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5 Best Seafood Restaurants on the Connecticut Shoreline

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Valerie has been an online writer for over eight years. Her articles often focus on cooking and restaurants.

West Haven, Connecticut

West Haven, Connecticut

Best Connecticut Seafood Restaurants From New Haven to Noank

My home state of Connecticut boasts hundreds of seafood restaurants, many close to Interstate I95 on the shoreline from West Haven through Noank.

For this article, I picked the ones I consider the five best seafood restaurants. Because I love seafood, I have visited all of them several times. What better recommendation than one from a Connecticut shoreline native? You will get a short description and directions for each.

If you are traveling in southern Connecticut this summer, don't miss these five seafood eateries (in order by town).

Top Seafood Restaurants on the Connecticut Shoreline

  1. Stowe's in West Haven
  2. Lenny's in Branford
  3. The Place in Guilford
  4. Fish Tale in Madison
  5. Abbott's in Noank

Enjoy an excellent seafood meal this summer!

Stowe's is pure seafood heaven.

Stowe's is pure seafood heaven.

Stowe's Seafood in West Haven

A few years ago, I owned a house a few blocks away from the West Haven beach. One day, I decided to find an authentic clear broth clam chowder at one of the restaurants on the West Haven beach. The first stop (restaurant unnamed) was a disaster. I threw the chowder away because it tasted awful and there were—count them—three clams and five pieces of potato.

The next stop is a few blocks away—Stowe's Seafood. From the street, Stowe's looks more like a fish market than an eatery. But there were several people eating outside on picnic tables. I walked into Stowe's, stared at the marine paraphernalia on the walls, and bought my Rhode Island chowder and a lobster roll.

Pure seafood heaven. Stowe's has a few tables inside the restaurant but the best summer eating is outside where you can see, hear, and smell summer at the beach.

Directions

For your GPS, Stowe's is located at 347 Beach St West Haven CT.

Interstate 95 South

  • Traveling on Interstate 95 south, take the First Ave exit in West Haven.
  • Turn left onto First Ave.
  • Travel on First Ave for about 2 miles to the West Haven beach area. Stowe's is on your right just before a Stop sign across from the beach.

Interstate 95 North

  • Traveling on Interstate 95 north, take the Kimberly Ave exit in West Haven.
  • Turn left onto Kimberly Ave/Elm St and travel over the bridge.
  • At the second light on Elm Street, take a left onto First Ave.
  • Travel on First Ave for about a mile.
  • Stowe's is on your right just before a Stop sign.

Lenny's in Branford

Lenny's has been a go-to summer seafood place in my hometown ever since I can remember.

Unfortunately, many seafood restaurants look like shacks from the outside and Lenny's doesn't disappoint. Happily, the interior was re-modeled in the last few years. Weather permitting, you can sit in Lenny's outside dining area.

The restaurant is located in Indian Neck. In case you're unfamiliar with Branford, it has quaintly named areas of town (Branford Point, Indian Neck, Pine Orchard, Short Beach, Double Beach). Lenny's right next to the marsh and has an interesting view all year long.

The food is above average, the price is right, and if you arrive at a less busy hour, you can dine leisurely and quietly.

Directions to Lenny's in Branford

Click the link above for written directions to Lenny's on 205 South Montowese Street, Branford, CT

The Place in Guilford on Boston Post Road

The Place is very different from any seafood dining experience you're familiar with.

First, you eat outdoors on tree stumps (or BYO chairs), BYOB, and table amenities and sides. It's rustic. Also, bring the bug spray.

Eating outdoors in the summer at The Place is especially enjoyable. The food is outstanding—a la carte clams, shrimp, lobster, salmon, catfish, bluefish, steak, chicken, and corn on the cob grilled to perfection.

One issue—summer bugs love The Place. Bring fly swatters and bug spray.

The Place is an out-of-the-ordinary dining experience that should be on your bucket list.

Directions

The Place is conveniently located between I95 exits 58 and 59 at 901 Boston Post Road in Guilford CT, right across from the local Walmart.

The Fish Tale in Madison

Actually, there were two Fish Tales—one in Madison and one in Westbrook.

I've been to the Madison Drive-In Restaurant where they have indoor dining as well as a large summer crowd eating outdoors in a picnic area (which seems to be a theme I like). The food is better than average with a big selection of fried foods and lobster. This Fish Tale is open seven days a week all year long.

It's family eating on the shoreline at its best!

Directions to Madison Fish Tale, 1301 Boston Post Road, Madison, CT 06443

Take I95 Exit 62 connector and drive east on the Boston Post Rd.

Abbott's Lobster in Noank

This restaurant is my favorite place to eat seafood in Connecticut. It's right on the water and the views are spectacular.

The dining is indoors or outdoors, first-come, first-served, with no reservations, and BYOB.

In the middle of the summer, you may have a hard time at dinner time finding a parking space and you WILL wait in line.

It's definitely worth the wait. My favorite meal is called the New England Seafood Feast—Clam Chowder, Shrimp, Steamers and Mussels, and the best lobster on the Connecticut shoreline. Abbott's calls it "A feast you'll not soon forget. It's our 'best buy.'" And it's best eats!

I've lunched at Abbott's on the way back from winning a few hundred bucks at Foxwoods. Instead of lobster, I opted for steamers, a cup of Rhode Island chowder, and crabcakes. Top it off with an apple crumb dessert covered in whipped cream, and I'm automatically off my low-sugar diet! An excellent lunch for a seafood lover!

Driving Directions

A caution—Abbott's Lobster (117 Pearl Street Noank, CT) is hard to find. If you're using a GPS, Groton is the town, not Noank.

Here are the website driving directions.

Falling in Love With Connecticut

If you're just traveling through the state of Connecticut, are vacationing, or live in the state, you may want to know a bit more about interesting places to visit. Depending on your interests, you can experience excellent theatre, dining, scenic routes, and stops that residents take for granted.

For example, the Mystic area where Abbott's is located is the home of the Mystic Aquarium and a very quaint town with plenty of restaurants. Ever hear of Mystic Pizza and the movie with the same name?

In the middle of the state on the shoreline, New Haven's Wooster Street area feels like an Italian festival every night during the summer. And it features Pepe's pizza, possibly the best pie ever made.

I can go on, but you get the picture.

Questions & Answers

Question: Did you, the writer of this article, try Ford's in Noank?

Answer: No, I haven't tried Ford's. But I just might if it stays in business.