New England's Best Small Towns: Great Barrington, MA

By Sascha de Gersdorff | Boston Magazine |


It’s got a cheesemonger, an old-time general store, and a new-age co-op market within a four-street radius. Yet the real allure of Great Barrington is Railroad Street, a single block with enough culinary delights to fill a weekend visit from beginning to end.

Friday dinner: Far-flung entrées (Himalayan antelope loin, Australian lamb) and a tasty bar menu elevate Pearl’s above the average surf-and-turf shop [EDITOR'S NOTE: Pearl's closed indefinitely after the October issue went to press].

Saturday breakfast: Locals hit Martin’s early—as in, 6 a.m.—for hefty omelets with a side of town gossip. Tourists take the second shift and scarf bagels piled with smoked salmon and cream cheese.

Saturday lunch: The Yo-Yo Ma roll (bigeye tuna, avocado, mango, multicolored roe) at sushi bar Bizen makes fighting for a seat—or spending $100 on lunch—an acceptable tradeoff.

Saturday dinner: Get your fill of local flavor at Allium, where chef Michael Pancheri rewrites the menu daily after making the rounds of area farms.

Sunday brunch: Line up at 11:30 a.m. at 20 Railroad Street for juicy Kobe, Angus, and bison burgers, and to people-watch out the wide, street-facing windows.

Sunday pre-drive snack: Busy "micro-creamery" SoCo scoops gelato, sorbet, and ice cream in flavors like snickerdoodle caramel crunch and peanut butter mudslide. —Sascha de Gersdorff


New England’s Best Small Towns 


 Photo by Keller + Keller