The Best Seafood Dives Coast to Coast

Long live the laid-back shacks where the menus hang on the wall, the beers chill on ice, and the food comes piled high, deep-fried, slathered, breaded, buttered, and steamed.

Connecticut's Best Seafood Dives

Enjoy a wide variety of seafood offerings in this New England state.

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Connecticut Seafood Dives

Illustrator Matt Caserta

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Lenny’s Indian Head Inn, Branford
What to expect: Zero atmosphere but great food; try the “famous shore dinner,” with lobster, clear-broth chowder, raw cherrystone clams, steamed clams, and sweet corn.
Check it out: 205 South Montowese Street; 203/488-1500 or

Westbrook Lobster Restaurant & Fish Market, Clinton
What to expect: Lobster Savannah is the house specialty.
Check it out: 346 East. Main Street (Route 1);860/664-9464 or

The Place, Guilford
What to expect: You sit at outdoor tables made from plywood mounted on logs. Everything, including the clams, steamers, mussels, shrimp, bluefish, lobster, and corn on the cob (dunked in butter), cooks on an immense grill. Bring your own alcohol, side dishes, and seat cushion. Cash or check only. The Place is open April to October.
Check it out: : 901 Boston Post Road; 203/453-9276 or

Spencer’s Shad Shack, Haddam
What to expect: Masters of the art of “planking” shad. Cooked on wood over an open fire, this fish and its eggs (shad roe) are a regional delight. Shad season is unpredictable―April or May―so call before you go.
Check it out: 1146 Saybrook Road; 860/345-4805

Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale, Madison
What to expect: Of the two locations (Madison and nearby Westbrook), we prefer the more casual one in Madison. You’ll love the fried shrimp, lobster roll, and clear-broth clam chowder.
Check it out: 1301 Boston Post Road (Route 1); 203/245-7289 or

Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock, New London
What to expect: Lobster rolls, steamed clams, fried platters. BYO beer and wine. Open spring through early fall.
Check it out: 80 Hamilton Street; 860/439-1741 or

Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough, Noank
What to expect: A classic summer-season-only lobster shack with great views of Long Island Sound and the Mystic River.
Check it out: 117 Pearl Street; 860/536-7719 or

Sono Seaport Seafood Inc., South Norwalk
What to expect: Locals love the crab-cake sandwich and daily specials.
Check it out: 100 Water Street; 203/854-9483 or

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