Downtown Amherst is a destination for food that offers a surprising range within its one mile. There is simple but thoughtful pub fare, international cuisine, and creative, upscale but welcoming fine dining.

To start at the beginning, no overview of the dining scene in Amherst, Massachusetts would be complete without mentioning Antonio's pizza by the slice.  This is a college town after all, and you'd be hard pressed to find a better slice of cheese pizza for $2.00 WITH a drink.  The slices are very large (1-2 per person will fill just about anyone up) and the toppings range from the old stand-by cheese and pepperoni (which no one seems to order) to the imaginative and original.  Local favorites include the steak burrito slice with sour cream, guacamole, black beans, steak, and tomatoes and cheese tortellini pizza with tomato sauce, pesto, or olive puree as a base.  Space is small, tables are limited, ordering is fast and furious, but well worth a stop in; this is not your ordinary pizza slice.

 Across the street from Antonio's is the Bueno Y Sano, a small, counter service burrito restaurant.  Tacos, salads, and quesadillas are also available.  As the name suggests, the food aims to be both good and healthy, and generally succeeds.  Burrito fillings range from the traditional (chicken, steak) to the more original (a superb veggie chili, sauteed spinach and garlic, chickpea and red curry).  With most choices under $6, Bueno is an excellent choice for a quick, filling, and inexpensive meal.

Where should you bring your parents when they visit?  The favorite has long been Judie's, located next door to Antonio's.  Judie's has a typical American dinner menu that any parent (and starving college kid with paying parents) will enjoy.  The real attraction here, however, are the pre-dinner popovers with butter - enormous and always brought to your table straight from the oven.

Other North Pleasant street favorites include Amherst Ice Cream, homemade ice cream, the Monkey Bar (which becomes one of the hippest drinking establishments on the street later in the night), and The Sub - your typical pizza and sub joint - greasy but good.  Bertucci's rounds out the North Pleasant Street experience, but you won't want to experience a chain, where quality is limited by corporate number-crunching, when you're around all this amazing food.