Where's there to eat around here? Don't want to eat at the dining hall? Here are some restaurants that are nearby, cheap, or good.
6 House Pub
The 6 House Pub, just three minutes south on Route 7 next to the 1896 House, is legend amongst old Williams alum for the place to be to hang out. Re-opened this past July of 2005, the 6 House offers a very simple menu of sandwiches, salads, pasta, and burgers for your dining pleasure. The burgers are just plain awesome, probably the best in town, and the wings are certainly on a level comparable to Ye Olde Forge, but much closer to town. The beer selection, while not as expansive as the Forge's, is still decent in its own respect. Perhaps the greatest trait of the 6 House is that it is close to campus and just a great place to hang out with a quaint bar area (including a big screen and 6 tvs) and very pleasant dining room with fire place and outdoor terrace with fire pit. The prices are also very fair for the amount of food you get. Try it some time, you won't be disappointed. Especially if you get the warm brownie sundae...
910 Cold Spring Rd Williamstown, MA (413) 458-1896
A cheap alternative to Subway, Angelina's is located in Colonial Plaza just next to Desperado's. The hoagies are generally quite good, and there are far more options than you find in Subway. Angelina's is best known for its daily and weekly specials, when prices are even lower. It generally varies from day to day, but of particular interest is the 8" original sub (bologna, genoa salami, provolone) for $2.29 every Sunday.
240 Main St. Williamstown, MA (413) 458-2524
If you're passing through Amherst to watch the Ephs defeat the dirty 'herst, do yourself a favor and stop in here for some of the BEST pizza in Western Massachusetts. They offer big portions (by the slice) and a huge and interesting variety of toppings. According to Dennis the security officer, the guy who runs it is a millionaire. Just from selling pizza by the slice in a college town. The spicy chicken blue cheese and the sicillian pizzas come highly reccomended. Definitely worth the drive.
31 N. Pleasant St Amherst, MA (413) 253-0808
Berkshire Crossing Dining
- Applebee's - McDonald's - Pizza Hut - Quizno's - Starbucks (a real one) - Taco Bell
Berkshire Mall Dining
- McDonald's - Pizza Hut (express) - Starbuck's (express)
Blue Benn Diner
Located in Bennington (Keep driving up Rt. 7 through Bennington.) You'll see an authentic, tiny diner on your left. An amazing variety of food available, from meatloaf to french fries. Not high class, but still delicious. The harvest pancakes are especially good. No one should leave Williams without going here.
102 Hunt St Bennington, VT (802) 442-5140
Located on the Mass MoCA campus, this swanky restaurant is owned by the same people who run Mezze. The food is good, if a bit pricey. Its funky atmosphere, interesting menu, and quality food make it a nice change of pace from time to time, for dates, special occasions, or just a burning desire for something different, but with a rather small selection of main dishes, it's difficult to go there frequently without getting bored.
1111 MASS MoCA Way Building #11, North Adams, MA 413-662-2004
Great and Cheap Diner, with a laid back, homey atmosphere. For 10 dollars a person you can get a feast - for 5 a solid meal. I recommend their homefries, reuben, country fried steak (the gravy has sausage in it and is a meal in itself), and peach and walnut waffles. For Sunday brunch you can't beat it - though you may have to wait a few minutes to get a table, the service is quick and the apple-cinnamon french toast is well worth it.
905 Simonds Rd., Rt. 7 north Williamstown, MA (413) 458-5120
Mediocre, extremely greasy Chinese food, but it's fairly cheap and the portions are huge.
Sake sake sake BOMB!
The "party room" in the back lefthand corner of Chopsticks is the scene of many sake-bombing experiences. Frosh Revue and the Men's Golf Team are frequent partakers of the messiest fun that can be had in the beaded, soundproofed area. Make sure to ask for Sharon as a waitress, who may bang the table with you, or at least bring her cute daughter out to watch.
One time Bibby ordered from here and attempted to get sushi, and they weren't having it. For some reason, he kept asking the foreign phone answerer for more and more complex types of sushi, much to everyone's surprise. Finally, they agreed on some bizarre kind of sushi. Needless to say, Bibby wound up with 6 spring rolls. He called to complain, but it was OK because nobody who he was talking to spoke English. The end.
