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May 19, 2019  |  

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Lobster roll from Fresh Salt in Old Saybrook. Photo courtesy of Fresh Salt

Lobster roll from Fresh Salt in Old Saybrook. (Photo courtesy of Fresh Salt )

20 CT Beach Eats That Are a Must-Try This Summer

Published May 31, 2018 • Last Updated 08:46 pm, May 31, 2018

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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.

 

Bill's Seafood

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.

 

Boom Restaurant

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

 

Clam Castle

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

 

The Deck

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

 

Fresh Salt

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

 

Guilford Mooring

505 Whitfield St., Guilford, 203-458-2921

Types of Food Offered: Seafood and American fare

Known For: Dockfront location that has been completely renovated

 

Johnny Ad's

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

 

Liv's Shack

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

 

Lobster Landing

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

 

Lobster Shack

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

 

Rocky's Aqua

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

 

Sandpiper Restaurant

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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