Amherst Chinese ☆
62 Main Street
Review: OK Chinese food. They experiment too much with ingredients not typically found in Chinese dishes. They do grow their own vegetables.
Amherst Brewing Company ☆☆☆
10 University Drive
Review: Excellent beer with standard brew pub fare. Try the Grateful dead (one only and even then do not drive home). Good burgers.Nice pool tables
Antonio’s Pizza ☆☆☆
31 North Pleasant Street
Review: An outstanding pizza joint. A large selection of specialty pizzas at very affordable prices. Clearly a UMass student and faculty favorite. Plan to stand or eat in the street.
11 North Pleasant Street
Review: Excellent sushi and typical Japanese and Korean dishes. Ask for the baby octopus – grilled and covered with a great spicy sauce. Affordably priced for a sushi bar. Mr. Lee (the owner) is a super nice guy.
Athena’s Pizza ☆☆
65 University Drive
Review: Very good pizza. Try their specialty pizzas with traditional Greek ingredients. Get the chicken gyro and ask for extra sauce and feta cheese.
Bart’s Homemade ☆☆☆
103 North Pleasant Street
Review: Very good ice cream shop. Comfortable.
Bertucci’s Brick Oven Ristorante ☆
51 East Pleasant Street
Review: Chain – what can we say! Good pizza at an affordable price. Standard Italian dishes.
Bistro 63 Monkey Bar and Grill ☆☆☆☆
63 North Pleasant Street
Review: Exceptional food. It is all good but I prefer the lamb chops. The best we have encountered in the US. The seafood risotto is also excellent. Finish with the homemade tiramisu
Chez Albert + ☆☆☆☆
178 North Pleasant Street
Review: Definitely a must try. Exceptional French cuisine. Recommend trying everything. Outstanding service with cocktails made to taste. Comfortable and inviting atmosphere. Would give this a rating of 5 but our ratings top out at 4.
Fresh side ☆☆
39 South Pleasant Street
Review: Interesting asian inspired food. Eclectic rolls.
Ginger Garden ☆☆☆☆
351 Northampton Road
Review: Excellent Chinese restaurant. They cater to both standard and adventurous palates. Recommend trying the authentic menu. Really recommend daily specials. If you go enough Paul (the owner) will honor you with your own chopsticks carefully placed in their container on the wall.
Johnny’s Tavern ☆☆☆☆
30 Boltwood Walk
Review: Exceptional bar. The food is hardly standard bar fare. Everything is made fresh daily. The pasta is made in house. Outstanding chef and management.
51 North Pleasant Street
Review: Nice atmosphere with a reasonably priced menu. The popovers are a must.
Miss Saigon ☆☆☆
96 North Pleasant Street
Review: Very good Vietnamese food. Huge menu ranging from conservative to adventurous dishes. Fresh ingredients. Recommend duck, chicken wings, and the pho dishes. Owner and wife are very friendly.
Mission Cantina ☆☆☆
485 West Street
Review: Very good Mexican fare though not a huge selection. The margarita’s and mojito’s are worth the visit. Excellent selection of tequilas. Be prepared to wait in line.
Oriental Flavor ☆☆☆☆
25 South Pleasant Street
Review: Excellent authentic chinese cuisine. Features dim sum selections. Small cozy friendly atmosphere. Recommend the crystal shrimp dumplings and Xiao Long Bao (pork with a rich broth sealed in a steamed dumpling). For the more adventurous try the tripe.
Pasta e Basta ☆☆☆
26 Main Street
Review: Quirky place that features excellent and inexpensive pasta dishes. Casual not fancy. Plenty of good dishes to choose from, good portions and quality ingredients.
63 South Pleasant
Review: Good quality mix of Central and South American dishes. Fresh high quality ingredients
Wings over Amherst ☆☆
181D University Drive
Review: Very good wing place with predictable selections.
Zhang’s Kitchen ☆☆
460 West Street
Review: Standard but good Chinese food. Americanized. Good for price. Friendly and clean.
96 Russell Street
Review: Excellent food. Pricey but not when you consider the food preparation, ingredients, and atmosphere. Try the scallop appetizer and any steak dish. Live piano music. Very nice experience all around.
Wildwood Bbq ☆☆☆☆
235 Russell Street
Review: Excellent barbeque dishes with great side dishes. Cater to vegetarian diets. Dry rub ribs are tender and tasty. Many sauce choices. Very clean inviting atmosphere.
44 Main Street
Review: Unassuming small place with excellent Moroccan food choices. Tagine cooked food with tons of flavor. Fresh ingredients. Very nice pastries. Would get a higher ranking if it were bigger with more sit down options.
Herrell’s Ice Cream ☆☆☆☆
8 Old South Street
Review: Excellent homemade ice cream. Cold stone prep. Must go and expect to wait in line. Use time to shop at nearby Captain Candy.
