12 Best Restaurants in Stratford, Connecticut

Last Updated on March 3, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Stratford is a historic coastal town in Fairfield County, Connecticut with a growing foodie scene. This culturally diverse town has a range of cuisines to offer from classic American diners to exotic ethnic restaurants. With new eateries opening up regularly, the food landscape of Stratford keeps evolving.

In this article, we have rounded up the 12 best restaurants that you must try when in Stratford. From tasty Italian fare to delectable seafood to the best steakhouse in town – our handpicked list features establishments that have stood the test of time or are newly minted favorites among locals and visitors alike.

So if you are looking for a sublime gastronomic experience in Stratford, check out our top recommendations that will delight your palate with their scrumptious meals and charming ambience.

Best Italian Restaurant: Trattoria Gianmaria

When it comes to authentic rustic Italian dining, Trattoria Gianmaria tops the list. Run by a Sicilian family, this quaint eatery exudes a cozy old-world charm. The menu bursts with handmade pastas, wood-fired pizzas, sumptuous risottos and other classic Italian preparations.

Start your meal with their refreshing Caprese salad topped with delicious homemade Mozzarella. For primi, you must try their freshly made pappardelle al ragu or gnocchi sorrentina, cooked just right al dente. If looking for a lighter bite, order the Bruschetta – grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with juicy tomatoes and basil.

From wood-fired thin crust pizzas to focaccia sandwiches stuffed with quality meats, their lunch menu offers quick, casual Italian fare. For secondi, popular options are chicken or veal piccata and parmigiana. Complete your dinner with classic Italian desserts like tiramisu and cannoli filled on order. With friendly staff and cozy ambience, Trattoria Gianmaria guarantees an authentic Italian experience.

Address: 3909 Main St, Stratford, CT 06614
Hours: Tue–Thu, 11:30am–9:30pm; Fri–Sat, 11:30am–10pm; Sun, 1pm–9pm; Mon Closed

Best Seafood: The Clam Box

For the freshest and tastiest seafood in town, head to the iconic Clam Box. A seasonal shack overlooking the Housatonic River and Long Island Sound, this place serves quintessential New England-style fried seafood in a casual, convivial setting.

Featured prominently on their menu are gently fried golden brown clam strips – sweet tender clams sourced fresh every day. Pair them with thick hand-cut fries or rings and sip on a cold beer while soaking in the laidback waterfront views. For those with heartier appetites, go for the Fisherman’s Platter comprising clams, shrimp, scallops and your choice of fish.

Other offerings include lobster rolls, fish & chips, whole belly clams, fried scallops and oysters, clam chowder, lobster bisque and more. With picnic tables outdoors during summer or bright cheery interiors year-round, enjoy the wholesome goodness of seafood at The Clam Box.

Address: 1315 Beach Ln, Stratford, CT 06615
Hours: Fri–Sun, 11:30am–10pm (Summer), Thu–Sun, 11:30am–9pm (Fall/Spring)

Best Outdoor Dining: Toshi Japanese Restaurant

For a unique Asian dining experience surrounded by natural beauty, head to Toshi Japanese Restaurant nestled along the scenic Birdseye Street boat ramp. Whether dining on the outdoor deck against the marina backdrop or inside the bamboo-accented sushi room, the waterfront location immediately transports you to a relaxed tropical mindset.

Start with their authentic Japanese appetizers like edamame, seaweed salad or miso soup before moving on to sashimi platters, specialty rolls and teppanyaki combos. Signature dishes include octopus salad, tuna tataki, volcano roll and Godzilla roll among others. With friendly service and an extensive menu of Japanese izakaya-style share plates, Toshi is perfect for easygoing meals under summer skies or an indoor food fiesta with friends in colder months.

Address: 5 Birdseye St, Stratford, CT 06615
Hours: Tue–Sun, 11:30am–10:30pm; Mon Closed

Best Burgers: Dew Drop Inn

For mouthwatering burgers and old-fashioned ice cream floats, Dew Drop Inn is a time-honored Stratford institution. Family-owned since 1985, their specialty lies in juicy hand-pressed patties char-grilled to your liking and served amidst friendly banter.

