Where to Eat In Every Corner of the Berkshires
No matter where you are in the Massachusetts mountains, we've got something to whet your appetite.
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Between the rich agricultural history, world-class museums, and renowned theater companies, the Berkshires region is home to a ton of creative spirit. It certainly shows up in the culinary scene, which is flooded with fantastic options across the region’s 30-plus towns. Because it covers quite a bit of geographic ground, and it can take quite a while to travel between areas, we’ve divided up the highland into three distinct regions. Now, no matter where you choose to stay, you’ll never find yourself wondering where to eat or drink.
A-OK Berkshire Barbeque
Would you like pulled pork with a side of contemporary art? The answer is undoubtably yes. Your destination, then, should be this BBQ spot on the sprawling campus of MASS MoCA (the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art), one of the largest institutions of its kind in the country. A-OK, meanwhile, maintains a minimalist menu of complexly flavored ribs, chicken wings, cheddar andouille sausage, and expertly stacked sandwiches of pulled pork or roasted yam on fresh bread. Great barbecue calls for great beer, of course, so complete your masterpiece of a meal next door at Bright Ideas Brewing, soaking up their New England IPAs on draft.
2601 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, 413-398-5079, aokbbq.com
PUBLIC Eat + Drink
The whole point of a gastropub is to upgrade traditional bar food—and to that end, Public reaches new heights in the northern part of the Berkshires. It might top a cheeseburger, for instance, with pappas fritas and bacon-jalapeño-tomato compote, or a flatbread with curried lamb sausage. All the elevated classics pair exceptionally well with Public’s rotating drafts of New England craft beer, as well as the list of inventive cocktails spiked with rum, gin, and other top-shelf libations from Berkshire Mountain Distillers. And when it comes to raising spirits, the restaurant’s cozy brick-and-beam-swathed space is the perfect place to kick back with your travel crew after a day of peeping leaves or hiking mountain peaks.
34 Holden St., North Adams, 413-664-4444, publiceatanddrink.com
It’s hard to imagine a place with a homier feel than the quaint valley town of Adams, and that’s why family-owned Haflinger Haus fits right in. Inside, you might warm up by the beautiful marble and wood fireplace; outside, you could spend a magical evening canoodling in a dining hut lined with twinkling fairy lights. Wherever you take a seat at the inviting inn and restaurant, you’ll find an Austrian American menu inspired by grandma’s cooking—from wiener schnitzel and Hungarian goulash to Käsespätzle and chicken parmesan.
17 Commercial St., Adams, 413-743-2221, haflingerhouse.com
Mezze Bistro + Bar
Set on three bucolic acres with multiple culinary gardens and stunning views of picturesque Sheep Hill, this Williamstown restaurant looks like a wealthy politician’s summer house. So it’s probably no surprise that, under two-time Guy’s Grocery Games champion chef Nichols Moulton, it is home to one of the Berkshires’ finest dining experiences, emphasizing fresh seasonal produce and creative garnishes: think crispy sunchokes drizzled with smoked pork vinaigrette and pickled onion, or gigante bean stew sprinkled with garlic bread crumbles. You can order Moulton’s beautifully composed plates a-la-carte, but the three-course prix-fixe menu for under $60 seems like the more esteemed (and logical) choice.
777 Cold Spring Road, Williamstown, 413-458-0123, mezzerestaurant.com
BB’s Hot Spot
Great Caribbean food in the heart of Western Mass mountains? You’ll find it thanks to Ronny Brizan, who has been defying all sorts of expectations since the beginning of the pandemic: Only a few months after losing his restaurant job in March 2020, the Grenada-born chef started winning over pleasantly surprised fans with his nutmeg-infused curries and succulent proteins at his own place, BB’s. In addition to the spectacular jerk chicken and braised oxtail coming out of his Pittsfield kitchen, Brizan also serves up super-comforting Southern-inspired sides such as baked mac ‘n’ cheese’ and collard greens simmered with onions.
302 Columbus Ave., Pittsfield, 413-464-9030, bbshotspot.com
Truc Orient Express Restaurant
For over 40 years, the members of the Nguyen family have been sharing the culture, flavors, and time-honored recipes of their Vietnamese heritage with the West Stockbridge community. In fact, namesake Truc Nguyen, who currently holds the reins of her parents’ modest restaurant, serves the very same crispy shrimp and egg rolls her mother taught her to assemble when she was a child. While the spot’s sizzling, delicate bánh xèo chay “happy pancakes” are immortalized in Food & Wine’s “40 Best-Ever Recipes,” the rest of its menu is worth bragging about, too—from flavorful vegetarian noodle and rice options to beloved dishes such as gà xối mỡ (five spiced Cornish hen).