India House ☆☆☆☆
45 State Street
Review: Exceptional Indian food. They combine non-traditional ingredients (like lobster) with traditional preparations and it works every time. The owners are very welcoming and funny. You will find yourself craving the food. Try the lobster with curry and pomegranate. The Chana Samosa is absurdly good. Sadly, only open for dinner.
Joe’s Cafe ☆☆☆
33 Market Street
Review: A hole in the wall place that surprises with the quality of the food. Excellent pizza (recommend the chorizo topping) and crazy good mussels. Only open for dinner with a long wait. Worth the wait.
Moshi Moshi ☆☆☆☆
4 Main Street
Review: Excellent sushi dishes. Fantastic selection. Pricey but not when considering the quality and selection. Limited cooked dishes.
1 Roundhouse Plaza
Review: Pretty disappointing Korean place. Food is hit or miss. Defitiely stay away from sushi. Actually less that a 1 rank.
Thai Garden ☆☆☆☆
2 Bridge Street
Review: Excellent Thai food. The best in the area. Cannot go wrong with any of the dishes. Try the beef (filet mignon cubes) with macadamia nuts and the Thai Basil Cod.
41 Main Street
Review: Very good pan-asian restaurant. Solid over-sized sushi offerings. Try the Zen shrimp appetizer (wrapped in potato noodle and deep fried). It is unparalleled.
Belchertown – (I know what you’re thinking: restaurants in Btown? You never know when you will be driving through on the way to the turnpike)
31 Federal Street
Review: The pizza is just as good as the one in Amherst. It gets the higher review because it offer dine-in options with outdoor patio and full bar. Also offers appetizers.
Grapevine Grille ☆☆
62 Turkey Hill Road
Review: Large interesting place. Features good pizza and surprisingly good whole belly fried clams. Not a must drive-to place but definitely a should stop in if in the area place.
9 Main Street
Review: Nice breakfast/lunch place. Lots of breakfast options. Excellent pastry selections. Recommend any of the homemade pies.
La Tratorria ☆☆
37 State Street
Review: Local pizza place with typical Italian dishes. Family owned. Good prices.
McCarthy’s Pub ☆☆☆
5 East Walnut Street
Review: This a great hang out. Very good pub style fare. Try the pizza and any of the specials. Super nice owner and staff. Often have live music always lots of TVs. Heartbeat of Btown!
782 Center Street
Review: Combination restaurant bar. Worth a visit. Tapas style dishes with Spanish and Portuguese influences. The hot stone cooked foods are unique to the area.
Galo Rei ☆☆☆☆
319 East Street
Review: This is the very definition of a hole in the wall. You will not find better flavored grilled chicken anywhere. Portions are huge and inexpensive. The ranking of 4 is based on the food. Not much in terms of ambiance so take home may the way to go. Cash/local check only.
257 East Street
Review: Outstanding Portuguese food. Can’t go wrong but try the specials. Definitely an outstanding local chef. Very nice wine selections. Comfortable ambiance.
Tony and Penny’s ☆☆☆
18 Canterbury Street
Review: Very good traditional Portuguese food. Dishes are huge so there is always enough for next day. Buffet during the Fatima Feast on Labor Day weekend is a must.
Villa Rose ☆☆☆
1428 Center Street
Review: Very nice restaurant featuring Italian and Portuguese dishes. The proprietor is super nice. Try the mariscada. You won’t be disappointed. Nice clean bar as well.
Other Local Massachusetts Places
Blue Heron ☆☆☆☆
122 North Main Street, Sunderland
Review: Super farm-to-table cuisine. The specials are a must. Great drink selections. The ambiance is great. Located in a former town hall building. Worth every penny.
676 Amherst Road, Sunderland
Review: Outstanding ribs, very tender with sauce. Nice side dishes. A classic hole-in-wall bbq place. Could be a 4 if the ambiance was a little bit more. Pricey for the type of food.
159 Grove Street, Chicopee
Review: Best Korean place we have found in the area. They feature the grill tables. Recommend the Bibim Bap and Korean Seafood pancake (Pajun). The restaurant is very nice but located out of the way. Do not be thrown off if you think you are lost.
25 Greenfield Road, South Deerfield
Review: This restaurant is associated with Yankee Candle so ideal for dinner after shopping at Yankee Candle. Comfort food is very good. Atmosphere is outstanding. A bit pricey.
Farm Table + ☆☆☆☆
219 South Street, Bernardston
Review: Another one of our 4+ places. A beautiful place with great staff and outstanding chef. Had a pork belly appetizer that is impossible to forget. Associated with the Kringle Candle so make an afternoon of it.
Food 101 Bar and Bistro ☆☆☆☆
19 College Street, South Hadley
Review: Beatiful restaurant nestled on the green in South Hadley. Upscale food and bar. Pleasant wait staff.
