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Northampton -- What not to miss?

Hi All,

I'm going to be spending the weekend in Northampton, MA while my husband is at a conference. I'll need to knock off two breakfasts, lunches, and dinners by myself. Anyone have any recommendations on good spots to check out? I pretty much am open to anything, as long as it's an experience (and not too pricey). I'll have a car, so I can also travel a bit for a real gem.

Thanks!

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  1. dinner: Green Street Cafe (if it's still there, i heard some rumors of disaster)
    Circa

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    Green Street Cafe
    62 Green St, Northampton, MA 01060

    2 Replies
    1. re: danna

      Green Street is still very much in business. I ate there last Friday. They are open for lunch and dinner. The restaurant is one of the best in the Valley.

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      Green Street Cafe
      62 Green St, Northampton, MA 01060

      1. re: VivreManger

        Cool. So they got Smith to stop trying to make them move?

    2. I am a fan of the NoHo Brewery (great beers and everything on the menu is enticing to me). Also there's a wonderful French Bakery, Bakery Normand on Main Street. I'm a sucker for their shortbread.

      4 Replies
      1. re: masha bousha

        I like the beer at NoHo Brewery, but I don't think the food merits a not miss rating. It is a slight cut above generic bar food.

        1. re: VivreManger

          and the beer, a slight cut above generic budweiser

            1. re: fame da lupo

              It's fun to sit outside during the warmer months, but I stick to the wine list whenever I go.

      2. For one of your breakfasts I would go not miss The Green Bean on Main Street. Great local egg scrambles and I love their vegan corn cake. I've heard good things about The Mosaic Cafe (Mediterranean) as well for breakfast.

        I love Chez Albert (French bistro food) in Amherst. It's a bit high end, but you can have a beautiful lunch for around $12.

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        Chez Albert
        27 S Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01002

        1 Reply
        1. re: caughtstars

          Chez Albert offers the best French bistro food in the Valley.

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          Chez Albert
          27 S Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01002

        2. There are two Chinese restaurants within a few minutes drive of downtown NoHo. One is the Great Wall in the suburb of Florence. The other is Butterfly on rt. 9 in Hadley between Noho and Amherst http://www.butterflyhadley.com/

          The Great Wall's strength is its use of locally grown Chinese vegetables. From the street Butterfly appears to be a generic suburban Chinese restaurant, but as a glance at their website confirms, they have an astonishing range of unusual Chinese dishes, well-prepared.

          Look past the standard fare and head for the Gourmet Menu at the end. For example, the Ginger and Scallion Lamb Stew in Sizzling Hot Pot for $13.95 features parts of the animal one does not exist. It is a filling and tasty dish.

          1. Dinner: Green St. Cafe, Northampton. The other night drive to Amherst for Chez Albert. Those are the two best places, IMO. Not touristy either, nice ambience. They aren't inexpensive, but well worth the price.

            Breakfast: I like Jake's in Northampton, it's old school. A lot of people recommend Sylvester's, but I personally don't like it. Too much attitude and too trendy and crowded.

            Lunch: Hmm...Weird choice, but I like Bela, tiny vegetarian place. Also, Haymarket Cafe, downstairs. Really cool place.

            One warning: I would avoid Spoleto's, which is the most touristy spot in town, with sketchy service and food to match.

            Northampton is very walkable, you can walk by practically every restaurant in town in about 30 minutes. So check out the menus, etc.

            But again, my one piece of advice is Green St. Cafe.

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            Chez Albert
            27 S Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01002

            1 Reply
            1. re: johnblacksox

              I second all of these recs, yay and nay. Spoleto's may also be the noisiest restaurant in the Valley.

              Though if you like Chinese you should check out Butterfly, as I suggested earlier.