10 Best Places for Appetizers in Connecticut

Appetizers are an essential part of a meal—the small bites that curb your appetite. At Connecticut’s restaurants, you’ll find appetizers so good they can be the entire meal. From steamed mussels and hush puppies to stuffed mushrooms and charcuterie, you’ll love all of the options at these Connecticut eateries. Round up your friends and get ready to dig in as we explore the 10 best places to get appetizers in Connecticut! 

1. The Engine Room, Mystic, CT

The Engine Room is a definite crowd pleaser when it comes to appetizers and snacks to accompany happy hour. They offer delicious food that pairs well with its great selection of local beers. Though the menu changes a few times per year, you can expect to find specialties using locally-sourced ingredients to make flavorful dishes like smoked chicken wings, steamed mussels, feta and apple salad, hush puppies, and more. And don’t overlook the sides section of the menu, for it too has unforgettable options.

2. House of Naan, New Haven, CT

House of Naan has a small bites menu of 13 items, all packed with flavor, with several vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options to please everyone in your dining party. On the menu, you’ll find classic favorites, such as onion fritters, cheese pakora, paneer tikka, and lamb sliders, all with a flavorful twist. You’ll definitely want to order several appetizers to sample and share among friends.

3. The Pita Spot, Mystic, CT

This cozy restaurant offers delicious Mediterranean mezze (appetizers), with numerous hot and cold options. Many are gluten free and vegetarian, making the Pita Spot a great option if there are those with different diet restrictions in your party. On the menu, you’ll find hummus, moussaka, falafel, kibbeh, spinach pie, and more.

4. These Guys Brewing Company, Norwich, CT

To accompany the flavorful beer brewed at These Guys, order a couple of their amazing appetizers. The menu takes classic bar food up to a new level by offering flavorful options like pistachio-crusted goat cheese croquettes with cranberry and hibiscus honey and Buffalo chicken arancini. These hearty snacks will be tantalizing to your taste buds, especially when washed down with a cold beer. 

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5. Red 36, Mystic, CT

With both a raw bar and appetizers, Red 36 has a relaxing atmosphere in which to enjoy their extensive appetizers and drinks menu. You’ll get to enjoy Korean pork lettuce wraps, Red 36 nachos, cheese fondue with potato wedges, blackened fish tacos, and more. The raw bar is also impressive, with littlenecks, cherry stones, claims, shrimp, and more on the menu. 

6. El Segundo, Norwalk, CT

Not quite appetizers, but definitely small bites meant to work up your appetite, El Segunda is a street food market that serves dishes and tasters from all around the world. Bite into a crispy arancini from Italy, then munch on croquetas de bacalao while sipping a glass of wine, then grab a banh mi from Vietnam before you stroll through the rest of the menu. El Segundo is a perfect place for small bites and international flavors.

7. Captain Daniel Packer Inne Restaurant and Pub, Mystic, CT

Head downstairs to the cozy pub at the Daniel Packer Inne, which frequently offers live music, to enjoy appetizers, a fortifying drink, and a crackling fire. Their almond encrusted goat cheese medallion earns them a spot on this list, and the charcuterie board and stuffed portobello mushroom solidify their designation as one of the top places in the state for appetizers.

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8. Rothbard, Westport, CT

This typical German pub transported to Connecticut serves tantalizing appetizers—perfect with your frothing pint. Dig into raclette, bratwurst, or butter poached asparagus, or select from a range of cured meats and specialty cheeses. The wooden ceilings, paneled walls, and warm lighting creates a cozy atmosphere for your dining experience.

9. The Watch Factory Restaurant, Cheshire, CT

For something a bit fancy, try the Watch Factory, an Austrian restaurant serving beautiful food created with the best ingredients. On the menu at the Watch Factory, you’ll find marinated beets and gorgonzola, mussels in mustard cream, and zucchini and gorgonzola in puff pastry. Other luscious options can be found on the menu, and following the appetizer you’ll definitely want to tuck into one of their perfectly done mains.

10. Tibetan Kitchen, Middletown, CT

Transport yourself to the snowcapped Himalayas with a single bite of an appetizer at Tibetan Kitchen. This lovely eatery serves an array of Tibetan appetizers such as the Himalayan ne-zom, which is tofu, peas, cauliflower, and potatoes or thukpa dhrang-mo, a spicy cold noodle dish. Though on the entrée menu, momos, Tibetan-style dumplings, also make a great starter to share among friends.

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