A word of warning: when they tell you how long to wait for delivery, double it. It usually takes them about an hour and a half to deliver, so ORDER EARLY!!!
412 Main St Williamstown, MA (413) 458-5750
Constantine, the proprietor, is a minor Route 2 celebrity. This pushy flirt almost invariably concludes his phone exchanges with "OK, I take care of you" in a Greek immigrant accent. Anyway, the pizza is pretty good and not too pricey, although not many people swear by the crust. The calzones aren't bad, either. Colonial's delivers to Williams, and closes at 1am on weekdays and 2am on the weekend. Why do they still answer the phone when they're closed? They bring your hopes up, then crush them. Possibly the best late night drunk food in town. Beware the famous Colonial Hangover.
The chicken parm calzone with blue cheese is real good.
234 Main St. Williamstown, MA 01267-2641 (413) 458-9009
The newest offering in off-campus dining, Coyote Flaco is a short drive away on Route 7 South, not far from Sheep Hill. Upon entering, you'll immediately encounter the congenial hostess who will take you to your table. She'll hand you the drinks menu, which is an impressive collection of different kinds of margaritas. They have over 50 kinds of Tequila, ranging from the house brand to the likes of Cuervo Reserva de la Familia; make sure to bring a designated driver along in order to enjoy some tasty drinks. Although the sign outside reads that the restaurant offers "Mexican and Spain cuisine", there is sadly only one Iberian offering--the Paella Valenciana.
If you sit really still while you're reading the menu, you might notice the Mariache music playing in the background at about 4 decibels. This is really a New England restaurant with a Mexican veneer as thin as their salsa. Burritos, nachos, and fajitas are described in an illegible "fancy script" font, and the food will almost certainly disappoint your "Mex-pectations". It's tasty, to be sure, but the average spiciness level is somewhere between Gerber and Baked Potato. And the portions will make you thank God for dinner points. For example, the "Deluxe Nachos" consists of exactly four circular nachos, neatly arranged in a square. I wish I were kidding. The only thing Mexican about the experience is the speed of service, which makes the 1914 Library seem like Wal-Mart. There was approximately a one-year interval between when we were seated and when we placed our orders. The waitstaff is generally helpful, and both the manager and the hostess will periodically check on you to make sure that you are enjoying your petite, well-mannered, New England meal.
I have to disagree with the previous post. The service at Coyote Flaco was wonderful, other than the fact that they brought us a full pitcher of margaritas instead of the half-pitcher that we ordered. They were prompt, the food was delicious, the margaritas were tasty, and the sweet, guitar-playing man walked around and played a little something at each table, in addition to chatting with everyone around.
Agreed. While not incredibly authentic it is certainly delicious. The portions were satisfying, the service was great and prompt on a busy night, and you can always ask them to spice it up
I absolutely agree that Coyote Flaco is excellent. It isn't the MOST authentic Mexican food, but I will defend that it has the most authentic Enchiladas Suizas I have ever had North of Austin, Texas. I think of it as the best food in Williamstown, certainly.
I also agree with the positive reviews. Though the food may not be true Mexican cuisine, it is very tasty in an upscale New England college town sort of way. The service is excellent because, unlike many places in Williamstown, the waiters/waitresses seem to realize that your business actually supplies their paycheck. If you're torn between here and Desparados, Coyote Flaco is the clear winner.
The Smith and Brown families are OBSESSED with this place.
505 Cold Spring Rd. Williamstown, MA (413) 458-4240
Unknown to most students, probably because it doesn't deliver, but possibly the best pizza place in Williamstown. take Rt. 7 north
850 Simonds Rd. Williamstown, MA (413) 458-3854
Located in Colonial Plaza, probably just too far to walk (though you can certainly do that if you want to). It looks kind of like a hole in the wall, but Tex-Mex makes for a nice change from the Spring Street restaurants.
Pretty standard American fast food type tex-mex fare-- Nothing too well seasoned or too savory. Frankly, the food is downright mediocre. Just a basic alternative to wrap night.
It's pretty easy to get served alcohol here, perhaps easiest at the Desperados in North Adams.
If you show your driver's license, they'll give you a free dinner on your birthday.
Colonial Shopping Plaza, Route 2 Williamstown, MA (413) 458-2100
Two convenient locations!
