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Need some go-to spots in Hartford!

  • s

Recently moved from Enfield to Hartford (West End area) and am in need of a few stand-bys. What do you all recommend for:
Other takeout?
Casual/Pub grub?
West End choices are great but anywhere in the Hartford city limits works. Thanks!

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  1. Welcome to the West End!

    Our favorites are:
    Tisane: really terrific food, ambitious menu. Service is a bit slow, but friendly.

    Ichiban: their Korean menu is great. Try stone pot bim-bim-bap or any of the Gigae (soups). Very friendly service.

    Chinese: China Pan (in strip mall in which Borders Bookstore is located, on New Britain Ave just west of WestFarms Mall in West Hartford)-- Amazing food, especially the vegetarian menu, which is extensive. Lovely service. Also try Szchezuan Garden, an excellent restaurant in front of the West Hartford Inn on Farmington. Make sure to ask for all the menus, because the default menu is somewhat limited.

    Pizza: Many many choices. If you'd like to stay in Hartford, try Lena's on Park Street (just east of Prospect) and First and Last Tavern in the South End (also great for italian food, generally). West Hartford Center also is good, with Luna's and Harry's. Barb's is good too (Quaker and Park). And Harry's Bishop's Corner (in the Bishop's Corner strip mall at Albany Ave and Main, next to Waldbaum's grocery store) is really good, too.

    3 Replies
    1. re: GJR

      I'm a hot dog lover from N.J. who's been to Connecticut a few times to sample hot dogs. The absolute best hot dog in Connecticut is Rosco's Big Dog. Located on Franklin Ave. in Hartford, this place serves the best beef/pork dog that I've sampled. And I've had dozens. Great flavor and excellent homemade toppings. I would go so far as to say that this is the best German style beef and pork dog in the country. Syd's in Union, N.J. makes the the best all beef dog. These 2 places are the best, in my opinion, in the US.

      1. re: John Fox

        Rosco's is now on Temple St, Downtown Hartford

      2. re: GJR

        Pizza-wise, I'd definitely give top ranking to Harry's Bishops Corner, even though it's a bit out of the way. One of our favorite places to go. Excellent.

      3. c
        Chris in Hartford


        My wife and I moved to Kenyon st in October. Here are my recommendations for places near the west end.

        Pizza: Lena's on Park st
        Pub food: Corner Pug on New Park
        Chinese: Butterfly on Farmington in W. Hartford
        Thai: Siam Cuisine on Park in W. Hartford
        Vietnamese: Pho hiep ... next to lena's on park
        Pub: Half door in the summer, $2 irish drafts on wed.
        Indian takeout: COsmos grocery on farmington in W. Hartford has a counter in the back with some good north indian selections.
        Something different: If you have never had brazillian churassciaria try Braza. If you familiar with the concept it is pretty average. I think its worth the experience for the uninducted who like meat.

        1. I really like Coyote Flaco on New Britain Ave (East of the Corner Pug)for maxican food. It's a small family-run place. The salsa, guac and hot sauce are all homemade and delicious. They have steaks and seafood but I have always stuck to the more traditional items like enchiladas and chimichangas and have never been disappointed.

          1. I second many of the choices previously mentioned; Luna’s and Harry’s for pizza in West Hartford, Cosmos International for great Indian takeout, Half Door for pub food, Coyote Flaco for Mexican, Tisane, and Ichiban.

            Siam Cuisine is under new ownership and I feel the food has really slipped. (The service has always been iffy) We go to the new Thai restaurant in the Wintonbury Mall in Bloomfield now. Its name escapes me at the moment. It is next to Ginza, which I believe has the best sushi in this area. For Mexican closer to home, Monte Alban is also good. Their tamales and shrimp cerviche are spectacular. Tangiers International has excellent hummus, stuffed grape leaves, and Greek pastries. You can also get pretty good gyros to take out or eat there. Both are right on Farmington Avenue. We also like Butterfly for Chinese, but our favorite is Chengdu on Park Road.

            For pub fare you might want add Mayor Mikes to places to try. The brick oven baked mussels are my favorite and it is usually a fun place. Mozzacatto’s on Franklin Ave in Hartford is a great Italian bakery and a local icon. However, if you go to the café on a busy Saturday night you might find the wait staff reminds you of “Soup Nazi” episodes on Seinfeld.

