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New London and / or Mystic .....Where do locals eat????

Planning to travel there from Long Island in mid May meeting friends from Tenn. We don't want the tourist fun thing but good food. Anyway so where do you guys eat ??? Thanks

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  1. In New London, I recommend Tony D's.

    In Groton, I recommend Paul's Pasta.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chowmensch

      Also, great sub sandwiches at Hamilton Market in New London.

      Breakfast and lunch at Somewhere in Time in Old Mystic.

    2. I've said it before on CH and I'll say it again: Pita Spot in Mystic is outstanding for authentic Lebanese food at very moderate prices. But don't just take my word for it. Look it up here and on Trip Advisor and Yelp and you'll see almost nothing but passionate raves.

      1. Dev's on Bank in New London is great for tapas. Bravo Bravo in Mystic has delicious food and good drinks.

        Sorry joey, but I wasn't impressed with Pita Spot. My falafel was average. Went back and gave it another try and ordered a $10 salad expecting an entree portion and it was a tiny little side salad. Oh well. I go to Markos in Narragansett for my Middle Eastern food fix.

        1. We just returned from Mystic last weekend. The Oyster club was good, as well as Go Fish. The Daniel Packer Inne was Great for dinner & Pizzetta was good as well. ( really fresh ). Have fun.

          1 Reply
          1. re: temilove

            Love the DPI. We always try to snag a table downstairs.

          2. In Mystic, the Captain Daniel Packer Inne and the S&P Oyster House are both very good.

            2 Replies
            1. re: DeanH

              Chesters BBQ in Groton is very good. Boat house is pretty good and I'm goning to try Phantasia (new Chinese-Vietnamese in Groton) this week- hearing good things about it at work.

              1. re: KROB

                Huge shout out for The Cooked Goose, nearby, Route 1 in Westerly. Chef Andrew is kitchen nobility with SERIOUS Nyc credits. He does simple, American, abd presides over the very best kitchen & most pleasant room in the entire area... If you want to seriously lose your mind, try A Breakfast there , his egg dishes are unusual and perfectly done. Andrew acts like he is still in nyc & there is serious competition nearby. There is not....

            2. If nice and want seafood, Try Captain Scott's in New London. They should be open by then. They only have outside seating near a marina.

              I agree I like Paul's Pasta. Try the specials or the Chicken diablo. I'm not a fan of their red sauce, but always enjoy their food.

              I have heard great things about the Oyster Club in Mystic. Would love to try them myself.

              For breakfast I would suggest any of the Shack's locations.

              1. I'm sort of icked out by some of the suggestions here - you are being steered towards lower end food that is somewhat touristy. Paul's Pasta used to be good - they make their own pasta, but the sauces are heavy and unimaginatively seasoned. You get a lot of food for little money, but that's their selling point these days. In Mystic, the recommendations for Daniel Packer and S & P Oyster are out of line. These are tourist destinations with mediocre, starchy food for overly high prices for what you get. The bar downstairs at the Daniel Packer is okay, but don't eat in the restaurant.

                In Mystic, get sushi (but not much else) at Go Fish. Azu and Bravo, owned by the same restaurant group have decent but overpriced food. Anthony Js used to be good, but I haven't been there in several years, and my last memory is of very salty red sauce. Riverwalk is okay, but inconsistent. We are trying Oyster Club tonight for the first time.

                If you venture further into Stonington Village, your choices improved. Noah's has great seafood, but Water Street Cafe has the best overall menu and always has excellent food. It gets very crowded on the weekends because a lot of locals like it, from the fisherman crowd to the NYC transplants. Milagro's offers fantastic Mexican food - not tex-mex, more authentic upscale, but is tiny; plan to wait, and have one of their amazing margaritas while you do. Water Street and Milagro's are our go-to places. People always recommend Dog Watch, but I can't figure out why. Their food is typical bar food, but the atmosphere is good if you like a loud bar on the water.

                Venture ten minutes further east to Westerly, RI, and you have 84 High Street (our other go-to place); Bridge: scenic, but weird menu, stick to burgers and chowder; and Bruna's Table: seasonal slow-food type Italian; have always had good meals there.

                Back in New London, Dev's has interesting tapas and good drinks (where we usually go) and Tony Ds has classic Italian menu that is pretty good. Stay away from Indian and Thai in New London (even though you may hear it is good) - there is much better to be had in Mystic and Westerly.

                Agree that breakfast at Somewhere in Time is good - Kitchen Little is the famous Mystic place, but the food quality has steadily gone down over the years. Lunch is okay there though.

                Good luck.

                9 Replies
                1. re: ThomShap

                  The only thing I disagree on is 84 High Street. We did not like that at all, and we have been there a few times. Is Riverwalk worth trying? I am not sure if Bruna's Table is still open. We tried Dev's years ago and though is was just okay but maybe will try again. We are at Water Street and Noah's often, both great, WAter Street better. Look forward to trying Milagro! Can't wait until Olympia Tea Room is open!

                  1. re: ThomShap

                    I gave up on 84 High street a few years back when I realized that standards were just dropping. Dev serves a whole bunch of frozen apps microwaved or deep fried. The menu sounds lovely, but the food? Meh. What is the status of Kitchen Little? They lost their lease a couple months back. When are they closing/relocating?

