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Lobster roll from Fresh Salt in Old Saybrook. (Photo courtesy of Fresh Salt )
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Not much says summer eats on the shoreline more than a lobster roll enjoyed overlooking the water. Luckily for beachgoers, there is no shortage of options up and down the Connecticut shoreline. If you're craving more of a land-loving type of fare, most restaurants offer something for that, too.
While there are a number of both established and newer beachside restaurants, if you're looking for food on the go, the shoreline is also home to a variety of food trucks. For up-to-date locations of these traveling eateries, check out their Facebook pages.
There are a few places in the area where you're almost always sure to find a food truck parked, including the Guilford Green, School Street in Madison, and the Stony Creek Brewery in Branford. Clinton Crossing Outlets hosts Food Truck Fridays with upcoming dates on June 1, July 6, Aug. 3, Sept. 7, Oct. 5, and Nov. 2. The New Haven Food Truck Festival is Saturday, June 2.
Between the food trucks traveling throughout the area and the many waterfront and summer restaurants, visitors to the shoreline are sure to find whatever they're craving.
548 Boston Post Rd., Westbrook, 860-399-7224
Types of Food Offered: Traditional New England seafood and comfort food
Known For: Dining along the Patchogue River by the Singing Bridge
Must Try Items: Old Bay Shrimp and mudslides
Note: Live music most nights and a spacious patio keep things lively.
63 Pilots Point Dr., Westbrook, 860-399-2322
Types of Food Offered: Seafood and steaks
Known For: Upscale dining on the water
Must Try Item: Lobster risotto
1324 Boston Post Rd., Madison, 203-245-4911
Types of Food Offered: Fried clams, fresh seafood, burgers, sandwiches, salads, daily special, gluten-free items, and more
Known For: Award-winning chowder
Must Try Item: Fish tacos
Note: Indoor and outdoor seating, dog friendly, BYOB
359 Boston Post Rd., Westbrook, 860-339-5277
Types of Food Offered: Wings, steaks, burgers, and seafood
Known For: Chicken wings and sports-bar setting
Must Try Item: $12 all-you-can-eat fish & chips on Sundays
Dockside Seafood & Grill
145 Block Island Rd., Branford, 203-488-3007
Types of Food Offered: Fresh seafood entrees, salads, sandwiches, chicken, steak, and burgers
Known For: Seafood and sunsets
Must Try Item: Honey lemon salmon
2 Bridge St., Old Saybrook, 860-388-1111
Types of Food Offered: Pasta dishes, sandwiches, salads, raw bar, steaks; breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily
Known For: Upscale, fresh, and seasonal seafood dishes
Must Try Items: Grilled Grand Banks swordfish loin; Connecticut lobster roll
Guilford Lobster Pound
505 Old Whitfield St., Guilford, 203-453-6122
Types of Food Offered: Lobster rolls, stuffed clams, clam chowder, hot dogs, coleslaw, potato salad, chips, and gelato
Known For: Beautiful views of Guilford Harbor
Must Try Item: Lobster rolls with fresh-caught lobster meat, homemade clam chowder, and stuffed clams
505 Whitfield St., Guilford, 203-458-2921
Types of Food Offered: Seafood and American fare
Known For: Dockfront location that has been completely renovated
910 Boston Post Rd., Old Saybrook, 860-388-4032
Types of Food Offered: Hot and cold lobster rolls, fried fish, drive-in style burgers
Known For: Popular Route One spot with a summer vibe year-round
Must Try Item: Fried clam and split hot dogs
Lenny's Indian Head Inn
205 S. Montowese St., Branford, 203-488-1500
Types of Food Offered: New England seafood classics
Known For: Riverfront dining, live music
Must Try Item: The Lenny's fried seafood platter
Lenny & Joe's Fish Tale
86 Boston Post Rd., Westbrook, 860-669-0767
1301 Boston Post Rd., Madison, 203-245-7289
Types of Food Offered: Seafood and American summer classics
Known For: Lobster rolls and the fried seafood platter
Must Try Items: Those in the know say it's the best fried fish you'll find
Note: The Madison Restaurant is the home of Lenny & Joe's Magical Charity Carousel. 100 percent of the ride money goes to local charities and organizations, raising more than $1,070,000 in 19 years.
Liv's Oyster Bar & Restaurant
166 Main St., Old Saybrook, 860-395-5577
Types of Food Offered: Raw bar, seasonal seafood-centric menu, off-premise catering
Known For: Six different types of oysters nightly
Must Try Item: Fennel and pepper crusted tuna
26 Bridge St., Old Saybrook
Types of Food Offered: Lobster rolls, burgers, tacos, and more
Known For: Lobster rolls
Must Try Item: 8-ounce lobster rolls and truffle fries
152 Commerce St., Clinton, 860-669-2005
Types of Food Offered: Lobster rolls, hot dogs, sausage and peppers, coleslaw, Gelato Giuliana
Known For: Lobster rolls
Must Try Item: Lobster roll with ¼-pound of lobster meat on a grinder roll hollowed out, drizzled melted butter, and squeezed lemon
Note: Bring anything not served: wine, beer, salads, desserts
7 Indian Neck Ave., Branford, 203-483-8414
Types of Food Offered: Lobster rolls, hot dogs, and chowder Lobster rolls, hot dogs, and chowder
Known For: Seafood al fresco
Must Try Item: The award-winning lobster roll
34 Riverside Dr., Suite 2, Clinton, 860-664-3788
Types of Food Offered: American-style menu with a concentration on fresh seafood
Known For: Decks overlooking Long Island Sound and Cedar Island
Must Try Item: House-made ice cream, clams casino, fried oysters, filet of beef, and blackened salmon
161 Cosey Beach Ave., East Haven, 203-469-7544
Types of Food Offered: Assortment of seafood
Known For: Convenience to the town beach and seafood options
Must Try Item: Fried shrimp and lobster roll
Shanks Waterfront Dining
131-C Grove St., Clinton, 860-669-4224
Types of Food Offered: Fried and grilled seafood, lobster selections, land-lover selection, and vegetarian and gluten-free options
Known For: Tacos and lobster bisque
Must Try Items: Shanks Combo, lobster taco, and scallops
Note: BYOB; live music on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning in mid-June
Westbrook Lobster Eatery and Bar
346 East Main St., Clinton, 860-664-9464
Types of Food Offered: Lobster, seafood, steak, chicken, and sandwiches
Known For: Connecticut lobster roll
Must Try Item: Lobster mac & cheese
The Wharf at Madison Beach Hotel
94 West Wharf Rd., Madison, 203-350-0014
Types of Food Offered: Upscale New England classics
Known For: Sweeping views of Long Island Sound from the elegant dining room or covered porch
Must Try Items: Tuna tartare; Prince Edward Island mussels
Local Food Trucks
• Bowl'd Creations (Madison)
• Cannoli Truck (Madison)
• The Fire Pizza Company (Northford)
• Food Extrovert (Westbrook)
• Frank Andrews Mobile Kitchen LLC (Clinton)
• Melly P's (Branford)
• Rabbit on the Run (Old Saybrook)
• Shoreline Prime Food Truck (Branford)
• Sugar Bakery (East Haven)
• Taco Pacifico (Madison)
• Taqueria Cinco (Madison, Guilford)
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