Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Tristate Archive >
Dec 4, 2007 08:32 AM

Top 5 Restaurants in Norwalk and Stamford?

NOT EXPENSIVE. Why and what to order for appetizer, entree and dessert?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Mexicana restaurant on court st. in norwalk......some of the best authentic mexican food i've ever had (even better than the food in mexico).......great homemade spicy salsa.....great mexican beer.......tortillas with shreadded chicken or pork at excellent............portions are huge........they will roll you out of there.......and you'll spend under $40.......

    1 Reply
    1. re: southlake

      In Norwalk I recommend a Peruvian place called Fiesta Limena. I don't know the area well enough to tell you how to find it but it's pretty close to Rt 1 I believe. Near exit 17.

      In Stamford I've heard good things about Napa.

    2. I don't know the Stamford scene at all, but as I work in South Norwalk, I have a reasonably good handle of the Norwalk scene.

      Not expensive? OK. Here are my picks:

      Valencia Luncheria. It's hip, it's tiny, and it's not in the most fashionable part of town, but the food is amazing. I'm personally partial to the ham, mango and Brie arepa, but everything is good. I also recommend the dulce de leche and banana arepa for dessert.

      The Lime. A few doors down from Valencia. It veers a bit into expensive territory (some things are >$20, but not many) for dinner, and I've only been for lunch, but it's great. My personal favorite is the salmon burger, but they have good falafel and hummus as well.

      Burger Bar, in SoNo, across from the Crown movie theaters. Best burger around, I prefer mine with gorgonzola with sweet potato fries.

      I'm primarily a luncher in Norwalk, so my apologies for not as much detail as you want, but I'm sure for dinner these places will perform as well as they do for lunch.

      1 Reply
      1. re: redfox697

        La Paella Tapas Wine Bar & Restaurant


        Any tapas and the lemon meringue pie is outstanding.

      2. The best sandwich in Stamford is at the Summer Street deli! Italian combo! Everything about this sandwich makes me smile.

        1. The hard part is keeping the price in line with the request of NOT EXPENSIVE snd staying in STM and Norwalk. When Jfood goes for dinner this is not the pacing item, but he has eaten in several places for lunch that he really likes.

          1 – Barcelona – You can have dinner for 2 for $50-60. Jfood loves the SONO location
          2 – The Lime – Although Jfood has only been there for lunch he loves it and will try for dinner in the future. IJHO (In Jfood's honest opinion) there is no comparison with the Valenzia place five doors down. The Lime is faaaar superior.
          3 –Giovanni’s 2 or 3 – Not the steak place, but for lunches in a very low key, 3 table type place. This is on the corner of North and Franklin in Stamford, if coming down atlantic make a right at Planet Pizza and up on the left.
          4 – Colony Pizza – does not get better and not an expensive as this fabulous pizza place. Hot oil and sausage and it’s heaven
          5 – And on the off chance this may not appear on other reco’s how about City Limits Diner. Jfood has eaten some pretty good lunches there over the years..

          9 Replies
          1. re: jfood

            In Stamford, top 5 Bangs for the buck:

            Brasitas - Great South American food. Try the Pollo Caribeno con Salsa Curry.
            Colony - Hot Oil & Sausage
            Royal Guard - Fish and Chips
            Brennan's - Bacon Cheeseburger and Waffle fries go great with a pint of Guinness.
            Smokey Joe's-BBQ Heaven. Try the pulled pork or the rib sampler. Great sweet potato pie.

            1. re: Foodie Fairfield

              good call on brennan's bacon cheeseburger. i like to sub the onion rings for the fries.

              1. re: Foodie Fairfield

                Brasitas is not cheap at all!!!!! every plate is 25 to 30+
                Its a great place, with amazing food, just NOT in the inexpensive catg!

                1. re: nkmontero

                  Agree. it's pretty pricey. Good, but pricey. For good colombian, I'd recommend La Sorpresa in Norwalk.

                2. re: Foodie Fairfield

                  Have to respond to most of these
                  When Brasitas First opened - it was fine, similar to some very good Colombian food in the Queens but it definitely went down hill in many ways, so I won't go back.
                  Royal Guard should be closed .
                  Smokey Joe's - When it was Busters , it was authentic, but smokey Joe's is typical northern impersonation of great southern food.
                  City Limits never impressed me in any way.
                  I have actually never been to Brennan's - for reasons that I don't have a clue about and I like Colony pizza

                  1. re: whitemist


                    Could you please post your favorite 5? Jfood thinks that would be constructive.


                    1. re: jfood

                      sorry for not being constructive so here it goes
                      I like Mona Lisa for Italian- not cheap tho - but anything is good
                      Fin II for Lunch and Japanese tho I also like Kotobuki
                      Athens (pizza and, I think) fits the cheep and good - mostly greek food Slovakia or gyro platters are good to me
                      I also like one hole in the wall for simple Mexican ... tho I won't say it is the best in the area - Tacos Guadalajara - but it sticks with me as being unpretentious and tastey
                      pizza would be colony - but i like stingers on mine
                      I think that is more constructive, I hope

                      1. re: whitemist

                        thanks W, couple of new names from your list are very helpful.

                3. re: jfood

                  corned beef hash at city limits is very good. their coffee is up to snuff, too.

                4. Norwalk Top 5 Bangs for the buck:

                  1. Fat Cat - nice thin-crust pizza, great wine and beer list. Try the broccoli rabe pie with garlic.
                  2. Lime - Lunch is MUCH better than dinner. Get the salmon burger or try the falafal.
                  3. Post Road Diner - Recently renovated interior takes you back, great menu, amazing value for the prices paid. Try the meatloaf, open-faced roast beef or turkey. Good calves liver & onion too!!! Great milkshakes.
                  4. Diamond Corner Deli - Best egg sandwiches on the planet. Try a ham, egg, and cheese on a wrap with fried onions. It's intense. It's insane. It's delicious. It's on Rte. 123 in Broad River.
                  5. Overton's - Great fried clams, good dogs, burgers, and fries. The adjacent deck has picnic tables and offers the same view as Harbor Lights for about $50 less.

