Plenty more on the menu: More diners in Southern Vermont

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After reading about two of Southern Vermont's best-loved diners, we bet you're hungry.

If you've got a hankering for pancakes, a cheeseburger or the meatloaf with mushroom gravy, or maybe just a slice of chocolate cream pie with a mug full of piping hot coffee, there are plenty of options to choose from in Vermont.

"Classic Diners of Vermont" by Erin K. McCormick (American Palate, 2018) offers a fairly comprehensive, detailed listing of the Green Mountain State's roadside offerings. Rather than reinvent the wheel we've borrowed from her list for Southern Vermont roadside eateries worth trying the next time you want two over easy, corned beef hash and rye toast:

- Not in McCormick's book, but worthy of inclusion: Dot's Restaurant of Wilmington started its culinary life as the Village Square Diner in 1930 and survived what the Hurricane of '38 and Irene dished out. It's not a classic dining car, but it surely has the feel of a classic diner, as well as hearty breakfast specials. Plus: It's a natural halfway point for Banner-Reformer editorial breakfast meetings. And community journalism always starts with a cup of coffee.

- Chelsea Royal Diner, Route 9, West Brattleboro: McCormick cited the cinnamon buns, homemade ice cream, hand-cut fries and fried clam strip blue plate special on Friday among reasons to give this landmark a try. And it's open for dinner! History buffs: It's Worcester Lunch Car Company No. 736, and once sat in the heart of downtown Brattleboro before moving to its present location, according to McCormick.

- Miss Bellows Falls Diner, 90 Rockingham St., Bellows Falls: Not every diner is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Miss Bellows Falls is, and according to McCormick, it offers time-tested classics like sausage gravy and biscuits and a patty melt. The diner is open, but at present there's a "for sale" sign on the property. History buffs: Worcester Lunch Car Company No. 771 first welcomed hungry guests in Lowell, Mass., before moving to Vermont.

- Bob's Diner, Routes 11/30, Manchester: McCormick reports this Silk City diner replica — it only looks like it was built in the 1950s — offers breakfast skillets, dinner hours Tuesday through Saturday, and Vermont craft beer on tap to go with burgers and comfort food favorites.

— Greg Sukiennik, Landscapes editor



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