Mystic, CT is your quintessential New England town. It’s a small, seaside town in the Southeast corner of Connecticut. It’s charm and coastal vibes will leave you no choice but to fall in love with it!
Being born and raised and still currently living in Connecticut, I know a thing or two about good restaurants. Mystic is developing into quite the foodie destination. With lots of farm to table or sea to table options, all with unique and delicious meals, it is hard to pick where to go!
This ultimate foodie guide to Mystic, CT is a deep dive that will help you decide the best restaurant choices for you. Whether you are making a quick day trip, enjoying a family vacation, or celebrating a special occasion, this foodie guide has you covered! In no particular order, please enjoy reading about these top restaurants in the Mystic/Stonington area.
- S&P Oyster House – Best for date night or a special celebration
- A farm and sea to table menu with daily fresh seafood, S&P is one of the first restaurants you’ll notice when entering downtown Mystic. Located along the Mystic River, you can enjoy a glass of wine while relaxing on their large patio as boats of all sizes cruise under the historic drawbridge. Their lunch and dinner options are full of delicious seafood dishes and include both vegetarian and vegan meals. This is the perfect restaurant for a romantic date night or special celebration!
- Treehouse at Oyster Club – Best happy hour
- Treehouse offers outdoor dining in a fun, unique atmosphere, as it is literally built in the trees above the Oyster Club. This spot offers a classic New England menu including fish and chips, lobster rolls, and fresh oysters for $1 during happy hour. Don’t forget about the drinks – whether it’s a crisp glass of rose, craft beer, or a local favorite (especially in my family) the Fishers Island Lemonade, you’re sure to have a good time!
- At the time of this blog post, the restaurant is under renovation. Please check website for current status.
- The Engine room – Best lunch spot
- Well known for their burgers, beer, and especially bourbon, which they offer the most extensive selection in the area, close to three dozen varieties! From their local scallop roll to their hot fire burger, there is something for everyone! A good spot to bring kids, the menu includes your basic kid fare – grilled cheese, tenders, hot dog, etc, as well as a super cool restaurant interior that is sure to entertain a curious toddler.
- Sift Bake Shop – Best quick bite or coffee spot
- Grab your girlfriends or your hunny and hurry on over to Sift Bake Shop! This French-focused bakery is right in the heart of downtown Mystic. They offer artisanal breads, breakfast pastries and sweet and savory delights as well as coffee, teas, seasonal lattes (my personal favorite is the lavender vanilla), juices and smoothies. They have a large selection of tables to get comfy, including inside, outside, or upstairs on their new patio overlooking the Mystic River.
- Dogwatch Cafe (Mystic location) – Best family outing
- Dogwatch Cafe has two locations, one in Mystic and one in Stonington. Both are good for families – the Stonington location is right on the water and, while your waiting for your table, you can watch the boats or entertain yourselves with the games like corn hole or super-sized connect four. But if you’re looking to dine out with younger children, the Mystic location is the perfect spot! As a mom of two boys, I am always on the look out for restaurants with good outdoor spaces. At Dogwatch Mystic, there are plenty of picnic tables outside with lots of yard games and plenty of space for toddlers and adventurous four-year olds to explore. No need to have the kids sit still while waiting for your food!
- Sea View – Snack Bar–Best fried clam shack.
- If you’re looking for traditional New England fare, then look no further. Sea View offers fresh whole clams, calamari, sea scallops, fish, crab cakes, lobster rolls and clam chowder along with fresh handmade burgers, long dogs, shrimp, chicken sandwiches, clam fritters, fresh salads and shakes. Yeah, if that doesn’t sound like New England, I don’t know what does! Order at the window, pick it up, and eat at one of the many picnic tables outside along the Mystic River. Afterwards, pop on over to Twisters next door for ice cream! Also, can we talk about this view!
- Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream – Best ice cream.
- The best seat in town to watch the drawbridge open every hour on the :40! Sit on the porch while enjoying one of the over 30 flavors Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream offers, including original favorites like the Seaport Salty Swirl or the Island Coconut Coffee. They also offer milkshakes, sundaes, and smoothies.
- Red 36– Best overall.
- Red 36 earns my title of best overall for three reasons – food, location, and ambiance. Their seasonal menu always offers fresh seafood and an extensive raw bar. There is no bad seat in the restaurant, with walls of windows that opens up during the warmer months and it’s located right on the water. Want to arrive by boat, no problem! They have dock space available!
- Saltwater Farm Vineyard – Best Vineyard.
- Technically located in Stonington, CT, this vineyard is a short drive from Mystic. There is a chance I MIGHT be a little biased on this place, since it’s where I got married, but if you check it out, I don’t think you’ll disagree with me. The vineyard is located in a restored airport hanger, giving off an incredible combination of rustic charm and modern design. The high wood beam ceilings and string lights highlight the interior, while the grounds have ample space for you to pack a picnic and enjoy the beautiful vines. During the summer months, they also offer live music! Rumor on the street is the owners are opening another vineyard in Spring 2021 for tastings only. Keep on the lookout!
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