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Connecticut Shoreline (mainly from Branford to Old Saybrook)

I'm looking to my fellow hounds for restaurant recommendations on the CT shoreline. We enjoy all types of food - Cajun to Asian and everything in between, and are looking for casual places that are not too costly. Also, which dishes do you recommend?

I'd also like to hear about diners, breakfast/pancakes, hamburgers, etc., anything you enjoy eating out on the shoreline.

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  1. Consistent good food at good prices, unusual dishes blending Spanish and Italian flavors. My current favorite in the area.
    Bistro Mediterranean & Tapas Bar
    383 Main Street
    East Haven, CT 06512
    (203)467-2500 or (203)467-4300

    1 Reply
    1. Oh, and I forgot to ask who has the best apizza!

      1. Welcome fellow Queenseian(?) I was brought up there and still visit for good eats as often as possible.
        Best breakfast IMHO is the Waiting Station on the Green in Branford. Weekends are best, with great specials. Killer omelets, great home fries and pancakes.
        Pho Madison on Rt. 1 near Lenny and Joe's ,has really great pho, very affordable, great lunch.
        The Lobster Shack in Branford, The Clam Castle in Madison, both closed for the season, both with great food well worth going in the spring.
        A really good burger can be had at Tommy Sullivan's, also in Branford and generally all their food is very good and at bargain prices. The wings are good too.
        Best Pizza is tough. There's a lot of places that make good pizza, but Pepe's, Bar and Modern are really best and worth the trip to New Haven.

        14 Replies
        1. re: chefstu

          Do you go back to Queens just for the eats?

            1. re: chefstu

              I am getting the sense that there is not any pizza on the Shoreline that is real New Haven style and is like Pepe's and the others mentioned in New Haven.

              Is there any pizza on the Shoreline that is real New Haven style? How about The Red Tomato in Madison?

              P.S. I have not been to New Haven for the pizza yet.

                1. re: QueensTomato

                  I hate to break it to you but nobody makes a pie like Pepe's, Modern or Bar. I personally don't care for Sally's (to burnt and to long a wait). Places on the shoreline try and some are pretty good, like Marco's and Panicello's (sp?) in Branford, but the coal fired oven at Pepe's rules (red pie with anchovy and grated cheese or white clam, garlic and cheese). Also the potato, bacon and onion pie at Bar is worth the trip.

                  1. re: chefstu

                    How is the corned beef and cabbage at Tommy Sullivan's?

                    What places do you trek to back to Queens just to eat?

                    1. re: QueensTomato

                      I think everything at Tommy's is pretty good.
                      Maybe 7 out of 10.
                      We most often go to Flushing for dim sum or some other Asian then shop for a couple of hours.
                      We also go to Rego Park, Woodside(my hometown), Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, L.I.C., Lower East Side, ect. Usually with an ethnic place to eat or some specialty ethnic shopping.
                      On a recent trip we went to Austin St. for Lamb pastries and bread, LIC to a butcher shop, LES for donuts at the Donut Plant.

                      1. re: chefstu

                        There's a few places I'm curious about: Bufalina in Guilford (pizza in wood fired oven from Italy) Cafe Allegre in Madison, and New Orleans Restaurant in Westbrook.

                        I've found good Mexican is hard to find on the shore.

                        Yup, agree about Queens - Elmhurst for Thai food, Jackson Heights for Indian Food, LIC has great Italian food, Woodside for Irish food...

                        I guess the more populated the area the more choice there is and the more competition.

                        1. re: QueensTomato

                          Cafe Allegre is very good, and Bufalina is on my list of places to go to when in Guilford around dinner time.
                          The New Orleans restaurant in Westbrook is also known as "Creative Cooking". Its website is http://creativecooking.cc
                          It specializes in Cajun cooking. I tried it about three years ago and enjoyed an inexpensive cuisine not often found in this latitude, but my wife took a dislike to her blackened seafood and refuses to go back even though they have many other dishes. They offer a Sunday buffet.

                          1. re: DonShirer

                            I'm drooling over some of the items on that menu.

                            1. re: DonShirer

                              Thanks for the link to New Orleans. Is the Sunday buffet worth trying if you don't eat pork?

                              1. re: DonShirer

                                My wife and I haven't been to Cafe Allegre for more than a year, but when we went in the past we found the food boring and poorly prepared, and the service awful. Perhaps things have changed ... Bufalina makes very good pizza (not to be confused with Pepe's style, but very good). Be sure you have a reservation, though: they have only a very few seats. They used to be BYO, but now they seem to have a wine list (we haven't been for a while, partly because every time we call they're full). Creative Cooking is a nice idea, but we weren't impressed with the execution. They never seem to have any customers -- I wonder how they have survived so long.

                                1. re: linguist

                                  Linguist,

                                  Which restaurants do you enjoy in the area in question?

                                  1. re: QueensTomato

                                    Cafe Routier is reliably good. Bar Bouchée is good, but rather expensive and not terribly comfortable. Le Petit Cafe in Branford,though we desperately wish Roy would change his menu more often. Liv's, especially for their wintertime Wednesday $1 oyster special. Clinton's Taste of China (and the even better new branch on the Green in New Haven). Hanami I in Clinton and II in Branford for Japanese. Chamard Bistro, where we've only been once but will definitely go back. In Guilford, Quattro's is good sometimes, best of the lot around the Green. Stone House is typically faintly disappointing, but not bad. Guilford Mooring for the view, the onion rings but not a lot more.

              1. Burgers-Hotwire in Westbrook
                Pizza-Pepes or Alforno in Old Saybrook
                Breakfast-JAMMS in Old Saybrook or Simon's in Chester
                Sandwiches-Old Saybrook Soup and sandwich
                Donuts-Beach Donuts in Westbrook
                Cupcakes-Sweets in Branford
                Asian- Pho in Madison
                Oysters-Liv's Oyster Bar in Old Saybrook(during happy hour)
                Pub food- Pennywise Pub in Old Saybrook
                Affordable Italian- Campania in Branford
                ENJOY!

                3 Replies
                1. re: jdgall

                  jd has good list for "casual". Add:

                  Breakfast-Christies in Westbrook
                  Asian-Som Siam - Old Saybrook
                  Japanese-Hanami- Clinton
                  Chinese-Taste of China-Clinton
                  Deli-al fresco- Edd's Place - Westbrook
                  Pizza - Brickhouse Pizza-Westbrook (or Al Forno)

                  1. re: jdgall

                    And the correct name is "Haywire Burger Bar" in Westbrook.

                    1. re: DonShirer

                      Maybe jdgall steals cars after grabbing a burger. ;) JUST KIDDING! Kind of a funny typo when you think about it.

                  2. In Branford

                    Yooki Yama on the town green has good sushi.

                    Siam Garden on the hill has decent Thai as long as you tell them not to make it sweet and you want it spicy.

                    I like Darbar for Indian.

                    Past Cosi is Italian and they make their pasta in house.

                    Ashley's for ice cream.

                    Lobster Shack has been mentioned.

                    We like Lenny's for fried seafood. Better clam at Clam Castle in Madison, but Lenny's has a much bigger menu. Great lobster.

                    For a splurge. Le Petite Cafe is very good.

                    Home is great for casual weekend lunches. Nice local beer selection there.

                    Go to New Haven for Pizza.