                  I think it's only open in the summer, so in the meantime...

                  5b. Swanky Franks - See all year, but no view.

                  16 Replies
                  1. re: Foodie Fairfield

                    Double F

                    Keep forgetting that side of norwalk for Swankies, jfood agrees on that inclusion
                    Add the blackened chicken wrap to the salmon burger and falaffel at Lime

                    And 2 questions:

                    1 - Diamond Corner Deli is the place just north of the strip mall with A&S? Never would have thought to stop there. Sounds like a stop on friday morning.
                    2 - Fat Cat is on 123 where route 7 comes over across from the subaru place? The pizza is good enough for you to place on this list? But Broc Rabe, jfood expected better, like sausage or pepperoni.

                    And jfood always watched smiling faces at Overton;s but always forgets this place. Then you can walk over for some ice cream.


                    1. re: jfood

                      Hi Jfood.

                      Diamond Corner is in the first strip mall on the left as you enter Broad River on Rte. 123 coming from New Canaan. Same strip mall as La Taverna and Li Bros. I'm there every Saturday AM with my son in's where I pick up my Advertiser.

                      Fat Cat is NOT my favorite pizza joint, Colony and Letizia's are better overall, but I have a thing for their broccoli rabe and garlic chip pie. Their salads are fresh and the wife really likes their wine list and cheese selection. And it's relatively cheap, so I thought of them as a good bargain destination.

                      1. re: Foodie Fairfield

                        always looking for another pizza place. jfood really likes Joe's in NC and their bacon and tomato is great when lorenzo makes it, perfect crust.

                        and with liz sue xharging $175 for a buttered bagel, jfood snagglepussed and went exit stage left. Will have to see how the bacon/egg/cheese on a roll at DC conpares to Veggie Barn, where they do make a good BEG on a roll.

                        1. re: jfood


                          I've been going to Veggie Barn since I was a wee lad, and DCD blows them away.

                          Try your Bacon Egg and Cheese on a me on this one.

                          If you MUST go with a roll, specify double egg and/or add home fries to your sandwich. Tell Anna that Cooper's dad sent you.

                          1. re: Foodie Fairfield

                            Double F

                            Jfood just finished the BEC Wrap. That is quite a breakfast my man. And jfood appreciates it given he was just booked in back 2 back meetings through 4PM so that was b'fast and lunch. As you know it can handle it.

                            The people there are great. The guy in the back is busy frying about 100+ chicken breasts, some are already out of the oven in their Parm state (at 8AM) and he probably has 3 more hours of frying ahead of him. the blonde woman couldn't be nicer as well.

                            The sandwich was more a bacon cheese with an egg thrown in. Lots of bacon, lots of melted cheese and a fried egg. a second egg may have been a good idea. Also the wrap itself could have been heated to release some of the flavor. A cold wrap tastes a little too lard-y for jfood. And jfood was a little surprised by the price of $6.50. He felt it's a little steep, but it is a full meal.

                            So jfood would say it is a very good wrap, be prepared for some extra lipitor and ask for 2 eggs and heat up the wrap on the next visit.

                            Thanks again for the reco.

                      2. re: jfood

                        Wow - did they move Fat Cat from Wall Street? I didn't realize that. I'd also like to add Wild Rice, which is just east or the Stop N Shop center on Main Avenue. It's where Panda Pavilion used to be and the food is fantastic. Very fresh, not gloppy - them have real, home made spring rolls! Really excellent asian food and very, very good sushi.

                        1. re: divamon

                          jfood also would place Wild Rice on the list of good value food in the area. Nice choice divamon

                          1. re: divamon

                            Fat Cat is still on Wall. Jfood, are you thinking of G&G Pizza? Next to Duchess?

                            1. re: Foodie Fairfield

                              So there is a Fat's Pizza at 4 New Canaan Ave and Fat Cat Pie Co. on Wall Street. Now jfood understands. Isn't there also a Fat something pizza on Flax Hill?

                              Jfood is glad he goes to Joes in NC.

                                1. re: Foodie Fairfield


                                  Is "PHAT" good or bad? or does it have another meaning?

                                  Jfood is good for 2-3 Joes per month

                                    1. re: Foodie_Fairfield

                                      Glad you think Joe's is PHAT. It was a zoo on Sunday and the new pie maker needs a little more TLC in placing the extras on top. He was very chintzy with the sausage (Lorenzo is off on Sundays). May have to whisper in Lorenzo's ear that the pie was really good but seeing two lonely sausage pieces on a couple of the slices was a little disappointing.

                                2. re: jfood

                                  Fat's Pizza used to be on Flax Hill at the corner of Soundview; they moved over to New Canaan Ave. and Jordan's II took over the Flax Hill location.
                                  Fat Cat Pie Co. is a completely different place. Love that place.
                                  I also highly recommend the Post Road Diner (or the PRD or, as we call it, THE Diner). They have a Buffalo Chicken salad that I love, and buckwheat pancakes and great omelets and great hand-made on-the-premises pies made by the lovely Olga and...well, I love the place, love the people who own it.

                            2. re: jfood


                              Fat Cat is on Wall St. off of Main Ave (across from the old Meson Galicia/Meigas). Take Main Ave. to the ens and make a left.

                              1. re: tito

                                Thanks Tito. Yup, the question was from 2007. and jfood went to Fat Cat last year and enjoyed the cracker crusted pizza. You should also try Strada 18 in SONO. very good pizza.