It's the 15th anniversary of our annual celebration of the best seafood dives. To celebrate, fried-food guru Steve Millburg takes us on a tour of the 50 best ever.
Writer: Steve Millburg, Illustrations: Matt Caserta
The Place Restaurant, Guilford
Wonderfully weird. You sit outdoors on logs at plywood tables. Everything, including the clams, mussels, shrimp, fish, lobster, and corn on the cob (dunked in melted butter), cooks on an immense grill. Bring your own alcohol, side dishes, seat cushions, etc. Open late April through October; no credit cards. 203/453-9276 or theplaceguilford.com
Lenny & Joe's Fish Tale, Madison
This delicious dive (more casual than its sister location in nearby Westbrook) does not skimp on entertainment. It has a carousel. And an ice-cream stand. But the chowder, fried shrimp, and lobster roll steal the show. 860/669-0767 or ljfishtale.com
Abbott's Lobster in the Rough, Noank
Abbott's serves Connecticut-style clam chowder (clear broth) and hot lobster rolls (meat and melted butter on a hamburger-style bun). Open early May through Columbus Day. 860/536-7719 or