Often overlooked because of the raved-about restaurants found in nearby New York and Boston, Connecticut boasts its own exciting foodie scene. These 15 tasty restaurants all across the state are must-visits. You'll find a little something for everyone: omnivores, vegans, meat-lovers, and locavores alike!
Located on the riverfront in Groton, Paul's Pasta Shop boasts freshly made pasta and traditional Italian dishes. With healthy servings in every dish, make sure Paul's Pasta is on your list of essential Italian eateries when you're in Connecticut.
Perfect for locavores (those who eat locally-produced foods) and brunch-lovers, La Belle Aurore is a great option for a lazy weekend brunch of stuffed French toast or an egg dish. La Belle Aurore supports local farmers by changing their menu frequently based on what is in-season. You can find La Belle Aurore on the shoreline in Niantic.
The Engine Room, located in the quaint town of Mystic, gets rave reviews online and rightfully so, as they serve delicious food in a great atmosphere. The Dutch apple pancakes are to die for and their customizable Bloody Mary menu is a clever idea.
Caffe NV serves Mediterranean-inspired sandwiches, hearty salads, pasta dishes, and Greek entrees. If you visit Caffe NV, be sure to save room for dessert as they have delicious Greek pastries.
Located in Cheshire, Viron Rondo Osteria is a highly-rated Italian restaurant with an extensive gluten-free menu. This is a great option for a nice lunch or dinner out. Taste their food for yourself at their location at 1721 Highland Ave.
Located on the beautiful waterfront in Mystic, S&P Oyster Co. is a top choice for seafood. Expect oysters on the half shell, shrimp scampi, scallops, and numerous dishes featuring shellfish.
One of the top pizzerias in Connecticut and arguably the very best in the entire country, Pepe's is a New Haven institution that has spread to several other locations including inside the Mohegan Sun Casino. Pepe's was opened by Frank Pepe and his wife in 1925 and the two original pizza recipes are still used today. You can read more about their long history and find their opening hours and menu on their website.
Mecha is a unique Asian restaurant, serving international favorites including Vietnamese pho, Japanese ramen, egg rolls, steamed baos, bahn mi, bubble tea, and more. Their menu is mouth-wateringly delicious and gets rave reviews. Mecha can be found in three locations across Connecticut: South Norwalk, Fairfield, and New Haven.
Bloodroot advertises itself as a feminist bookstore and restaurant that serves vegan and vegetarian food. This restaurant strives to use organic, seasonal produce and even sells their own vegetarian and vegan cookbooks.
Firebox Restaurant is an advocate for farm-to-table dining and aims to support local farmers. Based upon what's available in-season, Firebox offers a scrumptious menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, and larger entrees. Their menu and website also features the local businesses that supply their fresh ingredients.
This French bistro serves special appetizers, hearty main courses, decadent desserts, and unique cocktails in a fine atmosphere reminiscent of Lyon, France. Visit Bar Bouchee for a special French meal by Chef de Cuisine Jeffrey Cave.
Louis' Lunch in New Haven is considered the birthplace of the hamburger, which was created by the original owner, Louis Lassen, in 1900. Still open today, you can visit Louis' Lunch and order a burger sandwiched between two toasted pieces of white bread along with a handful of sides and sodas.
If you are a fan of Mexican food, try Bartaco in one of its several locations. The taco menu is extensive, expect more than 10 different options for fillings. If you don't want tacos, you can find salads, tamales, soup, and snacks on their menu.
Heirloom has an extensive menu and everything on it can be made gluten-free. They also serve gluten-free and vegan sweets and bread. In addition to a gluten-free and vegan menu, they support local farmers and also aim to serve mostly organic produce. On their menu, you'll find tasty breakfasts, healthy salads, sandwiches, and burgers. Learn more about the farms they support and their menu on their website.