Guidebook for Rochester

Luke
Guidebook for Rochester

Food Scene

Great used books, coffee, local beer/cider, excellent Montreal-style bagels! Annex next door has more great books and two very cute Maine coon cats!
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Sandy's Books and Bakery
30 North Main Street
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Great used books, coffee, local beer/cider, excellent Montreal-style bagels! Annex next door has more great books and two very cute Maine coon cats!
Great diner-style breakfast and lunch! Like stepping back in time.
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Rochester Cafe
55 North Main Street
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Great diner-style breakfast and lunch! Like stepping back in time.
Authentic Isaan Thai food in a surprising setting. This is real-deal! but for the best experience, eat at off hours, like 3 pm. Otherwise expect long waits and possible compromise in attention to detail. Can be AMAZING if you hit the sweet spot, but is never disappointing if you are prepared to wait. *update: Saap won the 2022 James Beard Award for best chef in the Northeast US. The recognition is well deserved! But my comment about being prepared to wait probably carries even more weight now! Reservations definitely recommended!
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Saap Restaurant
50 Randolph Ave
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Authentic Isaan Thai food in a surprising setting. This is real-deal! but for the best experience, eat at off hours, like 3 pm. Otherwise expect long waits and possible compromise in attention to detail. Can be AMAZING if you hit the sweet spot, but is never disappointing if you are prepared to wait. *update: Saap won the 2022 James Beard Award for best chef in the Northeast US. The recognition is well deserved! But my comment about being prepared to wait probably carries even more weight now! Reservations definitely recommended!
best tacos in vermont. good place to grab a beer or margarita. recommend a torta or burrito if you want your money's worth. revolving and varied house made hot sauce station. Tortilla soup is great.
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The Mad Taco
5101 Main Street
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best tacos in vermont. good place to grab a beer or margarita. recommend a torta or burrito if you want your money's worth. revolving and varied house made hot sauce station. Tortilla soup is great.
icon. the essence of the mad river valley. they don't take reservations but start taking names at 4pm, so go then, put your name in, and putz around in waitsfield or warren till its time to eat. or just explore their working farm, beautiful grounds, and the trail system up the mountain behind the restaurant. Great for kids! There's always lots of other kids around, and in warmer months, the spacious outdoor setting, farm animals, and popular swimming hole right across the street make this much more than just a dining experience.
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American Flatbread
46 Lareau Road
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icon. the essence of the mad river valley. they don't take reservations but start taking names at 4pm, so go then, put your name in, and putz around in waitsfield or warren till its time to eat. or just explore their working farm, beautiful grounds, and the trail system up the mountain behind the restaurant. Great for kids! There's always lots of other kids around, and in warmer months, the spacious outdoor setting, farm animals, and popular swimming hole right across the street make this much more than just a dining experience.
Beautiful small family-run restaurant by the covered bridge over the Mad River in Waitsfield. Classic, simple, European (mostly Italian) fare with an exquisite wine list. Reservations recommended. This is my favorite restaurant in the Mad River Valley.
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Peasant
40 Bridge Street
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Beautiful small family-run restaurant by the covered bridge over the Mad River in Waitsfield. Classic, simple, European (mostly Italian) fare with an exquisite wine list. Reservations recommended. This is my favorite restaurant in the Mad River Valley.
Upstairs is an upscale restaurant, downstairs is a cool pub with great cocktails, and a slightly limited version of the upstairs menu. Pricy but worth it, especially for the free pool table and shuffleboard.
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The Pitcher Inn
275 Main Street
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Upstairs is an upscale restaurant, downstairs is a cool pub with great cocktails, and a slightly limited version of the upstairs menu. Pricy but worth it, especially for the free pool table and shuffleboard.
Great place to grab an espresso, cocktail, pastry, sandwich or craft ice cream and sit by the river.
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The Sweet Spot
40 Bridge Street
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Great place to grab an espresso, cocktail, pastry, sandwich or craft ice cream and sit by the river.
Family run, cozy restaurant, southern inspired, local ingredients. Right around the corner on route 100, open for dinner Wednesday-Saturday
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Maple Soul
13 School St
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Family run, cozy restaurant, southern inspired, local ingredients. Right around the corner on route 100, open for dinner Wednesday-Saturday
Probably the hippest spot in Waitsfield right now. Gourmet creemees, killer fried chicken, and decadent sundaes only scratch the surface of this eclectic take out joint. Great stop for a bite before/after hitting one of the many swimming holes in close proximity!
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Canteen Creemee Company
5123 Main St
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Probably the hippest spot in Waitsfield right now. Gourmet creemees, killer fried chicken, and decadent sundaes only scratch the surface of this eclectic take out joint. Great stop for a bite before/after hitting one of the many swimming holes in close proximity!