Sink your teeth into classics like Dew Drop Burger with crispy bacon or opt for fried egg and avocado laden creations. To complement, order hand-cut fries, onion rings or chilli cheese fries. And don’t miss out on legendary thick shakes and classic floats blending rich premium ice cream and soda. Thanks to quality ingredients and attentive service in a nostalgic setting, Dew Drop Inn remains unmatched for burger runs.

Address: 205 Main St, Stratford, CT 06615
Hours: Daily 11am–10pm

Best Diner: Red Oak Diner

For freshly prepared American comfort food in cozy retro surroundings, Red Oak Diner since 1972 remains a town favorite. From fluffy pancakes, crispy hash browns and eggs done your style for breakfast to sandwiches, burgers and blue-plate specials afterwards, you will find hearty goodness with every bite.

Specials like pot roast, meatloaf and mac and cheese draw you in with aromas while the dessert display tempts you to save room for sweets. Friendly waitstaff and neat red-white checkered interiors offer a whiff of nostalgia. Thanks to generous portions of stick-to-your-ribs favorites, no wonder locals unanimously vote Red Oak as Stratford’s best bet for dependable family meals.

Address: 195 Main St, Stratford, CT 06615
Hours: Open 24 hours

Best French Fare: Nigel’s French Bistro

For excellent renditions of French classics in an elegant-chic setting, check into Nigel’s French Bistro. White linen-draped tables, mahogany wood interiors, candle lighting and artwork on brick walls exude romantic Parisian vibes. With French owner Nigel Rollet running this place, rest assured the flavors are authentic.

Start with French onion soup topped with gooey Gruyere crouton or a refreshing endive salad. For mains, signature dishes include duck a l’orange, chicken cordon bleu and steak frites cooked to tender perfection. Seafood lovers fancy the salmon en papillote. Save room for the rich chocolate mousse. Complemented with a well-curated wine list, Nigel’s is the perfect fine dining choice for Francophile food enthusiasts or special occasions.

Address: 4214 Main St, Stratford, CT 06614
Hours: Tue–Sat 4–10pm; Sun Noon–9pm; Mon Closed

Best Steakhouse: The Corner Pug

Locals swear by The Corner Pug when it comes to devouring juicy generous cuts of steak paired with craft beers. Unwind by the bar as you watch your meat being expertly grilled in their open kitchen. Signature offerings include a pound of Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf and 20 oz Bone-In Ribeye doing justice to carnivorous cravings.

Other choices include burgers and sandwiches on freshly baked breads. Those with smaller appetites fancy their tacos and flatbreads. For sides, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese and creamed spinach prove worthy partners to your flame-grilled mains. Thanks to quality meats, focused menu and casual club-like setting, The Corner Pug is where meat lovers convene for memorable steakhouse-style feasting.

Address: 853 Barnum Ave Cutoff, Stratford, CT 06614
Hours: Tue–Sun, 11:30am–1am; Kitchen open until 10pm; Mon Closed

Best Indian: Haveli India Restaurant

For savoring authentic Indian curries and tandoori specialties, locals recommend Haveli India Restaurant, a small eatery making big waves on Stratford’s food scene. Cozy decor with intricate Indian window screens and embroidered fabrics render an ethnic ambience.

Begin your meal with vegetarian appetizers like crisp okra fries or soothing dal soup before feasting on complexly spiced hearty curries. Signature dishes like chicken tikka masala, achari fish tikka and Haveli coconut curry tantalize taste buds with bright balanced flavors. There are adequate vegan and gluten-free options too. For the complete experience, wind down your dinner with exotic Indian desserts like rasmalai or kulfi ice creams.

Address: 3195 Main St, Stratford, CT 06614
Hours: Daily, 11am–2:30pm and 4:30–10pm

Best Middle Eastern: Byblos Grill

For tasty Middle Eastern staples from shawarmas to kebabs, Byblos Grill is a crowd-pleaser offering hearty meals at wallet-friendly rates. Conveniently located on Main Street, their menu features familiar favorites done well.

Their chicken shawarma platter is served with perfectly grilled juicy meat, fluffy rice, french fries and garlic dip. Other hits include the Byblos Mixed Grill comprising kebabs and kofta that deliver a smoky chargrilled flavor. Top it all off with Lebanese sweets like sticky baklava dripping with honey and pistachios. Thanks to generous portions and efficient service in casual settings, Byblos satisfies all cravings.

