Winners of the best of Valley Advocate reader’s poll announced

Image courtesy: Valley

It’s that time of year again! The Valley Advocate, the weekly journal of entertainment, news, and listings is just as much a staple of western Massachusetts as the Autumn foliage, the smattering of colleges, and its fine dinning. Now the annual ‘Advocate Best of the Valley Reader’s Poll’ is out with the tops picks of the best locales in western Massachusetts and New England to get some grub, drinks, places to spend your money, or just to chill out; all selected by the readers of the Advocate.     

   Below are the winner’s in all 188 categories. Hope you have fun reading, my retinas I think are nearly burned out from laying out this list.

Media Mavens –

  •  Local Blog:Hilltown families
  •  Local radio personalities: Dan and Kim (The Mix in the Morning) on Mix 93.1 FM   
  •  Local television personality:Dave Madsen (WGGB-TV)
  •  Local visual artist: Christine Labich  

At Your Service

  •  Banquet facility/ reception hall:  ‘The Log Cabin’ (Easthampton)
  •  Bed and Breakfast: Allen House  (Amherst, MA) catering service: ‘Seth Mias Catering’  (Leeds)
  •  Credit Union: ‘Five College Federal Credit Union’ ( Hadley and Northampton)
  •  Dog/ Cat Kennel: ‘Porter Road Pet Care’ ( East Longmeadow)
  •  Laundry/ dry cleaning: ‘Belmont Laundry and Custom Dry Cleaning’  (Springfield) 
  •  Financial Planning Services: ‘FSB Financial Planning  Services’ (Florence)
  •  Four year College: ‘U-Mass Amherst’
  •  Hotel/ Inn: ‘Hotel Northampton’ (Northampton)
  •  Two Year College: ‘Holyoke Community College’ (Holyoke)
  •  Interior Design: ‘KW Home’ (Easthampton)
  •  Landscaping: ‘Tree Frog Landscapes Inc’
  •  Law firm: ‘Pellegrini, Seeley, Ryan, and Blakesley’ ( Springfield)  
  •  Limo Service:‘Deluxe Limousine Service’ ( Agawam)  
  •  Local activist organization: ‘Citizens for the Revitalization and Urban Success of Holyoke’ (C.R.U.S.H)
  •  Local bank: ‘Florence Savings Bank’  (Florence & various locations throughout Western Massachusetts)
  •  Local dating service: ‘’ (Amherst)
  •  Local ‘green’ business: ‘River Valley Market’ (Northampton)
  •  Local insurance agency: ‘Fink and Perras Insurance Agency’  (Florence & Easthampton)
  •  Non-profit: ‘Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society’ (Springfield & Leverett)
  •  Pet daycare: ‘Dances with Dogs’  (Northampton)    
  •  Place for dog training: ‘ It’s Pawsible’ (Westhampton) 
  •  Place to work:  Mass Mutual (Springfield)
  •  Real estate agency: ‘ Cannon Real Estate Agency’ (Easthampton)
  •  Travel agency: ‘AAA Travel’ (Springfield &  many other locations)
  •  Veterinarian:  Valley Veterinary Hospital (Hadley)
  •  Wireless cellphone carrier: Verizon wireless (locations throughout the valley)

To Your Health-

  • Accupuncturist:  Verena Smith (Amherst)
  • Birthing center: Cooley Dickinson Hospital  (Northampton)
  • Chiropractor: Mindi Fried/ Motion Chiropractor (Easthampton)
  • Day spa: Brooks and Butterfield (Northampton) 
  • Dentist: Dr. David I. Peck ( Springfield)
  • Eye Doctor: Dr. Nancy Balin/ Balin Eye and Laser Center (Northampton, Ware)
  • Health Food store: Whole foods (Hadley, various locations)
  • Hospital:Bay State Medical Center (Springfield)
  • Local optical store: Kens’ Eyewear, Inc
  • Orthodontist: Dr. R. Scott Smith (South Hadley & Springfield)
  • Physical therapy clinic: Performance Rehabilitation ( East Longmeadow & various locations)
  • Place for cosmetic surgery: Dr. Glen S. Brooks ( Longmeadow)
  • Place for therapeutic massage: The Healing Zone (Hadley)

 Get Physical

  • Bicycle shop: Competitive Edge (East Longmeadow & Hadley)
  • Golf course: Crumpin-Fox club (Bernadston)    
  • Health and fitness center: Planet Fitness (various locations)
  • Local ski area: Berkshire East (Charlemont)
  • Outdoor camping  gear and supply: Don Gleason’s Camping Supply. Inc  (Northampton)
  • Place for Pilates: Stretch yoga center (Granby)
  • Place for yoga: Vega Yoga (Holyoke)
  • Place to buy a canoe/ kayak: Adventure outfitter (Hadley)
  • Ski shop: Competitive Edge ( East Longmeadow & Hadley)
  • Snowboard shop:Fat Trax Snowboard ( Easthampton & East Longmeadow)

