We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Fun, atmosphere, fresh food at a good price”

The Mission Cantina
Ranked #10 of 116 Restaurants in Amherst
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mexican, Southwestern, Latin, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Dining on a budget, Families with children
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Amherst, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Fun, atmosphere, fresh food at a good price”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2014

Mission Cantina is th enewest mexican restaurant in th earea. Theyhave done a wonderful job creating a fun atmosphere. Wait staff are great, freshfood, good prices. Only challenge is it is very popular! Better to get there early. Loaded nachos are highly recommended.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank marsenault
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

115 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    73
    24
    8
    3
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Dedham, Massachusetts
2 reviews
“Mission Cantina Review”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2014

From the minute you walk in the door, you know that Mission Cantina is a Mexican Restaurant. You are greeted by the sound of traditional Mexican music and lots of traditional Mexican decor. They have a half circle bar, with a decent amount of seating directly in front of you as you walk in. The bar is well lit with spotlights directed at it and many decorations surrounding it. The next room over, which is a recent addition to the restaurant, also has a smaller bar surrounded by Mexican décor as well. As soon as we stepped inside we realized realize we had a wait ahead of us, which is typical for Mission Cantina. We went on a Wednesday night and the wait was just about 45 minutes, but we did have a party of 6 people. They do understand that people are usually waiting a while before they are seated so one of the waiters does come around and asks if anyone would like a drink, which is nice while you wait to be seated. They have a good selection of drinks with the majority of them being Margaritas, which is no surprise since it is a Mexican restaurant. I got a Serano Margarita, which was good but I tried and enjoyed the Anejo Margarita (that was suggested by the waiter) that my friend got and it had a unique flavor to it. It tasted like a traditional Margarita with a hint of smoky wood flavor.

The menu has many of the Mexican foods you would expect. For an entrée you can choose from tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, or burritos. Any of these entrees can be filled with one of their many fillings, or a combination of three different ones if you get the taco plate. The fillings include grilled chicken, carne asada, chorizo, bbq pork, carnitas, braised beef, grilled shrimp, poblano rajas, vegetables, and crispy fish. My burrito filled with chorizo was delicious and quite large as well. It came with a small salad on the side, with was not noted on the menu or mentioned by the waiter. The salad wasn’t great; it was kind of bland and could have come with more of dressing, or even a choice of dressing, which I didn’t get because I didn’t know I was getting a salad.

Our waiter was very friendly and helpful. She seemed like she was very knowledgeable about the menu, especially the drinks (she said she has tried them all). She checked up on us enough but not too much that she interfered with our conversations. We did have to ask her twice for water before she brought it to the table but after that she continued to refill our glasses. A minor flaw with the service was that when the food came out a food runner brought it to us, so she had to ask who got which dish. The only other small flaw with this restaurant was that the menu should have been proofread. The description of the burrito says it comes with a “choic of beans.” Other than those small flaws my experience at Mission Cantina was great. The food was delicious and the wait staff was friendly. That was my first experience there, but it definitely wont be my last.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Dante D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leverett, MA
Level Contributor
383 reviews
256 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 227 helpful votes
“Excellent, friendly place for quite good Mexican food.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 22, 2014

Mexican food in Amherst MA? You bet and it is really quite good. We were a bit apprehensive about trying this place - having been to a number of quite good places, often local mom and pop places in the southwest. But, we were told it was very good so we decided to check it out. A good move. It was very good indeed. Some measure of the place is the need to wait. We arrived about 6:40 and had about a 40 minute wait for a table. But, the wait was worth it. The hostess was very efficient and moved around a lot, keeping her list up to date and letting patrons who were waiting what the story was. You can also wait outside and not miss being called. The place is not fancy. No need to dress up here. Just be ready for good food.

We started with the house margarita - with their own fresh juices. It was very nice. We opted for the chips and salsa with the guacamole (and extra) and were really happy. The serving of guacamole was generous and the three salsa dishes were all very different and interesting. The chips were fresh, not greasy, and piping hot. One ordered a burrito with fresh vegetables (a choice from a list of about ten or so possible added things for the burrito). It was substantial and had plenty of flavor. We also ordered a quesadilla with the option of chicken. That was simply superb - beautifully cooked and delicious. We thought we would not eat it all, but it is hard to resist when it is so good and you know it will not be the same when you warm it up tomorrow. All in all, the food was very good.

In the southwest you can find "Mexican" food and you can find something closer to the real thing if you find the mom-and-pop places that are a bit out of the way. Mission Cantina is closer to the real thing. Try it and you will return.

It opens at 4 PM. We asked: weekdays are apparently a bit less busy, with not much wait if you are there by 5. Weekends pretty much have a wait all the time. Things quiet down by 8:15 or so. But, the place is popular so be prepared. Note that there is a substantial bar area and you can eat at the bar if you wish. There is also music that is relatively loud, but it does not seem out of place.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank BobHLeverett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Granby, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
31 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“awesome food and atmosphere”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2014

The food here is fabulous! Do not leave without trying the guacamole and salsa ... its top notch! The burritos are amazing and the enchiladas are to die for! The wait at dinner time is long, but well worth it. You can make reservations for a party of 6 or more.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank happybride74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hbon
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“#monopolyproblems”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2014

The problem with Mission Cantina is that there's nothing about it that is good enough to compensate for the myriad inconveniences of eating there. Having to wait an average of 45 minutes to an hour is okay, but the restaurant is poorly configured for hanging out. Only having space heaters is probably not a problem in the summertime, but it doesn't work out that well in the winter when it's 10 degrees outside and there are no double doors to keep the cold air from coming in. Similarly, having to wash one's hands in cold water in the bathroom during the winter is, while uncomfortable, tolerable, but not so appealing considering that the wait staff and cooks must also be washing their hands with cold water after using the bathroom. A predictably rude staff is often part of the fun at a top notch hole-in-the-wall restaurant of any sort, but that really gets one to the heart of the matter. The food at Mission Cantina isn't really that special – but as it nonetheless seems to have a monopoly on Mexican food that doesn't suck in the Pioneer Valley, it's able to behave as though it were.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank hbon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed The Mission Cantina also viewed

Amherst, Hampshire County
Amherst, Hampshire County
 
Amherst, Hampshire County
Amherst, Hampshire County
 
Amherst, Hampshire County
Amherst, Hampshire County
 

Been to The Mission Cantina? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing