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Mystic/Groton CT with high school kids?

I'm taking a group of 8 high school kids (ages 17-18) on a field trip to Mystic in a few weeks. I don't think any of them have really been to New England before (we're coming from PA and some are international students), and I'd like to take them somewhere inexpensive, but also delicious. (i.e. not McDonalds)

We're looking for lunch on Saturday in Groton, and for dinner on Sunday we probably need some sort of take-out near Mystic that they can eat in the van. (The other meals are taken care of. I'm not starving them.)

Caveats: not Mystic Pizza (but good pizza is OK); and the kids are paying for these two meals, so inexpensive is very important.

Are there any seafood places that fit the bill? (I know seafood is expensive, but I'm not looking for oysters or fancy sushi or anything. Just fresh fish.)


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  1. I think Paul's pasta serves lunch in Groton. Not expensive at all. Rice, Spice & Noodles is great Thai food in Mystic. That might work as take-out.

    1. Welcome to Southern New England. Try Go Fish in "Olde Mystic Village." Here is their site: http://gofishct.com/ They have great appetizers, soups, salads, reasonable sushi rolls, a raw bar (try the sampler) and, of course, fresh fish. The place is lively and is a few feet from Mystic Aquarium, a movie theater and several boutique shops.

      1. I'm a big fan of Capt. Scott's Lobster Dock in New London. It's a bit tricky to find but much more reasonable than most Mystic area seafood shacks and every bit as good. Abbott's out in Noank is also good but more expensive and not any easier to find. The Sea Swirl in Mystic is good but very expensive. I'm not sure if any of these places are open yet.

        1. The newest pizza place in Mystic is great. It's called Pizzetta and it's at 7 Water Street, right downtown, Groton side of Mystic.

          1. There is a clam shack on the road between the Aquarium and Mystic center... I'm sure someone can help me out with the name...(not Sea Swirl) it's mostly fried.. they have seafood - clam, lobster rolls etc... and hot dogs/burgers for those kids not inclined... it's all take out, outdoor picnic tables on the river... If they are open it could be a great classic New England...not too expensive spot for teens... in a pretty setting

            4 Replies
            1. re: LenaNE

              I don't think the outdoor spots are open until it gets a bit warmer.

              1. re: Alica

                Good news, the clam shack LenaNE mentioned was open for business today!

                1. re: Alica

                  If you mean the Sea View snack bar I wouldn't be overly thrilled. The prices are lower than the Sea Swirl down the road but there is a good reason why. The Sea View is mediocre on a good day.

                  1. re: pbanjo

                    I am not overly thrilled, I never eat at either place, but Birlyfive wanted to find an inexpensive (and good) seafood place, that is open and it seems like a hard one to find.

            2. My kids (12 and 10) and I love to visit the Mystic area. They like Abbots Lobster in the Rough (in the summer so you can sit outside) the most. They also like that seafood shack on the Seaport road (cheap, fried food) and Go Fish. There are really good restaurants around, but these three are my kids' favorites. AVOID THE FAST FOOD RESTAURANT IN THE SEAPORT- it's horrible AND expensive !

              1. In East Lyme on route 161 there's the Flanders Fish Market, the prices aren't bad for fish, and they have really good fish and chips which appeals to the kids. They have a website with a menu, but for some weird reason it's not the full menu. http://www.flandersfish.com/

                1 Reply
                1. re: zitronenmadchen

                  There is always Mystic Pizza, nothing special but they might get a kick out of it because there was a movie about it...

                2. Sea Swirl is open and maybe a little pricier than some, you can still get a hot dog if you want http://www.seaswirlofmystic.com/

                  1. Five Brothers Burgers (or something very similar) is due to open near the Mystic Village very soon. I believe its a chain but have heard good reviews.

                    It's called Five Guys Burger and Fries. There is an ad in the local paper for waitstaff so it should be opening soon.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Vizla

                      5 Guys IS a chain and while okay, it only has burgers, dogs and fries. A better burger as well as other menu items can be had at Ten Clams in Mystic Village. As their name indicates, everything on the menu is less than $10. Also, Seahorse restaurant in Noank is very good and fairly reasonable. They do a great spinach pasta with seafood in a light cream sauce as well a lot of other nice dishes.

                      1. re: chowmensch

                        huh, interestingly, i've lived in mystic/noank area my whole life and haven't heard a good report about Ten Clams.

                        edited to add, I eat at the Seahorse in Noank one or twice a month.

                        1. re: Vizla

                          Vizla -- I'm not saying 10 Clams is amazing....just that their half pound burger is better than Five Guys. Just to clarify, 10 Clams is not fine dining....sort of a Friendly's type menu but a very good burger (better than a Big Beef and certainly fine for high school kids.... At least we agree on Seahorse :-)

                          1. re: chowmensch

                            My husband and I ate two nights in a row at The Seahorse April 26 & 27. We heard it was good and it was very good. I was afraid we wouldn't get a seat after seeing the number of cars in the parking lot but most of the people were in the lounge to the left. The restaurant was not full, nicely lit, very friendly staff, great service. The spinach pasta with seafood was incredible as was the salad with Gorgonzola, pears, craisins--one of the best we've ever had. My husband is a vegetarian and had the ravioli dish. He felt it was a little oily but acceptable. The next night he went back just for the salad and I had the fisherman's platter. It was good and not at all greasy but, let's face it, frying seafood only covers it up. We felt the price was reasonable and were happy we found The Seahorse.

                      2. re: Vizla

                        Be aware that the Five Brothers chain proudly notes that their fries are cooked in peanut oil. I don't have a peanut allergy but I know several who do and I'm surprised a chain aimed at families would even use peanut oil. And it is definitely a chain. There is one in the most nondescript area outside Albany NY.