Connecticut has an excellent selection of bars and pubs. To score a spot as one of the best, these bars must feature unique and delicious food options, extensive drink options, and create an atmosphere for a special night out. Nutmeggers need not travel to New York or Boston for a drink, as Connecticut has some bars that compete with the big cities’ best!
One of the more popular bars in the state, Eli Cannon’s has 36 real ales on tap, and focuses on serving only micro-brewed beers and non-mainstream imports. There is a constant rotation of what’s on tap, keeping customers loyal and interested. Not to mention, their menu boasts a selection of classic bar treats done very well: Pretzel bites, steak tacos, spinach and artichoke dip, take your pick! Just be sure to pair the meal with one of their delicious brews.
Rothbard Ale + Larder successful transports visitors to Western Europe with their excellent beer selection and hearty food menu. With beer accompaniments such as brats and fluffy pretzels, Rothbard Ale + Larder has sufficient options for those looking for a trip without the flight. Their craft beer list has everything from sours to stouts and for those who don’t like beer, they also have an extensive red and white wine list.
Pig’s Eye in Hartford is a true classic. It’s a no-fail chose for Happy Hour with its selection of brews on tap, from ciders, to IPAs, to lagers. The atmosphere is always lively and friendly—and in a spacious building so you never feel too cramped. And with can’t-beat specials like $5 Miller Highlife pitchers on Sundays and $3 premium/craft beers between 4-7 p.m. on Fridays, this should become your go-to spot!
With several locations across Connecticut, Barcelona Wine Bar brings the Spanish tradition of great wine with light tapas dishes to Connecticut. Serving 40 wines by the glass from Spain and South America, Barcelona Wine Bar is perfect for any wine lover. Food options are gorgeous small plates meant for sharing and feature traditional Spanish cooking.
With delicious food and creative martinis, Vasi’s is an excellent option for a nice dinner out in Connecticut. From evening until late, Vasi’s has patrons covered with entrée and late night menus and occasionally has live entertainment in the lounge. Some tantalizing menu options include grilled sausage con broccoli rabe and calamari, which make perfect sides to their creative cocktails. Try one of their 10 creative martini options tonight.
This bar really is the definition of cool. This was once the bar of the Hotel Taft, a high popular social spot in the early 1900s. Today, the bar is a restored, dark wood space with a mounted moose head overlooking the seating area. Their artisan cheeses pair perfectly with what they have on tap. Note: The beer cheese is completely to die for!
Tigin Irish Pub takes pub food to a whole new level by serving up delicious snacks, mains, salads, and desserts. Diners can expect to find options such as a kale and barley salad, fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, lamb dip, and more mouthwatering options. A pub at heart, the bartenders at Tigin Irish Pub create delicious drinks, and specials like $6 Moscow Mules on Mondays draws a crowd. A boozy brunch is also served on Saturdays and Sundays.
Mystic’s answer to New York-style Instagrammable bars, M/Bar is open all day and serves up delicious light options to accompany a morning cappuccino or evening cocktail. Their digs—a former gas station and garage—has been perfectly updated while keeping the original structure. Opened by the owners of Saltwater Farm Vineyard, M/Bar serves Saltwater Farm wines as well as a selection of other top wine options. Beers are also available and M/Bar only serves local New England beers, and an excellent selection of specialty cocktails.
Though the Colony Grill originated in Stamford, its popularity has allowed it to spread to Fairfield, Milford, and Norwalk. Colony Grill is a well-known local favorite for their thin crust, hot (spicy) oil pizzas. These pizzas are so good in fact, that they are the only item on the food menu. Luckily, the drink menu is more extensive and wine can be purchased by the bottle or glass and beers can be purchased by glass, pitcher, or in a bottle. Gluten free beer and pizza crust options are also available.
This 19th-century bar with an upscale food selection is a cozy spot featuring a fireplace and an atmosphere that will put anyone at ease after a long work week. Their executive chef, Piergiorgio Nanni was born in Rome and first started cooking at the age of 10, according to their site. Since then, Nanni has been crafting up magnificent dishes and has taken his talents to the Goose. Expect superb drinks, a superb food menu, and of unmatched service.