                    Lots of negativity, so lets put a more positive sping. Where do I like to eat? Last time I was there I was surprisingly impressed by the food at Sneakers in Groton which is a bar, often with live music, but with real food. Chaplin's in New London is lovely with a very friendly cook. I definitely agree about the shout out for Water Street Cafe and Milagros, but I also like Noah's for brunch or lunch.

                    If you are looking for dim sum, especially at lunch time, Golden Chopstix in Westerly is an unlikely hit. Some orders you can't get at dinner time, like their fresh rice rolls (They also own the Chinese grocery in the same strip mall. I get frozen dumplings by the unlabeled sackfull there.)

                    For greasier fare, I am pretty fond of Kamp Dog in New London, which unapologetically serves up reubens and chili dogs par excellence. Much stuff is made in house, and again, the owner is a delight. And finally, Chester's bbg in Groton is good stuff too. It will probably piss off purists, but in Connecticut beggars cannot be choosers. I love a burnt end sandwich. Plus they get extra points for bending over backwards to get ingredient information when I brought in a friend with celiac. (She had a great meal with no side effects!)

                    1. re: thinks too much

                      Last I heard (from a reliable source), Kitchen Little will be closing soon, as they did not find a new location.

                      1. re: coastalgypsy

                        Ok Kitchen little has moved over To the marina at Masons Island it's got a new lease and a new lease on life Quite good for breakfast or lunch. You'll find it at the marina on the new side of Masons Island

                    2. re: ThomShap

                      Concerning your comment "the recommendations for Daniel Packer and S & P Oyster are out of line": no, they aren't. These are venues that consistently provide a high quality dining experience.

                      1. re: DeanH

                        Yeah, I'm not sure about the out of line comment either - I've eaten a few times at S&P ( not Packer though). I guess everyone has an opinion but I don't live in NYC or New Orleans or Paris or a place surrounded by awesome eateries. I live in an area where chain restaurants rule so I branch out to find okay to excellent eateries. I think S&P is fine and I wouldn't say I was out of line saying this when compared to 90% of the other stuff out there. Never had a bad meal there. I also think the location is a plus.

                        1. re: Nickmerill

                          Okay, I agree about the location for both S & P and the DPI. And to be fair, I used to love the DPI, I just think the food has gone downhill over the last few years. It always used to be our special occasion place. I do still like the bar there, though. As for S & P, I think they have a great menu with a lot of potential, but I have been unimpressed with the food. Maybe I've just been on off nights.

                          Meanwhile, I'm not surprised about all of the negative comments about 84 High, but I still am pretty fond of it. I think the quality slipped when they changed hands a couple of years ago, but it is back to being consistent.

                          As far as the New Orleans or NYC stuff, I think we have a handful of restaurants here that can give those towns a run for their money, not to mention great food just a stone's throw away in Providence.

                          1. re: ThomShap

                            Thomshap, you are right there are shoreline/shore-area restaurants that are very worthy and as good as some of the restaurants in other places. This is why I occasionally travel to that area. I live in Northern Ct and good places to eat are few and far between. What the average person around here thinks is good pizza is usually pretty bad when compared to people who eat at New Haven joints. You want good mexican food... the average person around here will thrill and compliment Taco Bell. Try to get in the Olive Garden on a Saturday. TRY.

                            So I occasionally take the family to a trip to say Mystic and like S&P or Azus or Go Fish. And I just want to defend myself and not be out of line suggesting any of those places. I've eaten some places around Mystic I wouldn't go back to... You were spot on about Anthony J's. About 20 years ago it was my fave spot - hands down. I haven't gone there in several years because I've noticed a decline although it might be awesome now for all I know(having not returned in years). I'd love to live in the area because there are as many good restaurants as bad ones when compared to the ratio of largely subpar up here (although there are a couple of okay places). If I lived in an area with such restaurants I'd get around more and definitely have stronger, more diverse opinions.

                            No big thing. And not an argument. I'm just sort of saying I kind of like S&P but I only eat there once a year. But I never recall it being anything but good. When I go to an area over an hour from where I live I have certain expectations and if the place is bad or "off" for the night or even mediocre I'm not likely to return again. I usually go off this site and opinions such as yours and have not been let done yet. I'll try some of the places you suggested, but this lengthy reply is just to say that I don't think I'm too out of line for suggesting a place or two that I think is pretty good.

                      2. re: ThomShap

                        Paul's Pasta is very mediocre. Go to Olio in Groton for really good Italian. Azu is great (Mystic), same owners. Lots of good eats in Mystic: Rice Spice Noodle for PanAsian, and we really like the Pita Spot, too. Also second Somewhere in Time and Kitchen Little for breakfast, as well as Broken Yolk in NL. Dev's is pretty good for tapas.

                      3. Captain Scott's - aka, The Lobster Dock is a great choice- over looking the Marina, but you are outside. very good food, not much atmosphere. Michael's Diary next to Mitchell College has the best ice cream, and has been a staple for years.
                        I went to Gaspar's last summer- new restaurant on Bank St and I was very impressed with it. I haven't been there lately but Gaspar is the real deal as far as Chef's with years of experience and makes some classic European dishes- like Weinerschnitzel as an example.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Moneychick77

                          When Gaspar's first opened we went and we thought it was a nice place with good food. Supposedly they had some well known chef that was very experienced and talented. I heard after that that chef left. Not sure how it is now.