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Pancakes with berries
Original photo by Anumeha Rajvanshi

5 Must-Try Breakfast Places In and Around Amherst

“Experts” — such as my mom and WebMD — say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A good morning sets the stage for the rest of your day, so why not guarantee that the first meal of the day will be spectacular?

Whether it’s a bagel to go, a hearty stack of pancakes, or a plate full of eggs and bacon, the best breakfast places in and around Amherst have you covered.


The neighborhood favorite, Tandem Bagel Company, is the best place to be for early risers. They’re open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., but are usually sold out of bagels within the first few hours. This local bagel shop offers a variety of fresh bagels including hot and spicy, cheddar, snickerdoodle, cheesy garlic, jalapeño, and chocolate chip. The breakfast sandwiches are available on your choice of bagel, wrap, or focaccia bread (highly recommend!) and are the perfect brunch option to keep you full past noon. The smoothies at Tandem will help get you through the day, and the Triple Berry Blitz Smoothie is my personal favorite.

Esselon Café

You may be slapped with a half-hour wait at Esselon Café, but this coffeehouse’s patio seating is worth camping out for. Breakfast is offered Monday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring seasonal specials as well as regular café favorites. House-made pastries, breakfast sandwiches, and toasts are all-natural and satisfying, whether you’re dining in or taking out. There’s the beloved cheesecake-stuffed strawberry French toast, which is garnished with maple roasted walnuts and served alongside North Hadley Sugar Shack maple syrup. For those looking for something a little less sweet, try the breakfast burrito. You could also try the Tupelo Hash, which gives you the best of kitchen: two Maine crab cakes and two poached eggs, topped with lemon butter sauce, served with avocado, toast, and organic mixed greens with balsamic vinaigrette.

Breakfast at Esselon Cafe
Original photo by Anumeha Rajvanshi
People’s Market

For a sweet start to the day, head to UMass Amherst’s very own People’s Market that recently reopened in the Student Union. People’s Market focuses on shopping local and organic and tries to educate its customers about why such alternative buying practices are necessary in the struggle for more environmental and social sustainability. You can find the best coffee and bagels on campus here. I recommend the everything bagel toasted with gouda and pesto.

The Roost

The Roost is Northampton’s hidden breakfast gem. You’ll be tempted by the glass cases filled with baked goods galore, including scones, fruit tarts, chocolate mousse tarts, carrot cake, eclairs, and lemon squares. For a savory option, definitely go for the Itty Bitty (actually pretty normal-sized) breakfast sandwich topped with baked egg soufflé, walnut pesto, goat cheese, and tomatoes on house-made bread. Their coffee is excellent, with the Maple Latte being a fall favorite.

Fruit Tart
Original photo by Anumeha Rajvanshi
The Works Café

The Works Café, located in downtown Amherst, is so popular that it has locations in Vermont and New Hampshire, too. It’s the perfect place to be if you like to read a book, study, work, or meet up with friends while also eating delicious food. My go-to breakfast order is a multigrain bagel topped with scrambled local, cage-free eggs, baby spinach, and cheese. If you’re headed here for brunch, I recommend the mouthwatering roasted artichoke panini that has artichoke hearts, provolone, baby spinach, tomatoes, and pesto on sourdough.

Hopefully you’re hungry and eager to check out some of these incredible breakfast spots. Amherst has so many amazing places to choose from — breakfast here is a foodie’s dream come true!

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Anumeha Rajvanshi

U Mass Amherst '23

Anumeha is a junior pre-med Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Neuroscience double major who aspires to become a psychiatrist in the future. In her free time, you'll find her fueling her shopping addiction, jamming to Blackbear and Bazzi, bullet journaling, or discovering new restaurants. She is also a research assistant at the Richardson's Lab and a member of the Neuroscience club, the UMass Climbing Team and the South Asian Student Association (SASA).
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