There are some foods that are just better eaten at a picnic table with a view. Fish and chips are definitely one of them. In Connecticut, you can find the best versions of this classic British dish at our roadside stands and seafood shacks. No need for fancy white tablecloths, we are ok with paper plates and plastic utensils as long as the fish and chips are out of this world — and at these nine places…they are.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Westfair Fish And Chips, Westport
This little spot has a clam shack vibe, but the seafood is what has customers flocking to Westfair Fish And Chips. The restaurant is tiny, so it is hard to get a table, but you can take your food to go. Be warned, it will seem like the longest drive home, ever.
The best thing about the fish and chips at Westfair is the light and flaky batter on the fish.
It's not too overwhelming and has an amazing crunch.
Along with your fried seafood dish, you can get either coleslaw,
potato salad or macaroni salad and all are noteworthy.
1781 Post Rd. East, Westport, CT 06880 (open year round)
2. The Clam Castle, Madison
The Clam Castle is almost a household name on the Connecticut shoreline. Right down the street from Hammonasett Beach, this restaurant is a popular choice among beach goers. It has dining indoors and outdoors at picnic tables as any respectable seafood shack should. The casual and cheerful atmosphere makes locals and tourists alike feel welcome.
For fish and chips plus a little more, grab the Golden Fried Combo Platter that features cod, scallops, shrimp and clam strips. Customers also rave about the clam chowder, shrimp tacos and onion strings. So many scrumptious choices are waiting for you at this shoreline clam shack.
1324 Boston Post Rd., Madison, CT 06443 (open seasonally)
3. Costello's Clam Shack, Noank
Travel by land or sea to reach this clam shack right on the water. Found in the Noank shipyard, this casual spot features incredible water views. This place is very popular on nights when live music is featured on the deck.
The portions and flavors are plentiful at Costello's. The fish and chips feature some lovely fried cod, but also worth mentioning are the lobster bisque and popcorn shrimp. Make sure you sample a fritter while you are there, you won't regret it!
145 North St.,
Noank, CT 06340 (open seasonally)
4. Captain Scott's Lobster Dock, Noank
Located right on the water in Noank, you can expect long lines during warm weather, but the wait is worth it. Captain Scott's Lobster Dock has been feeding summertime crowds for over 20 seasons. The restaurant is a take out window with tons of picnic tables available to sit down with your meal.
The fish portion of the fish and chips is quite large and will satisfy any appetite. This spot also serves wonderful lobster rolls and fried clams. A lip-smacking good meal with a spectacular view is what you'll get at this dock.
80 Hamilton St.,
New London, CT 06320 (open seasonally)
5. Lenny's Indian Head Inn, Branford
Family run and open for four decades, Lenny's Indian Head Inn is a hot spot in Connecticut. The views of Sybil Marsh are captivating from the deck of this restaurant. As expected with a really great seafood joint, the parking lot is usually full, especially during warm weather.
The fried seafood at this restaurant is gently breaded and fried to order. Locally sourced seafood makes this place a hit with boaters,
vacationers and locals alike. Stuffed clams,
wings, and lobsters 'n steamers along with the fish and chips keep diners coming back for more.
205 S Montowese St., Branford, CT 06405
(open year round)
6. Stowe's Seafood, West Haven
Pirate themed decor sets this seafood shack apart from the rest. It has plenty of outdoor seating and a small indoor dining area. This is an upbeat spot that has water views. Stowe's Seafood welcomes you to their pirate paradise year round.
You can find fish and chips and quite a bit more at Stowe's. They are most recognized for their fried fisherman's platter, hot lobster roll and creamy clam chowder.
347 Beach St.,
West Haven, CT 06516 (open year round)
7. Lenny and Joe's Fish Tale, Madison
What started out as a roadside clam stand in 1979 has now become a shoreline staple for seafood in Connecticut. This popular spot has grown from a 4 picnic table joint to 3 locations that serve thousands of customers each week. The other Lenny and Joe's are in Westbrook and New Haven.
Lenny and Joe's is known for their fried seafood. It is always fresh and battered just right. The fish tale platter features a fried combination of scallops, wild caught shrimp, fresh scrod & clam strips. After your meal stroll outside for ice cream and a ride on the charity carousel.
1301 Boston Post Rd.,
Madison, CT 06443 (open year round)
8. Shad Row, Rocky Hill
Shad Row is proof that you don't have to drive all the way to the coast for great fish and chips. This edgy little eatery has magnificent views of the Connecticut River. You will enjoy the fun vibe on this riverfront restaurant.
There are many fried delights to be found at Shad Row including fish and chips and clams.
But you might want to consider also partaking in the soft shell crab sandwich, it's superb.
This spot is a good choice if you aren't on the shoreline.
277 Meadow Rd., Rocky Hill, CT 06067 (open seasonally)
9. Johnny Ads, Old Saybrook
This roadside stand has stood the test of time. Johnny Ad's has been serving up seafood on paper plates for 60 years. At this joint, you can dine in, eat outside at a picnic table, or grab your food to go.
There is nothing fancy about this spot, but the food sure is delicious.
The fish and chips come with a side of yummy coleslaw that is the perfect compliment to the fresh fish. Make sure you also try the side order of scallops,
they are delish!
910 Boston Post Rd.,
Old Saybrook, CT 06475 (open year round)
Have you ever visited any of these restaurants that specialize in seafood? Which one is your favorite?
Tired of seafood? We can’t imagine that, but you should check out these hole in the wall
BBQ joints for some great flavor!