Well Worn-

  •   Body piercing shop: Haven Body Arts (Northampton)
  •   Bridal boutique: Bridal Heirlooms (South Hadley)
  •   Hair salon: The Lift (Easthampton)
  •   Local jewelry store:  Silverscape Designs, Inc (Amherst & Northampton)
  •   Local store for men’s fashion: J Rich Clothing for Men ( Northampton)
  •   Local store for women’s fashion: Zanna (Amherst)
  •   Nail salon: Puffer’s Salon and Day Spa (Westfield)
  •   Place to buy lingerie: Gazebo (Northampton)
  •   Tanning salon: Tropical Tan (Easthampton)
  •   Tatoo Parlor: Lucky’s Tatoo and Piercing  (Northampton)
  •   Tuxedo shop: Formal Affair (West Springfield)
  •   Used clothing store: The Salvation Army (various locations)


  •     Auto accessory/electronic shop: Custom Car Sound (Springfield, West Springfield)
  •     Auto parts store: AutoZone (various locations)
  •     Auto service shop: Pelham Auto (Belchertown)
  •     Motorcycle dealer: Harley Davidson of Southampton (Southampton)
  •     New car dealer: Steve Lewis Subaru (Northampton)
  •     Place for body work/auto painting: Acme Automotive (Northampton)
  •     Used car dealer: Pleasant Journey Used Cars (Northampton)

    Material World

  •     Adult video/book/novelty store: Bookends (Enfield, CT)
  •     Camera shop: Iris Photo and Digital (Northampton)
  •     Carpet and flooring:  American Rug Co., Inc  (Holyoke)
  •     Cellphone store: Apple iPhone (Holyoke)
  •     Comic book store: Modern Myths ( Northampton)
  •     Consignment shop: New 2 You (Sunderland)
  •     Florist: Durocher Florist (West Springfield)
  •     Garden center/nursery: Hadley Garden Center (Hadley)
  •     Gift shop: Gift-ology (Longmeadow & Springfield)
  •     Independent bookstore: Odyssey Bookshop  ( South Hadley)
  •     Local board game store: Greenfield Games (Greenfield)
  •     Local children’s toy store: Kiddly Winks  (Longmeadow)
  •     Local computer store: YES computers (Northampton)
  •     Local furniture store: Fly By Night (Northampton)
  •     Local futon store: Fly By Night (Northampton)
  •     Local home improvement/hardware store: Florence Hardware (Florence)
  •     Local mattress store: Yankee Mattress ( Agawam & Northampton)  
  •     Musical instrument shop: Downtown Sounds  (Northampton)
  •     Oriental rug store: Kaoud Oriental Rug (Holyoke)
  •     Pet food store:  Dave’s Soda and Pet City (various locations)
  •     Picture framing:  Frame and Picture Shope (Wilbraham)
  •     Place for fair trade products: Ten Thousand Villages (Northampton)
  •     Place for gift baskets: Atkins Farm Country Market (Amherst)
  •     Place for used CDs/DVDs/records: Turn It Up (Northampton &  various locations)

    Get Out- 

  •     Adult entertainment club: Mardi Gras (Springfield)
  •     Art gallery: Don Muller Gallery ( Northampton)
  •     Art museum: Smith College Museum of Art (Northampton)
  •     Bar atmosphere: The Dirty Truth (Northampton)
  •     Brew pub: Amherst Brewing CO. (Amherst)
  •     Charity event: Rays of Hope (Springfield)
  •     Concert venue: The Calvin Theater (Northampton)
  •     Gay bar: Diva’s (Northampton)
  •     Local festival: Green River Festival (Greenfield)
  •     Neighborhood bar:  Amy’s Place (Easthampton)
  •     New bar: The Highland Tap (Holyoke)
  •     Nightclub: Maximum Capacity (Chicopee)
  •     Place for karaoke: Mingles (West Springfield)
  •     Place for live blues: Theodore’s’ Booze, Blues, and BBQ (Springfield)
  •     Place for live jazz:   Theodore’s’ Booze, Blues, and BBQ (Springfield)
  •     Place for margarita’s: On the Border Mexican Grill (West Springfield)
  •     Place for martinis: Carmelina’s at the Commons (Hadley)
  •     Place to hear a DJ: Diva’s (Northampton)
  •     Place to see live theater: Majestic Theater (West Springfield)
  •     Place to see local bands: Maximum Capacity (Chicopee)
  •     Pool hall: Smith’s Billiards (Springfield)
  •     Rock club: Maximum Capacity (Chicopee)
  •     Sports bar: The Toasted Owl  (Northampton)  
  •     Tourist spot in southern Vermont: Downtown Brattleboro (Brattleboro, VT)
  •     Tourist spot in the Berkshires: Tanglewood (Lenox)
  •     Tourist spot in the Valley: Yankee Candle Flagship ( South Deerfield) 

