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Food: Raw or Prepared

  The Valley has plenty of sources of nourishment, both in food stores and various eateries. Some of the time, you can even hunt, fish or gather your own if you are so inclined (but be aware of regulations). If you want to buy food, either raw or prepared, read on.


There is a couple of large self-service type supermarkets: Stock & Shock and Big Y are the largest, located on the commercial strip on Route 9, on the Amherst-Hadley boundary. It is possible, but not too convenient, to ride the PVTA bus there. A smaller convenience market is The Cousins on North Pleasant St.

Farther West on Rt. 9, on the Dead Mall, you can find Bread and Circus, which stocks pricey but high quality organic and generally natural foods and supplies.

Northampton has its own Stop & Shop and Big Y on its own commercial strip (King Street, Routes 5 & 10), but also some smaller neighborhood food stores.


The area has a lot of restaurants. We cover some in Amherst, but Northampton and the region have many more. Ask around, or read the restaurant guide in the Valley Advocate. A good way to find out what is out there is to attend the Taste of Amherst and the Taste of Northampton, three-day festivals which take place in the Summer where local restaurants sell samples of their food at sidewalk kiosks.

For excellent Italian food, try Pinocchio's on Boltwood Walk, right downtown. Try it for lunch; it is very expensive for dinner. Pasta e Basta is very good food and an excellent value (Main St.). Around the corner (on North Pleasant St.) you can find inexpensive and excellent pizza by the slice at Antonio's; when you go, notice the extremely fast service regardless of the number of customers.

There's a couple of Indian food restaurants in Amherst, one on Main St. and the other on Boltwood Walk. Amherst Chinese is a favorite but some prefer Panda East for Chinese food. Amber Waves has good and very inexpensive southeast Asian food. Bueno y Sano offers decent Mexican fare. Across from the common you find La Veracruzana, another good Mexican restaurant.

The coffee is best at Amherst's own coffee-roaster, Scott Rao's, but you can find decent coffee in a couple other places, for example Bart's which also offers good icecream (for excellent icecream, go to Herrell's in Northampton).

To find food late at night you have to leave Amherst. The best known 24-hour diner is the Whately Diner, just off Interstate 91 at the Whately exit (a couple of miles north of Northampton).

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