12 Best Restaurants in New Britain, Connecticut

Last Updated on February 27, 2024 by Emily Johnson

New Britain, Connecticut is a small city with a thriving food scene. From Italian restaurants that have been community staples for decades to new, innovative eateries popping up all over town, New Britain has something to satisfy every palate.

The city’s diverse population means you can find authentic cuisine from all over the world, often just blocks from each other. Whether you’re looking for a cute café to enjoy brunch at, a family-owned pizzeria, or a fine dining experience filled with culinary delights, New Britain has no shortage of excellent restaurants to choose from.

In this article, we have compiled a list of 12 of the best restaurants that New Britain has to offer. From Portuguese barbecue to gourmet burgers, the eateries featured below encompass the cultural diversity and culinary excellence that makes dining in New Britain such a unique and mouthwatering experience.

For each restaurant, you’ll find information about what makes them stand out, their most popular menu items, and why you should add them to your must-try dining bucket list in New Britain. After reading, you’ll be eager to take a tasting tour through this Central Connecticut city.

Costas Restaurant & Wine Bar


As the highest-rated restaurant in New Britain on TripAdvisor, Costas Restaurant & Wine Bar is an excellent place to start our list. Family-owned and operated since 2005, Costas brings a taste of the Greek Isles to New Britain. This cozy, warmly-lit restaurant has earned a reputation for its fresh seafood, flown in daily from the Mediterranean.

Swordfish, salmon, sea bass and more arrive just hours after coming out of the clear blue waters halfway around the world, ensuring next-level freshness and flavor. While the seafood shines at Costas, land-lovers also have plenty of options like Moussaka, Pastitsio baked with béchamel and Keftedes (Greek meatballs).

No matter what you order, be sure to pair it with one of over 100 hand-selected wines from their cellar. With classy vibes, intimiate ambiance, stellar service and incredible food, Costas transports you to a seaside taverna in Greece for a few heavenly hours.

Standout Dishes: Seafood Casserole, Stuffed Calamari, Rack of Lamb

Coral Castle

If you’re seeking an elevated dining experience in New Britain, look no further than Coral Castle. Since 2018, Chef de Cuisine Riyaad Mohammed has been serving progressive American cuisine utilizing seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients.

The menu changes frequently based on availability from area farms, but some standouts include Rabbit Osso Buco served with parsnip silk, carrot emulsion and pickled mustard seeds; Foie Gras de Canard with sour cherry and toasted brioche; Oak Grilled Octopus with potato mousseline and chorizo emulsion; and Line Caught Fluke Crudo with grapefruit, breakfast radish, cucumber and preserved lemon.

The dining room has an upscale yet relaxed vibe with black leather booths, white tablecloths and an elegant marble bar. Extensive wine list and exquisite cocktails complement the culinary creations perfectly. For a special occasion or night out on the town, Coral Castle is an excellent choice.

Standout Dishes: Seared Duck Breast, 1855 Bone-In Ribeye, Flourless Chocolate Torte

Prime 82 Steakhouse & Bar

Located on New Britain’s bustling Main Street, Prime 82 Steakhouse & Bar raises the bar for fine dining in the city. As their name suggests, steaks take center stage on the menu at this contemporary chophouse. Only USDA Prime corn and grass-fed beef is served, cut in-house by expert butchers to ensure peak freshness and flavor.

Besides various cuts of steak, you’ll find selections like Australian Cold Water Lobster Tail, Alaskan King Crab Legs, Berkshire Pork Chop and more. There’s even Wagyu beef available when you’re ready to seriously splurge. Creative sides, scintillating starters and indulgent desserts round out an overall incredible eating experience.

To further elevate the evening, there’s an award-winning wine list plus innovative handcrafted cocktails like the Smoked Old Fashioned and Lilikoi Passionfruit Martini. For athermostatically controlled dry age room, luxe surroundings and bespoke hospitality, Prime 82 brings high-end steakhouse dining to New Britain.

Standout Dishes: 22 oz Bone-In Ribeye, Au Poivre Steak, Twice Baked Potato

The CFC Fritas Express

For inexpensive, authentic and absolutely mouthwatering Portuguese cuisine in New Britain, head to the CFC Fritas Express food truck. Don’t let the portable digs fool you – owner Christina Fontes Correia is cooking up traditional family recipes passed down from her parents and grandparents back on Portugal’s sunny shores.

Locals rave about her Prego Steak Sandwich served on fresh Portuguese bread from Hartford’s nNative Breads bakery and loaded with garlicky, smoky, tender slices of steak. Her famous Portuguese Fried Dough balls live up to the hype too. Crispy, fluffy and dusted in cinnamon sugar, people drive across Connecticut just to get these warm, melty bites of fried heaven.

Of course, you can’t visit a food truck named Fritas without trying….the fritas! These crispy fried cubed steak bites topped with garlic sauce and served with rice and fries will make your tastebuds dance. Affordable, comforting food made the old-fashioned homemade way, CFC Fritas Express is a New Britain jewel.

