New London CT
In Mystic, we love Pizzetta for their thin crust pizzas. http://www.pizzettamystic.com/ The pizza there is wonderful-- the best we've found in the area.
We also like Rice Spice (contemporary Thai) for their wonderful noodles and great desserts.
In New London, the Bean and Leaf is great for coffee and tea.
Welcome to town!
My daughter is a student at Connecticut College, and as two foodies, we're just getting to know this area. We had a delicious meal at Rice Spice Noodle last night. The won ton pad thai was scrumptuous, as were the paper shrimp and curry empanada-like appetizers (can't remember what they were called). Highly recommend!
I lived in Mystic for 6 months last year. For something nice, local, and casual, I would DEFINITELY recommend The Water St Cafe in Stonington Borough - solid food, good drinks and a great local atmosphere. This was my #1 hang out. It’s a 10 minute drive from New London. Stonington Borough is a beautiful little community that began as a Portuguese fisherman’s village on the water.
Bravo Bravo in Mystic can be very good – but definitely a little more upscale. The Bravo Bravo owners also run Azu which is on the other side of the Mystic drawbridge – more casual but still nice.
For breakfast, check out Kitchen Little in Mystic. It can get pretty crowded so arrive early.
I'd also recommend looking into options in Westerly, Rhode Island which is just a few more miles up Highway 1 (right at the CT/RI border). The Up River Cafe is nice and the beach community at Watch Hill has a few interesting places and is worth a visit.
Outside the food world, I recommend taking a walk in Bluff Point State Park which is right in Groton but really beautiful coastal landscape. Also, consider the ferry to Block Island from New London.
Water St Cafe
143 Water St, Stonington, CT 06378
Restaurant Bravo Bravo
20 Main St, Mystic, CT 06355
135 Greenmanville Ave, Mystic, CT 06355
We are very fond of the Raiders Roost Cafe, on the circle near Pfizers in New London. Its got great bbq, cajun and grilled pizza, nice bar and is inexpensive. Another for this time of year is Scott's on the water behind Crockers Boat Yard. Its an alfresco, byob kind of place with fried clams, shrimp, good chowder and lobster dinners. The price is very reasonable. All this is very near Chesters. You can hit them all!
Ha! Funny, I was born there, and was just perusing these boards to see if there were any new restaurants for a visit this weekend.
Chester's BBQ on Bank Street in New London is about the size of a closet, and a far better barbecue meal than New England has any right to produce. It's all done, I believe, South Carolina style.
Zavala's is the Mexican restaurant by the train station. It's formal cuisine. For more casual, customary Mexican, Margarita's in Mystic is a good (but often crowded) setting.
Recovery Room on Ocean Avenue has New Haven style pizza -- their Ed's Special is an amazing concoction, and the calamari is served Rhode Island style, though possibly they got the recipe from Heaven.
You're lucky to be in Mystic -- there's a lot of good eats around there, especially in the summer.
Tony D's: Very good Italian
Cafe 57: Seafood, beef, chicken, etc. Great prime rib (only Friday and Saturday)
Scott"s Lobster Deck: Causal outdoor, nice view of the river and boats, great lobster roll (hot or cold), fried clams, scallops, fish n chips, burgers, hot dogs
Paul's Pasta: Excellent home made pasta dishes (fresh pasta made on premises)...deck in the back has view of the river. (In Groton but just over the bridge from New London)
Singapore Grill and Sushi Bar: Very good sushi and other Asian specialties.
Octagon: In the Groton Marriott....special occasion type restaurant...steaks, seafood.
I want to add to and amend my July recommendations. 57 has unfortunately closed but the son of the owner is opening a steak restaurant (Steakout) at the same location soon. There's a great breakfast/lunch place in Mystic, Somewhere in Time. Excellent omlettes, pancakes, egg wraps as well as lunch wraps and sandwiches. Turkey club is excellent and is made with real roasted turkey! Somewhere in Time's sister restaurant, When Pigs Fly in Waterford, has the same menu and is just as good.