Williamstown: A few minutes' walk east of campus on Route 2 (on the right, opposite Cumberland Farms). Best coffee in town, but closes at 10. Now accepting credit and debit cards.
North Adams: Further east on Route 2, at the intersection with 8A. Open 24 hours!
Some call it the best dining within an hour's drive of campus. For a full four course meal -- and you'll be wanting it -- expect $30 per person (cash or check only), including soup, appetizer, entree, and complimentary salad and bread. Don't bother with dessert -- it is not as special as the other courses, and you won't have room (but if you do, ask for the Nun's Cheesecake. Every time I go, they're out of it).
This small Italian restaurant is run out of what seems to be a small house by the side of the road in Pittsfield, about a 45 minute drive from campus. Reservations are recommended, and do not blow one off without calling them, or come significantly late, as you may be blacklisted. Show up, and the service here is unsurpassed, an absolute joy. The cook, Tom, may serve you personally, lay a meaty hand on your shoulder and chat with you, and occassionally brings Williams students free appetizers. They love us there.
Everything is made fresh to order and freshly acquired that morning. No one I've eaten with has ever had one single complaint. The salad is a mix of fresh everything-you-can-imagine yet perfectly harmonious to the taste, delighting even to non-salad enthusiasts (eg, me). The spicy tomato corn soup is a balance of light spice and bold tomato flavor that will astonish you with its subtle perfection -- go for the full bowl, you'll be wanting it. Hot bread is brought out constantly (though you may have to remind the cute waitress if you don't fear filling up on it) and is warm, chewy, and thick. For an appetizer, be sure to get the goat cheese "chevre-deux," though some favor the fried onion with a little salt.
I won't even speak about entrees. You can't go wrong. Though this is not a vegetarian restaurant, most meals happen to be meatless, so this place is very friendly to eaters of that ilk. Be sure to listen to the specials before deciding, as there is always something to make you want to change your mind.
- Lactose intolerant? Bring the Lactaid along.
- 21? Go for the 22 ounce BBC Steel Rail... and try to finish it.
- Freshman? Ash your JA to take your entry here on dues (pay your dues!).
- Think you like cheese enough to eat the whole gorgonzola dish in one sitting? You don't.
- Go on a date here. Get the Lizzy's Mushrooms appetizer. Eat it. Kiss.
- They don't take credit cards. Bring cash or a check.
Elizabeth's, 1264 East St. Pittsfield, 01201 (413) 448-8244
OUT OF BUSINESS
A small, cozy bistro right near Mass MOCA. Excellent appetizers (especially the crab cake with a light wasabi sauce) and pretty nice desserts (the chocolate cake with raspberry hits the spot), but the entrees themselves were on the weak side. Reservations recommended. Website.
24 Marshall St. North Adams, MA (413) 663-5300.
The professors' Subway -- twice the quality at twice the price.
In this author's opinion, not really practical for students unless you are getting treated by a prof. Think yuppie. Light and interesting sandwich options that will meet a standard appetite, but you pay for it. Bidding starts at ~$7.50. Tasty, with freshest ingredients of all local sandwich shops.
If Subway's not good enough, better you stop walking at Pappa Charlie's. If you want that touch of class with the meal, hit up their juice bar downstairs.
60 Spring St. Williamstown, MA (413) 458-1360
Hickory Bill's Bar-B-Que
OUT OF BUSINESS
Located on the west side of Water Street between Latham and Meacham, Hobson's Choice offers excellent "American cuisine and seafood" for moderate prices. It features a make-your-own-salad bar, and the cozy atmosphere is highlighted by lots of those little hand-crafted puzles where you have to get a metal ring off some convoluted intertwining of other metal rings and triangles and bars. You know the sort. I highly recommend the Cajun blackened swordfish/tuna.
On the other hand, other people find the prices exorbitantly high for either small portions or mediocre food. It used to be better, now it's a pretentious, overpriced restaurant with nothing special.
Not to be confused with Hobson's Choice in Williamstown, Victoria, Australia. You may also be interested to know the origin of the phrase (a "hobson's choice" is a supposed choice where there is really no choice at all; presumably, in this context the implication is that one has no choice but to eat at the restaurant, since the food is so good).