Standout Dishes: Fritas, Chourico & Peppers Sub, Portuguese Fried Dough

Ramunto’s Brick Oven Pizza

For piping hot, oblong-shaped perfection, there’s no better pizza in town than Ramunto’s. This family-owned local legend has been feeding New Britain families fresh brick oven pizza for over 56 years. Now run by Tony and Vinnie Ramunto, the brothers have carried on their family’s decades-long tradition of pizza passion.

Available for dine-in or takeout, Ramunto’s has every pizza style covered from gooey deep dish to paper-thin tomato pie (their specialty). Our personal favorite is the Gouda Mac Pizza featuring mac & cheese, bacon, jalapenos and poblano peppers for a spicy, cheesy, crispy mashup you didn’t know your taste buds needed.

Besides pizza, Ramunto’s serves up fan favorites like Calzones, Aegean Chicken, Pasta Bolognese and more. Worth noting – they make their pizza dough and sauce from scratch daily. Add to that three types of aged mozzarella, toppings piled high and a secret brick oven recipe, and you’ve got one heavenly slice of cheesy bliss.

Standout Pies: Tomato Pie, Philly Cheese Steak Pizza, Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Taste of Poland – Euro Deli

For an authentic taste of Eastern European cuisine, visit New Britain’s beloved Taste of Poland deli and market. Family-owned since 1998, this little piece of Poland serves pierogies, borscht soup, kielbasa sausage and other hearty Polish classics daily to rave reviews.

Pierogies have earned an especially cult-like following. Handmade daily, these tender dumplings are filled with mashed potatoes, farmers cheese, sauerkraut or fruit sweet cheese…take your pick! Boiled then pan-fried in butter & onions or bacon bits, they’re pure Polish comfort food greatness.

Beyond pierogies, the deli case overflows with other specialties like Hunter’s Stew (bigos), Potato Pancakes (placki ziemniaczane), stuffed cabbage rolls (golabki) and airy Polish cheesecake. There’s also a market up front packed with Polish pantry staples, sweets, beers and more so you can stock up. For the best pierogies this side of Warsaw plus other delightful Polish bites, visit Taste of Poland. Cash only so come prepared.

Standout Dishes: Pierogies (especially potato and onion), Roast Pork Loin, Pączki (Polish Donuts)

Jim’s Hamburg

For 70 years and counting, one little burger stand in New Britain has served some of the state’s most legendary greasy burgers and hot dogs. Started in 1954 using Jim’s grandfather’s Depression-era recipe, Jim’s Hamburg is now manned by Jim’s son Phil who dutifully dishes out these old-school smashed double burgers for a new generation.

Served on humble steamed bun with grilled onions, American cheese and Jim’s secret tangy “comeback sauce”, these burgers are simple yet simply outstanding. The griddle-sizzled flavor, that audible crunch when you bite in and the juicy no-frills deliciousness…we dare you try just one!

Besides the OG double burger, try the Triple threat with three patties or the unique Steak Bomb burger topped with shaved steak, peppers, onions and sauce. Hot dogs, crinkle fries, milkshakes and breakfast sandwiches round out the classic menu. No indoor seating so grab your burger or dog to go and dine al fresco just like decades of satisfied customers before you. A New Britain institution.

Standout menu items: Double Cheeseburger, Hot Dog with The Works, Steak Bomb

Fire and Spice Vegan Restaurant

New Britain is making moves towards more sustainable, compassionate dining and the plant-based Fire and Spice Vegan Restaurant leads this charge. Launched in 2020 by Earl and Cassie Ingram, this cozy café’s global fusion menu will dazzle even staunchest of carnivores.

Dishes burst with complex flavors, intriguing textures and vibrant colors…all animal product-free. Start your meal with Samosas served with sweet tamarind sauce, Jerk Eggplant loaded with barbecue spices or Trinidadian Doubles — curried chick peas tucked into soft fried flatbread. Entrees like the Rasta Pasta with zucchini noodles or Indonesian Rendang made with oyster mushrooms and jackfruit are just as creative and tasty.

Don’t miss the Indian street food specialty Pav Bhaji, a phenomenol sloppy joe-esque chickpea and veggie mashup with buttery toasted buns. For dessert, the molten lava chocolate cake is decadent perfection. Affordable, sustainable, family-friendly and ridiculously flavorful, Fire and Spice offers a welcome perspective shift for New Britain foodies. Come hungry, leave happy (and possibly a new vegan convert!).

Standout Dishes: Samosas, Pav Bhaji, Rasta Pasta, Lava Molten Cake

Pleasant Valley Drive-In Restaurant

During warm weather months, make the short drive to Pleasant Valley Drive-In for a quintessential old-timey drive-in dining experience straight out of the 1950s. This seasonal walk-up burger stand first opened in 1948 and still draws crowds today for delicious greasy griddle food in a nostalgic setting.

