Restaurants in Amherst and Vicinity

Taste of Amherst

This subjective guide to local restaurants was originally prepared for the June 2004 IEEE Conference on Computational Complexity by David Mix Barrington with help from his colleagues and friends. These are all places where I would eat.

(List updated July 2006.)

More extensive reviews of many of these are available from the Valley Advocate. I've borrowed a few words and phrases here and there from the Advocate's summaries.

The Pioneer Valley and its restaurants are justly famous for making good use of the abundant local produce. Here is a list of restaruants that make a particular point of this, compiled by CISA, an organization that supports local community agriculture.

Amherst Center:

The exact center of town is the corner of Main, Amity, North Pleasant, and South Pleasant streets just north of Mass. Route 9 and about a mile south of UMass. Here is a map of the downtown area -- the center is point 5 at the NW corner of the Common. Most of the following are a short distance north (N. Pleasant, which soon becomes E. Pleasant for reasons too complex to explain) or east (Main) of this point. Some are only visible from the town parking lot/garage behind the row of buildings to the northeast of the center.

North of UMass:

Elsewhere in Amherst:


This farming community between Amherst and Northampton has become intensely developed along Route 9 (Russell Street). The fast-food chains, malls, and Wal-Mart are here, along with:


The "capital" of the Pioneer Valley, seven miles west of Amherst, contains a number of destination-worthy restaurants and a fine pedestrian atmosphere, particularly in the summer as the natives celebrate the absence of the students. Many of the restaurants do not take reservations, but most are within easy walking distance of each other. These are just a few of my favorites:

Last modified 11 July 2006