159 Water Street Williamstown, MA 01267 (413) 458-9101
Simply the best pizza you are likely to find anywhere in Western Massachusetts (assuming you have a rare audiovisual disorder that somehow places Little Anthony's tantalizingly beyond your field of perception / you are not from New York). Somewhat expensive ($20 for a large pie), no side dishes, they often don't deliver, and they close too early. However, the pizza makes it all worthwhile. The crust beats Colonial's any day. Get adventurous: try the pizza with pesto (instead of tomato sauce) and shrimp, or try eggplant as a topping.
Of the people I know, about half prefer Colonials to Hot Tomatoes and vice versa. One of its criticisms is its sweet and chunky tomato sauce which they use a good deal of. But for others, the sauce is one of the highlights of Hot Tomatoes pizza.
Located at the intersection of Latham St. and Water St., near the Water Street Grill. Just start walking south on Water St. at the bookstore, and the smell of fresh pizza will guide you.
100 Water St., Route 43 Williamstown, MA (413) 458-2722
House of India
Amazing Indian restaurant in Pittsfield. Blows Spice Root right out of the water.
False. Most bland curry I have ever eaten
261 North Street Pittsfield, MA (413) 443-3262
Isabella's serves up convenient, tasty, slightly upscale Italian food just minutes from campus. Located in front of Stop'n'Shop, this restaurant can seem a little pricey, but the solidly delicious food (with salad and yummy bread included) is worth it. The best bet for students is a mix'n'match pasta menu where you choose from a variety of pastas, sauces, and toppings. An even better bet is to go on Tuesdays, when your student ID will get you 10% off.
The portions are large, generally enough for lunch the next day. Service is generally found to be attentive and fast, but some have found it disappointing. Consensus is that it's no Elizabeth's, but at slightly cheaper and much closer it might not have to be to be worth visiting. You may miss the clam sauce linguini, but a variety of other sauces and the calamari and spinach-stuffed eggplant are recommended in lieu.
The food isn't bad, but in this poster's opinion, not worth the price. Not enough variety on the menu, and the food was distinctly average. The service was good and the atmosphere was nice, but in the future I'd stay home and make my own pasta, since with an online recipe and about 30 minutes I'm sure I could come up with something more interesting.
Affordable wine is served, once in some months, the restaurant has a wine and food-tasting event -- call for dates and rates.
896 State Rd. (Rt. 2) North Adams, MA 01247 (413) 662-2239
Jack's Hot Dog Stand
What a place. Located at 12 Eagle Street in North Adams, this hot dog stand is famous among locals for its chili cheese fries and 95 cent hot dogs and "hamburgs" (as they're called in North Adams). All items on the menu are cheap and delicious. Probably the best choice for lunch or dinner in North Adams, especially when you're in the mood for something greasy and delicious. Jack's can't be beat, especially because Chef Mike, the infamous carrot-topped chef, has an impeccable memory and remembers exactly what each of the regular clientele eats. Be wary of the time however, as Mike's prima donna personality increasingly becomes an issue as it nears closing time and the hot North Adams's party scene (where he is a huge player). The best way to go for dinner is one chili cheese dog, two double bacon "cheeseburgs", and an order of chili cheese fries. Open since 1917. They do deliver to Williamstown, but it's probably best to get your food fresh. No credit cards accepted--cash only. Grease covers everything; it may not look like the most hygienic place, but the food sure is tasty.
12 Eagle St. North Adams, MA (413) 664-9006
An Asian-fusion restaurant that is better than both Thai Garden and Chopsticks (in my opinion). Jae's Inn is also pricier than Thai Garden. Their pad thai is especially amazing if you prefer your pad thai an Americanized, sugar-filled glob. The sushi is divine as well.
Now closer to campus, check out Sushi Tuesday's where all of the sushi is cheap.
666 Cold Spring Rd. (formerly Le Jardin) (413) 458-8032
Lickety Split is great for ice cream, of course, but also serves a nice quiche and salad lunch (among other things) during the academic year.
Lickety Split also has the worst service EVER. Expect to be rushed and to be treated rudely. Speak in extremely simple and explicit language when ordering, or the ice-cream girl will roll her eyes at you when she gets your order wrong.
