Restaurants in Connecticut

When food folks think of Connecticut, it’s probably pizza that first comes to mind. That’s New Haven-style pizza, cooked in a wood fired oven to the point that the edge of the crust is on the verge of char, It’s like Neapolitan pizza, but brawnier. Beyond pizza, excellent Italian food — Old World and cutting-edge — is ubiquitous. Connecticut also has a long shoreline, home to shacks and modest eateries serving hot lobster rolls, fried clams, and steel-gray clam chowder. Thanks to a long-standing tradition of dairy farming, Connecticut has a bevvy of great artisan ice cream makers. Throughout the state are memorable independent donut shops. In a small area around the city of Meriden, you’ll find diners serving what may be the nation’s most peculiar hamburger variation, known as a steamed cheeseburger.

Connecticut’s Most Famous Dishes

Pizza is crowded with meats, veggies, and feta cheese

Pizzas

Scoops of strawberry, pistachio, and vanilla ice cream accompany a slice of 4-layer chocolate cake.

Ice Cream

hot dog with hot mustard and relish

Classic Hot Dogs

Burger on a tender bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo ... car hop service

Grilled Hamburger

Connecticut’s Best Restaurants

Tulmeadow Dairy Farm - Packaged Ice Cream
Tulmeadow Dairy Farm | Produce, Meat and Ice Cream Stand in Simsbury, CT

SIMSBURY, CT

O’Rourke’s - Exterior Nignt
O’Rourke’s

MIDDLETOWN, CT

Jerry’s Pizza - The White Sicilian
Jerry’s Pizza

MIDDLETOWN, CT

Timothy's - Dutch Chocolate Ice Cream
Timothy’s

BRIDGEPORT, CT

Ridgefield Ice Cream Shop - Chocolate Soft Serve
Ridgefield Ice Cream Shop

RIDGEFIELD, CT

Swanky Frank’s

NORWALK, CT

Louis Lunch - Hamburger
Louis Lunch

NEW HAVEN, CT

Sally’s Apizza - Fresh Tomato Pizza
Sally’s Apizza

NEW HAVEN, CT

Botsford Drive-In - Hot Dog With Onion Sauce
Botsford Drive-In

NEWTOWN, CT

Coffee An - Donuts
Coffee An

WESTPORT, CT

Bethel Hot Dog Palace - Chili Dog
Bethel Hot Dog Palace

BETHEL, CT

David’s Place - Clam Plate
David’s Place

MONTVILLE, CT

Jim Barbarie’s - Prime Rib
Jim Barbarie’s

DANBURY, CT

S&S Dugout - Roast Beef
S&S Dugout

FAIRFIELD, CT

Rich Farm - Ice Cream
Rich Farm

OXFORD, CT

Flanders Fish Market & Restaurant - Fried Shrimp
Flanders Fish Market & Restaurant

EAST LYME, CT

Char-crusted pizza speckled with clams, garlic, and herbs
Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana

NEW HAVEN, CT

Doogie’s - 2 Foot Wiener
Doogie’s

NEWINGTON, CT

Mickey’s Oceanic Grill - Crab Roll
Mickey’s Oceanic Grill

EAST HARTFORD, CT

Ice Cream Shop - Sundae
Ice Cream Shop

NEWTOWN, CT

Rugged loaf of tan banana bread, sliced to reveal that it's packed with chocolate chips and walnuts
Bishop’s Orchards

GUILFORD, CT

Connecticut Articles & Guides

View All Articles & Guides

Top 12 favorite Ice Cream Scoops

WITH THE EXCEPTION of the hot dog bun, there has never been an edible invention as useful as the ice cream cone. Eat it all and leave nothing behind...

20 Burgers to Eat Before it's Too Late

One essential characteristic of any worthy hamburger is democracy of spirit—it should be accessible to all and not cost an arm and a leg. That's why our list of...

Monster Hash

We’ve never met a cooked potato we didn’t like. Baked with butter, salt-boiled, fire-roasted, puréed with cream, au gratin, dauphinois, frittered, and french fried—all are surefire transformations of the homely...