Drinks & Nightlife

Great place to grab a pint, only a few doors down from the house! Excellent rotating list of local (and not so local) craft beers. Food can be hit or miss but usually they have a good burger, and those fried pickles or cheese curds go great with a cold beer! Pool table.
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Doc's Tavern
19 Huntington Place
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Great place to grab a pint, only a few doors down from the house! Excellent rotating list of local (and not so local) craft beers. Food can be hit or miss but usually they have a good burger, and those fried pickles or cheese curds go great with a cold beer! Pool table.
local haunt.
Clear River Inn
2614 Vermont 100
local haunt.
Babes Bar. Newly opened bar in Bethel, stop here on your way up if you're coming from south on 89. Or on your way home. Beautiful space, lovely people, the best Chicago style hot dog in Vermont.
221 Main St
221 Main St
Babes Bar. Newly opened bar in Bethel, stop here on your way up if you're coming from south on 89. Or on your way home. Beautiful space, lovely people, the best Chicago style hot dog in Vermont.
Good local bands most weekends. Great burgers.
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Hostel Tevere
203 Powderhound Road
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Good local bands most weekends. Great burgers.
Great place to get a beer apres ski- or whenever. Arcade room fun for the kids!
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The Reks
59 Mountainside Dr
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Great place to get a beer apres ski- or whenever. Arcade room fun for the kids!
Legendary VT brewery open to public with vast indoor/outdoor tasting room. Good small dishes of locally sourced food to help you sample more of their award-winning cult-status brews. Live music often. If craft beer is your thing (or even if it isn't- they also serve wine and a damned good draft root beer), this is a must stop.
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Lawson’s Finest Liquids
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Legendary VT brewery open to public with vast indoor/outdoor tasting room. Good small dishes of locally sourced food to help you sample more of their award-winning cult-status brews. Live music often. If craft beer is your thing (or even if it isn't- they also serve wine and a damned good draft root beer), this is a must stop.

Arts & Culture

Guaranteed excellence. Always something worth checking out. Openings are always worth going to, as well as recurring readings/ special events, like Bread and Puppet circus!
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BigTown Gallery
99 North Main Street
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Guaranteed excellence. Always something worth checking out. Openings are always worth going to, as well as recurring readings/ special events, like Bread and Puppet circus!
Glass blowing shop. Pick up a beautiful hand-blown vase and watch Michael work his magic at the furnace!
Green Mountain Glassworks
5523 VT-100
Glass blowing shop. Pick up a beautiful hand-blown vase and watch Michael work his magic at the furnace!

Shopping

One of the best bike shops EVER
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Green Mountain Bikes
105 North Main Street
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One of the best bike shops EVER

Essentials

all the essentials. groceries, liquor.
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Mac's Market
67 N Main St
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all the essentials. groceries, liquor.
the town gas station. also has a good selection of craft beer. and cremees!
Irving Oil
12 North Main Street
the town gas station. also has a good selection of craft beer. and cremees!
Gas and service station, with a surprisingly well stocked beer cave and growler-filling station.
JD's Quick Stop
523 VT-100
Gas and service station, with a surprisingly well stocked beer cave and growler-filling station.
beer, pizza, sandwiches.
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Hubbard's Country Store
38 VT-125
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beer, pizza, sandwiches.
coin op laundry if you have massive amounts of things to wash that won't fit in the house washer/dryer!
Rochester Laundromat
56 N Main St
coin op laundry if you have massive amounts of things to wash that won't fit in the house washer/dryer!
In case you need a screw or something... they've got it all!
Hardware At Rochester
56 N Main St
In case you need a screw or something... they've got it all!
Closest pharmacy. It's just your average chain pharmacy. Pretty boring really. Only recommending because, hey, you might need a pharmacy, and if you do, this is the closest one to the house.
Kinney Drugs
151 VT-12
Closest pharmacy. It's just your average chain pharmacy. Pretty boring really. Only recommending because, hey, you might need a pharmacy, and if you do, this is the closest one to the house.
Not open very often (tues& thurs 11-6 and saturday 9-12 subject to change) but this is an excellent small-town library. If there aren't enough books for you at the house, then I'm impressed, and get yourself to this library!
Rochester Public Library
22 S Main St
Not open very often (tues& thurs 11-6 and saturday 9-12 subject to change) but this is an excellent small-town library. If there aren't enough books for you at the house, then I'm impressed, and get yourself to this library!
drive-through ATM right in town
White River Credit Union
96 North Main Street
drive-through ATM right in town

