A Destination for Foodies for 15 Years
New amazing restaurants are popping up in Mystic at a rapid pace. Where else can you go to visit a quintessential small New England town and be surrounded by over a dozen fabulous restaurants within a 10-minute walk? New visitors to the area may think that the food scene in Mystic is a new development, however, in reality, Mystic has been a destination for foodies for over 15 years.
We all know about Mystic Pizza, but let’s face it that was really more about Julia Roberts than it was about the food. Take a trip back in time with us as we explore Mystic’s most famous restaurants through the eyes of some of the industry’s top food experts.
2005 Rachel Ray Explores Mystic On “$40 a Day”
Before she was one of daytimes most favorite talk show hosts, Rachel Ray taught us all how to vacation and indulge on a budget. This episode featuring Mystic and the surrounding area brought Rachel to Kitchen Little then located on the outskirts of the Mystic Seaport Museum. Now located at Mystic River Marina, Kitchen Little is still a staple for a hearty Portuguese Fisherman’s Omelet or a steaming cup of clam chowder.
Kitchen Little | 36 Quarry Road, Mystic CT | 860-536-2122
Hours: Monday-Friday: 7:30am-2pm, Saturday-Sunday 6:30am-1pm
The town’s original claim to foodie fame, Mystic Pizza is visited by Bobby Flay in one his first Food Network shows. He also swings by Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough. This idyllic outdoor summer favorite serves Lobster that even the Iron Chef can’t resist. Just a short town to the neighboring village of Noank is a step back in time. This village also famously hosted the wedding of Amelia Earhart.
Abbott’s Lobster In the Rough | 117 Pearl Street, Groton CT | 860-536-7719
Hours: Hours change seasonally, June-August 11am-9pm
2014 Oyster Club Named One of the “Best Oyster Bars in America”- Travel and Leisure Magazine
The accolades for Dan Meisner and the team of Oyster Club run far and deep, including being named the #76 Restaurant in America by Daily Meal on their “101 Best Restaurant in America” in 2015. However, in 2014 Oyster Club established itself in the Foodie world when Travel and Leisure named the farm to table restaurant one of the “Best Oyster Bars in America”. A favorite for special occasions or a summer cocktail in their outdoor dining area, Tree House, we wholeheartedly agree it is one of the best in the country.
Oyster Club | 13 Water Street, Mystic CT | 860-415-9266
Hours: Monday-Thursday 4pm-9pm, Friday & Saturday 12pm-10pm, Sunday 10am-9pm
2018 Adam Young, Owner of Sift Bakeshop, Named Best Baker in America
We don’t like to drop names, but we are friends with the Best Baker In America! If you were lucky enough to visit with us in 2015-2018, you were treated with freshly baked pastries from Adam Young and the team at Sift Bakeshop. Adam was also a contestant on the Spring Baking Championship (he was robbed!) . Most recently Adam graced television screens again as a judge on the Gingerbread Showdown and Chopped Sweets.
Sift Bakeshop | 5 Water Street, Mystic CT | 860-245-0541
Hours: Everyday 7am-7pm
Although Phantom Gourmet featured the fresh hot Lobster Roll in their 2019 episode featuring The Mariner, we just have to talk about the pasta. House made daily; this “seafood” restaurant is home to the best pasta in town. Don’t worry, they have pasta dishes that offer a plethora of seafood accompaniments! We are getting hungry just thinking about the Gnocchi. Owners Jakub Andros and Shaun Golan are teaming up again to open Via Emilia this Spring just across the street from The Mariner.
The Mariner | 21 W Main Street, Mystic CT | 860-536-5200
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 12pm-9pm, Friday & Saturday 12pm-10pm
Not as well known for their food (Irish Nachos please!) but very well known for a perfect Guinness is Harp and Hound, the Best Irish Pub in CT. Located in one of Mystic’s historic buildings in Downtown Mystic, Harp and Hound is designed to feel like you’ve entered on the banks of the River Shannon. From the wall murals, to the faint smell of whisky, to the owner himself, Harp and Hound is Irish through and through.
Harp and Hound | 4 Pearl Street, Mystic CT | 860-572-7778
Hours: Monday-Wednesday: 4pm-1pm, Thursday 11:30am-1am, Friday & Saturday 11:30am-2am, Sunday 11:30am-1am
2020 Man Vs. Food Conquers a Burger at Engine Room and Clam Chowder at Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough
Engine Room happens to be the sister restaurant to another name on our list, Oyster Club. The more casual spot is known for its mouth-watering burgers. Man Vs. Food recently visited Engine Room and tackled the locally inspired Portuguese Burger. Grass fed beef and house-smoked chorizo sausage = two of the best things in light. The 3rd best thing? Lobster of course, especially when you are in Mystic. Casey visited Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough bringing our list full circle back to the New England favorite!
Engine Room | 14 Holmes Street, Mystic CT | 860-415-8117
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11am-10pm, Sunday 10am-10pm
Coming Soon in 2020
The Whaler’s Inn Opens Mystic’s Newest Dining Experience – The Shipwright’s Daughter.
With the amazing places on our timeline, we are certainly in good company. This Spring we are happy to announce the opening of in-house restaurant “The Shipwright’s Daughter. General Manager Tom Timmons promises a rustic ode to Mystic’s fishing and maritime roots, with the updated modern feel of an urban bistro. Chef David Standridge of Café Clover, Market Table and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in NYC will lead the kitchen, and produce an ever-changing menu committed to supporting local fishermen, ranchers, and farmers. Be sure to stay tuned for more details.