3 Harris St., West Stockbridge, 413-232-4204, Facebook
Nudel Bar: Comfort & Craft
After leaving the Berkshires to hone his craft in restaurants from New York to New Orleans, Bjorn Somlo returned to his roots to open Nudel in 2009. Since then, the three-time James Beard Foundation “Best Chef: Northeast” semi-finalist has developed a faithful fanbase for his intimate restaurant, recently renamed and with head chef Ryan McIntyre now handling the kitchen night-to-night. What hasn’t changed, though, is the commitment to showcasing seasonal ingredients from the area’s smallest farms. Here, a tiny batch of artisanal cabbage could get tossed with teriyaki and pork sausage, while a local-raised pork leg may end up in tacos with almond romesco. The consistency is key, but the ideas are unpredictable.
37 Church St., Lenox, 413-551-7183, nudelrestaurant.com
Salmon Run Fish House
Following a big day exploring the great outdoors, you’re probably going to want to feast on something hearty—and whatever the season, this casual family-run seafood spot fits the bill, with its generous plates of fresh seafood, from cast-iron baked haddock to heaping platters of fried cod, scallops, shrimp, and clams. If you’re looking to warm up after a wintry day of cross-country skiing, know that the fan-favorite lobster bisque comes out piping hot. And if you don’t finish the full bottle that is included in Salmon Run’s “Wine & Dine” special for two, the leftover grapes will carry over just fine to tomorrow’s springtime picnic.
78 Main St., Lee, 413-243-3900, salmonrunfishhouse.com
Pleasant & Main
Imagine your grandmother’s knick-knack cabinet crossed with a small Parisian café, and you’ll have an idea what it looks like inside this quirky brunch spot and antique shop. Mismatched wooden chairs, crimson walls, crates of fresh flowers, and 19th-century curios make every nook and cranny of Pleasant & Main feel like a cottage-core fever dream. Stop on by anytime to enjoy fresh berry scones, savory vegetable and cheese crepes, or flaky croissants served on tiered stands made from vintage plates—and during the warmer months, in particular, be sure to book a table for dinner in the whimsical patio complete with its wood burning stove and birdhouse décor. Your own nest, meanwhile, will look even better after you bring home a trinket or two from the store’s shelves.
1063 Main St., Housatonic, 413-274-6303, pleasantandmain.com
The Prairie Whale
Like many people who decide to move to the Berkshires, Brooklyn restauranteur Mark Firth (Marlow & Sons, Diner, Bonita) wanted more space and as much access as possible to local, organic ingredients. He got both in 2012, when he converted a former antique and bookstore into the reclaimed-wood-covered space that is now the Prairie Whale. Now we all get to celebrate its farm-to-table fare, including pig head rillettes with pickled vegetables alongside brick chicken with roasted carrots and crisp Castelfranco radicchio. In fact, after a few aromatic cocktails garnished with fresh-picked herbs at the gorgeous zinc bar, you just might consider resettling your own life in the countryside.
178 Main St., Great Barrington, 413-528-5050, prairiewhale.com
Sure, you’ve probably gotten used to noshing on the makeshift charcuterie boards you throw together with whatever meats and cheeses are on sale at Trader Joe’s. Once you get a taste of MoonCloud’s selection of regional cured meats, tinned fish, pickled vegetables, and cheeses supplied by nearby cheesemonger Rubiner’s, though, that $6 brie back at the apartment will never taste the same. On top of that, while we’re sure your home-bartending skills are nothing to sniff at, they probably can’t compare to the cocktails poured by masterful mixologist Billy Jack Paul, who covers citrus-driven ginger cordials, boozy mezcal negronis, tiki-style pebble ice concoctions, and milky rum-soaked punches with equal flair and finesse.
47 Railroad St., Great Barrington, 413-429-1101, mooncloudgb.com
John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant
If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a big home nestled in a serene patch of woods, John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant is the place to live out your fantasy—for the length of a dinner, anyway. There’s a rustic grandeur to the historic blue house with purple trimmed windows, and it carries over to chef-owner Dan Smith’s inspired menus: seared Hudson Valley duck breast with haricot verts, luscious house made fettucine with local mushrooms, and more dishes marrying Northern Italian flavors to New England’s finest earthly gifts. Much like the house, chef-owner Dan Smith has spent decades immersing himself in the region, developing deep partnerships with food producers. Their artisanship shines in every bite.
224 Hillsdale Road (Route 23), South Egremont, 413-528-3469, johnandrewsrestaurant.com.