Slicecapades

The new Haven Trinity of Pepe’s, Sally’s, and Modern is rightly exalted for crisp-crust brick-oven pies, but those long-standing shrines are not alone in the pizza-rich state of Connecticut....

Fast Food Future

Thirty years ago, when we started writing about the colorful, cheap, and unpretentious restaurants that anchored communities across the country, we suspected we were documenting the end of an...

Drive Ins

For two-lane travelers, pulling into a parking lot perfumed by hamburgers and hot onion rings is as satisfying as any four-star dining experience. At a true classic drive-in, you...

This Must Be

ONE COLD DAY in the mid-1940s, Harold "Whitey" Miller, a Connecticut clam digger who sold littlenecks off the back of a truck, laid some clams on a metal grate...

Hungary Pangs

MAGDI ACZEL punched Michael the second time we ate at her restaurant. Our first meals of beef goulash and chicken paprikash were so delicious that we were eager to...

Top Dogs

No introduction is necessary. These are America's ten best hot dog joints By JANE and MICHAEL STERN  1 Walter's is a pagoda-shaped roadside stand that has been serving incomparable hot...

a pile of donuts at Holy Donut

Yankee Doughnut Dandies

In New England, doughnuts are an art. We needn't argue their humble virtues in contrast to such upwardly mobile pastries as scones and croissants or the meretricious muffins that...

Yankee Top Dogs

Hot dogs, the most American food of all, defy the regimentation that has made hamburgers, prime steaks, pancakes, and pizza such conspicuously successful franchise opportunities. (There are more than...

Pancakes

Pancakes make people happy. Arriving at the table in the form of short stacks or lofty towers, or fanned out like a haul of soft gold medallions, they are...

Dr. Mike's sign ... small batch artisan ice cream

New England

It is a bright, blue-sky day in July. A scoop of cool vanilla ice cream is perched atop a cone. Lick it, and your tongue tells you that the...

Crab Benedict includes stalks of asparagus

Mystic, Connecticut

By Jane and Michael stern Like pork barbecue and Creole gumbo, clam chowder is a charismatic dish that incites not just appetite, but loyalty: Devotees hold forth with near-religious zeal...

Curbside, America

Before Ralph Nader, cars were fun. For generations of joyriders, a purring V-8 was a vehicle for play and pleasure. "Companion of carefree days" is how Chevy advertised itself...

Healthful Detours U.S.A.

As a matter of principle, we are committed to finding food with ample fat, from marbled steaks to chocolate cakes, but even we sometimes yearn for light fare. On...

Pizza

What Kentucky is to bourbon and Havana is to cigars, Connecticut is to pizza—the capital, where the benchmark is set and excellence assumed. Nowhere else on earth are there...

O’Rourke’s Diner

Originally Published in 1994 Gourmet Magazine Clad in shining steel and accoutered in neon and Naugahyde, diners are cheap thrills, American style. Although most are in the urban east, where...

A full plate of fresh oysters on the halfshell a must order at any seafood restaurant

The Essential 22 Seafood Restaurants in the US

Seafood is a delicacy that has been enjoyed since the beginning of time. Its flavors are unique and diverse, and it can be cooked in many ways. That is...

America's Byways: Road trip through Connecticut's Merritt Parkway

Restaurants along Merritt Parkway America's Byways® are a collection of 150 National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. The Merritt Parkway of Connecticut is...

A Day in the Southern Berkshires

The color of New England's autumn foliage attracts seasonal visitors to the southern foothills of the Berkshires, but year around, it is an excruciatingly beautiful land: rolling hills, stone...

A lobster roll with a ramekin of butter, ready to drizzle

Northeast Seafood Crawl

For a mouthwatering summer road trip to sleeves-up joints surrounded by magnificent scenery, you can’t beat a seafood-eating expedition along New England's coast. At waterside picnic tables and roadside drive-ins, in...

The 10 Best Texas Hots

Texas Hots in New York Texas hots do not exist in Texas. Unique to New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, the curiously addictive franks were first created a century ago...