69 Spring Street Williamstown, MA (413) 458-1818
Little Anthony's Pizza
OUT OF BUSINESS
Located a block past the overpass on Rte. 2, the North Adams McDonald's is almost always visited by Williams students between the hours of 1:30 and 5 a.m., the time when it's the only hot food in town. Caveat esor.
17 Union St. North Adams, MA (413) 664-7272
Mezze Bar and Bistro
Located a couple of stores before Water Street Books. The fancy restaurant you get your parents to take you to when they're in town. Nice website, too.
Possibly the most stuck-up place around- there are many other places around that I would go to before I would ever go back to Mezze. Gideon's is a nice alternative for a classy atmosphere minus the snooty attitudes.
The food at Mezze is hit or miss. I've been blown away by some entree specials, and have returned others to the kitchen.
16 Water Street Williamstown, Ma 01267 (413) 458-0123
Lovely Greek/Italian restaurant located a few minutes' walk east of campus on Rt. 2 (on the left before you get to Cumberland Farms). Solid entrees, priced between $10 and $14. One of the friendliest restaurants in town. Free garlic bread and soup or salad with any entree. Order a carafe of retsina and try the Greek desserts - the baklava and the galaktobouriko are to die for. The malts are also quite good. Their hours can be a bit iffy... do a quick drive-by first to see if they're open or call them before you go.
460 Main St. Williamstown, MA (413) 458-2114
The Mill on the Floss
This cosy yet refined French restaurant 15 minutes down Route 7 has been around for 30 years. It used to be the only game in town when it came to fine dining, but its star shines less brightly now with so many more options close to Williamstown. That said, it remains a favorite for special occasions, such as graduation. Unlike its newer rivals, the Mill on the Floss knows what it does best - French country cooking - and has a well-trained staff and a consistently good menu. Good wine, too.
342 Route 7 New Ashford, MA (413) 458-9123
East of campus on Route 2, on your left after a few minute's drive. What can I say; it's a diner! Solid but unremarkable food, really exactly what you'd expect. Good, but ten times better if it were at the foot of Spring Street.
The Pot of Gold, two half potatoes stuffed with scrambled eggs, cheese, and meat, is recommended for breakfast.
408 Main St. Williamstown, MA (413) 458-3305
Located on the corner of Main St. and Eagle St. in North Adams.
For those who are looking for a quality pizza at a good price, Moulton's can't be beat—Hot Tomatoes is pretty good (depending on who you ask of course, opinion on campus is split on their chunky tomato sauce), but it's more of an "occasion" pizza because of the prices, and Colonial's is falling behind the times, as anything above a cheese pizza is not worth what they charge (and don't be fooled, the prices on their takeout menu are outdated).
A large 16" cheese will run you $8.50 (that's right, $8.50...it says $9.50 on their menu, but just mention the #5 coupon when you call in the order). They've got plenty more of the usual fare on the menu, but the pizza alone is definitely the roundtrip into NA (or the $1 charge for delivery + tip...be sure to plan ahead, it can take them a while to get your pizza up to campus).
Good pizza, competitively priced, delivers to campus ($1 charge, but no minimum order), accepts Visa and MasterCard, and a menu with a whole set of coupons every time you get food from them (even though you don't even need to give them the coupon).
Hours: Mon-Thu (11am-10pm), Fri-Sat (11am-11pm), Sun (12-10pm),
Here's their website with the complete menu.
117 Main Street North Adams, MA (413) 663-3770 (413) 664-6279 (413) 664-6888
Pappa Charlie's Deli
Tastier than Subway, but also slightly more expensive. Mad crowded at lunch, and whenever any parents are in town. They make all sorts of sandwiches named after celebrities. Their gyros are surprisingly weak. Don't forget about the tasty juice/smoothie bar in the basement!
Try the Richard Chamberlain for the delicious turkey/cranberry sauce you've always known belonged together on a sandwich. Oh my gosh, I crave the Chamberlain whenever I'm off campus. Freaking delicious-- can't go wrong.
One of the cashiers, though, has a terrible attitude. She's been known to rush you through your order and snap at customers who don't know what they want. Not the most charming presence you want as the public image of your deli.
