Best restaurant to take the kids
- 1251 Williston Road, South Burlington, VT, 05403
This freewheeling fast-food joint may have picked up a James Beard America’s Classic Award in 2010, but Al’s still teems with kiddos who gobble up burgers and swarm its fire-engine-red booths with glee. Not much seems to have changed about the vibe since the 1940s, when Al’s was just an open-air hut next to some fields. Owner Lee Bissonette raises the prices modestly each year, but barely — $1.60 still buys you a cheeseburger or a cup of crispy, brown fries.
SEVEN DAYS: Why do you think Al’s is such a family magnet?
LEE BISSONETTE: Partly because we’re a family-run business. We’ve got three brothers in the business. I’ve got a son, I’ve got nephews, I’ve got a sister-in-law. I think we understand family pretty well. Al’s is old school. You can see what’s going on when we cook the food; it’s a stage. And kids love the creemees, the chicken strips, the corn dogs and the milkshakes, the playground.
2012 Runner-up: American Flatbread — Burlington Hearth