worth your while, it is the vibrant tapestry of culinary delights that keeps travelers returning to our town time and time again. 

These five new restaurants are only the beginning of Bennington’s dining experience and thanks to Bennington’s walkable downtown, each of these eateries falls within a stone’s throw of one another, making it easy to discover the town’s best bites by foot, bike or car. 

Explore a full list of Bennington’s best places to drink and dine here

Start your culinary adventures at Union South, a sister restaurant to the popular Manchester location, Union Underground, in the historic Putnam Block in the center of downtown Bennington. 

Union South, ready for a busy dinner service.

Given Vermont’s familial relationship with craft brewing, it is no surprise that pubs and breweries rank among the most popular dining locations in the state. You can find a full list of Bennington’s breweries at vermontbeginshere.com/benningtonrestaurants/micro-brews-pubs.

Union South is the latest pub-style restaurant to grace the streets of Bennington, and head chef Owen has worked hard to set it apart from other similar restaurants, using locally sourced farm-to-table ingredients to craft an extensive menu of elevated pub fare that includes truffle parmesan fries, chicken piccata and steamed mussels. 

Owen says one of the best things about Union is the genuine passion of the kitchen staff; he works closely with everyone in the kitchen to develop a menu comprised of food that they all love to cook. 

Union boasts a spacious patio for outdoor dining, and ample space indoors where there will be activities like arcade games and pool tables, creating an atmosphere that is equal parts sit-down restaurant and casual lounge. 

107 South St, Bennington, VT 05201
Website coming soon

From Union South, a quick jaunt down North Street will bring you to Philly’s Taste of Philadelphia. Philly’s has a broad menu featuring variations on the classic Philly cheesesteak, and has been thrilling locals and visitors alike since it opened its doors in July 2023.

Customers file into Philly’s new Bennington location for authentic cheesesteaks.

Philly’s Bennington restaurant is the third location in a chain of restaurants opened by Philadelphia native Shem Adams. 

Adams sets his restaurant apart from the crowd by sourcing ingredients from Philadelphia to create the most authentic cheesesteaks anywhere outside of the city. He also places a heavy emphasis on great customer service, including table service, something he says sets Philly’s apart from other fast-food restaurants.

“I want our customers to feel like they’re at a five-star restaurant,” Adams says.

The wide selection of hot grinders, loaded fries, Philly jawns (egg rolls loaded with steak and cheese), and wings is a welcome addition to a region whose casual dining scene has long been dominated by burgers and pizza.

230 North St, Bennington, VT 05201
eatcheesesteak.com

Once you’ve had your fill of delectable sandwiches, head over to 421 Main St. for mixed drinks and draft brews. With a frequently updated menu and specialty cocktails that were voted the best in Bennington, 421 Craft Bar and Kitchen is a prime Main Street destination and a local favorite. 

From left, Jon Purdy, Erika Floriani and Kelly Clark Harrington are getting ready to order dinner at 421. 

421’s ample outdoor seating area lets diners enjoy their food under the sky while taking in the charming ambiance of downtown Bennington. The menu utilizes fresh local ingredients and changes with the seasons while maintaining a few customer favorites year-round, and the restaurant’s brick-oven pizza is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the best slices in town. The newest additions to the menu are a red snapper piccata served with wild rice and asparagus, and a stuffed acorn squash.

Being a Vermont restaurant, 421 naturally has a large selection of beer on tap, including several locally made brews like Brown’s Oatmeal Stout courtesy of Brown’s Brewing Company, and the Conehead IPA from Zero Gravity Brewing Co., a statewide favorite. 

Complementing the cuisine, the craft cocktail menu offers a variety of creative libations, that, like the provisions, change with the seasons. One of our favorites this fall is the Harvest Sangria, replacing the Peach Sangria that was available over the summer.  

Check out the other full-service restaurants in Bennington here.

421 Main St, Bennington, VT 05201
the421craftbar.com

Step into a Culinary Time Capsule – Where Thai Tradition Meets Victorian Elegance

Choo Chi Pla is grilled salmon with a red curry sauce, at Niramit in Bennington.

Walking into Niramit, at ​​124 Elm St., Bennington, nestled within South Shire A Little Hotel, feels like stepping through a portal to another place and time. Drawing inspiration from diverse facets of Thai culture, from the grandeur of King Chulalongkorn of Siam during the Victorian era to the organic marvels of co-owner Jariya’s rural Thai hometown, this intimate Victorian Inn conceals a gem that’s as extraordinary as it is hidden (though, hopefully not for much longer). Dinner is a multi-course presentation, and while Jariya accommodates all of her guests, trust me when I say you want to let her take you on a culinary journey. The lunch experience here is more casual but not any less extraordinary in flavor.

124 Elm Street, Bennigton, Vermont 05201
Niramit.net

Finally, stop by the Village Garage Distillery on Depot Street. The Village Garage delights patrons with a well-curated food menu and an extensive selection of cocktails, mocktails, beer and wine. 

From left, Village Garage rye whiskey, bourbon, and vodka displayed in front of a covered bridge.

The Village Garage Distillery is a gem for aficionados of craft cocktails and locally distilled spirits. The staff takes pride in crafting their own bourbon, gin, vodka, and more, which take center stage in a diverse range of cocktails that cater to all palates. A must-try for visitors of the Garage is The Village Old Fashioned, a tasty variation on the classic cocktail that uses maple syrup to sweeten smooth Village Bourbon and incorporates a few dashes of black walnut bitters to impart a delightful complexity that starts bitter and finishes sweet. 

Complementing the spirits, a streamlined menu of elegant dishes features unique appetizers and sides, and creative entrees that showcase the distillery’s offerings. From a mouthwatering vodka penne to a rich and savory bourbon mac and cheese, each dish is a delightful marriage of flavor and craftsmanship. 

107 Depot St, Bennington, VT 05201
Villagegarage.com

Become a Bennington insider with VermontBeginsHere! Follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive traveling tips, new destinations, upcoming events, and much more. Your journey through Vermont starts here!