The Mighty Mathias is hands-down the best sandwich on the menu. Crunchy panini-grilled bread, melty cheese, delicious insides... Yum yum. Eat it hot! (But be warned, it takes a few minutes extra because it's grilled.)
The cashiers have always been friendly and nice to this poster.
28 Spring St. Williamstown, MA (413) 458-5969
A friendly and unpretentious pub located behind Subway. Make friends with the staff, and you will get great service. Don't go there to act like a drunken jackass - Williams students have a bad reputation at this place and other bars or pubs in town. This author's favorite place to grab a leisurely Sunday lunch. Burgers and wings are cheaper than at the Red Herring or the Water Street Grill. A hearty meal of a burger (try the tangler) and fries with a good cold draught beer (try the local Berkshire Brewing Company beers on tap) can be had for less than $15 - beats Subway "sandwiches" or dining hall "brunch" on those lazy weekend afternoons.
8 Bank Street Williamstown MA 01247 (413) 458-3306 Fax: (413) 458-2586
Large portions of food and well worth the trip. To get there, take Rt. 7 most of the way through Bennington. It will be hidden back a ways on your left, and very brightly colored.
Service is usually lightning-fast, but be prepared to wait if you go at busy times. Excellent Tex-Mex restaurant - don't expect anything authentic, but what they do serve they do very well. Buy extra salsa to take home!
If you're looking for a swankier Mexican restuarant, try Cafe Latino at Mass Moca.
230 North St. Bennington, VT (802) 447-7018
Located on Spring Street, below Images Cinema (turn left and go downstairs before entering the cinema). Good beers on tap and a few hearty entrees and snacks. Decent wings, and probably the best place in town for burgers. Best to avoid on Friday and Saturday nights when you will be lucky if the bartender even acknowledges your existence in the crowd.
Or... best to attend on Friday or Saturday nights, when you won't be the only person there.
WARNING: DO NOT TRUST your credit card to the bartender by opening a tab. They have "lost" credit cards in the past, offering no compensation.
Also, go on Sunday and/or Monday nights when Dennis is bartending. Ask for a Lavelle. It's pretty much the best drink out there.
Be sure to ask for the specials. The food is great, and Mark usually makes some amazing entrees outside of the norm. He used to be a chef for the Taconic Restaurant. You might get things like Shrimp Scampi over Angel Hair, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Chicken Oscar and a few others.
Some of their main entrees include the Sesame Chicken Salad, Quesadillas, Pasta Primavera, Thai Wings, and of course, fantastic burgers/fries. The prices are more than reasonable for the quality of the food and the atmosphere is very laid-back. Watch tv while you eat at the bar, sit outside if it's a nice night, or eat in the dining area. Definitely go to the Herring for dinner sometime. You won't be disappointed.
On a related note, don't ever go there with a fake i.d. that has the smallest chance of being taken away. Or for that matter, don't ever go with a real id either. The Red Herring has a twitch that compulsively takes people's i.d.s away (fake or not). You'll cry, we'll all cry, and you'll still be i.d.less.
46 Spring St. Williamstown, MA (413) 458-2808
Semi-delicious, cheapest sandwiches in town. Ask about the discounted sandwich of the day. You will have eaten at one of these before. Ask for the special spicy sauce (it's red in colour - I don't remember its name but it's awesome). Ask for extra napkins if you get the sweet onion teriyaki sub because that sauce just goes everywhere. Closes too early though.
Avoid the meatball sub. Eat the Italian BMT. Savorky turkey breast with bacon is good too.
51 Spring St. Williamstown, MA (413) 458-2600
Spice Root is a mid sized restaraunt on Spring Street that serves Indian food. The food is as close to authentic Indian that you'll find within a pretty good radius, and tastes quite good. Modestly priced student meals are available ($11 for a sit in meal and $7 for a take away of small proportions) The Naan bread is good, as is the tandoori chicken. The chole (pronounced chho-lay) served with a student meal is excellent.
Not for the hard-core Indian food fans who might be offended by the mixture of North Indian and South Indian cuisines (note that Indian restaurants in India often do the same thing), but definitely worth a try. Check out the buffet lunch for $8 -- an excellent deal any day! However, since the buffet tries to cater to everyone, it's terribly bland. Dinner dishes can be ordered extra-spicy.
