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Culinary Creativity in the Berkshires

Posted on January 04, 2021Written by Elizabeth Nelson
Updated on January 04, 2021


John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant. Photo by Stephanie Skaarup.Don’t let the pandemic ruin your appetite.

Exploring the culinary crossroads of the Berkshires is usually a delicious adventure, but the ongoing pandemic has altered much of the visitor experience here just as it has everywhere.

Still, if you’re hungry for a creative approach to dining this season, you and your traveling companions can fill up on fresh, local fare that is sure to satisfy every palate and budget. Here are just a few ideas to get you salivating.

Pack a Picnic

One of the easiest and most charming ways to share a meal in the Berkshires is to pack a picnic. Whether it’s a gourmet snack for snowshoeing, a sandwich on fresh baked bread for the hiking trails, or a fancy spread for your cozy hotel room, your options are truly endless. Grab prepared meals, both hot, cold, and made-to-order, at Guido’s Fresh Marketplace. The newly renovated Berkshire Food Co-Op is another deluxe grocery with hot and cold bars, plus a bakery. Daily soups and pressed juices are faves at both Guido’s and the Co-Op. Stop by Kelly’s Package Store for a libation of your choosing to go along with your picnic. Find mouthwatering ingredients for an easy charcuterie board at Spirited – make sure to chat with their knowledgeable and friendly staff about the local beers, spirits, and wines. They carry exclusive sweets and salty nibbles, as well as bulk balsamic vinegar and olive oil, both of which make perfect for gifts and souvenirs to enjoy from home. 

Treat Yourself

Treating you to fine dining is what Berkshire chefs do best. Foodies will love the upscale experience at Cafe Boulud at Blantyre. This celebrated pop-up restaurant is serving through February 2021, making it a truly not-to-be-missed opportunity to try fare by Michelin-starred Chef Daniel Boulud of New York. No Berkshire visit is complete without a stop at the Red Lion Inn. Enjoy a hot beverage on the porch where you can take in the picturesque bustle of a snowy Main Street, or make brunch plans – the pancakes are especially divine. There are many other equally delish options for lunch and dinner, such as The Barn Kitchen & Bar in the beautiful new Williams Inn, Xicohtencatl Mexican Restaurant, and Brava, all offering seasonal menus crafted around local ingredients. If you’re looking for treats that you can gift (or hoard for yourself), make sure to stop by Chocolate Springs, Desserts & Café. Chocolatier Joshua Needleman and his staff handcraft myriad confections. The signature hot chocolate, dipped biscotti, and colorful gelatos are all local favorites.

Great To-Go

The predominant dining option of the pandemic is takeout, and nearly all restaurants in the Berkshires are ready to serve you on the go. Grab a quick lunch at Marketplace Cafe or Hot Harry’s Fresh Burritos, or choose a selection of homemade Indian dishes from Mint Indian Lakeside Dining on Laurel Lake. Craving hearty, farm-to-table cuisine? Visit John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant to pick up meals for families of two and four, or order a la carte from a broad menu featuring fried chicken, seared duck, and cider brined pork chops. For perfect pub fare, visit Freight Yard Restaurant and Pub. Both Haven Cafe & Bakery and the Southfield Store serve up a fresh daily menu with offerings such as quiche, hot sandwiches, soups, a variety of egg dishes, and a wide selection of pastries and baked treats. Get savory shawarma from Tangier Cafe, sourdough crust pizza from Berkshire Mountain Bakery, and heat-at-home dishes featured locally raised meats by Braise Worthy. Wash your meal down with to-go crowlers from Bright Ideas Brewing and Big Elm Brewing.

These are only a few of the many mouth-watering options available across our food-focused region. For additional ideas visit here. We recommend that you contact each establishment in advance to ensure days and hours, and determine if a reservation is necessary. To save time on takeout and pick-ups, call to place orders in advance of your arrival. Enjoy!

NOTE: Remember to call ahead to make sure each proprietor is open and to confirm hours and availability.  

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