Restaurants in Connecticut

Perhaps Connecticut's best restaurants are also its most humble ones: seaside shacks serving lobster rolls and fried clams and pizzerias. It won't take long visiting the state before you will come to learn how strongly some of its residents feel about their pizza. One pizzeria famously made its way onto the big screen, Mystic Pizza. If you haven't seen the film starring Julia Roberts, it chronicles the lives of three waitresses at this little pizza place by the drawbridge in Mystic. Despite its turn on the silver screen, the owners didn't let fame go to their heads and continue to sell their calzones and pizzas in this decidedly low-key restaurant. In New Haven, home of the best pizza in the world according to some, white clam pizza is the local specialty—locals have strong opinions about whether Sally's or Pepe's makes a better "pie." New Haven, Hartford, Greenwich and other Connecticut cities have haute options as well. The Union League Café in New Haven has long been a special occasion destination, with chef/owner Jean Pierre Vuillermet serving classic French dishes.

Manolo Blahnik executives George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis opened the Puglia-inspired Arethusa Al Tavolo in 2013. Chef Dan Magill (a Boulud alum) infuses the menu with seasonal flavors—think cider-glazed duck with pumpkin-amaretti purée in the fall.

The thin-crust pizza is amazing, as is the kale-and-quinoa salad and the oatmeal-sunflower-seed bread with almond butter: simple and perfect.

A family-friendly—and family-run—Italian place with plenty of options for parents (the Gorgonzola-rich “Lucky Luciano” pizza) and kids (chicken parmesan).

Thanks to Julia Roberts, pizza is to Mystic what sourdough is to San Francisco, and at Mystic Pizza, by an old drawbridge that goes up hourly, it’s actually delicious.

Urban chic design meets oysters and tapas.