The One Must-Eat Food in Each State, and Where To Get It

Unique Regional Dishes After 40 years and 5 million miles spent on the road looking for America's best regional food, we've assembled a list of the quintessential, must-eat food in...

Lobster roll

6 best restaurants in New England

Looking for some stops along your Road trip?  Check out our picks for the 6 best restaurants in New England.  This is New England, so there is a plethora...

Clam Shack - Lobster Roll

14 Best Lobster Rolls in New England

Bad lobster rolls are easy to come by.  We've done the research and have found the best lobster rolls in New England for you! In Connecticut they have the...

Carminuccio’s - Stern Special

The Best Pizza In America | Roadfood Bests

Is there another dish as diverse as pizza? It can be an utterly simple tomato pie – nothing but sauce on crust – or it can be a multi-meat...

24 slices of tomato pie at Roma Sausage & Deli

Pizza: Original Tomato Pies of the Northeast | Roadfood Bests

Original Northeastern Tomato Pies The original tomato pies in cities of the Northeast were simply flatbreads topped with crushed tomatoes, spice and maybe a few anchovies or a sprinkle of...

Northeast Pizza Throwdown | New Haven or New York?

East Coast Classic Neapolitan Pizza Showdown Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey all lay claim to the best pizza in America, maybe in the world. We want you to be...

Connecticut: Land of Great Hot Dogs | Roadfood Bests

Connecticut Hot Dogs Along with New Jersey, New York, and Chicago, Connecticut is one of the nation's most fruitful hot dog hunting grounds. In this land of great hot dogs...

Anderson’s Frozen Custard - Frozen Custard

9 Places to Go For Great Soft-Serve

Great Soft Serve There is so much inferior soft-serve ice cream (aerated, chemically-flavored), that soft-serve in general has a bad reputation among ice cream lovers. But there are exceptions, soft-serve...

Double bacon cheeseburger, fully dressed

13 Best Places to Eat a Burger Outside this Summer

Burgers in the Open Air Hamburgers are good year-round, but there’s special pleasure in having one en plein air on a summer day. Check out these baker’s-dozen Roadfood favorite restaurants serving the...

Exterior view of Dave's showing gas pumps ... legendary chili dogs

Memorable Gas Station Food in America | Roadfood Bests

Fill Your Gas Tank and Your Stomach "Eat Here. Get Gas": It's a roadside jest as old as gas stations themselves. (Before gas stations, pioneering motorists bought gas in pharmacies.)...

13 Best Taco Places in America

Taco Take Over When we started hunting Roadfood many years ago, good tacos were hard to find anywhere other than the southwest borderlands and southern California. Today, great tacos are...

Uniquely Connecticut | Roadfood Bests

Dishes That Are Uniquely Connecticut When I moved from Connecticut to South Carolina, I was instantly smitten with my new home's shrimp and grits, fried chicken, local peaches, and, of...

White Clam Pizza in Connecticut | Roadfood Bests

The Origin For the best White Clam pizza in Connecticut, you should first head to New Haven. Some consider it the pizza capital of the universe. Clam pizza first appeared...

Picnic table holds a plastic cup with a balance of lemonade and ice tea ... Maine lobster roll

Yankee Grape-Nuts

Originally marketed in 1897 to compete with granula, which was the predecessor to granola, Grape-Nuts is an unlikely fun dessert. But in the world of Yankee cookery, the little...

Sausage pizza with slight char on its crust

New Haven Pizza Classics | Roadfood Bests

Connecticut did not invent pizza, but a good argument can be made that Connecticut perfected it. The evidence is in New Haven, on Wooster Street, home of Frank Pepe...

Widman’s Candy Shop - Hot Air

12 Best Chocolatiers from Coast to Coast

Twelve champion chocolatiers, from the Oregon coast to downeast Maine.

Paper-thin crepes, dusted with powdered sugar, envelop bananas, walnuts, maple syrup and brown sugar

Brunchtime

Why is brunch so wonderful? One, it almost always includes adult beverages. Two, it's far more bountiful than either breakfast or lunch. Three, there's no hurry to eat it:...

