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Oct 2, 2012 08:02 PM

Help in Hartford

Hey all,

Coming into Hartford for a few days on business and know absolutely nothing about the dining scene there. Looking for something uniquely Hartford, not some washout from NYC or BOS...


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  1. Here's an oldie but goodie thread--for delicious, but decidedly un-fancy fare:

    Highlights b/c the link to the original Hartford Advocate no longer works:
    Franklin Avenue Giant Grinder - Hartford
    Mickey's Oceanic Grill - East Hartford
    NY-NY Pizza (Franklin Ave., Hartford): try the cevapi under "Bosnian Corner Specials"

    Not mentioned, also good:
    Maple Giant Grinder - Hartford

    Pizza uniquely of this area: Mulberry Street - Manchester - try the Italian Job!

    If you have a generous expense account, see if you can find your way to ON20 (Hartford, Hartford Steam Boiler Building). I never got there when I worked downtown, but always wished I had.

    8 Replies
    1. re: kattyeyes

      No question that (good) CT grinders are unmatched elsewhere (key being crusty rolls not typically found outside of CT along with quality cold cuts vs. the low end cold cuts typically used in chains, etc).

      Not fine dining where it'll be difficult / near impossible to ever beat NYC, but pizza also tends to be outstanding in CT, where you may have to hit Pepe's in Manchester or Jerry's in Middletown (very informal setting) for the best in the Hartford area (two different types, but each excellent in their own way).

      First and Last Tavern on Maple Ave. in Hartford makes an excellent pizza along with excellent southern style dishes - typically equal-to-better than NY or Boston.

      Another treat is to stop by Modern Pastry at 422 Franklin Ave in Hartford -

      1. re: Clams047

        Ooh, gotta respectfully disagree with you on Pepe's and Jerry's for the best. Mondo in Middletown outshines Jerry's Pizza in a major way. I'm with you on First and Last, tho'. If you've never tried Mulberry Street, do try it when you're out that way.

        davhud, we are pretty passionate about pizza here--if you're interested (and why wouldn't you be?) you can find several threads on this board for more info before we start a pizza war. :) Here's a good one to get you started:

        1. re: kattyeyes

          Recently saw an article listing the "35 best" US pizza places. I was surprised to find they weren't all in CT.

          1. re: Clams047

            ;) Maybe not all, but some of the very best are, no question!

            ETA for you, Clams, 'cause you're a Jerry's fan (funny stuff!):

            And Jerry's is now on South Main St. now (Rt. 17) for those who are not near.

            1. re: kattyeyes

              Jerry's, just as I remember it........

              Thanks for posting.

            2. re: Clams047

              I like CT pizza, but don't give them that much primacy. I had a delicious grilled pizza in Providence, RI that I'd rank up there.

              Did the report also cross different pizza varieties? Like did some deep dish or Chicago/Detroit stuffed pizza places make it in? I know they are basically cheese casseroles, but hey, cheese is good..

              1. re: grant.cook

                "I like CT pizza, but don't give them that much primacy. I had a delicious grilled pizza in Providence, RI that I'd rank up there."

                Recently had a Rocket pizza (with side of wings) at Providence Coal Fired Pizza in Providence that was outstanding - Amongst the best I've ever had (pizza as well as wings)

          2. re: Clams047

            +1 on first and last
            The clam pie there will give you that CT pizza experience and I love the red sauce there!

            There is good Vietnamese food to be had as well.

            Carbones is also very good and one of the few "classic" hartford restaurants still in business.

            Apricots in Farmington is also good.

        2. chowhounds!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!

          1 Reply
          1. re: davhud

            Any chance you can report back on your Hartford foray? Places? Opinions?