Whether you’re new to the area or consider yourself a long-time local, you’ll quickly come to realize the plethora of restaurant offerings throughout the Valley. From American cuisine to more robust and exotic offers like Thai and Indian foods, Western Massachusetts has a little bit of everything to offer when it comes time to chow down. When I find the time, I love to indulge in local spots and support small businesses and restaurants in the area. Although my list is long for delicious suggestions, there are a handful of restaurants that top my favorites list. If you haven’t dined at these spots yet, I highly recommend you schedule your next night out at one soon.
Here are some of my favorite restaurants to support. Enjoy and tell them Stacy sent you!
Located in the heart of Amherst, Bistro 63 has been serving up delicious food options since 1999. They pride themselves on serving up American cuisine with a New England twist. Bistro 63 uses seasonal and locally grown ingredients and produces as often as possible. With menu options like Cape Cod haddock and crazy alfredo, it’s easy to see why they’re such a Western Massachusetts staple. Aside from their delectable food options, they offer organic wine and over 250 beers and spirits. They are located on North Pleasant Street and open daily from 11:30 am to 9:00 pm, offering in-house dining, online ordering, take out, delivery and cocktails to go.
Johnny’s Tavern Restaurant
Offering delicious cuisine and a warm and cozy atmosphere, Johnny’s Tavern Restaurant in Amherst is the perfect spot for a relaxed date night or fancy girls’ night dinner. Chef Bryan Graham knows how to diners ‘ hearts with a wide array of starters, sandwiches, pasta, entrees, and salads. From sea scallops and cast-iron roasted chicken to gnocchi and bolognese, the options are endless. I highly suggest starting with their to-die-for truffle fries or tuna poke. Their delicious and unique cocktails are another reason to stay awhile. The beach house drink is the perfect summer cocktail, fusing gin, yuzu, simple, and watermelon. It’s refreshing and just the right amount of sweet. They are open daily with hours varying by day, with takeout orders available through online ordering and in-person dining reservations encouraged.
This quaint Vietnamese restaurant is located on Riverside Drive in Florence. Offering mouthwatering cuisine, Pho Boston is sure to satisfy a hungry belly. From pho soup bowls to rice noodle meals and curry, you won’t regret trying something new at Pho Boston. A bonus is their list of tasty desserts like fried ice cream or mango sticky rice. Next time you’re craving an Asian-inspired dish, look no further than Pho Boston. Support a newer, local restaurant while satisfying your cravings.
Fitzwilly’s Restaurant and Bar
An iconic Northampton staple since 1974, Fitzwilly’s is located in the heart of the city and a local favorite to residents and visitors alike. Adjacent to Toasted Owl Tavern, Fitzwilly’s is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the company of your favorite people. A family-friendly spot that caters to intimate gatherings and large groups, Fitzwilly’s has something for everyone to enjoy. From burgers and salads to sandwiches, smokehouse meats, and New England-inspired favorites, the menu is vast, and everything is delicious. My go-to appetizer is the gorgonzola and garlic bread which is a must-try every visit. They’re located at 23 Main Street and open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, beginning at 11:30 am with in-person, delivery, and takeout options.
With two locations in the Northeast, Thai Garden graces us Hamp residents with a place on Bridge Street in Northampton. Fusing traditional Thai food with a harmonious blend of spicy heat, savory curry, and soothing coconut milk, Thai Garden crafts dishes that are the perfect blend of tasty and delicious. They offer three levels of heat, from mild to hot and spicy, based on your preference. Each dish can be customized to your liking as far as the level of heat goes. Some of my favorite dishes include chicken tempura, Thai melon curry, and pineapple fried rice. Thai Garden is open daily for lunch from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm and then again for dinner from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
No matter your taste in food, western Massachusetts has restaurant options and cuisine for everyone. The next time you find yourself in the area, don’t miss the opportunity to visit one of my favorite restaurants and support the locals; your tastebuds will thank you.