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Where Bratbike people eat

There are lots of places to get good food in and around Brattleboro. We're listing some of our favorites. You are welcome to vote for your favorite food emporia and we'll be happy to include your comments in the list.

A complete listing of cafes and restaurants in downtown Brattleboro can be found at our downtown organization's site, Building a Better Brattleboro.

Nicer restaurants

>Fireworks Cafe,Lower Main Street - This place is always packed, so plan a little wait. Personal-sized, brick oven-fired, gourmet pizzas with unusual combinations. In fact almost everything on the menu has some kind of unexpected twist. The burgers are simply good burgers. Recently expanded to have a full bar and music.

TJ Buckley's Uptown Dining, Elliot Street - This is going to be hard to believe, but this is one of those places you go when you want a meal you'll think fondly back on for years to come. Elliot St. is a lousy place to park a bike, but if you are in town anyway or are staying at the Latchis, you make a reservation at this little, 5-table diner place where everything is prix fixe. It may be next to a laundromat, but we know a couple who were happy to have a romantic dinner there after they got married. Chef Mike rides a Litespeed, and we don't hold it against him that he didn't buy a bike from us. (Hi, Mike, just kidding).

 

Diners and casual places

Chelsea Royal Diner, the last thing on Rte. 9 in Brattleboro - We like diners, and the Chelsea Royal is Brattleboro's diner. We have never had a bad meal there in 19 years. Bike parking there is just locking your bike to the railings, but they sell soft-serve ice cream around the side in the summer months.

There are interesting specials every day ($5-$12) in addition to a rotating, blue-plate special (funny, the plates are white). A very nice expatriate Mexican guy named Daniel cooks up Mexican specials a couple of days a week, and breakfast is served all day. Lots of food, reasonable prices.

 

McNeill's, Elliot Street - This is where you go for a real beer. Ray McNeill can often be seen riding a nice road bike on Route 30 when he needs to work off some of the calories from his award-winning brews. His daughter rode across the country with our former mechanic a few years ago, but that's another story. Actually, you can't call this a restaurant because there isn't any food served. No worries, the oatmeal stout will take the place of a meal, right?

Top o' the Hill Grill, al fresco barbecue on Putney Rd. just up the hill from the Marina. We honestly can't remember any other place quite like this. It's a barbecue shack with a really nice deck and attached alpine chalet, all perched (literally) overlooking the West River and Retreat Meadows. The food is quite good, and they have a mobile unit if you want a catering job done.

Even though we have known Jonathan, the proprietor, for years, we hadn't made it to this, his latest venture until one of our customers insisted we go and offered to buy us a meal. We're really glad he did, because Heidi's Favorite is a tempeh & veggie burrito-style sandwich in a flavored flour tortilla, and it's definitely worth the trip.

There is ample space to keep an eye on your bike here.

Pizza

Disclaimer: Brattleboro does not have a pizza that we would remember fondly for years. We don't know why. We are regular customers at pizza shops here, and gladly spend lots of money on local offerings, but classic pizza comes from other places. New York. Atlantic City. Bay and Goodman's in Rochester, NY. King of Pizza in Philadelphia, before the INS cracked down on them. And New Haven, certainly, New Haven. Just not Brattleboro (sigh).

 

Frankie's Pizza , Elliot Street downtown. Frankie and Linda have made pizza, sandwiches, spaghetti, and salads in the middle of downtown for more than twenty-five years. Now the next generation is taking over. The shop has moved from its longtime digs in the parking lot to a larger, nicer place directly across the street from the parking garage entrance. When we asked Frankie to give us prizes for the Brattleboro Criterium some years ago, he didn't hesitate to support it.

Frankie says he can make different kinds of pizza, but he tried this thick and chewy style and people liked it, so he stays with it. We often get subs here, especially meatball subs with cheese and chicken parmigiana ones and hot turkey and bacon ones (not, repeat, not light fat). What we really like about this place is that two people can get an antipasto and spaghetti for, well, pretty cheap.

 

VIP II, Rte. 9 in West Brattleboro next to the 7-Eleven - The place in town for a thin crust, Italian pizza. Calzones, pizza by the slice. No bike parking to speak of, though.

La Toscanella, Rte 100 West Dover. Okay, this is way out of downtown Brattleboro - but many of our customers have second homes in the Mount Snow region and this is the place to get pizza over there. Try the Veggie Deluxe or Piero's white pizza.

Bakeries and Coffee Joints

Wow, does Brattleboro have enough places to get a cup of coffee and a munchie? We go to all of them, but mostly to these:

Amy's Bakery Arts Cafe, Main Street. Amy does everything right. And aside from the espresso, artisan breads, breakfast treats, cakes and cookies, you can also find very good and nutritious lunches with soups, sandwiches, quiche. Our usual: coffee and a chocolate croissant. At lunchtime. Upscale but friendly, small, art on the wall.

Blue Moose Cafe, High Street. Coffee, breakfast & lunch, panini, sandwiches and soups. Have your eggs and WiFi in the morning. Really nice people.

Mocha Joe's, Lower Main Street (walkdown under Turn It Up). Minimum munchies, max coffee. This is the place to find people who talk about the mouth feel and nose appeal of their coffee - because Mocha Joe's is a coffee roaster. (Don't confuse the coffee shop on lower Main with the roasting operation down the alley from us!) Coffee culture vibe.
 

The Works, Main Street. The only place downtown where you can get a bagel. When the famous Hamelman's Bakery went out of business in what is now our storefront, Keene Bagel Works came to the auction to buy the state-of-the-art French bread oven that sat where we now display our bikes. From the moment they became familiar with the workings of that oven they ceased to be Keene Bagel Works and became The Works. But it took ten years to open a place in Brattleboro (it's store number seven). All the usual bagel sandwich stuff like at Bruegger's, but with a bigger menu of smoothies and sandwiches. Spacious, clean, corporate.

 

 

 

 

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