You may have seen this challenge pop up on your “for you page” on TikTok. The four-course meal challenge is a (slightly competitive) but fun way to get out and try new restaurants with friends while supporting local businesses, which is exactly what my friends and I did last weekend. The challenge is set up in four different categories: Drinks, Appetizers, Entrées, and Dessert. The courses are similar to what you’d order in a restaurant, but instead of going to just one place you change locations for each category! We did the brunch version, where drinks were coffee and teas but the dinner version has an option for alcoholic drinks. (Even though we‘re college students that doens’t mean we want to start drinking at 11 am.)

The participants use the classic game of ‘rock-paper-scissors’ to decide who picks what location to go to next. Normally the challenge is only done with two people, but there were four of us so it got a little more complicated. To make it fair we had the winner of the previous round step down so that everyone could pick a location, but traditionally the round resets every time so it could end up being just one person choosing all the spots if they’re a whiz at ’rock-paper-scissors’. 


Mackenzie Laverick

For the first restaurant my friend D. chose Scout and Co. for coffee, where between the four of us we got two chai lattes, a maple latte, and a black drip with oat milk. The drinks were delicious, not super expensive (for Burlington standards) and the atmosphere of the store was so cute!! There were a bunch of plants, creative art, and overall good vibes. The cafe also sells ice cream in drink and muffin flavors which is very creative and equally delicious. We didn’t get any ice cream here today, but I’ve tried their cold brew blueberry before and my friend got the lemon poppyseed and both were divine. Unfortunately no sit-in dining was available, so we took our drinks to go and headed to the next location.


Mackenzie Laverick

After an intense round of rock-paper-scissors A. won and chose August First for our appetizer. We got some tasty pastries, including coconut macrons, a blueberry muffin, super flaky crossaint, and a decadent chocolate croissant. Yum! August First is one of my favorite places in Burlington and all of their bread is delicious. (In the summer they normally have a bread bicycle that goes around town selling fresh bread which is just wonderful in my opinion) Their menu also features breakfast, lunch, and drinks, but today we just stopped in for some baked goodies. We took our treats down the block to sit on a bench outside and soak up some sunshine. The week before had been primarily rain and though it was only 50˚F outside we wanted to embrace any hint of nice weather. 


Mackenzie Laverick

I won the next round and chose Zaby & Elf’s Stone Soup for lunch. They have great vegan and vegetarian options and are famous for their sandwiches and soups. I got the Vegan BLT with tofu, tempeh, vegan mayo, and veggies on poppyseed whole wheat. My friends got the Vegan Hummus Sandwich, a Turkey BLT, and a mix of vegan options from the hot bar including sweet potato stew, peanut butter noodles, and roasted vegetables. We sat outside in City Park to enjoy our meals.


Mackenzie Laverick

At this point we were pretty full but we persevere and S. picked Mirabelle’s for dessert. The pastry shop was a short drive over in Williston and it was definitely worth it. We picked up a mix of macroon flavors, a chocolate eclair, an almond brownie, and a raspberry chocolate tower tart (pictured below). None of us managed to finish our desserts right then but we all enjoyed the sweets later in the evening.

This challenge was super fun and can be pretty reasonable depending on what you get, we ranged in spending 20-35 or so dollars per person for everything. I highly recommend trying this out with your friends to make it to some new places and just have a lovely afternoon or evening hanging out and having some good food!