Great pastries. Great espresso-based drinks. Rock-solid brunch.
The Black Sheep
- 79 Main St.
- Amherst, MA 01002
Every good college town needs one of these, a bohemian cafe where you can get a sandwich, a coffee, and some free WiFi. The Black Sheep is convenient to downtown Amherst and has a lot of character. They use local goodies in their offerings and even host the occasional Senator.
My favorite sandwich is the East meets West, a sort of vegetarian Bánh mi with roasted tofu, carrots, red onions, lettuce, and a funky delicious garlic + peanut + hoisin sauce slathered generously on a fresh, squishy baguette. Their other sandwiches are solid too and all of them are available in half-size portions, which is nice.
The coffee drinks are good, but sometimes inconsistent from barista to barista. I’ve had lattes that were 75% coffee with only the most token splash of milk on top (heart attack in a cup) and I’ve had lattes that were the complete opposite, so much milk I couldn’t be sure there was actually a shot of espresso in there. I never mind too much though because the milk is local and delicious, they use local roaster Dean’s Beans, and the crew is super nice and always get the food right, which is why I’m there really. For a cozy, crunchy rendezvous with friends, this is the go to spot.
Cushman has great coffee-based drinks, good pastries, excellent staff, and the perfect understated college-town atmosphere.