Parks & Nature

Local forest ranger station, excellent source for tips on local hiking, fishing, boating, hunting, etc. Also nice new trail system in woods behind the ranger station.
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Rochester Ranger Station
99 Ranger Rd
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Local forest ranger station, excellent source for tips on local hiking, fishing, boating, hunting, etc. Also nice new trail system in woods behind the ranger station.
Nice waterfall right on route 100 in the Granville gulf. Stop and check it out if you are headed in to Warren or Waitsfield.
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Moss Glen Falls
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Nice waterfall right on route 100 in the Granville gulf. Stop and check it out if you are headed in to Warren or Waitsfield.
Easy 1 mile in and out to stunning mountain lake. Park at the summit of route 125, take Long Trail south until you see trail to your right to Lake. Nice views of Lake Champlain/ Adirondacks on the way up, Or continue on Long trail to summit of Middlebury Snow Bowl.
Pleiad Lake
Easy 1 mile in and out to stunning mountain lake. Park at the summit of route 125, take Long Trail south until you see trail to your right to Lake. Nice views of Lake Champlain/ Adirondacks on the way up, Or continue on Long trail to summit of Middlebury Snow Bowl.
Deep in the National Forest, 3 mile trail up to the ridgeline is easy at first but gets quite steeper further up. At summit, follow long trail north 1/2 mile to summit of Mt. Roosevelt or south 3/4 mile to summit of Mt. Wilson, nice views from both.
Clark Brook Trailhead
1335 W Hill Rd
Deep in the National Forest, 3 mile trail up to the ridgeline is easy at first but gets quite steeper further up. At summit, follow long trail north 1/2 mile to summit of Mt. Roosevelt or south 3/4 mile to summit of Mt. Wilson, nice views from both.
Nice Lake, usually hardly anyone there. Great spot if you have a canoe or kayak!
Sugar Hill Reservoir
Nice Lake, usually hardly anyone there. Great spot if you have a canoe or kayak!
Beautiful Lake for swimming, fishing, canoeing; great for kids. Nice mountain biking (or walking) trail system around lake- again, great for kids or those seeking less steep mountain biking trails.
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Blueberry Lake
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Beautiful Lake for swimming, fishing, canoeing; great for kids. Nice mountain biking (or walking) trail system around lake- again, great for kids or those seeking less steep mountain biking trails.
go to the top of the brandon gap (rt. 73). hike long trail north for about 3/4 mile to cliff. great views.
The Great Cliff
go to the top of the brandon gap (rt. 73). hike long trail north for about 3/4 mile to cliff. great views.
Epic Mad River swimming hole. Has been featured in (perhaps too many?) various articles in online/ print media, so be prepared for crowds. Getting there in the earlier part of the morning or later evening is your best bet, both for space to enjoy the river and a parking spot in the small-ish lot. People park on the side of route 100 when the lot is full- DON'T BE LIKE THOSE PEOPLE! It is dangerous, I've seen too many people almost get killed there. Well worth going though, spectacular swimming hole!
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Warren Falls
3919 VT-100
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Epic Mad River swimming hole. Has been featured in (perhaps too many?) various articles in online/ print media, so be prepared for crowds. Getting there in the earlier part of the morning or later evening is your best bet, both for space to enjoy the river and a parking spot in the small-ish lot. People park on the side of route 100 when the lot is full- DON'T BE LIKE THOSE PEOPLE! It is dangerous, I've seen too many people almost get killed there. Well worth going though, spectacular swimming hole!

Entertainment & Activities

Awesome small theater in Waitsfield. Full service bar and restaurant- have some crab cakes and a glass of wine while you're watching a movie!
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Big Picture Theater & Cafe
48 Carroll Road
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Awesome small theater in Waitsfield. Full service bar and restaurant- have some crab cakes and a glass of wine while you're watching a movie!
One of New England's finest ski resorts. Something for everyone: gentle, well groomed cruisers, classic ungroomed steeps, epic tree skiing. Lift- serviced mountain biking and disc golf in the summer. Ride the chairlift up the mountain in foliage season, it is well worth it! Fitness center, tennis, pools, golf, restaurants.
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Sugarbush Resort
1840 Sugarbush Access Road
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One of New England's finest ski resorts. Something for everyone: gentle, well groomed cruisers, classic ungroomed steeps, epic tree skiing. Lift- serviced mountain biking and disc golf in the summer. Ride the chairlift up the mountain in foliage season, it is well worth it! Fitness center, tennis, pools, golf, restaurants.
Super casual, inexpensive 9 hole golf course on the banks of the White River. Beautiful setting! Where the locals go, great for beginners. I usually jump in the river before teeing off around the fourth hole! Update: there is now a small restaurant/bar on premises. Mostly just burgers and beer. Sitting on the big porch overlooking this beautiful piece of the valley is worth a trip even if you aren't golfing!
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White River Golf Course
3070 VT-100
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Super casual, inexpensive 9 hole golf course on the banks of the White River. Beautiful setting! Where the locals go, great for beginners. I usually jump in the river before teeing off around the fourth hole! Update: there is now a small restaurant/bar on premises. Mostly just burgers and beer. Sitting on the big porch overlooking this beautiful piece of the valley is worth a trip even if you aren't golfing!
Legendary Vermont ski area. No frills, no snowboarding, very little in the way of snowmaking or grooming. When the natural snow is deep, there is nothing like it. Classic.
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Mad River Glen Ski Area Historic District
35-1 Schuss Pass
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Legendary Vermont ski area. No frills, no snowboarding, very little in the way of snowmaking or grooming. When the natural snow is deep, there is nothing like it. Classic.
Smaller ski area owned by Middlebury College. Cheaper and way less crowded than the local big resorts. Library in the lodge.
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Middlebury College Snow Bowl
6886 Vermont 125
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Smaller ski area owned by Middlebury College. Cheaper and way less crowded than the local big resorts. Library in the lodge.
Pick your own or let them do it for you. Delicious berries, beautiful setting! Right down the road!
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Sunshine Valley Berry Farm
129 Ranger Road
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Pick your own or let them do it for you. Delicious berries, beautiful setting! Right down the road!