Address: 3050 Main St Suite 11, Stratford, CT 06614
Hours: Daily 10am–9pm

Best Mexican: Maya Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen

For contemporary twists on classic Mexican preparations, Maya Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen elevates South-of-the-border flavors to gourmet heights. Vibrant folk art decor and palm frond ceiling fans render vacation feels while you feast on shareable small plates and artisanal tacos chasing bold adventurous tastes.

Signature items not to miss include the zesty ceviche with fresh catch-of-the-day, al pastor tacos packed with flavorful chargrilled pork and churros that strike the perfect crunchy-fluffy balance. Extensive margarita and tequila menus further transport you south with passionate colors and tastes. Thanks to its festive ambience and creative flavor-packed cooking, Maya Maya makes Mexican food exciting again.

Address: 3059 Main St, Stratford, CT 06614
Hours: Tue–Thu 11:30am–9:30pm; Fri–Sat 11:30am–10:30pm; Sun 11am–9pm; Mon Closed

Best Portuguese: Goa Portuguese Bar & Restaurant

For savoring the aromatic spices and full-flavored cuisine of Portugal and former colony Goa/India, check into family-run Goa Portuguese Bar & Restaurant. Cozy decor with blue walls, tile patterns and fishing nets celebrate this seaside heritage.

Start with appetizers like chourico-stuffed quail eggs or Portuguese octopus salad made tender in a rich red wine sauce. For mains, Vindaloo curry WITH fiery notes OR flavorful seafood soup Caldeirada brim with Portuguese soul. Wash it down with beers, wines or sangria as you soak in old-world hospitality. Drawing food lovers craving an offbeat culinary adventure, Goa excels in bringing a slice of Portuguese food traditions to town.

Address: 100 Ferry Boulevard, Stratford, CT 06615
Hours: Tue–Thu 12–9:30pm; Fri–Sat 12–10pm; Sun 1–8pm

Best Family Restaurant: The Big Easy

For fun dining times with kids involving creative casual food, head to cheerful lively The Big Easy restaurant. Vibrant Mardi Gras-themed decor and live music create festive moods for leisurely family meals.

Kids love designing their own mini burgers and hot dogs while parents indulge in Southern specialties like blackened catfish, shrimp po boys or jambalaya skillet pots. Fresh-tossed salads, sweet potato fries and corn fritter starters ensure all appetites stay happy. Save room for the signature Muddy Mary Brownie Sundae with vanilla ice cream and chocolate fudge. With efficient friendly service amidst lively surroundings, Big Easy makes for effortless family-friendly times together.

Address: 3265 Main St B, Stratford, CT 06614
Hours: Mon & Tue 3–9pm; Wed & Thu 11:30am–9pm; Fri 11:30am–10pm; Sat 11am–10pm; Sun 11am–9pm

Best Breakfast Cafe: North Street Cafe

When craving leisurely brunches against charming cafe backdrops, North Street Cafe hits that sweet spot. White picket fenced al fresco seating flanked by flower pots channels laidback Parisian bistros while interiors exude vintage coziness.

Best bets are fluffy pancake platters and omelets stuffed with quality meats and cheeses. Heartier morning options like skillets and benedicts overflowing with ingredients also entice. For a sweet start, freshly baked goods like muffins and scones beg to be devoured with your freshly brewed coffee or tea. Thanks to the attention on fresh ingredients, elegant charm and impeccable service, North Street Cafe emerges as a preferred spot for extended weekend brunches.

Address: 50 North St, Stratford, CT 06614
Hours: Daily 7am–2pm

Conclusion


The restaurants featured in our roundup underline Stratford’s culinary excellence – spanning different global flavors along with quintessential American comfort fare. From casual waterside seafood shacks and family-friendly eateries to elegant steakhouses and ethnic enclaves, foodies find limitless choice.

We encourage you to use our handpicked guide when visiting this underrated food destination in Connecticut. The tempting tastes coupled with warm dining environments guaranteed will create lasting food memories. Bon Appetit!

Leave a Comment