Step right up to the take-out window and order classics like Footlong Hot Dogs, Cheeseburgers and hearty Grilled Cheese sandwiches made just like they were generations ago. Crispy golden Onion Rings, Chicken Tenders and old-fashioned Fountain Drinks like Lime Rickeys round out your all American meal.

After getting your food, snag a bright red picnic table on the sprawling grass field flush with flowers and towering trees. Savor your meal while watching clouds drift by and breathing in that fresh country air. Affordable, nostalgic and utterly charming, Pleasant Valley Drive-In is a must-visit icon. Cash only so come prepared to reminisce about simpler times over simple grub.

Standout menu items: Footlong Hot Dog, Cheeseburger, Crispy Onion Rings, Lime Rickey

Little Poland

In quintessential New Britain style, our small city has not just one but two phenomenal Polish restaurants. Little Poland first opened in 1996 specializing in the Polish comfort cuisine that locals crave. Helmed by Polish immigrants Agata and Greg Stochmal, this cozy 40-seat eatery brings Old World flavors to New Britain in an intimate setting.

Of course, no Polish meal is complete without piping hot pierogies. Little Poland’s handmade potato and cheese-stuffed dumplings are fried to a beautiful crisp then topped with caramelized onions and bacon bits for savory bliss.

Other specialties include their legendary Bigos Hunter’s Stew, breaded Pork Cutlet, Potato Pancakes with sour cream and the decadent Polish Platter loaded with kielbasa, pierogies, stuffed cabbage rolls and more. Round out your meal with a chilled bottle of Lech Beer and a slice of their featherlight Polish Cheesecake. For amazing homestyle Polish fare priced just right, Little Poland always delivers. Cash only so be prepared.

Standout Dishes: Pierogies, Bigos Stew, Pork Cutlet

Nandi’s Thai & Sushi

Ask any local about top restaurants in New Britain and Nandi’s Thai & Sushi is bound to come up within seconds. Opened in 2012 by Thai-born Chef Nandawan Paengnoy, Nandi’s raised the bar for Asian cuisine in town virtually overnight.

Blending authentic Thai specialties with artful sushi and other Japanese fare, Nandi’s Pan-Asian menu has something bold and beautiful for all palates. Start with a sizzling Vietnamese Pho Soup or crispy veggie-stuffed Imperial Rolls before moving onto Pad Thai, Drunken Noodles or fragrant Massaman Curry brimming with tender chicken and potatoes.

Their sushi menu dazzles too with options ranging from playful specialty rolls like the Pink Lady loaded with lobster and mango to elegant Nigiri plates. Don’t overlook the creative cocktails either like their Thai Iced Tea with bourbon or sweet Honey Thai Chili Margarita. Stylish décor with exotic flourishes, innovative flavor combos and accomplished execution in both Thai and Japanese technique, Nandi’s is a can’t miss destination for Asian fare.

Standout Dishes: Pad Thai, Imperial Rolls, Red Curry, Volcano Roll

Success Vegetarian Restaurant

New Britain has a small but strong Vietnamese population so it’s no surprise that Vietnamese cuisine is readily available around town. For fresh, authentic Vietnamese flavors with a healthy plant-based twist, popular family-owned Success Vegetarian is a must-try.

Run by Vietnamese native Lien Tran, Success transforms classic Vietnamese dishes into vibrant meatless feasts using high quality vegetables, tofu and seitan. Bright, crisp pickles, herbs, chili peppers and aromatic curries & noodle broths permeate the menu with tantalizing Southeast Asian essence.

Perennial favorites include Bun Bo Xao Xa Ot (lemongrass seitan with rice noodles), Com Tam Suon Chua Ngot (claypot tofu), Canh Chua Ca (sweet and sour soup) and Goi Cuon (fresh summer rolls). Vietnamese iced coffee avec coconut milk is an ideal pairing. Under $15 per entrée, Success Vegetarian lets you enjoy wholesome, flavorful Vietnamese cuisine sans the meat and minus the expensive tab. For something deliciously different, visit Success! Cash only.

Standout dishes: Bun Bo Xao Xa Ot, Summer Rolls, Claypot Tofu

Conclusion

New Britain’s dining scene punches well above its weight for a small city. Fueled by a diverse, vibrant immigrant community, locally-owned eateries serve up authentic global flavors from Portugal to Poland to Southeast Asia…sometimes just blocks from one another.

Seafood arrives daily from Mediterranean waters, dumplings are stuffed in old-world Polish bakeries, Texas-style barbecue sizzles next to Thai curries…such is the magnificent melting pot of tastes in New Britain.

From Costas to Coral Castle, Jim’s Hamburg to Nandi’s Thai & Sushi, we hope our list of 12 Best Restaurants has inspired you to explore New Britain’s culinary landscape. It’s a delicious microcosm of shifting demographics, cultural diffusion and good old fashioned Connecticut grub here in Central Connecticut.

Try a new cuisine, revisit an old favorite eatery, or continue your quest for the best slice in town. One thing is for certain – with such an eclectic restaurant selection in little ol’ New Britain, there’s always another tantalizing taste to discover when dining out!

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