The 15 Most Unique (and Amazing) Restaurants in Connecticut!

The Nutmeg State has some excellent restaurants serving incredible concoctions and savory creations. Some restaurants take things a bit further than most by pushing the envelope with innovative processes, experiences, and flavors. From the birthplace of the hamburger to eateries paying homage to the Wild West, you’re in for a treat at these 15 restaurants. 

1. Ted’s Restaurant, Meriden, CT

Serving steamed cheeseburgers since 1959, Ted’s certainly takes an American favorite to a different level with steaming its burger patties rather than grilling them. Made to order, each steamed cheeseburger is juicy and comes with an extra dollop of cheddar cheese for added flavor. The original Ted’s can be found in Meriden, although another outlet has opened in Cromwell and they now have a food truck serving steamed cheeseburgers on the go.

2. Mystic Market, Old Saybrook, Mystic, CT

Healthy fast food? That kind of sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it. Mystic Market, located in Old Saybrook and Mystic, is a healthy fast food store and restaurant serving sandwiches, premade salads, soups, and meals made with real, wholesome ingredients. Purchase a pan of lasagna to heat and eat at home for a healthy, hearty, and family-friendly meal.

3. Dinners at the Farm, Multiple locations

Surrounded by cornfields, heads of lettuce, and snap pea vines, experiencing a Dinner at the Farm is a must for any foodie. This restaurant earns its spot on this list because of the special dining experience—eating dinner at a farm—and their great mission—connecting farmers and food producers with diners. Even more notably, Dinners at the Farm donates all proceeds to Connecticut-based beneficiaries. 

4. Hartford Giant Grinder, East Lyme, CT

Turning something as simple as the grinder into a sandwich bursting with flavor certainly merits a mention on this list. Harford Giant Grinder packs their grinders with fun fillings reminiscent of favorite meals like chicken parmesan, eggplant parmesan, or the seasonal favorite, Thanksgiving dinner. No matter what grinder you order, you are in for a delicious meal.

5. Whey Station, Middletown, CT

Serving food on the go out of a food truck, order any fancy grilled cheese from Whey Station’s menu and you are in for a treat. With specialty options, such as bacon marmalade with brie, prosciutto, brie, and fig garlic jam, and French onion confit, you won’t be disappointed.

6. Bleu Squid Bakery and Cheese Shop, Mystic, CT

Serving gourmet grilled cheese and tasty cupcakes, the Bleu Squid Bakery is a really nice option for a people-pleasing lunch. With options such as lobster grilled cheese and grilled cheese with roasted artichoke hearts, these certainly are a more adult version of the childhood favorite sandwich.

7. Louis’ Lunch, New Haven, CT

Considered the home of the original hamburger, Louis’ Lunch is a Connecticut favorite. Established in 1895, Louis’ Lunch serves its hamburger on two slices of toasted white bread with only cheese, tomato, and onion available as toppings. Keeping it simple is the way to enjoy the delicious hamburger meat served by Louis’.

8. Colony Grill, Stamford, CT

With only a limited menu, you’d better hope the food is top notch—luckily Colony Grill is highly rated and well loved. Colony Grill serves a one-of-a-kind pizza with their pepper infused hot oil added atop their finished pizza. Their cheese pizza can be topped with several items, but the real signature item is the hot oil, which really should be added to each of their pizzas.

9. Mac N’ Out Macaroni and Cheese, Milford, Bridgeport, CT

Elevating another family favorite—macaroni and cheese—Mac N’ Out has created a unique menu taking mac and cheese to a whole new level. Some of the many menu options include Mediterranean mac with spinach, sundried tomatoes, and fontina cheese, sloppy joe mac, and mac dogs, which are deep fried hot dogs covered in macaroni and cheese.

10. Super Duper Weenie, Fairfield, CT

Though the name is a bit funny, Super Duper Weenie is home to specialty hot dogs. Menu items are crowd pleasers such as New Englander, a hotdog with sauerkraut, bacon, mustard, sweet relish, and raw onion, Dixie with homemade chili and coleslaw, and the Cincinnatian with chili, cheddar cheese, and chopped onions. They serve some of America’s favorite food.

11. Philly’s Cheese Steaks and More, Norwich, CT

Philly’s Cheese Steaks is touted as the best cheese steaks outside of Philadelphia. Their mouthwatering sandwiches are topped with a healthy slathering of Cheesewizz. Philly’s cheese steaks have been rated the best sandwich in Connecticut, and they certainly deserve that name.

12. These Guys Brewing, Norwich, CT

With tasty homebrewed beers and amazing guest beers, pairing your meal with a drink is certainly in order. Their ale battered fish and chips are spiced and seasoned to perfection and their appetizers such as heirloom tomato bruschetta and baked brie are the perfect accompaniment to a great conversation over beer with friends or family.

13. Hoodoo Brown BBQ, Ridgefield, CT

Named after one of the most notorious cowboys of the Wild West, Hoodoo Brown BBQ does their meat right. You’ll be salivating at the sound of their menu because it has delicious Texas favorites such as Texas poutine, blackened catfish, pork sandwiches, and massive meat plates to share with the whole table. Desserts are also finger lickin’ good and include fried Oreos and banana bourbon cream pie.

14. Rothbard Ale + Larder, Westport, CT

Rothbard is all about forgoing the expensive flight and bringing Germany and the rest of Europe directly to you. Expect German-favorite dishes such as currywurst, pretzels, European cheese and meats, and several types of schnitzel to cure your wanderlust without the trip. Rothbard comes highly rated and of course, serves numerous beer options to continue the German-theme.

15. River Tavern, Chester, CT

Working with local fishermen and farmers, the chef at River Tavern creates season inspired dishes based on the in-season fish and produce. Their dishes are neatly plated and packed with flavor. Additionally, River Tavern gives back to the local community by using the proceeds from children who dine on Sundays to a healthy school lunch initiative.

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