12 Best Restaurants in Milford, Connecticut

Last Updated on March 3, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Milford is a charming coastal city in New Haven County, Connecticut that boasts a thriving dining scene. From high-end restaurants overlooking the harbor to cozy cafes serving freshly baked goods, there is something for everyone. This article features the 12 best restaurants that should not be missed when visiting Milford.

The eclectic mix of eateries includes long-standing institutions dishing out New England classics as well as contemporary spots offering cutting-edge cuisine. Foodies will especially love the emphasis on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients across many menus. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, make sure to stop by these must-try Milford restaurants on your next visit.

Peachpit BBQ and Smokehouse

When it comes to barbecue, Peachpit BBQ and Smokehouse stands above the rest. Nestled along Milford Harbor, this casual joint excels at slow-smoked meats paired with hearty sides like baked beans, coleslaw, and cornbread.

The baby back ribs are always fall-off-the-bone tender thanks to a sweet and tangy dry rub. Pulled pork simmers for over 12 hours resulting in succulent, smokey strands just begging to be piled high on a bun.

Even steak gets the Peachpit treatment – the coffee-crusted hanger steak seared on cast iron is a menu highlight. Don’t skip the delicious duck fat tater tots or jalapeño corn fritters, either. The harbor-front patio is perfect for dining al fresco complete with an outstanding view. Reasonable prices make Peachpit a local favorite.

The Workshop Kitchen + Bar

Tucked along the scenic Milford Harbor, The Workshop Kitchen + Bar delights guests with its contemporary American fare focused on shared plates. The airy industrial space lined with large windows allows natural light to flood the dining room and bar.

Small plates like tuna tartare tacos, shrimp toast, and burrata excel thanks to pristine ingredients and creative presentations. Heartier mains such as seared scallops, short rib cavatelli, and pan-roasted chicken over celery root puree also satisfy.

The restaurant takes advantage of its coastal location through an exemplary raw bar and seafood options like whole roasted fish and lobster rolls. Locally-sourced craft beer and inventive cocktails emphasize the “bar” portion of this hip hangout. Reasonable prices make The Workshop a favored happy hour destination. The harborfront patio allows al fresco dining during warmer months.

Stonebridge Restaurant

For a romantic night out, book a table at Stonebridge Restaurant situated along the scenic Miford Harbor. The elegant yet relaxed waterfront restaurant impresses diners with its contemporary American cuisine focused on locally-sourced New England ingredients.

Appetizers like peekytoe crab cakes and pan seared scallops whet the appetite while hearty mains such as herb crusted rack of lamb, seared Georges Bank sea scallops and Center cut filet mignon satisfy heartier appetites.

Fresh fish and seafood selections also shine thanks to the kitchen’s deft preparation techniques. Service is polished and attentive across the spacious dining room, bar, and seasonal harborfront patio. While certainly a splurge for most locals, Stonebridge offers exceptional quality that makes it one Milford’s finest dining destinations for celebratory meals or special occasions.

Bistro Basque

Tucked along the main drag in downtown Milford, Bistro Basque transports diners to Europe through its rustic French-inspired dishes in an intimate setting. This husband-and-wife-owned neighborhood bistro sources ingredients from local farms to craft Basque-country classics perfected over generations.

Start with pintxos like charcuterie, pâté and cheese boards paired nicely with wines from their Spanish and French focused list. Hearty main plates include standouts like duck confit, braised short ribs, pan seared salmon, and classic steak frites.

Lighter options such as croque monsieurs, salads, and open-faced sandwiches on crusty baguette also satisfy. Round out the meal with orange almond cake or crème caramel custard for dessert. Reasonable pricing and an authentic vibe makes Bistro Basque a reliable local gem.

Orange Ale House

Orange Ale House has remained a beloved Milford institution for good reason – the food is fantastic. This casual brewpub along the main drag serves elevated pub grub focused on handcrafted items paired with an extensive beer list.

While filling sandwiches, burgers and flatbreads appeal to casual crowds, the menu also holds subtler surprises through diverse small and large plates. Highlights include giant pretzels, mussels steamed in white wine and pastrami pot stickers. Hearty mains like beer can chicken, maple salmon, and baby back ribs showcase culinary precision.

Daily specials often include unexpected dishes like duck confit poutine, lamb lollipops and Korean pork belly tacos to keep things interesting. Of course over 100 beers on tap with an emphasis on local craft breweries are the real star here. Good prices combined with scratch-made food made Orange Ale House a local staple for both families and beer lovers alike.

The Corner Restaurant

As a beloved downtown diner since the 1950s, the Corner Restaurant remains a local staple for tasty breakfasts and lunches at an affordable cost. This laidback eatery slings New England staples like fluffy pancakes, hearty omelets, golden waffles and crispy bacon that rarely disappoint.

At lunch, soups, salads and sandwiches like tuna melts, patty melts and crunchy BLTs emphasize freshness through seasonal ingredients and housemade condiments. Daily blue plate specials keep regulars happy with reliable dishes like pot roast, meatloaf and roasted turkey served with scratch-made sides.

Don’t skip dessert – their fruit and cream pies are heavenly. Swift service and cozy booths lining the single dining room make the Corner Restaurant feel as comfortable as dining in one’s kitchen. It remains a go-to for homestyle classics in an unpretentious setting.

Sandbar Seafood Grill and Raw Bar

For pristine seafood and raw bar selections, check out Sandbar Seafood Grill and Raw Bar perched along scenic Milford Harbor. This airy, nautical-themed restaurant excels at dishes sourced straight from Long Island Sound as well as global seafood influences across small and large plates.

