Food Tour of the Pioneer Valley

Looking for a new place to eat? These nearby haunts have you covered


Grabbing a bite to eat but sick of the typical downtown Amherst restaurants? Here are ideas for a full day of eating, at places you may have never even heard of before. 


Breakfast: The most important meal of the day. And because it’s so important, let’s make sure it’s a good one. After one bite of a bagel from Tandem Bagel Co. or the first sip of a latte at Cushman’s Market, you’ll be hooked.

Tandem Bagel Co.

Hands down, the french toast bagel with plain cream cheese from Tandem Bagel Co. was the best bagel I’ve ever had. These homemade bagels are fluffy and packed with flavor. They also have some pretty crazy bagel flavors like “Snickerdoodle,” “Cheesy Garlic,” and “Hot & Spicy.” They also have vanilla cream cheese which I’m interested to try. With 22 types of bagels, seven different cream cheeses, and a huge selection of breakfast and lunch options, there is something for everyone.


Cushman’s Market and Cafe

Hungry for breakfast? Order the “Smitty,” a one egg sandwich on a roll filled with bacon, hash browns and cheddar cheese. Or, if it’s lunch time, ask for “Four Friends,” a grilled cheese loaded with Vermont cheddar, crispy bacon, tomato and avocado on buttery sourdough bread. But don’t worry, if you’re looking for french toast, pancakes, or even loaded avocado toast, they’ve got that covered too. With affordable prices, local and fresh ingredients, and a huge menu, Cushman’s will not disappoint.  Not only will you be supporting a local business, but you’ll also be supporting a sustainable one. Cushman’s takes pride in their elimination of plastic straws and composting practices. Also, don’t forget to get a coffee while you’re there. Their lattes and cappuccinos are some of the best I’ve had. However, keep in mind due to COVID, Cushman’s is only doing outdoor seating or take-out.


And before you know it, it’s lunch time. Looking for something other than a typical salad or sandwich? Check out Fresh Side Eatery, right in downtown Amherst.


Fresh Side Eatery 

Although Fresh Side is in downtown, surprisingly, many people don’t know about it. And boy, are they missing out. Fresh Side Eatery carries a huge pan-Asian menu. My friends and I swear by the Pad Thai Tea Rolls or the Pad Thai Salad. I’ve also tried the scallion pancakes and shrimp dumplings which I will definitely be going back for. About a 20 minute walk from campus, Fresh Side is serving up tasty and fresh flavors for the Amherst community. 


And we’ve finally made it to dinner. In the mood for a juicy burger or loaded nachos? 

Whether grabbing a bite to eat, or just looking for drinks, North Hampton Brewery has got you covered. 


North Hampton Brewery

Located in North Hampton MA, this brewery has a full food menu as well as beer selection, and is only about a 20 minute drive from UMass. Its three tiered deck of outdoor seating is a fun atmosphere for grabbing a bite to eat or drinks with friends. They carry a huge variety on the menu ranging from six different burgers, fun apps like loaded nachos and pretzel bites, over six different pizzas, and lots of different soups and salads. Not to mention they have 10 beers on tap.


Last but not least, you can’t forget about dessert. Nothing tops off a great day of eating like a creamy ice cream cone.


Hadley Scoop at the Silos

Located right off of Route 9, Hadley Scoop at the Silos is about a five minute drive from campus and will definitely hit the spot after a long day. Serving delicious and creamy ice cream, along with having live music and a quaint farm store, it’s a perfect place to go with friends and family. What’s even better about the Hadley Scoop is that every day, they choose random names to receive free ice cream, and the names change every day! Follow their Instagram for daily name updates and to stay up to date on hours and live music events.

So the next time you’re trying to figure out where to eat, give one of these tasty spots a try, and you may just find your new favorite restaurant.

Email Madison Bethune at [email protected]

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