At Swift House Inn, we are delighted to start your day with the Vermont breakfast of your dreams. And although our own renowned Jessica’s is open for dinner from Thursday through Sunday (in the winter), we are not open for lunch. While you are out exploring, we want to provide you with 7 great lunch spots around Middlebury. We hope you enjoy our choices so much you’ll want to come back.
Originating in Waitsfield in the Mad River valley, the Middlebury storefront opened in the Stone Mill Building right on the banks of Otter Creek. And these folks know their way around “exceptionally inspired and creative Latin cuisine,” but let’s face it, we’re there for the tacos. Sourced as often as possible from their own Marble Hill Farm, they are committed to the most local, excellent ingredients possible. From vegetarians to omnivores, and every pesca in between, your taco needs will be met. They also boast a full bar (check out the spicy margarita) and a range of specialty craft brews, complete with deeply knowledgeable bartenders to guide your exploration of beers which have started trends and fueled movements. Plus, we love that this restaurant is open daily from noon to 8 p.m.
People come from near and far–even other college towns–for lunch at Sabai. You will find primarily Thai and some Japanese cuisine, offered with the kindness and warmth of a Vermont neighbor. From the Midd kids who wait on tables with friendly efficiency to the delicious Thai classics served up by the chef and management team of Tip and Noi, you’ll find the words “lunch special” are an understatement. Some of our favorite dishes include Pad See Ew, Pad Thai, and Pad Kee Mao.
Owner Kevin, originally from upstate NY, spent years on the West Coast, met his wife in a beach town in SoCal, learned wine in an award-winning micro climate, Paso Robles, and upped his meat game all along the way. Wanting their children to grow up with freedom to roam fields and woods, they moved to Middlebury, built their team, and, about 3 months ago, opened the newest venue on our list. ShireTown hired a baker to make custom loaves from their hearth, and built their smoker for everything from tri-tip to wings. This is the place to recharge after an early hike, and of course, they have a killer black bean burger and their own house-pickled veg, or, grab a kombucha from their front-of-house market, to keep your health goals in view.
Named for the “iconic spiral of the Vermont hay bale,” Haymaker Bun Company is the love child and passion project of chef-owner Caroline Casey Corrente. She developed a full menu of salads, soups, grain bowls, and sandwiches to compliment her expertise in French pastry, her creative starting point. When we visited, a staff baker was cutting the most gorgeous loaf of dough, stuffed with roasted broccoli, kale, cheddar, and onion jam, into spirals. She popped them into cupcake pans to bake into the most savory alternative to cinnamon rolls we’ve ever seen. This is only one of the innovations you’ll find as you return again and again to Haymaker.
Noonie’s is the straight-up go-to for classic deli sammies. The variety of wraps, warm ciabatta, and traditional roll sandwiches is limited only by your imagination; from meatball subs to tuna salad, veggies and dressings, and specialty mayos and mustards. Owners Justin and Meagan are usually on hand with a warm greeting, and a team that is fast, cheerful, and eager to make your order exactly as you please–they’ll even make you a half sandwich if you request it! Which might be a good decision, if their dessert special is the cream cheese brownie, as it was on the day we visited. Noonies is popular, so there may be a line, but they’ll get you through it, and it will be worth your time.
Maybe other villages wouldn’t have a grocery store on their “7 Great Lunch Spots” list, but then, they may not have the incredible hot-and-cold food bar of the Middlebury Co-op. Sourcing from local farms and purveyors, the Co-op lunch options are some of the freshest, most nutrient-dense, and delicious food you will eat. And if your appetite wanders to more of a Ploughman’s lunch, you will find a cheese selection here to rival some of the finest anywhere. Build lunch to take on your next adventure, or, in fine weather, join the locals for a picnic and people-watching, a close up look at the Middlebury community.
Walking into Costello’s feels like a combination of visiting Italian relatives and happening upon a premium Italian bistro. Co-owner John will likely be in the kitchen, and partner Carolyn will flash you a bright smile and help you navigate through their wonderfully curated selection of cured meats, cheeses, and seafood dishes. Glass jars of biscotti or cannoli shells could easily distract you from their lavish cold case of takeaway salads and sides. Pro tip: Call in your order 20 minutes ahead if you need to avoid the inevitable line.
We hope you enjoy these lunch spots in Middlebury!