Hi! I’m Mo, and I live in Saint Albans.
And I’m Erica, from Fairfax.
We’re a part of the BVTMB team, but we don’t live in Chittenden County. We live in Franklin County, and we love sharing highlights from our part of our great state. There are so many great dining options in Franklin County to choose from, and we knew it would take more than one post to gush about all of our favorite places to dine. So… We decided to break it down.
This post will focus on the awesome coffee/pastry shop options in a couple of Franklin County towns. Since we know Saint Albans and Fairfax best, we figured we would start there.
So, without further ado, here are Mo and Erica’s recommendations for great places for coffee and pastries in Franklin County!
This coffee shop has been in downtown Saint Albans for years. Offering huge selections of beverages, pastries, lunch options, and even a wine list, there’s something for every palate to enjoy. The comfortable, mismatched furnishings practically beckon you to sit and while away the day while sipping a specialty coffee. The shop stays open until 6:30 pm most days, and has hosted a number of community events — Paint and Sip, anyone?
This new kid on the block has been open for a little over a year. It’s located next to another downtown favorite, Twiggs American Gastropub (we’ll talk about this gem in a later post). Karen, the owner, prides herself on using unique local ingredients to serve coffee drinks with a Vermont twist. If you’ve never had maple milk in your cold brew, you need to come here. Catalyst offers ample comfortable seating and a great selection of sweet and savory pastries baked at Red House Sweets, located right in the back.
Another new face on the Saint Albans scene. The Grind is a quirky, off-beat shop that’s undergoing a facelift but is still open to coffee lovers. The baristas mix up treats with local flavors — seriously, try the maple macchiato. The Grind comes alive in the evening, with open mic nights, trivia tournaments, and family game nights. If you’re looking for a fun place to get your competitive spirit out, look no further.
Though Fairfax is quite a small town, we boast not one, but two bakeries. Though they overlap in some of the items they offer such as coffee and danishes, the similarities end there:
Located on Main Street Foothills Bakery occupies the downstairs floor in an old post office building. With an open floor plan, it’s fun to watch the bakers create the different items that are for sale in the store. Foothills offers soups, sandwiches, and quiches along with a selection of homemade breads and pies. It is difficult to walk out of the bakery without a bread or some cookies to take home. There is seating in the cafe area as well as a small table or two on the porch outside for when the weather is warm. The staff is friendly and happy to serve you. Though they don’t have their own website, you can find them on Facebook to check out the hours of operation, as well as call ahead with orders.
Eastman’s Bakery is the other coffee and pastry option located off of Main Street in Fairfax. You will find Eastman’s in the small strip mall at the top of the hill, by Route 128, next to the Fairfax House of Pizza. This bakery opened over six years ago after one of the owners and former BVTMB writer Yvonne Eastman, outgrew the space in her kitchen to make all of her delicious cakes and pies. Eastman’s differs from Foothills in that it sells mostly sweets, with some breads and bagels. You will find all types of cupcakes, cookies, donuts, pies, scones, cakes, and even Rice Krispies treats, all homemade, in the bakery case. There is no seating in the bakery so you can grab and go, or occupy one of the two tall standing tables.
Eastman’s not only makes these wonderful treats, but they also specialize in cakes to order: Birthday, wedding, anniversary, you name it! You can go with a classic chocolate with chocolate icing or my favorite, strawberries, and cream with whipped cream icing so light you’d swear it could float! Most requests can be filled, from a Frozen themed cake to a unicorn, but make sure to call ahead with these special requests with plenty of time for your event. You can also find Eastman’s Bakery on Facebook.