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Johnny Ad's. Abbot's, or Flanders Fish Market

We are going for lunch in the Old Saybrook, East Lyme, or Mystic area. I have been to Abbot's in Noank and to Flander's fish market in East Lyme, in but I have never been to Johnny Ad's in Old Saybrook. Has anyone been to all three? How is the food at Johnny Ad's? How does it compare to the others?

Johnny Ad's Drive-In
910 Boston Post Rd, Old Saybrook, CT 06475

Flanders Fish Market
22 Chesterfield Rd, East Lyme, CT 06333

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  1. Johnny Ad's is good for what it is; a shack specializing in fried sea critters. Their hot dogs aren't bad either.

    1. We recently stopped At Johnny Ad's after a couple year hiatus. I feel like for the price they could have probably afforded to use clean oil in their fryers. Underwhelmed in general. We've been to Flanders but not tried any of their fried offerings.

      1. Johnny Ad's food is ok, but it is typical clam shack (and hot dogs), and is not up to the sit-down dinners at Flanders F.M. And the view is definitely not in the same category as Abbot's. While I patronize all three at various times, I probably go to Lenny & Joe's Fish Tale in Westbrook more often.

        Lenny & Joe's
        Westbrook, CT, Westbrook, CT

        Fish Tale Restaurant
        86 Boston Post Rd, Westbrook, CT 06498

        1. I went to Abbot's last summer and was highly disappointed (and rather shocked since I've always had good meals there.) The clams were inedible and the lobster was flavorless. None of the seafood seemed fresh at all.

          Johnny Ad's is always consistenly good for me.

          Can't speak to Flander's Fish market.


          1. Go across the bridge from Niantic to the fish market right on the river. The place is certainly not fancy but the fish is fresh, affordable and plain good. Stay away, far away from Flanders FM. But for a great time, go to the Recovery Room in New London. It is right next door to the hospital. Tremendous salads, great pizza and excellent entrees. Also in New Londom is Tony's. Authentic Italian with Tony's mother in the kitchen most nights. It is just a good time with great food and fabulous, fabulous bar men.

            Recovery Room Restaurant
            445 Ocean Ave, New London, CT 06320

            1 Reply
            1. re: jvaill40

              Hi Jvaill40, would you give the name of the Fish Market you mentioned in your post. While we may not get back to Niantic this season it will be good to have for next summer.


            2. Flander's fish market has fallen from grace for me.
              A serious drop in quality.
              A real shame.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Td61

                Really? Until a few weeks ago, I hadn't been to Flanders since last summer and everything seemed to be status quo. We ordered whole belly clams, scallops, fish and chips...all were good as usual

                1. re: mels

                  Never seemed the same as back in the day when Flanders was just a shacky fish market with a restaurant on the side.

                  1. re: cheereeo

                    In agreement on Flanders, haven't been for a couple of years so decided to try again this past Sunday evening on Labor Day weekend. Food was only OK, service was less than OK. They didn't seem that busy to make it back to check on the table. Only doing so before asking if we wanted any coffee or dessert. Then after we declined taking nearly 10 minutes to return with the check. While my son said his wild salmon was good both my wife and I thought it was overcooked. We also had Whole Belly Clams an order of Fish and Chips, and Calmari. Seemed to not get so many actual whole clams, may have been the bottom of the bucket? I don't know if they offer an upgrade of Fish/chips, I think that it was likely Pollack.

                    1. re: Peznt

                      I think Peznt sums up my feeling about Flanders based on a recent visit: Food OK, service less than OK. I'll take Lenny and Joe's every time over FFM.

                      1. re: Waquoit

                        I agree with Waquoit. I'm not a big fried fish guy so my go to choice at these places is the Lobster roll. Lenny and Joe's is better than Johnny Ad's, Flanders and Abbott's. No contest.

                2. re: Td61

                  After having missed our preferred restaurant turnoff in New London, hunger made us choose Flanders F.M. despite (or maybe to verify) comments like those above. Not to worry, the restaurant was over half full, and the chowder (creamy but not too), lobster salad and stuffed flounder were quite acceptable. The menus were much larger than I remembered from previous visits several years ago, and there was an option of a create-it-yourself pasta bar. I don't quite get why you would want pasta at a seafood restaurant, but apparently someone did, because at one point we caught a whiff of slightly overcooked pasta. One warning, the onion rings were overkill for two people, and quite ample for four. We took home enough to last a week. (And it does take a lot of sales resistance to pass the take home seafood counters near the exit!)

                3. Believe it or not, Johnny Ad's has one of the best chili dogs around. It's in my top 3 in the state and has a place on my food wall. The fried clams ( whole belly, of course) were pretty good too.

                  1. Thanks you one and all for your remarks. None of the reviews made me want to rush to any of these places. I guess I'll have to keep searching.