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Salem Cross Inn in West Brookfield, Mass., Offers Amazing Traditional New England Fare, Ambiance

Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield MAby Eric Hurwitz. Page updated on 10/17/2019.

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Traditional New England dining approaches near-perfection at the Salem Cross Inn Restaurant and Tavern in beautiful West Brookfield, Mass.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Salem Cross Inn is a remarkable example of Colonial restoration with its original building constructed in the early 1700s. The handsome hardwood floors, post and beam ceilings, roaring fireplaces, antique furnishings, serene candlelight glow, and, gracious, old-fashioned "New England" waitresses dressed in Colonial apparel offer a complete feeling of warmth and comfort on three floors of charming, old rooms. Some stellar examples of old New England charm abound in the Chestnut Room with its huge fieldstone fireplace and 42-long chestnut ceiling beams, the old haybarn, known as the Hexmark Tavern, affording splendid views of the woods and meadows, and smaller rooms filled with antiquarian books, maps, documents and other curios.

Hexmark Tavern, Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield, Mass.
Hexmark Tavern.

Even before entering this storied structure, you know you've reached New England in its most authentic form. The Salem Cross Inn's 600 acres of rolling hills and woodlands, including grazing herds and a sleigh, typify the appeal of West Brookfield, an old-fashioned, friendly central Massachusetts town from yesteryear with an expansive, stunning village green surrounded by big, old historic homes.

The West Brookfield, MA town common.
Charming town: West Brookfield.

The Salem Cross Inn represents West Brookfield well -- high on charm and scenic views from virtually every perspective.

Prime rib dinner from the Salem Cross Inn restaurant in West Brookfield, MA
The backyard at the Salem Cross Inn.

Wonderful New England Fare

Prime rib roasting on fireplace at Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield MAThe Salem Cross Inn faithfully sticks to traditional New England cooking with the use of open-hearth fireplaces to slow roast its delicious prime rib and a restored 1699 Bannister Tavern beehive oven to turn out some delicious baked goods and dishes. When those amazing aromas combine with the homey, cozy, quaint feel of the place, everything just feels so right.  

The Salem Cross Inn creates its seasonal, traditional New England and contemporary cuisine fresh on a daily basis and by incorporating
heirloom vegetables and herbs grown in its own gardens. Once upon a time, New Englanders took pride in, and created fresh food from the farm and in the oven when a slower pace of life allowed for this precious process. Family, friends and neighbors gathered over hearty fare and good conversation as a foundation of the New England lifestyle.. That's very much the vibe at the Salem Cross Inn with 100 percent authenticity intact. A meal at the Salem Cross Inn could serve as a wonderful introduction to New England travel for the first-time visitor. It's that special of a destination.

The beyond-tender and flavorful prime rib dinner (when available) is the main course star attraction here...

Prime rib dinner from the Salem Cross Inn restaurant in West Brookfield, MA
Prime rib as part of a Fireside Feast dinner. Photo source: Salem Cross Inn Facebook Fan Page.

Culinary memories can easily be made, however, with pretty much any of the lunch or dinner items made with old-fashioned New England culinary love (and for adults, a fabulous selection of local wines and brews).

The chicken pie stands as one of the best we have tasted in New England with a perfect blend of tender chicken, flavorful vegetables, a mouthwatering creamy sauce and wonderful buttery crust...

Chicken pie from the Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield, MA
Chicken pie.

The Maple Jack Chicken with Monterey jack cheese, local maple syrup, bacon, roasted tomatoes -- and accompanied with a vegetable and starch (pictured here: mashed potatoes and squash) is a real standout...

Maple jack chicken from the Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield, MA
Maple Jack Chicken dish.

Another standout: the cedar-planked salmon, a perfectly-cooked piece of fish enhanced with fresh herb-lemon butter...

Maple jack chicken from the Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield, MA
Cedar-planked salmon.

The broiled scallops with sage parmesan crumb topping could be a textbook reference on how to create the perfect scallops dish... the flavors come together wonderfully.

Broiled scallops with sage parmesan crumb topping from the Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield, Mass.
Broiled scallops.

Family recipes like the New England Chowder of the Sea with its flavorful mix of heavy cream, herbs, fish and clams,  and a full-bodied comforting French onion soup should not be missed, either. Salads have that fresh-from-the-garden taste and the pre-meal variety of homemade breads, as well as the post-meal desserts -- well, let's just say some people consider those just as much a highlight as the main course.

Fresh-out-of-the-oven Pumpkin bread from the Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield, Mass.
Fresh-out-of-the-oven pumpkin bread.

The deep dish apple pie is the best we've tasted in New England, but it's also hard to resist the strawberry shortcake (made with buttermilk biscuits and whipped cream created in-house), pecan pie, Indian pudding, pecan custard bread pudding and maple pumpkin cheesecake.

Strawberry Shortcake from the Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield, Mass.
Strawberry shortcake. Photo source: Salem Cross Inn Facebook fan page.


The Salem Cross Inn -- near beautiful Sturbridge, Mass. -- also features special dining events, including multi-course fireside feasts, apple pie contests, herb sampling, fireplace pit roasts, a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, and hayrides and sleigh rides at various times of the splendid New England four seasons.

Winter sleigh ride. Photo source: Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield, MA
Sleigh ride at the Salem Cross Inn. Photo source: Salem Cross Inn Facebook fan page.

Perfect for a special night out, a family gathering, wedding or vacation dining spot, the Salem Cross Inn is the true epitome of traditional New England dining. If we had to choose one place to dine in New England, this would be it!

Salem Cross Inn
Route 9, West Brookfield, MA. Tel. (508) 867-2345.
Always check the Salem Cross Inn web site for seasonal hours before embarking on your dining destination.

Also be sure to check out the Salem Cross Inn Facebook fan page!

Suggested for you nearby...
Scenic New England wonder: the Quabbin Reservoir
Finding small town New England charm in West Brookfield
Taking a trip back in time to Historic Deerfield
Finding breakfast heaven in North Amherst
Visiting a North Amherst market and café that does things a bit differently
Discovering the flagship Yankee Candle Factory store and complex
Exploring the Bridge of Flowers and Glacial Potholes in Shelburne Falls, Mass.
Traveling the scenic backroads of Hamden, Franklin and Hampshire counties
Shopping at a historic, cornerstone marketplace in Northampton
Small New England towns and cities that would look great in Hallmark movies
Find a classic diner in New England
Imagine yourself at one of these authentic New England country stores

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The Salem Cross Inn in West Brookfield, Massachusetts is VisitingNewEngland's top choice for traditional New England fare.

Editor's note: VisitingNewEngland business partnerships started on Jan. 30, 2017, and differ than feature articles previously posted on VisitingNewEngland. Businesses pay a small, one-time fee to have pages like this appear, and first must be accepted by editor and publisher, Eric Hurwitz, as a business he approves as part of "real New england travel" to keep the integrity of the site. Businesses that sign up for business partnerships receive priority by receiving more social media exposure and link placement on Contact me if interested in forming a business partnership.

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Books by Publisher Eric Hurwitz

Massachusetts Town Greens -- Discover New England's first travel attractions: town commons!

The Best Diners in New England -- If you love classic diners, New England has them! In my book, I write in detail on 50 top local diners.

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