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Apr 20, 2010 09:29 AM

Looking for a family restaurant near New Haven

Actually need 2 places for the seven of us, but didn't want to scare folks with that title! One for Saturday lunch, one for Saturday dinner



Within 20 minutes of New Haven
Bringing two older folks who don't much like anything "different", so can't be ethnic :(
There's an almost 1 year old involved

Dinner: Entrees priced $15-20 maximum

Since we're bringing a nearly 1 year old, so we need to be able to go to at 5PM, and get in and get out in an hour

Lunch: A good diner would be perfect (we love Town Line in Rocky Hill, but it's too far, we were not impressed with the "91 Diner" in New Haven

Outside option (seafood?) would be good.


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  1. Lenny's Indian Head in Branford should fit the bill for either lunch or dinner... Exactly what you'd expect - not necessarily GOURMET but definitely traditional shore food - fried clams, seafood, etc. Children's menu, high chairs, etc. and the two older folks will think it's great. The happy hour scene on the deck is loud on a summer weekend, but the dining room will be fine for the family.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hungrykids

      And that's where we went and it was perfect for our needs. Lots of families there, lots of kids under 2, and the staff, surroundings, and food were exactly what we hoped for.


      1. re: L2k

        Yay! Glad you enjoyed it. Been there done that with the multi-generation issue and figured this would work...

    2. Try the Athena II Diner in North Haven, 1/4 mile north of Exit 12, Rt 5.
      Quick service, good food, actual diner prices, very family friendly.

      1. Lenny & Joe's Fish Tale has great seafood -- fried plates, lobster rolls, etc. The location in Westbrook has table service, the one in Madison is counter-style with a big picnic area and a merry-go-round. Both are right on Rt 1.

        2 Replies
        1. re: benbenberi

          but the op asked for someplace within 20 minutes of New Haven. I think you'd be hard pressed to get to either Madison or Westbrook that quickly....

          1. re: benbenberi

            L&J's is a great choice, but is about 30 minutes from New Haven. Guilford is less than 20 minutes away, and if you like diner menus, the Shoreline Diner and Vegetarian Enclave (despite the unfortunate name it also has non-veg entrees) might be suitable. I only visited it once, but it had a varied menu. My food was ok, but nothing special.

            In Branford, Lenny's (as mentiioned above) is a good choice. The Parthenon Diner is another standard diner type. I haven't been there, but if it is like their Old Saybrook clone, it should be ok. The Chowder Pot III in Branford would fit the bill for lunch, but it is usually so noisy at dinnertime that I cannot recommend it then.

            Parthenon Diner Restaurant
            374 E Main St, Branford, CT 06405

          2. We've always liked SBC in Hamden. Similar menu to such places as Fridays and Ruby Tuesdays, but a step up quality wise.

            1. There's a restaurant called 'The Place' that's an incredible outdoor seafood restaurant. You sit on stumps and watch the cooks grill lobsters, fish, etc on giant grills. The clams, corn and lobster are to die for. It's a really unique, wonderful experience.

              3 Replies
              1. re: sufunsified

                OP has an The Place would be a tough regular chairs to strap a booster seat, no high chairs (to my knowledge).

                Is The Place open for the season yet?

                1. re: hungrykids

                  I had suggested The Place to my wife -- we went there last year (and I was there 20+ years ago with a prior gf), but we didn't know if it would be open yet, and it's not quite right for a 1 year old, and the grandparents SO would not have been comfortable on the tree stumps.

                  But it *is* a great place for us, and I recommend it to anyone who likes offbeat dining!

                  1. re: L2k

                    Agreed - it's one of my favorite "fun" places to dine in that area, but it was clearly NOT what you were looking for this time around!