If you're from out-of-state, and more specifically not from the Northeast, you may not not have heard of the Friendly's restaurant chain. Perhaps best known for their ice cream brand sold in many grocery stores along the East Coast, Friendly's orginated only about forty minutes away from Amherst in Wilbraham, Massachusetts!
Their business is sadly on the decline, so many of their establishments have been closed in recent years, but the one in Hadley is still alive and well! Located on Route 9 and only about a five-minute drive from campus, Friendly's is a popular spot for both local families and college students alike because of it's yummy and inexpensive menu.
For me as an in-state student who grew up regularly coming out to Western Mass to visit family, Friendly's is probably the most iconic Western Mass restaurant chain I can think of. I grew up going there for lunch whenever we visited my grandmother in Chicopee, so Friendly's definitely holds a level of nostalgic appeal for me. If you grew up in or visiting Western Mass, I'm sure you can agree! Though I have only been maybe three or four times in the two years I've been a UMass student, I love knowing that a familiar place is nearby if I want some comfort food that reminds me of good memories and family!
Friendly's is by no means the peak of fine cuisine, but it is a great place to go with friends for a very reasonably priced meal! They give you an INSANE amount of french fries with every entree at the one in Hadley — to the point where I have never been close to finishing them, even with help from friends! I don't even order ice cream because I am always so full after my meal! Us college students love a good deal though, so I definitely recommend paying Friendly's a visit sometime when you're in the mood for some classic American comfort food!