5 Connecticut Towns Make New England’s 25 Best Food Towns List

25 Feb

New England's 25 Best Food Towns

New England is an excellent place to be if you like to eat.  We get the rewards of being so close to the water, having plenty of farms, being steeped in tradition, and having a great crop of chefs who are pushing culinary boundaries, too.  And, now, we get our own list from GoLocal!

They put together a list of some of the best places in New England that you’ll need to hit up if you want some great food.  Their technique in finding the towns was very unique:  they looked at ratings, James Beard awards, Diamonds from AAA, Stars from Mobil/Forbes, and other awards from national papers, magazines, and press.  In addition, they look at what the local food scene was like, which included culinary programs, culinary schools, cooking classes, farmers’ markets, and food and wine events.

After crunching the numbers and doing their research, they created a list of the New England’s 25 Best Food Towns for awesome food.  We’ll focus on the five place in Connecticut that made the list, highlighting what they liked the most.  Unfortunately, Boston came in at #1.  At least they can be #1 at something…ouch.  Sorry Red Sox fans.

#21 Ridgefield, CT

They cite The Stonehenge Inn’s Restaurant as their main inspiration for keeping 4 AAA Diamonds and receiving other critical acclaim.  Also cited is the great food and cooking classes at Bernard’s Restaurant and Sarahs’s Wine Bar in an historic inn, and they also offer terrific cooking classes.

#19 Ledyard, CT

GoLocal says that Foxwoods has made a huge impact on the culinary flare here.  From Paragon getting 4 Diamonds six years in a row to Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak which has earned 4 Diamonds, too.  They also say that a major reason for them hitting #19 is their focus on food and wine events which include a month called Extraordinary Eats.

#18 Old Saybrook, CT

Some of the things that GoLocal loved was the new culinary hit Fresh Salt, great events, and cooking classes at HomeWorks.

#16 Greenwich, CT

Two restaurants are cited here as major movers:  both Rebeccas and Thomas Henkelmann.  The other major factor is the awesome Greenwich Food & Wine Festival that seems to get bigger and better every year.

#11 Morris, CT

GoLocal loved Winvian, an inn with an award-winning restaurant inside.  They grow their own produce and herbs and elevate the culinary game to high levels.

For the rest of the list, make sure you check out the original post.


Well, what are your thoughts? 

Have you checked out any of these places? 

What cities or towns would you put on this list (using the same criteria, of course) if you were in control?

15 Responses to “5 Connecticut Towns Make New England’s 25 Best Food Towns List”

  1. Lou February 25, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    This seems very Old School. The Stonehenge? You’re kidding. I think I saw Dan Draper and his second wife at a table in the corner.

    One or two stellar restaurants do not make a food city. The diversity and innovation and sustainable sourcing of New Canaan, Westport, New Haven and Stamored put those other CT towns to shame.


    • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro February 25, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

      Hey Lou. We’ve always wanted to try Stonehenge, then we saw some reviews and weren’t so sure because it seemed hit or miss. Westport could be in there with all they do with food and keeping it local, but New Canaan doesn’t have as many food events going on…that’s it’s only downfall on this list. With the Elm, though, receiving some nice cred, though, maybe this could change for next year?


    • Terri Zimmer (@writer_chic) February 26, 2013 at 11:32 am #

      I agree! I think of many towns here as places with “nowhere to eat” if we’re out and about. I “get” the thought behind the evaluations, but I’m not sure that diamonds and fancy ratings are the measure of a good food town on the whole anymore. Especially now that good foodie food is more accessible (yay food trucks) and the interwebs weigh so heavily on popular success of non-starred spots. What about weighing in positive urbanspoon or yelp or omnom ratings :) ?


      • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro February 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

        Yeah Terri, we’re with you. It’s especially important to see what the people who are eating at these places and in these towns think. That’s where Yelp, Urbanspoon, and Nom ratings come in. :P Thanks for the mention, btw. :P It would probably be annoying, but there could be two lists…one for culinary culture, one for restaurants? How have things been? We’ll have to hang out again sometimes soon. Man…it’s been, what…3 years, 4? :)


    • Marissa February 28, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

      Agree with @Lou. While I’ve actually never dined in 4 of the 5 winners, I live in Greenwich and the food here is abysmal. Overpriced and mediocre at best. We’ve had much better meals at our favorite spots in Westport, SoNo, New Canaan, Stamford etc.


      • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro February 28, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

        Hey Marissa. We agree that lots of the food in Greenwich isn’t great at all, but there are definitely some great spots to be found like the new Harvest. Worthy of major honors? Some of them, some not. :P We’re really interested to see what the awards look like next year and if they change their formula at all to adjust to readers’ comments?


  2. Vanessa February 25, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    As much as I bash my hometown I am absolutely shocked Stammy isn’t on the list as well. And New Haven…and whatever town the Mohegan Sun is in… Wacky criteria, IMO. The fix is in.


    • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro February 25, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

      Well, you recognize great things in Stamford. There is so much love of great food in Stammy. :) New Haven, yeah, we could see that too. The criteria makes sense, but sometimes smaller or less known places can get looked over by the big guys. You know?


  3. Whitemist February 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    wow! With all the restaurants in Stamford, we did not make that list? It tells me that either our restaurants are not that good, or no one is eating at them!


    • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro February 25, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

      Yeah, we agree that we should see Stamford up there on the list. The problem is, we need more ratings from top shelf places like AAA, James Beard, etc. We certainly do have tons and tons of food and drink events, though.



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