            There are tons more wonderful, reasonable places in the area. Enjoy!

            1. You have moved from the culinary desert of Enfield to a place that offers many opportunities to sample the cuisines of the world. The link below provides reviews of many Hartford restaurants as well as other places in CT.

              Link: http://www.ctnow.com/dining/

              1. Wood-n-Tap has great pub food and pizza, Modern Pastry on Franklin Avenue is a great bakery.

                1. City Steam is a great brew pub down the street from the Civic center. Their beers are excellent and I have yet to have a bad meal there in the 4 times I have been.

                  For good Mexican, Agave (across the street from the Civic Center) is excellent. If you like sipping tequilas, they have a very nice selection. The guacamole made at tableside is excellent as well.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mitch h

                    I agree with Mitch. My favorite downtown spot is Agave Grill. I like the guacamole, margaritas and the Habenero Pork tacos. Vaughns and City Steam are my go-to places for beer and pub food.

                    For a step up, we like Costa del Sol and O'Porto. All of the places I mentioned have friendly staffs. Not always a given in Hartford.

                  2. For great Vietnamese, there's only two good options:

                    1. Pho 501 Main St. East Hartford for pho that's authentic as can be!

                    2. Pho 88 199 Park St. for pho in addition to other authentic vietnamese cuisine. Fantastic !

                    Both are great values, under $10 a dish.

                    1. suggestions are right on. Deli is tough. You can try the deli at the corner of Sisson Ave. and West Boulvard behind Mr. Tuxedo but I usually opt for a take out sandwich from Hall's Market on Park Rd. in West Hartford (Mon-to Sat. to 6 pm). If you're after corned beef or pastrami hit Crown Market at Bishops corner in W. Htfd.

                      Bakeries: try any of the 3 Portugese bakeries between Sisson and Prospect on Park ST. for rolls- A dozen and one with butter please. For doughnuts/pastry try Elmwood Pastry on New Britain Ave in West Hartford.

                      I also have to mention Scott's Bakery on Albany Ave for Jamaican beef patties, coceo bites ( hot dogs in pastry) and various breads/cakes.

                      Franklin Giant Grinder has had me hooked for years- try a chicken cutlet or a coldcut combo.

                      1. Lived in Hartford for years & these were my favorites:

                        Pizza: Harry's or Luna Pizza in West Hartford Center
                        Chinese: Chengdu, West Hartford (Park Road)
                        Deli: Hall's Market
                        Casual Pub: Wood n Tap, Tisanes or the Half Door...Plan B also has good burgers but not as good as wood n tap
                        Bakery...I'd drive to Franklin Ave. & go to Modern Pastry or Mozzicatos
                        And you need to hit up Roscoes for a hot dog...fabulous

                        1. Harry's Pizza is a must... Modern Bakery on Franklin Ave.... Corner Pug for Casual....

                          1. Lived in the West End my entire life, only moved last year! It is, culinarily-speaking, the best neighborhood in the GHA.

                            Chinese: China House on Farmington Ave. Absolutely the best chinese food in the Greater Hartford Area. Always fresh and delicious. I dislike Butterfly, it just doesn't taste authentic to me.

                            Pizza - Lena's on Park St! Hands down! They also make fantastic soups (cream of tomato is my fav). Luna pizza in West Hartford is also really good, but West Hartford Center has become far to commercialized and overpopulated for my tastes anymore. Anyone remember when it was kinda funky and cool? Stay in the West End unless you want to run into tourists. Try City Pizza on Farmington, the pizza is made according to Islam cooking practices and something about makes it fantastic.

                            Please try Tangiers on the corner of Farmington and Prospect if you are in the mood for exotic. They make a falafel that is made right in front of you, fresh hot and delicious. They also have a great variety of to go item, like taboulleh, baklava, and entire gorcery section.

                            For Pub Grub, head downtown to Vaughan's. Not only is the food simple and great, but it has a really cool atmosphere. IF you want to stay a little closer to home, The Half Door on Sisson is great too.

                            Mozzicato's is definitely the best bakery in the city, and while you are on Franklin Ave, try La Fonda, a fairly unknown but wonderful little Colombian restaurant.

                            If you ever want a fancy night out, try Trumbull Kitchen, downtown. It is my favorite restaurant in Hartford, the food is amazing.

                            Enjoy the city!