I went to university in Northampton, Massachusetts (Smith College) and lived there for a year after I moved back to America from Prague. Though a couple hours from any major cities in any direction, the Pioneer Valley has a ton of vegan options! During my America trip I made a visit to see my old flatmates…and ate a lot.
See my other post about Northampton veg options here.
A new sandwich shop called Grub (now closed) opened up in Northampton. It didn’t have a ton of vegan options, but this Tofu Banh Mi was pretty tasty. Is the Banh Mi a new craze or something, because I keep seeing and reading about them everywhere. Excited I finally tried one!
Fresh Side is one of my absolute favorite restaurants in the area. It’s actually on Main Street in Amherst, MA, I’d say they are “Asian Fusion”. They are well known for their tea rolls, wheat wraps with different fillings, but they also have soups and stir-fries, etc. Everything is well labeled vegan, gluten free, etc.
More tea rolls!
And more! They are addictive.
My miso soup from Fresh Side. My friend Ginny and I also got these amazing ginger coconut milk teas that were AMAZING. I will recreate it soon, I will.
These are some bad hasty pictures taken of baked goods from Cafe Evolution because I couldn’t wait to eat everything. Cafe Evolution is a vegan cafe in nearby Florence, MA. They have TONS of yummy vegan cupcakes, scones, brownies etc. and sandwiches such as a vegan BLT and a Tofurky sandwich with vegan cheese. They do vegan brunch on Sundays and have music some nights. Very nice cosy place to hang out. Free Wi-Fi and they make a mean mocha. This is my chocolate cupcake with mint icing. Nom!
Strawberry (I think?) scone from Cafe Evolution. Hello breakfast!
Not especially vegan-friendly, but needs a shout-out for their amazing margaritas. Mama Iguanas in Northampton gives you free chips and salsa when you sit down, so it’s my favorite place to go to drink lots of margaritas while eating lots of delicious chips. They also make some damn good guacamole.
Perhaps my favorite restaurant in Northampton is the Green Bean. A brunch spot open every day until 3pm, this place is amazing. The picture speaks for itself. I got a breakfast of simple scrambled tofu, tempeh bacon, biscuits and almond gravy and steamed kale. Let’s not forget to mention the bottomless locally roasted coffee. Caffeine please.
Northampton Coffee was across from my old flat, and that was dangerous. One of the best soy lattes in Northampton, albeit pricy for $4.50, but the triple ristretto tastes pretty fab. It is very hip and coffee-snobby inside and the NoHo cafe doesn’t have free Wi-Fi last time I checked, but the coffee is fabulous, the baristas usually pretty nice and I am generally pulled by a seemingly gravitational force inside during my walk into town.
Other places to check out:
The Black Sheep – Deli in Amherst, MA. Vegan sandwich options and baked goods. Soymilk and free Wi-Fi.
Bueno y Sano – In Northampton and Amherst, MA…BBQ seitan burrito (order it without the cheese). Nothing else needs to be said.
Haymarket Cafe – My favorite cafe to do work in, hands down. Has vegan baked goods, soymilk, free Wi-Fi and lots of outlets, also some vegan meal options and a whole menu of smoothies. Good for people watching. I learned almost all of my German vocabulary while studying here.
Popcorn Noir (now Platinum Pony) – A free movie theater/restaurant/bar in Easthampton, MA. Delicious beer, infused vodkas, vegan options, lots of popcorn varieties (of course) and movies galore! In the summer they have a beautiful outdoor lounge area overlooking the water. My friend and I went for Monday Night Games Night and played a mean game of Scrabble while drinking our share of microbrews.
Deals & Steals – This is a little shop in Northampton that sells overstocked and just past the date organic food. Some really good finds here, I’ve scored 99cent vegan Dandies marshmallows and $1.99 Biscoff Speculoos spread and 99 cent organic brownie box mixes. Everything I’ve gotten here has tasted fine except for those instant Thai Kitchen microwave noodle packages. Going in is always an adventure as what they have in stock is always changing. They also have a shoe version with clothing and such down the road, but that’s not as interesting to me.
Hungry Ghost Bread – Bread…so good.
Pizza Paradiso – Has a vegan cheese option for the pizzas!
There are tons more vegan-friendly places in the area as well, oh my!