Actually, I HIGHLY recommend trying out the chicken jalfrezi with nan (ask them to make it spicier than usual)
NOT a good idea at all if you're catering for a group. They'll basically rip you off - we got trays with ridiculously small amounts of chicken and paneer swimming in tons of gravy, and none of the regular sides like raita or chole, even though we paid according to regular menu prices.
23 Spring St Williamstown, MA (413) 458-5200
OUT OF BUSINESS
Sushi Thai Garden
Down Spring Street, great place for Thai food. They now serve pretty decent sushi, which is fairly pricey considering its quality. But given that we're so far from the ocean, it could certainly be worse.
Branch out beyond the usual Pad Thai - try the Tempura Soba Noodles or the Massaman Curry. Or get a ton of sushi in a boat. Try the beef satay or steamed pork dumplings as an appetizer - both are great.
Thai iced tea is a delicious beverage. Highly recommended.
For extra authenticity, don't say "Pad Thai" with an 'a' like in 'paddy'. It's more like a cross between the 'a' in father mixed with 'putt'.
Surprisingly inexpensive for lunch, and quite generous portions (at a higher price) for dinner. Biggest complaint: some of the staff can seem rude and abrupt, though this might be due to a language/culture gap. They've definitely improved their friendliness over the last three years.
Ask for chilli sauce and/or peanut sauce on the side.
27 Spring St. Williamstown, MA (413) 458-0004
Water Street Grill
A pub-restaurant with solid standard American fare at reasonable prices, within a short walk of the Odd Quad. A Forge alternative if you are short on time, or haven't made a Forge reservation on their busy nights. Beware slow service and dropped orders at the Grill, sometimes. Soup can take 45 minutes to arrive; water glasses are never refilled even if they are drained within the first 10 minutes, and the restaurant is freezing cold.
Prices average $12 for a full entree, or $7 - $10 for anything on the lunch-geared "pub menu." The burger platter, at a reasonable ~$7 with all toppings included, is a favorite for a cheap quick meal for some. Other meals in between. True to expectations for this kind of restaurant, portions are hearty, but again note this is American pub fare: don't seek the flavorful or unique here.
- Entrees: Try the chicken pesto over penne or the sizzling platter of fajitas.
- Appetizers: The potato skins and others are solid.
123 Water Street Williamstown, MA (413) 458-2175
The Sunday brunch is not to be missed. Beg, borrow, or steal your way to one of those meals. For the more, but not absolutely, ethically endowed, keep an eye on speakers coming to campus sponsored by departments and special-interest clubs. Many clubs take a speaker who stays overnight out to the brunch the next day, and students are invited to come on Uncle Eph's tab. Frequently, there are even more seats than demand! Bring your significant other on a free date!
In Spring 2006, some students alleged that a brunch at the Inn was responsible for an outbreak of food poisoning, but the cases were never officially tied to the Williams Inn, nor did any more cases develop after the isolated incident.
1090 Main St. Williamstown, MA (413) 458-9371
Ye Olde Forge
A restaurant/tavern on Rt. 7 about 20 minutes from campus (14 if Z-Mac is driving). The wings alone are reason enough to make the trip. Also famous for its wide selection of beers and the Beer Card; sample 50 different beers within a year and you'll get an engraved pewter stein (although it may take up to 9 months before you see it as was the case for the Shokstar).
Don't forget to have a designated driver! This is a classic getaway, especially for upperclassmen, but over the years it has become increasingly popular among the Williams community. A perfect night at the Forge involves several of their quality beers on tap (they normally have about 15 on tap at any time in addition to almost 300 more bottled varieties available), a cup of chili with cheese and top it off with some Dean's Original wings (the buffalo style). Contrary to popular belief, the Forge also does food other than wings, some of which is also very tasty. Try the foccaccias.
On the poster above the urinal in the male bathroom you may witness ongoing communication between two 05's (Shokstar and Z-mac) who loved the place more than anything else and still return there every other weekend despite having graduated and living several hours away.
The butternut squash quesadillas are really good.
But not as good as the Deans, which are great. It's all about the Buff Orpingtons, baby -- sweet and gooey and a Forge exclusive.
125 North Main Street Lanesboro, Massachusetts, 01237 (413) 442-6797