Denmo’s Snack & Dairy Bar

Clam Shack | Drive-In | Hot Dog
One of the best

Denmo’s is a happy drive-in with picnic-table seats and an eat-in-the-rough style of service. Wait in line at one of two order windows. While waiting, peruse the posted permanent menu (fried clams and shrimp, hamburgers and hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches and Philly cheese steaks) as well as cards tacked around the menu announcing seasonal and daily specials (soft-shelled crabs, hot lobster roll, soup of the day). When your turn comes, tell the order-taker what you want, pay for it, and get a number. Then loiter around the third window waiting for your number to be called. While waiting, there is excellent reading material available: a huge communal bulletin board, where locals post notices of services and goods for sale and interesting events coming up. The meal is presented on a tray. Dining accommodations are picnic tables around the side or in back. When the weather is bad, people eat in their cars.

You expect fried seafood to be good in a place such as this, and it is more than good. The clams – available in the gooey whole-belly configuration or as the chewier and less oceanic “clam strips” – are crisp-crusted and big-flavored. Shrimp are large, firm, and sweet, and there are plenty to an order. The hot lobster roll, a Southern New England specialty that differs from the Downeast mayonnaise-bound cold lobster salad roll, comes loaded with meat that can be (but is not always) utterly fresh. Onion rings and French fries (the latter available either straight or curly) are good, too. We are perpetually wowed by the soups, which are made here daily. Chowder, beef barley, and lentil soup are exemplary; and although they are served in Styrofoam cups with plastic spoons, they have quality and flavor that is anything but cheap.

Denmo’s also is known for its ice cream, which is good; but by the time we’ve sucked down an excellent chocolate milk shake with a fried clam dinner and a hot relish-dressed foot long dog, we’re seldom peckish enough for an ice cream cone.

What to Eat
Denmo’s Snack & Dairy Bar, Fried Clam Basket
Fried Clam Basket
Whole belly clams are big and juicy but not overly gooey.
Denmo’s Snack & Dairy Bar, Hot Lobster Roll
Hot Lobster Roll
Lobster + butter + toasted bun = heaven
Denmo’s Snack & Dairy Bar, Soup
Beef Barley soup: thick enough to eat with a fork.
Denmo’s Snack & Dairy Bar, Fried Scallops
Fried Scallops
This is pure fried scallop heaven (and the fries are great, too!).
Denmo’s Snack & Dairy Bar, Hot Relish
Hot Relish
Hot relish is a Connecticut hot dog must. This is some of the best.
Denmo’s Snack & Dairy Bar, Foot Long Hot Dog
Foot Long Hot Dog
Connecticut classic: a foot-long split and char-grilled hot dog garnished with mustard and hot relish in a split top bun.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday9 am - 7 pm
Monday9 am - 7 pm
Tuesday9 am - 7 pm
Wednesday9 am - 7 pm
Thursday9 am - 7 pm
Friday9 am - 7 pm
Saturday9 am - 7 pm
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner, Dessert
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Patsy’s Pizzeria

    New York, New York

    A coal-fired oven at Patsy’s yields classic northeastern Italian-American pizzas. An essential New York experience.

  • Carbone’s

    Hartford, Connecticut

    Carbone’s of Hartford, Connecticut, has been serving white-tablecloth Italian fare since ’38. For a big deal, old-world meal, it reigns supreme.

  • Bufalina

    Guilford, Connecticut

    Vividly flavorful Neapolitan pizzas make Bufalina a best bet along the shoreline in the pizza-rich state of Connecticut.

  • Lorenzo’s

    Newtown, Connecticut

    Locals love off-the-beaten-path Lorenzo’s for meat-and-potatoes meals as well as for Italian fare and a full repertoire of pizza with crisp, thin crust.

  • Merritt Canteen

    Bridgeport, Connecticut

    A beloved Bridgeport dive since 1942, the Merritt Canteen serves a chili dog that will make your lips glow. Breakfast sandwiches are loved by regulars.

  • Westfair Fish & Chips

    Westport, Connecticut

    Westfair Fish & Chips is a kitchen with an order window and a few tables. Fried clams, sole, scallops, shrimp & oysters all are Connecticut bests.