Ginger Garden -- Our go-to restaurant to bring anyone who visits, including students from China, who say it's the best Chinese food in Amherst and beyond. Brian and I always get a Scorpion Bowl.

El Rinconsita Cuscatleco - A little Salvadoran restaurant on Boltwood Walk. The pudding filled empanadas (photo at right) are like New Orleans beignets with pudding inside!

High Horse -- I've enjoyed the delicate trout with parsnip puree a couple of times; the winter vegetable curry is spicy and rich, and Brian likes the "classic daiquiris" - NOT FROZEN. We liked their desserts, but lately we skip dessert and go to Go Berry!

Go Berry -- I was never a frozen yogurt fan, now I love it -- thanks to the delicious Go Berry. The yogurt's made from local milk and available every day in the regular and two delicious flavors like key lime and chai tea.  (There's a Go Berry in Northampton too.)

The Pub -- An Amherst classic. Brian loves their generous rum cocktails; I love the big photos of Amherst.

Rafters - Another Amherst classic. All the popcorn you can eat, Brian's favorite Mango Mai Tai and the kids can play pool, video games and shoot baskets.

Johnny's Tavern -- In the Boltwood Walk area. I've been told the hamburgers are the best around; the sun dried tomato dipping sauce is great on the truffle fries and the butterscotch mousse is one of the best desserts I've ever had. Easygoing ambience.

Judie's - This favorite with Amherst people has so much heart. And huge popovers.

Judie's popover by the fire

Bertucci's -- So it's a chain, the rolls are great; I like the wood-fired pizza crust and I love the pizza with the arugula on top and the lemon cake.

Mission Cantina -- Love the Mexican food and the ginger mojitos, if only it weren't so packed every time we go that we have to go somewhere else.

Miss Saigon -- Fresh Vietnamese.
                                Vietnamese pancake at Miss Saigon

UMass Faculty Club - Really old Colonial ambience. I keep forgetting it's nearby!

Places I haven't tried yet: the new Chez Albert and Lumberyard.

I miss: The old Lord Jeff, the location of SO many good memories, including my dear late Dad's 75th birthday party. The authentic old colonial inn ambience has been ditched in favor of California wine bar-inspired.


Hope and Olive -- Maybe the best restaurant in the Valley! The food never disappoints and it's got a great living room-like nook for when you're waiting for a seat. Cool website!
Someone got into the dessert while Mom was in the restroom at Magpie

Magpie -- My current favorite restaurant. The drinks, especially the Coco Mojo coconut mojito, are great! Roasted veggies, salad and pizza -- all great. So are the desserts.

People's Pint -- Where I have often gone on my birthday. Salvadoran pupusas, salad dressings, beer and dessert. A triumph of a place.


Zoe's Fish House-- Good fish restaurant and not too expensive. I like the creamy seafood casserole. This appears to be THE PLACE TO GO FOR BRUNCH. There's an old-fashioned carving station, tons of steam trays with casseroles, blintzes, bread pudding etc.

Esselon Cafe-- Good coffee and lunch. I like the Mediterranean salad plate. Good beer selection. I like sitting on the porch in front of the radiant heaters.

Arizona Pizza -- A small chain, across from the movie theaters at the Hampshire Mall. The pizza is wood-fired; there's a good spinach salad, and it's got a comfortable ambience.

Mi Tierra -- Typico Mexican ambience and food. It's back after a devastating fire.

North Hadley Sugar Shack -- Don't miss it during maple season! You can watch the syrup boiling and the kids can visit the petting zoo out back.


Food 101 -- Elegant, good food; a good place for lunch as it is expensive. I wish they would change up their menu a bit.


Sylvester's -- In Sylvester Graham, of Graham cracker fame's house. Only open through lunch. The coffee and pastries are so good and so are the pancakes and salads.
                                             Peanut butter latte at Sylvester's

Joe's Pizza -- Classic; strong salads. The pesto primavera pizza we get every time is greasy but in a good way.

India House -- Friendly and I love the mango lassis.

Amanouz -- Tasty and reasonably-priced Middle Eastern food.

Pizza Paradiso -- Wood-fired pizza and good salads.


Apollo Grill - Best retro theme! Check out their cool website with a tiny vintage TV that shows a YouTube video with retro space-themed music.

Tavern on the Hill - Great view, especially at sunset and a cozy fireplace.


Brewmaster's Tavern -- Colonial atmosphere and Opa Opa Red Rock beer is one of my favorites.

Big Mamou -- Valley outpost of the Springfield original.


Bub's Barbecue -- When you're really hungry. There's all-you-can eat sides and you can sit outside on the picnic tables under the tent when the weather's nice.


Berkshire Brewing Company -- Not a restaurant, but the tours they give on Saturday are really interesting and the beer samples afterward are generous.


Cafe Martin -- So sad it's closed!  Shelburne Falls is the prettiest town around.


Student Prince -- A Springfield landmark and a must-visit! Old world German atmosphere with an extraordinary collection of steins and bottle openers.
                               Just a few of the bottle openers on display at the Student Prince

Max's Tavern - Simple and elegant. In the same building as the Basketball Hall of Fame, which is a fun museum even for non-basketball fans like me.

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