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Great spot halfway between Boston and North Adams ?

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I'm taking a trip and will be driving from Boston to North Adams, MA and back. Looking for the best places to get a great meal on the way out and back. I'm looking to break up the drive, so ideally someplace 1-2 hours from Boston.

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  1. Exit at 91 North at Springfield, get off 91 in Northampton, eat in one of Noho's many good restaurants, and then take scenic Route 9 and back roads the rest of the way.

    1 Reply
    1. re: midcity

      Great suggestion. According to google maps, it's no slower to go that route (90W, 91 N, and then 9 W).

    2. Hi VQ-
      The poster below is assuming you'll take the pike (I think). If you do Northampton is a good spot to stop. If you take route 2 all the way I would suggest stopping in Shelburne Falls and eating at Cafe Martin or Gypsy Apple. The town itself is worth the stop--go see the falls and glacial potholes and walk across the bridge of flowers. If you want to get a sandwich and sit outside there is a nice market called McCuskers that has sandwiches, wine, soups etc. Shelburne Falls is really one of the nicest little towns in MA and right on your way if you take 2, which is the most dierct way to North Adams.

      Turners Falls is also on Route 2 just before greenfield (shelburne falls is after greenfield). There is a bar there called RendezVous that has pretty good food and a fancier italian place called dipaolo that is quite yummy. I have also heard good things about the wagon wheel which is right on route 2 but I haven't been there.

      You could also go into greenfield and eat at Hope and Olive.

      All of these option are at about the 1 hr and 45 minute mark to 2 hour mark from Boston and 1 hour mark from North Adams. Depending on traffic. There is not much on route 2 between fitchburg and greenfield unless you go off the highway so I would hold out if you can.

      5 Replies
      1. re: jjdot

        Wagon Wheel is great, with an emphasis on fresh and local. It is more "roadside dining" with tables inside or out, place your order at the window. Also, a few miles off route 2 is the Gill Tavern. Haven't been but have heard it's pretty nice.

        1. re: jjdot

          Thanks. Exactly what I was looking for. As a Bostonian, I don't get out past 128 much and have no idea what towns are worth stopping in. I'll checkout Shelburne Falls.

          Taking Rt 2 or the Pike seem like they're they same time, so I'll think I'll do one out and the other back.

          1. re: vitaminQ

            If you haven't been to Shelburne Falls, I would definitely recommend a stop anyway...great little town. Check out the glacial potholes...and there is a beautiful glass blowing studio right next to them. There also used to be a wonderful tea shop on the main drag, but i don't know if it is still there.

            1. re: vitaminQ

              I agree with all the Rt 2 recommendations- and since I drive this way almost every weekend, I'll add that both roads take the same amount of time, but Rt 2 is much more pleasant from my experience.

            2. re: jjdot

              Agree with everything jjdot lists. Also the Peoples Pint in Greenfield if you're looking for a casual pub meal, all local food (they smoke their own bacon).

            3. Thanks midcity, jjdot and every one else. We ended up stopping in Northampton on the way out and having brunch at Esselon Café. They had really great pancakes (with real maple syrup) and good brunch food overall, though the coffee was just so-so (though I'm particular about my coffee). We also stopped at Atkins Farms and picked up some cidar donuts. Worth the stop.

              On the way back, we stopped in Shelburne Falls which was great. It's a nice little town and the potholes and flower bridge were interesting to check out on a nice spring day. We ate lunch at Cafe Martin which was good, homey food.

              3 Replies
              1. re: vitaminQ

                Oh, how I miss Atkins Farms! Those cider doughnuts are like no others on earth.

                1. re: midcity

                  Yes, they're very good. But if you want REALLY REALLY the best, keep going west from Atkins till you get to Bartlett's Orchard in Richmond, the Berkshires. Unbelieveable. Trust me.

                  1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                    The glazed cider doughnuts at Donut Man on Rt 9 in Hadley are incredible - better than Atkins IMHO. They sell out quickly so get there early. Sometimes they make more during the day but not always. I drive by often and have to fight the temptation to pull into the drive-through!

              2. The Wagon Wheel in Gill is a rare place--it's great for a roadside breakfast, lunch or dinner. They've got good burgers [beef, turkey, emu (sometimes) and veggie], and the sweet-potato fries are excellent. The only thing I know of that might best be avoided is the kielbasa-sauerkraut combo. The baked goods are wonderful: great maple scones and chocolate chip cookies.