   Edibles and Eatteries-

  •      Bakery: La Fiorentina Pastry Shop (Northampton & Springfield)
  •      Breakfast place: Sylvester’s (Northampton)
  •      Buffett restaurant:  Foody Goody ( Springfield)
  •      Chinese restaurant: Great Wall (Florence)
  •      Creative American fare restaurant: Sierra Grille (Northampton)
  •      Deli: State Street Fruit Store, Deli, Wines, and Spirits ( Northampton)
  •      Diner: Bluebonnet Diner (Northampton)
  •      Domestic beer: Samuel Adams
  •      Farm stand:  Atkins Farms Country Market  (Amherst)
  •      Farmer’s market: Amherst Farmer’s Market (Amherst)
  •      Fish market: Masse’s Fresh Seafood Market  (Chicopee)
  •      French restaurant:  Chez Albert (Amherst)
  •      German restaurant: The Student Prince Cafe/ The Port (Springfield)
  •      Gourmet food store:  River Valley Market (Northampton)
  •      Greek  restaurant:   El Greco (Greenfield)
  •      Grinders/sandwiches: The Loose Goose Cafe (Amherst)
  •      Hamburgers: Local Burger (Northampton)
  •      Hot dogs: Nick’s Nest (Holyoke)
  •      Ice cream: Bart’s Homemade Ice Cream (Amherst & Greenfield)
  •      Imported Beer: Guinness
  •      Independent coffee-house/cafe: Esselon Cafe (Hadley)
  •      Indian restaurant: Pintu’s Indian Restaurant (West Springfield)
  •      Italian restaurant:  Carmelinas at the Common’s  (Hadley)
  •      Japanese restaurant: Osaka (Northampton)
  •      Late night dining: Route 9  Diner (Hadley)
  •      Liquor store: Table and Vine ( West Springfield)
  •      Local coffee roasters: Shelburne Falls Coffee Roasters (Hadley & other locations)
  •      Local doughnut: Atkins Farms Country Market (Amherst)
  •      Local farm: Mountain View Farm (Easthampton)
  •      Local place for cheap eats: Bueno Y  Sano (Amherst & Northampton)
  •      Locally crafted beer: Berkshire Brewing Co. (South Deerfield)
  •      Lunch: The Loose Goose Cafe (Amherst)
  •      Mediterranean restaurant: Amanouz cafe (Northampton)
  •      Mexican restaurant: La Veracruzana Mexican Restaurant (Amherst & Northampton)
  •      Middle Eastern restaurant: Cafe Lebanon (East Longmeadow & Springfield)
  •      New restaurant: Eclipse (Northampton)
  •      Outdoor dining: Northampton Brewery (Northampton)
  •      Pizza: Antonio’s (Amherst & Easthampton) 
  •      Place for homemade soup: Souperbowl (Amherst)
  •      Place for romantic dining: Blue Heron (Sunderland)
  •      Place for Tapas: Tabella’s (Amherst)
  •      Polish restaurant: Sofia’s (Hadley)
  •      Portuguese restaurant: Primavera Cafe Restaurante (Ludlow)
  •      Puerto Rican restaurant: Fernandez Family Restaurant (Holyoke)
  •      Restaurant: Eastside Grill (Northampton)
  •      Restaurant for desserts: Judie’s (Amherst)
  •      Restaurant for seafood: Zoe’s Fish House (Hadley)
  •      Ribs/barbeque: Bub’s BBQ  (Sunderland)
  •      Salads: Paul and Elizabeth’s (Thornes Market in Northampton)
  •      Service and wait staff: Carmalina’s at the Commons (Hadley)
  •      Southern Cajun food: Chef Wayne’s Big Mamou (Springfield & Williamsburg)
  •      Steak house: Caminito Argentinean Steakhouse (Northampton)
  •      Store for wine selection: Table and Vine (West Springfield)
  •      Sunday brunch: Sylvester’s (Northampton)
  •      Sushi: Osaka (Northampton)    
  •      Sweet shop/confectioner: Richardson’s Candy Kitchen (Deerfield)
  •      Thai restaurant: Thai Garden ( Keene, NH & Northampton, MA)
  •      Vegetarian restaurant: Paul and Elizabeth’s ( in Thorne’s Market in Northampton)
  •      Vietnamese restaurant: Pho Saigon (Springfield)
  •      Wine list: Chandler’s Restaurant at the Yankee Candle Flagship (South Deerfield)
  •      Wings: The Hangar/Wings Over Amherst (Amherst)      




2 Comments to “Winners of the best of Valley Advocate reader’s poll announced”

  1. Cool post, I’ve just got a border terrier dog to train.

  2. Came across your site yesterday when I was surfing, but I’m not really into the blog scene

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