Beautiful Vintage Diners

The term diner has come to mean almost any inexpensive cafe that serves breakfast. But true diners are an elite class of eatery. They are mid 20th century design...

Chocolate layer cake frosted with caramel and pecans

Seductive Cafeterias

For some passionate eaters, a great cafeteria can be a source of tremendous anxiety. How on earth can a person choose from among dozens and dozens of good-looking desserts,...

Laurel Diner - Corned Beef Hash

Heavenly Corned Beef Hash

The only possible happy exclamation incited by corned beef hash spooned from a can is "Arf!" But freshly chopped and sizzled to a crisp, crowned with poached eggs eager...

Roast Beef Sandwich

Every deli serves a roast beef sandwich, but a handful of U.S. restaurants make roast beef sandwiches that go beyond mere lunch meat on bread. The most memorable are...

Best Benedicts

One morning at the turn of the last century, Lemuel Benedict shuffled into New York's Waldorf Hotel looking for a dish to cure his hangover. He asked for poached...

Oyster Bar - Manhattan Chowder

Clam Chowders of the Northeast

The northeast has four main kinds of clam chowder. Manhattan is tomato-red and full of vegetables, rarely served northeast of New York City. South Coast, a specialty of Connecticut...

Destination Donuts

Donut devotion as fervid as the commitment devotees have for barbecue. Everybody has a favorite kind. From robust cake sinkers to featherweight glazed, styles vary dramatically. In our experience,...

The Varsity - Exterior Night

America's Best Remaining True Drive-In Restaurants

"Drive-in" has come to mean just about any cheap-eats restaurant with car-friendly parking. A genuine drive-in is a place where customers park and are waited on and eat in...

Bowl of chili with onions, cheese & chips ... chili nation

Chili Nation | Where's The Best? | Roadfood Bests

Chili is like DNA: everybody's is different. Texans claim (rightfully) that history proves theirs to be the first. Or at least they were the first to make a big...

Blue Colony Diner - Club Deluxe

Hot Turkey Sandwich

Every diner, town cafe, and truck stop sells a hot turkey sandwich. A precious few are memorable and as delicious as the best Thanksgiving leftovers. They include plenty of...

Granola is loaded with nuts, berries, raisins, coconut, etc., etc.

Granola Greats, Coast to Coast

Granola first was invented in the 1860s (not the 1960s) and eaten by health nuts of the day. It was a severe dish made from nothing but double-baked sheets...

Julian Pie Company - Apple Crumb Pie

13 of the Best Places to Get Apple Pie in America

Crumb-topped, lattice-topped, or layered with caramel and welcoming a scoop of ice cream on top, apple pie is everywhere from coast to coast. For your pleasure, a baker's dozen...

America's Best Hot Dogs

There's no point getting into a flame war over which American hot dog is best. It's impossible, because the nation's hot dogs are so diverse.  However, we will go...

Yankee Donut Destinations

A donut’s very shape is satisfying. It is complete, a whole circle, nice to lift and easy to dunk. Almost any recently-made donut from a national chain offers the...

Lobster roll on a round bun

New England Shore Dinner

Along the Northeast's Atlantic coast, the term "shore dinner" doesn't just mean some seafood on a plate. Descendant of Algonquin clambakes in which clams and corn were layered in...

On a sunny picnic table, fried clams are piled high in a red-checked cardboard boat.

Fried Clams | Whole Belly | New England Roadfood Bests

Few eats stir Yankee passions more intensely than fried clams. Most devoted clamophiles insist on whole belly clams (the big gooey ones), and while clam strips do tend to...

Steamed cheeseburger with lettuce, and tomato in a bun ...

The Steamer Cheeseburger of Connecticut | Roadfood Bests

How It's Made To make a steamed cheeseburger, restaurants use a special steam cabinet. Into it they put little trays, some with fistfuls of ground beef, others with hunks of...

Great Connecticut Recipes

Root Vegetable Hash

Mighty Ity

Carbone's - Sicilian Orange Salad

Sicilian Orange Salad

Crème Brulee French Toast

Dirt Bomb

×

Connect with us #Roadfood

Share to...