Between the two towns, Essex is your best bet for a great meal. Essex Inn has a fine restaurant and bar; also in the village and open year-round is the Pink Pig serving organic coffee, breakfasts, baked goods and sandwiches.
If passing through Ticonderoga, drop by the seasonal Wind-Chill Factory for big serves of ice-cream and burgers.
Essex County Farm Stands
Head inland in Essex County and you'll find that there has been a quiet boom in modern farming, which has lead to a quiet boom in the modern farm stand. Close to the town of Essex are the Essex Farm Store and the Hub on the Hill, where you can buy locally produced cheeses, meats, veggies and other foodstuffs. It's especially convenient as the town of Essex lacks a traditional grocery store. Make a stop before heading down to spend a day on the shore of Lake Champlain and you'll have an enviable picnic.