Haymarket Bookstore Cafe

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 12 reviews )

15 Amber Ln (at Main St, Cracker Barrel Alley), Northampton, Massachusetts, USA, 01060

Cafe with a '60s atmosphere. Coffee, smoothies, pastries available at counter on main floor; full menu downstairs (order at counter, delivered to table). No tipping. Note that doorway on Main St is easy to miss, so look for it. Reported to use milk in some items so vegans confirm. Open Mon-Sat 7:00am-10:00pm, Sun 8:00am-10:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Organic

12 Reviews

First Review by Jaxxy13

We love Haymarket! - Edit

My husband and I met here, so it will always be special to us. We eat here every time we’re out in Northampton for dinner. My favorite dishes are the tacos and the spinach enchiladas. Also, the breakfasts are delightful. My favorite juice from the cafe is called Drinking June. I love their baked goods because they aren’t super-sweet (I try to reserve sugary treats for special occasions only). Soups are always hot and tasty (mmm...sambar).

It’s a great place for blind dates — there are bathrooms and exits on both floors if you need a quick escape route.

It is tricky for anyone with accessibility concerns.

Final thought: They feed anyone who comes in in need of food. They don’t take tips — staff is paid a living wage. Instead of tips, you can donate to the Common Bowl, which is a fund they use to feed people in need. Each month, they post how much money was collected and how many meals in turn were served the prior month.

Pros: Excellent and tasty food.

Cons: Sometimes there’s a hippie in the corner teaching , Sometimes it’s a little arm-pit-y in there.

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Pretty good - Edit

The upstairs area is a cafe and downstairs is the restaurant. I went downstairs for a casual dinner. It's unfortunately not very well lit, as it's underground, but the space is cozy enough.

I ordered the tofu scramble, which was pretty good. It had a nice array of mix-ins, including mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and onions. It was also accompanied by a salad and brown rice. The salad was really good. The greens were beautiful, and the dressing was really tasty. I believe it was miso based.

Overall take: this is a good place to do some work or reading while enjoying a drink and/or light fare. The food is pretty good, but I wouldn't it consider it destination-worthy for the meals alone.

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not bad :) - Edit

I got an amazing smoothie there with strawberries, bananas, passionfruit, and soy milk. It was delicious! However, their vegan cheesecake was quite bland. Nice texture but there was very little flavor. Friendly service.

Pros: Amazing smoothies, decent amount of vegan options, nice atmosphere

Cons: Vegan cheesecake was bland

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the soup!! - Edit

I go here for the soup and the soy chai. Perfect on a chilly day or any time of year! Just ask which soups are vegan (and gf for me as well) and the staff will be able to help.

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cosy, fun, comfortable with good food - Edit

It's true, several people I know (as well as myself) have been informed by staff that certain seemingly-vegan items contain milk. The tempeh in the tempeh tacos, as mentioned in an earlier listing, as well as one of the tofu dishes have been reported by staff to contain milk. Nobody I've known for all the years we've gone to Haymarket ever knew about that. I found out after I saw a newspaper article published about the owner, and included was a recipe for tempeh that called for cow milk. I then asked staff about items on the menu items and was informed about the items many of us assumed were vegan that actually contained dairy. I believe these items should be better labeled or presented on the menus.


Pros: Cozy atmosphere, fair price, helpful staff

Cons: not 100% vegan, sometimes crowded, items that appear vegan contain milk

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ask for the (KO) Kale Octopus! - Edit

It's not on the menu. Wonderful drink with lots of kale.

Pros: great food , healthy

Cons: loud upstairs , busy

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OK place - Edit

I've been to this place twice so far. First time was for dinner in the dining area downstairs a long time ago. It wasn't at all memorable; I vaguely remember the setting being a little dingy and the food just OK. Yesterday I came here again and grabbed a vegan banana chocolate chip cookie. Was yummy, very banana-ey with loads of chocolate chips. Couldln't find any seat since everybody was on laptop and seemed to be there to stay.

Pros: location, good price

Cons: hard to find seats

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I've eaten at Haymarket for years, and for the most part the food is good, the staff downstairs is nice, and the atmosphere is cozy. For some reason the staff upstairs in the juice bar/bakery seems to always have an attitude. It's so odd, but try it out for yourself and see what I mean. It never fails. So a week ago I went in and ordered the tempeh taco plate with no sour cream. I reiterated to the order taker that I wanted it vegan. She said without the sour cream it would be vegan. I ate them. 2 days ago I go in and order them again, and again reaffirm that I want the plate to be vegan. This time, a different counterperson tells me, "Oh, these tacos are not vegan. The tempeh is battered in milk. I know. We make them here. We use milk." WTF?! So thank you Haymarket...I am no longer vegan. I ate milk. I'm sorry, but why on earth would a place go to the trouble of preparing tempeh tacos, ostensibly to appeal to the veg crowd, only to then engorge them with the pus of a cow?! I was not a happy camper, but the counterperson was very nice and apologetic, so I just quietly stewed and had the supposedly vegan baked tofu sandwich. Please spread the word re. the tempeh tacos!

Pros: Lots of food for low price(not@breakfst), Many vegan choices, Free wifi

Cons: Vegan doesn't always mean Vegan!, Snotty attitude of upstairs staff, Juice bar closes too early

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Great Spot - Edit

I love the atmosphere of Haymarket. I find the food to be a bit hit or miss. I've gotten a vegan cookie that was bland and way too salty. However, I've also gotten the vegan chocolate cake, which was delicious. My tempeh burger had too much bread and unseasoned tempeh, but the curried soup I got was amazing. So there's some really good stuff it you don't mind sorting through the not so good stuff. And, as usual, I appreciate the soy milk!

Pros: Atmosphere, Wifi

Cons: Some Bland Food

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Good Food - Edit

The salad with grilled tempeh was an excellent lunch. Very much enjoyed the vegan scrambled tofu breakfast but, had hoped for a little more tofu... still, delicious and the amount of other food on the plate made up for any lack of tofu. The fresh squeezed OJ was a nice touch. I've been to Haymarket before and will make it a stop on any visit in the area.

Pros: good vibe, good grub, good value

Cons: bring on the tofu! ;)

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Great place for coffee and vegan desserts - Edit

I'm not the biggest fan of the "entrees" served at Haymarket, but I can't deny that they have great dark roast coffees and vegan desserts. The chocolate chip and lemon poppyseed cookies are especially delicious, and the cupcakes and brownies are great, too! I've yet to have a sweet treat at Haymarket that wasn't good.

Pros: good coffee, good vegan desserts

Cons: entrees are just okay

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Loved it ! - Edit

The tempeh burger was the best ever! I also tried the Kukicha twig tea,and loved it so much I ran right out to buy some from the Cornucopia market located right across the street in Thorns market .

Pros: informative staff, awesome menu variety, cozy spot

Cons: tends to get very busy

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