We all know that dining can be so much more than just the food put on the plate in front of us. An amazing atmosphere will help boost that food to a whole new level because it can evoke a sense of nostalgia or take us back to a time that we wished we could have experienced. Perhaps you are longing for a meal like Grandma used to prepare or dream of sampling food from the heydays of the Wild West. There is a little something for everyone at these retro restaurants in Connecticut that will truly transport you to a different time.
1. The Griswold Inn, Essex
Quite possibly the king of retro restaurants, The Griswold Inn has been serving patrons since 1776. Some of its more famous customers include Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, and even George Washington. With that kind of history, this inn is sure to transport you back in time. Clam chowder and lobster pot pie are some of the patron favorites at this historic colonial inn.
2. Chute Gates, Terryville
If you want to be taken back to the wild west then you must visit Chute Gates. With saddle seats at the bar and rodeo gates separating each dining area, this restaurant brings a little piece of Texas right to Connecticut. The menu includes a Texas take on steaks, ribs, chicken, and seafood. Not only are the meats cooked to perfection, you just have to try the Chuck Wagon Mac & Cheese — it's worth it!
372 Main St.,
Terryville, CT 06786
3. Elm City Social Kitchen and Cocktails, New Haven
Elm City Socials brings back the prohibition era by crafting unique cocktails to pair with an inspired menu. The cuisine can be describe as comfort food with a flavorful twist. Look out for the theme nights at this New Haven restaurant to really get a taste of the roaring '20s.
266 College St.,
New Haven, CT 06510
4. Zip's Diner, Dayville
If you are looking for retro restaurants, this one should certainly be on the list. Topped with a metal tower that begs you to come "EAT", Zip's Diner has the retro style from the '50s down pat. With a sleek metal exterior, chrome edged tables, and stools and classic booths, you will feel like you've taken a jump back in time. The restaurant serves classic fare like omelettes, country fried steak, Yankee pot roast and delicious homemade strawberry shortcake. Don't make the mistake of zipping by this diner.
Rte 101 and 12,
Dayville, CT 06241
5. Old Tymes Restaurant, Norwich
Walking into Old Tymes Restaurant is like entering a warm cozy lodge of yesteryear. The exposed wood beams and vintage style seating are reminiscent of times past. The restaurant offers a selection of traditional American cuisine that is both familiar and comforting. Old Tymes Restaurant is quite famous for their flavorful homemade biscuits and sausage gravy.
360 West Main St., Norwich, CT 06360
6. Lucky's Classic Burger & Malt Shop, Stamford
Lucky's Classic Burger & Malt Shop looks like the 1950's classic diner right down to the retro booths and checkered floor. But they certainly don't serve traditional diner food, the fare at this spot comes close to being a work of art. Great care is taken to each detail of the food's presentation and the plates coming out are not only tasty but pleasing to the eye.
209 Bedford St.,
Stamford, CT 06901
7. The Grotto Restaurant, Waterbury
This Italian Eatery will take you into another time with it's exposed brick walls and cute red and white chairs. The food at The Grotto Restaurant is traditional Italian with pastas, seafood, and salads being the main fare. This spot also offers Italian Ice for dessert so make sure to leave a little room for that sweet treat.
634 Watertown Ave.,
Waterbury, CT 06708
8. Dutch Tavern, New London
The Dutch Tavern has been around for more than a century. You will drink and dine at 100 year old wooden tables and feel transported to the past. They have some vintage pinball games and a few decks of cards laying around for entertainment. Dutch Tavern has a small menu of American classics and every item on it is under five dollars!
23 Green St.,
New London, CT 06320
9. New Mill Restaurant, Plantsville
Just because this restaurant is located in a 1737 cider mill, does not mean that the food is dated. New Mill Restaurant serves modern American cuisine with a pleasing twist. The history of the building makes you feel like you have fallen back in time, but the modern fare brings you right back to the future.
493 South End Rd., Plantsville, CT 06479
Have you ever visited any of these retro restaurants? Or do you have a different one to add to out list? Let us know in the comments section below.