Written by Tiffany Guckin. Visit her on Instagram at @Foodswithfinn:
Are you planning a road trip and looking for Connecticut restaurants to try? Here is a list of 7 must try restaurants you won’t want to miss while visiting or passing by the Connecticut Shoreline.
2020 may be behind us but the year has left quite a mess for many to pick up after. Small business and Connecticut restaurants have been hit hard. However, their ability to adapt and pivot throughout the course of the pandemic has truly been impressive.
As a local foodie myself, I am seriously missing the simple act of going out to eat or grabbing a cocktail after work with friends. These are things we took for granted since now we’re left wondering stuff like, Do I have my mask, How many people will they let in, and Will this place even be open?
I’ve been lucky enough to still enjoy some of my favorite local Connecticut restaurants this past year, check out some highlights below!
7 Must Try Connecticut Restaurants Along the Shoreline
Moxie, 52 Wall St, Madison, CT 06443
Asian Tuna Tartare with crispy wonton chips and a cocktail to go
Prior to the pandemic, this place was THE spot to be in Madison, CT. Moxie is a small, unique neighborhood joint offering bar grub with an upscale twist. The restaurant was always packed, not a table empty on a Saturday night. Although much quieter these days, I am happy to say I am still able to enjoy the same great food and cocktails, only this time to go! Don’t feel like calling in an order? Place one online! Make your own menu picks of course, but the fried chicken steamed buns and the Asian tuna tartare (new menu item) are a must! Keep doing you Moxie, just want you to know there are fans out there rooting for you!
Chapter One Guilford, 25 Whitfield St, Guilford, CT 06437
Peppermint and Sugar Cookie Martinis to go
Chapter One has brought another great restaurant to the quaint Guilford green! From brunch to lunch and all that in between, the offerings are aplenty. In adapting to the new ways of the world, they now have curbside pickup, online ordering, and an outdoor patio with firepits! Another spot offering cocktails to go, I’d suggest the martini specials (must be 21, you know the rules!). In addition to the standard menu, Chapter One also runs weekly specials, including the Prime Rib Sunday dinner. Looking for a lot of food, that’s the special for you!
Hen and Heifer, 23 Water St, Guilford, CT 06437
Salted Caramel Toffee Cookies
I adore this place. Although not a typical restaurant, this pastry shop brings a little bit of Europe right to your front door. The shop has always offered pastries to go but, due to the pandemic, now has a limit to the number of patrons who can be inside at a given time as well as limited shop hours. It’s never easy to choose what’s coming home with me but my go- to’s are the salted caramel toffee cookies and cream puffs. Seasonal desserts are also available for a limited time, which you definitely do not want to miss out on. Don’t be surprised to see a line out the door!
La Foresta, 163 CT-81, Killingworth, CT 06419
Espresso Martini on the outdoor patio
What was once an indoor dining establishment only, thanks to the pandemic, La Foresta now offers outdoor dining on a newly built tented patio. I had the opportunity to dine outside this past fall (before the cold set in) and it was beautiful. With plenty of space between tables and string lights draped around the tents, I was able to safely and happily enjoy an espresso martini ! In addition to the patio, like many places, online ordering and family meals are now available. The calamari is one of my favorite apps and the Gnocchi Di Ricotta has never steered me wrong. Looking forward to dining here again in the near future!
Okay I could go on and on, so instead I’ll throw out some other favorites that have helped get me through quarantine as well:
P & M Deli Branford, 401 Main St, Branford, CT 06405
There was nothing a Chicken Flag on focaccia or a buffalo chicken wrap couldn’t fix while the world spiraled into a lockdown and I was 6 months pregnant with Finn. They’ve always been there for me and I continue to rely on them for a quick and easy to go lunch or dinner option. Online ordering available, pizza specials, and so much more to check out at this Branford favorite.
Golden House Durham, 325 Main St, Durham, CT 06422
It’s taken almost two years to find “our Chinese takeout” spot but Golden House, you’ve claimed the title! Although we were devastated when this place was closed for the early months of 2020, they have since reopened and are better than ever! Chicken and Broccoli with an egg roll for me- What are you having?
JavaHut Café Bistro, 20 Church St Guilford, CT 06437 United States
A gem for coffee lovers of all kinds, this place serves up some delicious caffeinated concoctions. If you couldn’t tell, I am a big fan of seasonal offerings, like the Peppermint Mocha Frappe that was available for winter and now a brand-new Valentine’s Day menu is out on the town! I know New Year’s resolutions are hot right now, but do yourself a favor and try the crepes. DO it… just do it.
We will all continue to get through this together and I’ll keep posting pictures of food with my sweet boy to help pass the time. Hope you all get a chance to check out some of these spots and continue to support both one another and small businesses.
Looking for more ideas and places to visit me: https://linktr.ee/FoodswithFinn