Connecticut may be a small state, but its culinary scene packs a flavorful punch. From bustling cities to charming coastal towns, the Nutmeg State is home to a vibrant array of restaurants that cater to diverse palates and offer unforgettable dining experiences.
Whether you’re a local resident or a traveler exploring the area, Here are 30 of the best restaurants in Connecticut that are guaranteed to satisfy your cravings and leave you craving more.
Listed Below Are The 30 Best Restaurants In Connecticut To Visit And Savour in 2023
The Capital Grille (Hartford) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
For an upscale dining experience, head to The Capital Grille in Hartford. Known for its dry-aged steaks, fresh seafood, and extensive wine list, this restaurant delivers an impeccable dining experience with its elegant ambiance and attentive service.
Millwright’s (Simsbury) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
Nestled in a 17th-century grist mill, Millwright’s offers a seasonal and locally sourced menu. With a focus on New England flavors and inventive dishes, Chef Tyler Anderson crafts culinary masterpieces that showcase the region’s bountiful ingredients.
The Whelk (Westport) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
A seafood lover’s paradise, The Whelk in Westport serves up a delectable selection of fresh and sustainable seafood. From raw oysters to imaginative small plates, the restaurant captures the essence of coastal dining with its relaxed atmosphere and exceptional cuisine.
The Place (Guilford) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
Embrace the simplicity of outdoor dining at The Place. Located in Guilford, this rustic eatery grills their dishes over an open fire, offering a unique experience. Indulge in their clams, lobster, and other grilled delights while savoring the warm ambiance.
Arethusa al Tavolo (Bantam) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
Situated on a picturesque dairy farm, Arethusa al Tavolo combines farm-fresh ingredients with Italian flair. Indulge in their house-made pasta, artisanal cheeses, and delectable desserts, all while enjoying the idyllic countryside setting.
Barcelona Wine Bar (Fairfield) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
With its lively atmosphere and a menu inspired by the flavors of Spain, Barcelona Wine Bar in Fairfield is a must-visit. Explore their extensive wine list while savoring tapas, paella, and other traditional Spanish dishes.
Max Downtown (Hartford) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
Max Downtown has long been a favorite in Hartford’s dining scene. This sophisticated restaurant offers a diverse menu, featuring everything from steak and seafood to vegetarian options, all prepared with exceptional attention to detail.
The Dressing Room (Westport) Best Restaurants In Connecticut
Co-owned by the late Paul Newman, The Dressing Room in Westport is a tribute to his passion for food and philanthropy. With a focus on seasonal and sustainable ingredients, this farm-to-table restaurant delights diners with its creative and flavorful dishes.
ON20 (Hartford) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
For a truly elevated dining experience, visit ON20, a fine dining restaurant located on the 20th floor of Hartford’s iconic State House Square. Enjoy breathtaking views of the city while savoring the artfully presented, contemporary American cuisine.
The Engine Room (Mystic) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
Housed in a former marine repair shop, The Engine Room in Mystic is a gastropub that serves up comfort food with a twist. Indulge in their burgers, mac and cheese, and craft beers while enjoying the industrial-chic atmosphere.
The Place 2 Be (Hartford) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
For a delightful brunch experience, head to The Place 2 Be in Hartford. Known for its creative breakfast and brunch options, this trendy spot offers everything from pancakes and omelets to unique dishes like avocado fries and French toast tacos.
Oyster Club (Mystic) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
Nestled in the historic seaport town of Mystic, Oyster Club celebrates the region’s coastal heritage. As the name suggests, their focus is on fresh seafood, particularly oysters sourced from local farms. Enjoy their inventive seafood dishes and farm-to-table creations in a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
The Restaurant at Winvian Farm (Morris) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
For an unforgettable culinary experience, visit The Restaurant at Winvian Farm. Located on a luxurious resort, this farm-to-table restaurant showcases the finest ingredients from their own organic gardens and local purveyors. The menu changes with the seasons, ensuring a fresh and innovative dining experience.
Mill Street Bar & Table (Greenwich) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
In the heart of Greenwich, Mill Street Bar & Table offers contemporary American cuisine with a focus on seasonal ingredients. The elegant yet relaxed setting, complemented by the warm hospitality, makes it a perfect choice for a memorable dining experience.
Cavey’s (Manchester) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
Cavey’s in Manchester is a hidden gem that delights food enthusiasts with its unique concept. Divided into two sections, Cavey’s offers Italian and French dining experiences. Explore their prix fixe menus that change frequently, allowing guests to savor a variety of expertly crafted dishes.
