The Red Onion – Burlington, VT


The Red Onion Cafe, my last visit of Summer 2016 before I was off to Ireland and returned in the snowy, snowy cold. Note the native Vermonter (or random UVM student) proving to the world that this is, indeed, Burlington (and that jelly sandals are still cool).

The Red Onion perches confidently across the walk from Burlington City Hall on the pedestrian side of Church Street in Burlington. The red neon sign behind the front wall of glass windows draws your eye toward a tall rack of plump bread loaves cooling in the window. The bread that Mickey (Owner) bakes at her little cafe is absolutely scrumptious and you can buy it by the loaf (or two) at a few local groceries.

The Red Onion
140 ½ Church St.
Burlington, VT 05401


Next, visitors are greeted by a typical bakery case filled with freshly baked cookies, salads and hummus. Something noteworthy about Mickey’s cookies (I always choose peanut butter) is that they are ALWAYS perfect. I have never had a batch of her cooking that wasn’t out-of-this-world.


The Red Onion Sandwich, cold.


There are tons of options when it comes time to build your sandwich – an array of fresh bread and toppings. I’ll save you some pondering and tell you – JUST ORDER THE RED ONION. Turkey with apples and bacon is a Vermonter thing (at least it’s not an Oklahoma thing) and it is goooood. The sandwich comes toasted but get it cold if you don’t feel like subjecting your lips to the tortures of crisped doorstep-sized bread crust. The sandwich is HUGE and requires some strategy to consume but the rewards will spur you on to the finish. This sandwich alone makes The Red Onion my Old Faithful in all of Central Vermont.

The coffee situation may leave something to be desired for some, but for those of us who are chill just grabbing a black cup of joe with a fat PB cookie, it’s just right.


In the summertime there is seating out front, right on Church Street (and smoking was recently banned so enjoy your mammoth sandwich in the fresh air). Also, a more secluded back porch is available and surrounded by draping vines and plants.

Don’t plan on dashing in and out of The Red Onion, there is often a long line and for good reason. The staff is friendly and goofy and Mickey herself is just the personality to hold a place like this together.

Comments are closed.