Hope and Olive ☆☆☆
44 Hope Street, Greenfield
Review: Nice family place with comfort food. Caters to diverse predilections. Stands out in Turner’s Falls. Worth the trip.
Whately Inn ☆☆☆
193 Chestnut Plain Road, Whately
Review: Romantic atmosphere. Traditional New England comfort food. Recommend reservations.
Other Not-So-Local Massachusetts Places
Blue Ginger + ☆☆☆☆
583 Washington Street, Wellesley
Review: There is outstanding and then there is Blue Ginger. It is in a category by itself. Chef Ming Tsai is a genius with food. Every dish is an experience you will not forget. My personal favorite is the Sake-Miso Marinated Alaskan Butterfish but the Asian-Lacquered Poussin with Tamarind-Hoisin Sauce or the Grilled-Black Pepper Lobster with Lemongrass Fried Rice are great as well. Exquisite ambiance. Outstanding and knowledgeable staff. A 4+ on the scale.
Dali + ☆☆☆☆
415 Washington Street, Somerville, MA
Review: Arguably one of the best tapas places outside of Spain. They do it right with a great selection of tapas, sangria and atmosphere. Parking a challenge but worth it.
Homeport Restaurant ☆
512 North Road, Menemsha (Martha’s Vineyard)
Review: Located in Menemsha Bay on Martha’s Vineyard. This restaurant used to be a truly exceptional must-go-to destination. Last two times were not so good especially when considering the costs. They do have breathtaking sunsets. BYOB (they have a corking fee). Only open in the summer months.
1282 Worcester Road, Natick
Review: An extreme Asian buffet. Cannot be compared to any other. It is outstanding. Wear loose clothing.
Peach Farm ☆☆☆☆
4 Tyler Street, Boston
Review: Ok so there are many exceptional Chinese restaurants in Boston’s Chinatown. But this one is truly amazing. The have live fresh fish and shrimp that will be brought to the table before cooking. Get the salt and pepper whole shrimp. Comes in the shell with head and you eat the whole thing. Definitely a hole-in-the-wall (basement actually). Don’t be thrown off by the appearance. It is clean, authentic, inexpensive and you will go back. Parking is typical cost for Boston and right around the corner.
Red Lion Inn ☆☆☆☆
30 Main Street, Stockbridge
Review: Historic Berkshire Inn. Class but upscale comfort food. Scallops are memorable and clam chowder is New England in a cup. Excellent ambiance with choice of main dining room and two taverns. Spend the day shopping at Lee Outlet’s or visit the nearby Norman Rockwell museum. http://www.redlioninn.com/berkshire-dining/
Smith and Wollensky + ☆☆☆☆
101 Arlington Street, Boston
Review: You will not have a better steak experience. The appetizers are equally excellent. The sides are huge so get half as many as recommended by the staff or plan to take home (leftovers work well). Located in an amazing castle looking building. Über expensive but worth it.
Union Oyster House ☆☆☆
41 Union Street, Boston
Review: Oldest restaurant in America. Very good traditional New England seafood fare. Incredible atmosphere.
Not So Close Places (Outside the Commonwealth)
Al Forno ☆☆☆☆
577 South Main Street
Review. This is an experience. Italian restaurant. Worth the drive. The pizzas are outstanding but so are all other menu items. Pricey but very much worth it.
Boone’s Fish House ☆☆☆
86 Commercial Street
Review: By the ocean restaurant. Excellent seafood selection. In the midst of the Portland wharf. Family friendly.
235 Great Island Road
Review: Located in seaport of Galilee RI complete with all the smells of fishing boats. Cannot get fresher seafood. Whole belly fried clams, raw oyster bar in the summer, fresh lobsters, and very good bar. Seafood market and ice cream shop downstairs. Classic by-the-shore not-fancy comfortable atmosphere. Beautiful beaches nearby. Rating is for the food quality.
2074 Park Street
Review: The best Portuguese restaurant in New England. Excellent authentic dishes and fantastic wine selection (best I have encountered for Portuguese wines). Outstanding ambiance although located in a weird part of Hartford. You might think you are in the wrong neighborhood.
230 Commercial St
Review: Excellent sushi restaurant with all the classics. But also some unusual items like monkfish liver (surprisingly good). Unexpectedly reasonably priced for a summer tourist hotspot.
238 Atwells Avenue
Review: In the middle of Federal Hill in Providence RI with a huge selection of Italian restaurants. Classic Italian upscale dishes with an equally upscale atmosphere. Wait staff can a little off-putting. Deserts are excellent.
Spain of Narrangansett ☆☆
1144 Ocean Road
Review: Exceptional Spanish and Portuguese food. Near the Narragansett beaches so plan a day or weekend trip.