America’s Byways: Connecticut’s Merritt Parkway

71 MILES | 1 hr 46 min | by Michael Stern

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 rolling, limited-access four-lane with bridges that display beautiful Art Deco styling of the 1930s. Opportunities to eat well just off the road are plentiful, and short detours lead to New Haven’s legendary pizza and shoreline seafood as well. This tour includes only places within 3 minutes of the Parkway.


Lakeside Diner

A great little restaurant just off Connecticut's Merritt Parkway, the Lakeside Diner is famous for donuts, but is a worthy destination for pancakes, too.



Letizia’s is a vintage Connecticut pizza restaurant serving thin-crust Neapolitan style pies in the most informal storefront setting on Route 7 in Norwalk.


Coffee An

A hop off the Merritt Parkway in Westport, Connecticut, Coffee An' makes chocolate donuts that are devil's-food dark and impossible to stop eating.


Merritt Canteen

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.


Donut Crazy

A wild-and-crazy restaurant with regular cake donuts and wacky combo donuts, the most outstanding of which is crowned with maple glaze and a large amount of bacon.


Dayton Street Apizza

Rich sauce, sparse toppings, and thin ‘n’ crispy crust make Dayton Street Apizza a New Haven best bet. A full selection of Foxon Park sodas is available.


Eli’s Brick Oven Pizza and Market

Eli's pizza has a crust that is microthin but just hefty enough to offer a nice chew rather than break when bitten. A New Haven-area pizzeria worth the trip.

Must Eats
White Clam Pizza (large) , Sausage Pizza (large) , Old Fashioned Plain – Large

Glenwood Drive-In

Hot dogs and hamburgers are cooked on a grate over charcoal at Hamden, Connecticut's Glenwood Drive-In, where every meal should also include onion rings.


Neil’s Donut & Bake Shop

Neil's old fashioned donuts are thick and cakey with a wicked exterior crunch. Early in the morning, still warm, they virtually melt in your mouth. A Connecticut best!


K. LaMay’s Steamed Cheeseburgers

The steamed cheeseburger is unique to central Connecticut, and Meriden is home to several purveyors. K. LaMay's is the biggest and may be the best in town.


Lunch Box

The Lunch Box is a best source of Meriden, Connecticut's unique steamed cheeseburger, which is extremely juicy with tangy molten cheese on a sturdy bun.