Why are coffee shops so wonderful? We are guilty of being super coffee shop devotees. Working as bloggers and freelancers, it can be boring to stay at home all day. To solve that conundrum, we head out daily for a yummy latte and some WiFi. Do you do the same?
It’s not only that we work in coffee shops when we’re at home, we also love discovering the best ones throughout our travels. Previously, we’ve explored and shared the best of Edinburgh, Brasov, and Asheville. Today, we talk about the cafes in another amazing city: Burlington, Vermont.
We’re no strangers to Vermont. Amy has lived in the state on and off for more than a decade, and has plenty of family and friends still there. And Burlington was her city for a couple of years in her 20s. Artsy, hip, and in a beautiful location, Burlington is a great town. It’s Vermont’s biggest city, but by usual standards, it’s still quite small. There’s a lot to see & do here, but when you need a quick break, these 6 cozy coffee shops will help you refuel.
6 Cozy Burlington VT Coffee Shops to Get Your Caffeine Fix
Muddy Waters is very much a Burlington coffee shop staple. There’s a laidback, hipster vibe that is unquestionably “Vermont.” One of the highlights of this shop is its decor, which is rustic and cool and incorporates a lot of wood. It’s a little bit like a Hobbit hole! Muddy Waters is popular with locals and college students, and is known as a great place to relax with a book and a beverage. In addition to tasty coffee & tea, you can enjoy bagels, desserts, gelato, smoothies, and fresh juices.
Muddy Waters is right in the heart of downtown Burlington just a block or so from bustling Church Street.
- 184 Main Street
- Hours vary. Check their Facebook page.
Maglianero was new to us on our most recent visit, but it’s been in Burlington since 2011. This is a bright, modern cafe that is an ideal place to bring your laptop and catch up on some work. It’s also dog friendly! (We got to pet a few cute pups and we were in heaven. With a pleasant atmosphere and really great coffee, this is a serious contender for best coffee shop in Burlington. It is located downtown near Lake Champlain. While not as centrally located as some of the others on this list, it’s worth the walk. There is street parking nearby as well as a parking lot with a day rate.
If you’re a cyclist, Maglianero is an excellent place for you. They celebrate biking culture and have an indoor bike storage spot. It’s roomy and—important in cold Vermont winters—warm, and you can feel good knowing your bike is secured safely.
Also, don’t miss the whimsical art displays and the tiny library in the corner!
- 47 Maple Street
- Hours: M-F 7am-6pm, S/S 8am-6pm
Onyx Tonics is a very new addition to the list of coffee shops in Burlington VT, having opened in 2016. This coffee shop strives to be a little different than your usual spot as they feature a constantly rotating menu. Every week, new coffees are offered, reflecting the changing seasons and a desire to celebrate the variety of roasts. This means every visit you could try something new!
Creatures of habit, we had maple lattes, but damn, were they good! Extremely well balanced and of course, bedecked with professional latte art.
The staff was especially nice at Onyx Tonics—an extra special touch as today’s hipster barista can often be a bit aloof. They were smiling and friendly here and we enjoyed working for a few hours in the cute, quirky shop. There weren’t too many people around either, so it didn’t feel overly crowded.
Onyx Tonics has some awesome pop art style pieces on the wall, where you’ll see some familiar faces! There’s beloved Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Nicholas Cage, Game of Thrones‘ Peter Dinklage, “The Dude,” Jared Leto, and even Barb from Stranger Things!
- 126 College St.
- Hours: Monday-Saturday 8am-5pm, Closed Sundays
Another Burlington staple is Speeder & Earl’s. This family-owned small batch roastery has been bringing tasty beans to the region for more than 20 years. Speeder & Earl’s brews up drinks at their location in the South End Arts District, an area of Burlington that has exploded in the past several years. Once populated by industrial type buildings, the South End is now filled with art galleries, breweries, and quirky shops.
Speeder & Earl’s takes its roasting and brewing seriously, and has established as a coffee house Burlington knows and loves. Their cafe has a very relaxed vibe, making it a top place to sit and work for a couple hours. On a recent visit I chose a blended sort of chocolaty espresso drink called a Mud Season. Amazing!
- 412 Pine St.
- M-F 6:30am-6pm, S/S 8am-5pm
In a hurry? Maybe you’re “tight” on time? If so, Tight Squeeze is the ideal spot to grab a quick coffee in Burlington VT. Very centrally located, you can pop into the Tight Squeeze to get your drink of choice. The cafe doesn’t have any seating, it truly is a tiny shop designed for takeaway coffees. But despite it’s small size, it is very cute, and serves up equally awesome coffee as the bigger shops.
Featuring many certified organic brews and locally-roasted coffee, Tight Squeeze is a must visit for Burlington VT coffee shops. It’s also just a few blocks away from Church Street, so you can grab your latte on the go and then head back for work, shopping, or sightseeing.
- 125 College St. (just across the road from Onyx Tonics, so you can try both in one visit!)
- Hours: M-F 7:30am-5pm, Saturday 8am-3:30pm, Sunday 9am-3:30pm
Scout & Co
To find the best coffee in Burlington VT, you just might have to head into its Old North End. Here you’ll find the original location of Scout & Company and all of the charm it offers. The O.N.E. location is just about a mile north of downtown Burlington, making for an easy drive or bike ride. There’s an adjacent parking garage, making your life a lot easier.
Scout & Co. is light, bright, and airy, with huge windows and plenty of sunlight. Seating is abundant, and electrical outlets aren’t hard to find (good news for the working nomad). And the main question on your mind: how’s the coffee? Tremendous and gorgeous. See Exhibit A below.
But this location also boasts house-made ice cream in unique flavors, pastries, and waffles. We won’t lie to you. The waffles we had at Scout & Co. were literally the best we’ve ever had. Golden buttery and perfectly crisped. You won’t find a better waffle in town. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, you need to order the Wafflegato, a waffle topped with ice cream & espresso.
There are two other locations of Scout & Co. in downtown Burlington (where you can find a full breakfast and lunch menu) and in nearby Winooski (with an on-site coffee roastery).
- Scout ONE – 237 North Ave // Hours: M-F 7am-5pm, S/S 8am-6pm
- Scout Victory Circle – East Allen St, Winooski // M-F 7am-6pm, S/S 8am-6pm
- Scout Innovation Center – 128 Lakeside Ave, Burlington // M-F 8am-3pm
So, who’s ready for coffee?
Have we brought you the best cafes in Burlington VT? What’s your favorite?