Hidden Bakery: Granny’s Baking Table, Springfield, MA
This Southern-style bakery serves made-to-order beignets that rival Café De Monde, along with sinful but oh-so-worth-it pastries including flakey croissants and decadent pies. Savory lunch options are available as well, including the Oh Lawdy — a sweet tea-brined fried chicken sandwich served on a homemade biscuit with pimento cheese and peach jam.
Hidden Eclectic Dining: Daily Operation, Easthampton, MA
Daily Operation is THE spot to dine at to tantalize your taste buds. The menu changes weekly with dishes that are packed with flavor, many with Asian influence, and utilize local farm-fresh ingredients. Come hungry and leave room for dessert — the black bottom maple pie is a must. Indoor and outdoor seating are available.
Hidden Family Dining: Deep Roots Street Food, Granby, CT
Deep Roots has order-at-the-counter Turkish- and Vietnamese-inspired plates, and a great kids menu. Dine in or bring a picnic blanket to enjoy your meal across the street on the town green. The restaurant shares its space with Grassroots Ice Cream, its sister store known for unique flavors like honey lavender, goat cheese blackberry, and rose chocolate.
Hidden Lunch Spot: Nosh, Springfield, MA
Nosh is the place for fresh, creative sandwiches, salads, and sweet potato bowls, along with not-to-be-skipped cookies and desserts. Try the phyllo-wrapped black bean burger served with a creamy chipotle dip. Nosh also offers an extensive catering menu and ready-made family meals for delivery.
Hidden Window: Blue Door Gatherings, Holyoke, MA
A high-end caterer also serving a seasonally changing menu of divine breakfast and lunch treats from The Window in Holyoke. Owner/chef Laura Bowman trained at the world-renowned Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and the quality of the dishes she produces reflects that experience. Be on the lookout for her supper club dinners and pop-up wine bar.
Hidden Special Occasion/Date Night Restaurant: Millwrights Tavern, Simsbury, CT
In a refurbished seventeenth century mill overlooking a waterfall, Top Chef contestant Tyler Anderson’s farm-to-table establishment rivals any fine-dining restaurant in Boston. The chef’s tasting menu is an exhilarating foodie adventure. Dine inside or outside under the newly expanded covered bridge.
Amy Anderlonis is a self-proclaimed foodie and former Navy spouse who has traveled and lived across the country. Residing in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two kids, Amy is obsessed with researching the best places to grab a bite to eat throughout the Connecticut River Valley — from hole-in-the-wall joints to fine dining. Follow Amy’s discoveries on Instagram @rivervalleyfare.