Highlights from their exceptional raw bar include oysters on the half shell, littleneck clams, shrimp cocktail and tuna tartare. Appetizers like peel-and-eat shrimp, seared sea scallops and savory crab cakes make it difficult to narrow down choices. Fresh catches with rotating availability joinmenu mainstays like salmon, rainbow trout, lobster rolls, and haddock sandwiches.

Steaks, ribs, chicken and pasta provide additional variety for those less seafood inclined. Their decadent desserts like key lime pie and warm chocolate lava cake end meals perfectly. Enjoy indoor or patio harbor views with friendly service at wallet-friendly cost points – making Sandbar an area favorite.

Rooster Company

Southern hospitality and scratch-made regional fare are on full display at Rooster Company in downtown Milford. Housed in a 19th-century building along the river, this rustic eatery excels at Smoky Mountain-inspired specialties perfected over a wood fire grill.

From tender dry rub ribs to smokey pulled pork and melt-in-your-mouth brisket, carnivores flock here for slow cooked barbecue paired beautifully with regional sides like baked beans, coleslaw, mac & cheese and cornbread. Fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese dip and chicken tenders join shareable Southern staples like fried okra, collard greens and jalapeño hushpuppies.

Burgers, po’boys and hot sandwiches also garner praise in hearty portions. Brunch brings egg-centric hashes, Benedicts, pancakes and chicken + waffles. Wash it down with local beer or regional whiskey. Warm service in a laidback setting keeps locals coming back again and again.

City Fish Market

For the area’s freshest seafood and most knowledgeable fishmongers, visit City Fish Market located downtown near the harbor. This staple fish market sells beautiful catches from New England and beyond that can be cooked to order from their bustling kitchen.

Their overflowing raw bar and smoked fish selections also beg to be taken home. Guests can dine along the small cafe anchored by a lively bar or take it to go. Menu highlights include lobster rolls overflowing with knuckle + claw meat and shrimp po boys piled high with crispy fried shrimp.

Local littlenecks, fresh oyster varieties, crab cakes, fish & chips and chowders are always pristine.inesisDaily chalkboard specials speak to what’s freshest – maybe pan seared salmon, seared tuna or steamed mussels. Take home smoked bluefish pâté, caviar, pre-packed lobster dinners or prepared seafood salads. Don’t skip dessert – their fudgy brownies and hearty cookies end meals perfectly.

Corner Cafe

For freshly prepared breakfast and lunch items in cozy confines, head to Corner Cafe off downtown Milford. This light-filled corner cafe slings New England favorites from early morning through mid-afternoon in an inviting setting.

Fluffy stacks of pancakes, golden Belgian waffles and hearty breakfast sandwiches start the day right – paired beautifully with local coffee roasts. Fill up on shareable starters like pastries, scones, quiches and freshly baked muffins from their pastry case.

Made-to-order sandwiches emphasize seasonal ingredients and housemade condiments – resulting in elevated versions of classics like BLTs, turkey clubs, handcrafted paninis and Reubens. Daily soups often include regional specialties like clam chowder, chicken noodle and butternut squash. Don’t skip dessert – slices of fruit and cream pies or chocolate cake perfectly cap meals. Swift service provides a quintessential corner cafe experience at this downtown favorite.

Good News Cafe

For fresh salads, grain bowls, sandwiches and bakery items made from natural ingredients, check out laidback Good News Cafe. Tucked just off downtown Milford, this cozy spot emphasizes feel-good food in an uplifting setting.

Their bountiful bakery case overflows with fresh-baked breads, scones, muffins, cookies and bars – perfect to enjoy with local coffee on their charming patio. Large, well-dressed salads provide healthier lunch options alongside daily quiches, soups and sandwiches.

Hearty steel-cut oatmeal, acai bowls, avocado toast and nut butter toasts join morning staples like yogurt parfaits and breakfast sandwiches. They also offer an array of juices, smoothies, tea lattes matcha lattes using natural ingredients free of artificial colors or preservatives. Swift service and relaxing ambiance make Good News Cafe a reliable feel-good destination.

Homespun Food & Drink

For elevated comfort food in rustic-chic environs, check out Homespun Food & Drink located just off downtown Milford. This cozy eatery pairs creative renditions of childhood favorites with craft cocktails inside two conjoined historical buildings.

Their bar slings excellent classic and modern cocktails to enjoy alongside shareable starters like spiced nuts, house pickles and dips served with crispy pita points. Small plates feature globally-inspired comfort items like shakshuka flatbread, Korean pork buns, creole shrimp toast and Mexican street corn dip.

More indulgent mains include favorites like beer cheese mac, chicken pot pie, meatloaf and barbecue brisket sandwiches. Don’t forget mom’s desserts – their chocolate bourbon pecan pie, lemon ricotta cheesecake and seasonal cobblers end meals perfectly. Homespun impresses through scratch-made regional comfort cuisine prepared meticulously by knowledgeable staff.

Conclusion

The dining scene across Milford, Connecticut holds its own against larger cities through creative chefs sourcing regional ingredients to craft New England classics alongside international fare. From casual mainstays to upscale bastions of fine dining, this list showcases the town’s 12 best restaurants spanning comfort food creators, seafood icons, barbecue stars and beyond worth trying on your next visit.

Foodies will especially appreciate the emphasis on fresh, locally-sourced cuisine used across many kitchens. Whether celebrating a special occasion or simply looking to eat well on a night out, make sure to check out these must-try eateries on your next culinary adventure in Milford.

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