The Stand (Branford) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
If you’re craving a juicy burger or a delicious hot dog, The Stand in Branford is the place to go. This casual eatery focuses on high-quality ingredients, offering a mouthwatering selection of gourmet burgers, creative toppings, and hand-cut fries.
Firebox Restaurant (Hartford) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
Housed in a restored 1901 firehouse, Firebox Restaurant combines rustic charm with a commitment to locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. The ever-changing menu showcases seasonal flavors, and their farm-to-table philosophy shines through in every dish.
The Cottage (Westport) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
Tucked away in Westport, The Cottage is a cozy neighborhood gem. With a focus on New American cuisine, this charming restaurant features an ever-changing menu based on what’s fresh and in season. Don’t miss their creative small plates and handcrafted cocktails.
Match (South Norwalk) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
Match in South Norwalk, also known as SoNo, is a vibrant spot that offers a fusion of American and global flavors. From their sushi bar to their wood-fired pizzas and innovative entrées, Match impresses with its diverse menu and energetic atmosphere.
The Griswold Inn (Essex) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
Step into history at The Griswold Inn, one of the oldest continuously operated inns in the United States. This colonial-era landmark features several dining options, including their main dining room and taproom, where you can enjoy classic New England fare and live music.
The Place 2 Be (Bloomfield) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
Building on the success of their Hartford location, The Place 2 Be expanded to Bloomfield, offering their delicious and inventive brunch menu to a wider audience. From their signature stuffed French toast to their savory breakfast sandwiches, it’s a brunch lover’s paradise.
Shell & Bones Oyster Bar (New Haven) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
Situated on the waterfront in New Haven, Shell & Bones Oyster Bar offers stunning views and an impressive selection of oysters. Feast on their fresh seafood dishes, enjoy a handcrafted cocktail, and soak in the coastal ambiance.
Ballo Italian Restaurant (Mohegan Sun) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
Located within Mohegan Sun, Ballo Italian Restaurant transports diners to the heart of Italy. Indulge in their authentic Italian cuisine, including homemade pastas, wood-fired pizzas, and mouthwatering desserts, all served in a vibrant and lively atmosphere.
Zohara Mediterranean Kitchen (West Hartford) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
For a taste of the Mediterranean, Zohara in West Hartford offers a delightful culinary journey. With its vibrant and flavorful dishes inspired by the diverse cuisines of the region, you can indulge in mezze platters, fresh seafood, grilled meats, and an array of vegetarian options.
The Cook and the Bear (West Hartford) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
A collaboration between two renowned chefs, The Cook and the Bear in West Hartford brings together barbecue and modern American cuisine. Experience the art of slow-cooked meats, flavorful sides, and inventive cocktails, all served in a stylish and inviting setting.
The Lyme Tavern (East Haddam) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
Located in the charming town of East Haddam, The Lyme Tavern combines history with delectable cuisine. Housed in a 1740s building, this tavern offers a cozy atmosphere where you can enjoy hearty New England fare, including seafood classics and comfort food favorites.
Harlan Brasserie (Stamford) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
Harlan Brasserie in Stamford exudes sophistication and elegance. With a menu that highlights French-inspired cuisine and a carefully curated wine list, this restaurant offers a refined dining experience for those seeking culinary excellence.
Heirloom (New Haven) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
Situated within The Study at Yale hotel, Heirloom showcases New England’s seasonal bounty through its farm-to-table concept. The menu features locally sourced ingredients transformed into exquisite dishes, reflecting both tradition and innovation.
River Tavern (Chester) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
In the quaint town of Chester, River Tavern stands as a beloved culinary destination. Their menu focuses on locally sourced ingredients, creating dishes that showcase the flavors of the Connecticut River Valley. The warm and inviting atmosphere makes it a perfect spot for a relaxed and satisfying meal.
The Chelsea (Fairfield) – Best Restaurants In Connecticut
With its coastal location in Fairfield, The Chelsea offers a delightful blend of seafood, cocktails, and stunning views. Whether you opt for their raw bar selections, fresh seafood entrées, or handcrafted cocktails, you’ll be treated to a memorable dining experience.
Connecticut’s dining scene is brimming with exceptional culinary establishments that cater to a variety of tastes and preferences. From upscale fine dining to cozy neighborhood gems, the state offers a diverse range of restaurants that showcase the best of local and international cuisines.
Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, exploring these 30 best restaurants in Connecticut will undoubtedly leave you with a palate satisfied and memories of delectable flavors that will linger long after your visit.