75 Shore Line Restaurants You Need to Try out

From fine dining to the perfect romantic spot, Connecticut boasts some incredible restaurants. Only a select handful make the cut for best restaurants of the year, though, and this list contains as many as we could fit!

OVERALL EXCELLENCE

Starting off this list are the restaurants that stand distinguished as a cut above the rest. Each location in this category boasts the finest service, plating, atmosphere and high-quality meals in the entire state. Best for Overall Excellence goes to:

  • Arethusa al tavolo
  • Cafemantic
  • The Cottage
  • Kawa Ni
  • La Tavola Ristorante Ristorante
  • Millwright’s
  • Miya’s Sushi
  • Thomas Henkelmann
  • Union League Café
  • Winvian

The Cottage features dishes from Chef Brian Lewis, all of which are influenced by artisan farmers and growers in the region. Wine and signature cocktails combine with gracious hospitality and a unique take on American cooking styles molded from techniques across the globe.

Kawa Ni, on the other hand, is a Japanese pub with a wide variety of sushi, ramen, and other cultural favorites. Their sake selection is vast, but you can order from a wide variety of spirits that compliment your meal.

NEW IN TOWN

These restaurants are new to Connecticut but have already gained quite the following thanks to their commitment to excellence on all fronts. There’s nothing like trying something new, especially when you know the experience is top-rated. Best New Restaurants include:

  • Balos Estiatorio
  • Bistro on Main
  • Bridgestreet Libations & Temptations
  • Broken Symmetry
  • Community Table
  • Gaudi Tapas and Wine
  • Grano Arso
  • Harlan Haus
  • Lucal Local
  • Main Street Pint & Plate
  • OKO
  • Swyft
  • Vintage
  • Vyne

OKO is the closest to the Norwalk area, featuring Japanese-inspired dishes with a twist by Chef Lewis. You can choose from exquisite sushi, hot dishes ranging from suckling pig to wagyu beef, and a wide variety of vegetable or noodle creations. Sake, wine, and cocktails are all on the menu as well.

ROMANTIC HOTSPOTS

If you’re looking for the ultimate date night complete with drinks and a top-quality meal, then these restaurants are guaranteed to please. Winners of the Most Romantic category are:

  • Ballo Italian Restaurant
  • Old Platform 6
  • Old Riverton Inn
  • The Schoolhouse at Cannondale
  • 2 Hopewell
  • Union League Café
  • Vue 24
  • Winvian

The Schoolhouse at Cannondale is just north of Norfolk in Wilton. Winner of numerous accolades, this white tablecloth restaurant is literally situated inside an old one-room schoolhouse that has been beautifully preserved. With lunch, brunch, and Thursday prixe fix menu, you have plenty of options to choose from. Each menu contains delicately plated dishes that are as visually stunning as they are delicious.

AMERICANA

Looking for something a little less adventurous? These restaurants boast the best American food in the state. From artisan duck breast to the best French toast you’ll ever eat, here are the restaurants that won Best American:

  • Arethusa al tavolo
  • The Cottage
  • Engine Room
  • Good News Café
  • Jesup Hall
  • Match
  • Millwright’s
  • Present Company
  • Taproot
  • West Street Grill

Match is located right in Norwalk, offering everything from beet appetizers to wood oven pizzas and Kobe-style beef. They also featuring a revolving menu with new dishes available each day. Throw in their collection of masterfully crafted cocktails, and you can’t go wrong with this Washington Street restaurant.

THE FRENCH TOUCH

French cuisine is often considered one of the most luxurious in the industry. Michelin Star chefs across the globe got their start cooking up French dishes, and Connecticut proudly boasts some of the best places to eat this cuisine in the nation. The title of Best French Restaurants goes to:

  • Avert Brasserie
  • Bistro on Main
  • Cavey’s
  • Le Petit Café
  • Luc’s Café
  • Sucre Sale
  • Union League Café

Both Luc’s Café and Sucre Sale are located in neighboring Ridgefield. Luc’s features traditional French delights from snails cooked in Pernod to Toulouse Cassoulet, along with a few dishes from various other regions. At Sucre Sale you’ll find wholly authentic French dishes alongside a simple lunch menu that serves up the region’s favorite café-style items, but the moules dish (mussels and fries) is a favorite amongst locals.

ITALIANO

Every restaurant in this category boasts the best, most authentic Italian dishes around. They range from inventive small-plates to brick ovens and heaping portions meant for the “familia” to share. Give Bar Sugo, located directly in Norwalk, a try sometime. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Adriana’s
  • Alforno Trattoria
  • Aranci
  • Bar Sugo
  • Grano Arso
  • L’Orcio
  • La Tavola Ristorante
  • Rustica
  • Roma Ristorante
  • Trattoria ‘A vucchella
  • Osa

ASIAN DELIGHTS

Ranging from Thai to Korean and Chinese, these restaurants boast exceptional flavor in every dish. With each location boasting an entirely different cooking style, we’ve included the theme of their menus along with their names to help you pick the best experience.

  • Formosa – Artisan Asian Fusion
  • Great Taste – Traditional Chinese
  • Kawa Ni – Japanese Pub
  • Midori – Traditional South Korean
  • Shu – Upscale Chinese
  • Taste of China – Traditional Chinese, Artisan
  • Wang – Mandarin and Szechuan

MEXICAN SPICE

When it comes to everything from Americanized dishes to fully-authentic Mexican, Connecticut has it all. There are two locations within Norwalk on this list. Rincon Taqueria creates enormous burritos and serves up a high-end version street fare, while Evarito’s focuses on fine dining and traditional dishes.

  • Evarito’s
  • Fiesta Cinco De Mayo
  • Long Wharf food trucks
  • Los Garcia Mexican Fusion
  • Rincon Taqueria
  • Rivas Taqueria
  • Sayulita
  • Taqueria Mexico
  • Tequila Revolucion

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