48 hours in Bennington, Vermont with star chef Josiah Citrin.
Advertisement
Josiah Citrin
Credit: © DYLAN+JENI

1997 F&W Best New Chef Josiah Citrin is the chef-owner of the two-Michelin-starred Mélisse in Santa Monica, as well as Charcoal Venice and Dave's Doghouse at the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles and Indian Wells Tennis Garden. He's also a proud dad.

I spent a weekend in Bennington, Vermont when my son was starting his freshman year at Bennington College. I expected it to be charming, but it exceeded my expectations, especially with how friendly everyone is there. It definitely helped put me at ease over sending my oldest son off to college.

Where to eat and drink

Killer craft brews and burgers at Madison Brewing Company

Madison Brewing Company Pub & Restaurant
Madison Brewing Company Pub & Restaurant.
| Credit: © Josiah Citrin

I had the best time tasting all the craft-brewed beers at Madison Brewing Company Pub & Restaurant. It's been around since the 1990s and was recommended to me by locals as one of Bennington's fixtures. They were right. I would fly back in a heartbeat just to get another Mocha Oatmeal Stout and a burger at the bar.

Breakfast at Blue Benn Diner

Blue Benn Diner
Blue Benn Diner.
| Credit: © Josiah Citrin

We stopped at the Blue Benn Diner where the portion size was bigger than what my stomach could handle. The all-day breakfast spot is in a vintage diner car and you really can't go wrong with anything on the menu. I went for the corned beef hash. The diner began accepting credit cards in 2021.

Delicious gelato at The Village Chocolate Shoppe

The Village Chocolate Shoppe
The Village Chocolate Shoppe.
| Credit: © Josiah Citrin

Always looking for a way to satisfy my sweet tooth, we stumbled across The Village Chocolate Shoppe in downtown Bennington. This family-run shop had some delicious maple syrup and cappuccino-flavored gelato and a great selection of souvenirs. If you really want to get into the Vermont spirit, check out the two 100-pound chocolate moose sculptures when you walk in.

What to do

Shop for pottery at Bennington Potters

Bennington Potters
Bennington Potters.
| Credit: © Josiah Citrin

This is the place to go for handmade pottery. Right in the middle of town, the guys at Bennington Potters do not mess around. We took a tour and were able to watch the whole process. We saw them form, finish, and glaze the pieces by hand, which was fascinating, given that most stuff is now machine-made. Get a set of trigger mugs for your morning coffee.

Visit the Bennington Battle Monument

Bennington Battle Monument
Bennington Battle Monument.
| Credit: © Josiah Citrin

You can't visit Vermont without stopping at the Bennington Battle Monument. It's the tallest human-made structure in the state of Vermont and commemorates a major turning point in the Revolutionary War. From its observatory, which can be reached by elevator, you can get a great view over Vermont, along with the neighboring states of Massachusetts and New York.

Where to stay

Four Chimneys Inn

Set on an 11-acre estate, Four Chimneys Inn offers year-round lodging in the heart of Old Bennington. We found this bed and breakfast to be charming and loved that we could walk to several attractions in the area. The Bennington Museum, Bennington Battle Monument, and several art galleries are within a 15-minute walk. Book one of the rooms with a jacuzzi tub and gas fireplace to make your stay even cozier.