different beers in glasses on a table

Taste of Waterbury: A Food Lover’s Guide to the Best Casual Restaurants in Town

Vermont, celebrated for its beer-making and cideries, is also becoming renowned for the rising star of its food scene. Waterbury restaurants showcase the pinnacle of our state’s buzz-worthy Foods of Vermont culture. Locally owned and sourcing fresh ingredients from nearby farms, these eateries offer a diverse array of dishes complementing their extensive craft beer tap lists.

From creative gastropub fare and Asian-inspired plates to house-smoked BBQ, fresh regional oysters, and gourmet pizza in a Parisian bistro setting, enjoy the best of Waterbury’s eats, just a short stroll from our downtown Waterbury bed and breakfast.

The Reservoir – Elevating Foods of Vermont with a Diverse Menu and the Most Craft Beers on Tap in the State

You’ll find plenty to love at both the Reservoir located at the stoplight about 100 yards from the inn. In Vermont, where beer-brewing is woven into the cultural fabric, the Reservoir proudly offers 35 craft beers on tap, the most of any tap house in the entire state. In addition to their impressive craft beer selection, their food menu takes tavern fare up a notch. 

Start with a New England IPA, kettle sour, or cider-donut-flavored cider (a truly Vermont drink if there ever was one) while you peruse their extensive menu. The poutine is a popular appetizer made even more decadent when topped with bacon, while the crab cakes come with avocado and Hollandaise. All four of their unique burgers use local LaPlatte Farms beef, while other entrees like shrimp and chorizo pasta add variety. Other options like a kale Caesar salad or falafel bowl make accommodating vegetarians in your group easy. And don’t skip dessert – the Oreo cheesecake and rum cake are sinfully delicious! Enjoy the casual vibes as you sip a beer from Hill Farmstead and share tasty bites while sitting next to their wall covered in Vermont license plates, where Waterbury foodie and beer culture intersect perfectly.

chef carving bbq brisket

Blackback Pub – A Gastropub and Beer Cellar Offering Inventive Plates

The Blackback Pub is another favorite for locals and visitors, located across from the Reservoir where Main St. intersects with Stowe St. Housed in a historic two-story New England-style brick building, downstairs you’ll find a warm pub scene with an aged wood interior, whereas the upstairs dining room and bar evokes a gastropub ambiance. Both sections share a welcoming staff and a menu that ranges from hearty pub fare to Asian-inspired dishes. After a day of skiing or beer-tasting, it’s hard to go wrong with their cheddar Mornay mac and cheese, their pub nachos (featuring blue cheese, bacon, and maple syrup), or the meatloaf sandwich, which ups the flavor with a tomato and habanero jam. Other menu items pay homage to various Asian cuisines, including sesame-encrusted ahi tuna, broccolini with gochujang peanut sauce, and scallops prepared with Thai fish sauce. With over a dozen vegan and/or gluten-free items on this carefully crafted menu, including oyster mushroom steamed buns, Korean vegetable pancakes, and Lebanese fattoush, Blackback Pub offers delicious options for a variety of dietary needs. It’s far from your standard pub food and changes with the seasons, so check their website before your visit for updated menu offerings.

Blackback Pub has long been known for its lovingly curated draft beer list, rotating to include seasonal and rare brews. If one person in your group wants a triple IPA with their meal while others prefer a guava sour or chocolate stout, it’s all available fresh off their taps. And don’t overlook their custom specialty cocktails, spruced up by touches like housemade grenadine and fruit syrups. Open downstairs for lunch starting at noon, and stop by for a casual afternoon scene, including a donut pop-up on Saturdays. After 5 p.m., choose your ambiance (upstairs or down) along with your ideal food and beverage pairing. Note that they are closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Comfort Food & Small-Town Charm – Brunch, BBQ, and Pizza

Before heading out for an afternoon hike or mountain biking on the miles of world-class trails nearby, cozy up for lunch or a specialty coffee and bakery treat at Stowe Street Cafe, just around the corner from our inn. Featuring a welcoming coffee shop vibe and scads of local art and products on its walls and shelves, the cafe exemplifies its location in the heart of the city. Their menu offers delicious bites from salads to sandwiches to protein bowls, not to mention the bakery goodies! Stop by daily from 7:30 am to 2:00 pm, or visit on Wednesdays from 5-8 pm for an Empanadas pop-up by Paprika Catering Company, a Waterbury company specializing in Argentinian cuisine. 

After a day of exploring, nothing hits the spot like a pizza, and Waterbury has a treat for you – Stone’s Throw Pizza (two doors down from Blackback Pub and just a “stone’s throw” from the inn). A gourmet pizzeria dedicated to crafting inspired pizzas and serving exceptional beverages, Stone’s Throw puts an inventive twist on a classic. Settle into the Parisian bistro-inspired decor and start your meal with a small plate and an elegant cocktail (their mezze trio and Little Black Dress are personal favorites) before choosing one of their signature pies. They feature creative flavor combinations that do not disappoint and numerous gluten-free and vegan options as well. And, of course, you can make your own combinations as well. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 4-9 pm (10 pm on Friday and Saturday), Stone’s Throw also frequently hosts live music and DJs to set the mood for your meal.     

Let the sweet smell of BBQ guide you to the Prohibition Pig, located just a block away from The Old Stagecoach Inn at the corner of Main St. and Elm St. Much like their meat that is smoked on-site – the ribs, brisket plate, and chopped pork are all excellent – they also make a line of their own beers and hard seltzers in-house. Pro Pig (as it’s known to locals) offers two eateries on the same site. In the back is the Brewery, open for lunch and dinner and featuring a casual menu of smoked meats and sandwiches. The Brewery also offers outdoor seating with live bluegrass on Wednesday nights in the warmer months. The Restaurant, located on Main St., offers a robust dinner menu. Opt for a big plate of BBQ for the group, or bite into one of their cured-in-house pastrami or pulled pork sandwiches with tasty southern-style sides like cheddar grits, baked beans, and cornbread. Chase it down with their flagship Bantam double IPA, one of their 17 Prohibition-era cocktails (the inspiration for their name), or a “Swine Cooler” seltzer, available in pear, lime, or watermelon. An inspiring story of Waterbury restaurants and breweries supporting each other, the Prohibition Pig took over the former spot of Alchemist Brewing after their space flooded, inheriting some of their beer-making equipment and using it to make their first beers over a decade ago. Note that they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and are currently serving a selection of local beers on draft rather than their own in-house brews as they continue repairs on their brewing equipment from the flood in July 2023.

Stay with us at our Vermont bed and breakfast and explore Vermont’s tastes, bites, and brews at these Waterbury restaurants.