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Jun 30, 2007 08:12 PM

What is Waterbury CT like as a restaurant town?

Not religious about fine dining, i.e. couldn;t care less whether the chef is a master at foams, I will go to French Laundry or Alinea if I wanted that.

Definitely into ethnic cuisine, well executed and good quality food without the haughtiness of white linens, although I am known to frequent those places once in a great while. So where does Waterbury and surrounding area stand in that regard?

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  1. Waterbury is the anti-French Laundry town. Nothing even remotely close so i is good you are into ethnic cuisine.

    I grew up in Waterbury and though its been years since I lived there and a few year since i went home, still have a lot of friends and family there and it hasn't changed a lot.

    Waterbury is a great town for Italian, diner food, grinders and hot dogs. It is a town where you don't even want to think about eating Asian. There's good Latino food but it is more along the lines of mom and pops and leans toward Puerto Rican / Carribean. Anything promoting itself as Mexican or has the word 'cantina' in it ... run. Mi Pueblito might be the exception.

    There is a Greek presence in town that usually manifests itself in the diners.

    When people want to celebrate events ... they drive out of town. Or they go to the chains. The one place a friend of mine whose taste I trust likes is Diorio's.

    I agree with some of the recs of this poster on a recent thread. To me I can't be in Waterbury without getting a Blackie's hot dog or a Nardelli grinder (though not as good as when the first generation was running it on South Main Street). Johnnie's is good too for hot dogs, but I'm more of a Blackie's fan.

    It's really hard to go wrong with Italian or pizza in Waterbury.

    These are a few good Waterbury threads. JohnnyCT has good recs.

    Here's a post about a Peruvian joint

    Here's a mention of a Portuguese place that is supposed to be good

    Ok, I fess up. This was actually the last time I blew into town

    I was surprised to see a nw Indian community on my last visit. My circle being old-school Waterbury won't go there, so I can't tell you if it is good or bad. I suspect it might be good as there are no set expectations of what Indian food should be and that community is pretty much cooking for itself.

    5 Replies
      1. re: rworange


        Where is the Indian restaurant in Waterbury? I would like to give it a try. There are a lot of Guyanese of East Indian decent in Waterbury, I’ve been waiting for that community to open up a restaurant to no avail.

        I would recommend that the original poster Phaedrus look up posts by Coldduck, who has offered some good information about Waterbury. Ethnically, you will find Waterbury is very diverse. The city is over 30% Latino and you can find authentic Peruvian, Colombian, Brazilian, Mexican, Dominican, Puerto Rican, and more. There are three Albanian Mosques and a growing Lebanese population. There is a well established old school Portuguese presence as well, check out Lisboa in the Southend. I can’t forget West Indian, my favorite is Mikey’s Jamaican, but Berties is good too. Not bad for a city with a population of about 100,000??

        1. re: JohnnyCT

          I'll ask next time I call ... which may take a while because the answer is going to be "the Indian place on East Main Street". Then I'll need to ask pretty, pretty please to note the name next time they drive by ... and the odds of that happening are 9 to 1 against anyone remembering.

          1. re: rworange

            Don't worry about it, I'll find it.

            Thanks for the tip.

            1. re: JohnnyCT

              I'd like to know the name of the Indian restaurant on East Main St. There's a West Indian restaurant there, but I'm not aware of any Indian restaurants in Waterbury since the very good Maharaja left the scene a few years ago. Otherwise, the city remains a great and growing place for ethnic treats. By the way, a Japanese place, Hibachi, has reopened with stylish new digs on Lakewood Rd. Sushi and other Asian dishes, very reasonable prices.

      2. If you do not mind a little trek west then you have one of the great CT restos in Southbury, Good News Cafe. M&M Jfood have eaten there a half a dozen times and each time is a wonderful experience.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jfood

          Just some tips I've stashed away for Waterbury. I haven't tried any of these myself yet:

          Amis Hot Bagels 111 Thomaston Ave, near Rts 84 and 8 203-596-9020

          Cubatas good brazilian (also try Brasil Grill up the street)

          Lisboa Restaurante, 19 Lafayette St., (203/754-0789), sit on tavern side. get scarpa fish or cataplana

          The following are notable solely because they call themselves "apizza" instead of "pizza" (always a good sign!):

          Domenic's Apizza 505 Wolcott St 203-753-1989
          Gina's Apizza & Deli 577 Chase Ave 203-419-0582
          Gino's Apizza & Restaurant 840 Wolcott St 203-754-0099
          Adrianna's Apizza 1622 Baldwin St 203-757-4370
          Angelina's Apizza 1872 E Main St 203-757-6886
          John's Apizza 57 Woodtick Rd 203-754-8292

          1. re: Jim Leff

            Domenics is one of my favorite pizza places in Waterbury. It is the first place I hit when in town and it takes me a couple of months to come off the apizza high at Domenics before I can stop whining on the SF board about 'why don't we have good pizza in the Bay Area?"

            It's been there forever ... a few generations. It is what people on this board call occasionally 'Greek style' ... nothing to do with Greek food like feta ... just the square cut slices.

            Nothing fancy or high-class ... just a great basic apizza ... good enough to respect it with the correct word.

            At one time, a few blocks away, there was a place with fresh spring water. People would come with jugs to fill up the water that flowed out of a pipe drilled into the hill. I am pretty sure it is gone because housing was built and construction poluted the water.

            Last time I was in town a few years back, Dominic's had expanded the menu. The food is good, I guess, but I can't remember what I had ... good or bad ... but I do remember vividly that pizza ... sigh ... why can't SF make good pizza?

        2. Well, maybe the better wrap ... from a friend I asked ... her email ... and I trust her taste

          I have never been to Gina's, Adrianna's or Angelina's. They are mostly neighborhood pizza places.
          I like Gino's for pizza and subs. John's is okay, but it would not be my first choice.
          There are not many bagels places, Ami's is good.
          I haven't seen any Indian restaurants around in awhile.

          For pizza - Bacco's, 1230 Thomaston Ave is the best. I have only had their pizza.
          Neighborhood pizza - Gagliardi's, 1015 Meriden Rd. - pizza, hot subs and stuffed breads
          Grotto, 634 Watertown Ave., - all Italian dishes - the best in town.
          Frankies - 700 Watertown Ave - hot dogs etc. (I like Frankies over Blackies)

          I guess the Indian restaurant I saw on my last visit didn't make it.

          Yeah, she's right about Frankies. I forgot about them. It's been Frankies over Blackies for decades.