Guide to Connecticut

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I haven’t even lived in Connecticut for a full year yet and still feel like such a newbie, but when Town & Country asks you to create a local travel guide, you do it! Over the past 8 months, I’ve already discovered my g0-to restaurants, bars, and shops.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what to do and where to eat in Fairfield County (made up of Greenwich, Stamford, Westport, Norwalk, Fairfield, New Canaan, Darien and a bunch of other cute coastal Connecticut towns), so I put together my guide. I’m sharing some of it here with you today, but for more of recommendations for drinks, shopping, beauty, workouts, and more, read my full Fairfield County travel guide in Town & Country.

If you have other recommendations in the area, I’d love to hear them! I’m always up to discover new places.

Breakfast

Green & Tonic

1. Green & TonicGreenwich, CT

When I moved out of the city to Connecticut, I was worried about getting my green juice fix. And then I discovered my health-food Mecca, Green & Tonic. I stop in at least twice/week before work to pick up smoothies, cold-pressed juices, and a salad for lunch.

What to order: The mint chip smoothie tastes decadent but is full of greens and superfoods, the Power açai bowl, and Jungle Juice (green juice not college punch!).

2. Meli MeloGreenwich, CT

It can get a little crazy on a weekend morning but the intensely busy ambience is worth it for the food. Where else can you get green juice, crêpes, ice cream, and quiches in the same place?

What to order: Salmon fume buckwheat crêpe (smoked salmon, chive sauce, lemon, and daikon) and the kale, cucumber, apple juice.

Lunch

Beach House

1. Beach House CaféOld Greenwich, CT

I love how Beach House looks like the inside of a boat. In warmer months, sit outside on the adorably perfect Sound Beach Avenue in Old Greenwich. Perfect for a casual lunch or brunch with friends.

What to order: The super kale salad with grilled chicken or the fish tacos

2. BartacoWestport, Stamford, Greenwich

It’s a little sad how often we frequent Bartaco. It’s always fast, always fresh, and always good. I love how the ever-smiling servers wear preppy navy and gingham button-downs with white jeans and match the navy and white striped décor.

What to order: The baja fish tacos are killer, especially with a side of chipotle slaw and one of their margaritas made with fresh-pressed juice and agave.

Dinner

1. The WhelkWestport, CT

The Whelk is our favorite date-night spot in Connecticut. It has a New York City-like feel with a menu and cocktail bar to boot. It overlooks the water in Westport and the food is incredible always with some sort of interesting twist.

What to order: The deviled eggs with fried oysters are insane and the shrimp and grits are pretty great too! Try the Whiskey Negroni (whiskey, sweet vermouth, Campari, cherry herring) or The Everlong (vanilla vodka, elderflower, honey, red chili) if you’re in the mood for a cocktail.

2. Elm Street Oyster HouseGreenwich, CT

I love the easy familiarity of Elm Street Oyster House. It’s a casual vibe with a pricey menu that’s worth it. The food is good and the energy always feels happy.

What to order: The oysters are, of course, to die for but don’t skip out on the mini crab cakes and hickory flour fried calamari (on a cheat day!)

Shopping

Hoagland's of Greenwich

1. Darien Sports ShopDarien, CT

When I first heard about Darien Sports Shop I kept wondering why people thought I would like a sports shop so much! Then I went in and realized I was so far off. From DVF to J. Brand to Vineyard Vines to Lilly Pulitzer, this Nordstrom-like shop is set up for a beautiful shopping experience with every single one of my favorite brands.

2. Hoaglands of GreenwichGreenwich, CT

It’s impossible to walk into Hoaglands without either buying something beautiful for your home or with an aspiration to redecorate. They have an entire wall of ginger jars that I could stare at for hours.

Beaches

Tod's Point

1. Tod’s Point, Old Greenwich, CT

I love running on the beach path around the point. I stop by after work, park my car and run with the sunset, passing sailboats, canoes, and families taking evening strolls.

2. Compo BeachWestport, CT

Compo beach is serene with beautiful sand and water. Perfect for a hot summer day!

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Comments

  • Caitlin Hummer

    This is such a great list! I’d love to try some of these places next time I’m in Connecticut, they all sound so great!
    xo, Caitlin
    http://thesolcompass.com

  • I’ve always wanted to visit this state and many more small, not so vacationed east coast states. There’s just something about that small town coastal living that draws me in. As a little girl I always dreamed of living in coastal Rhode Island. It’s high up there on my list, but one day hopefully soon, we will travel out that way and enjoy the calm east coast vibe. (:
    http://www.accordingtokiki.net

  • Alyssa Thomas

    I’ve never been to the east coast and this makes me want to go even more! Also love your outfit!

    Alyssa
    Glitter and Grey

  • Julia

    Other great local spots are Mediterraneo in Greenwich, Scena Wine Bar and Restaurant in Darien, Bodega Taco Bar in Darien, and the coffee shop Lorca on Bedford Street in Stamford – it’s the only independent coffee shop in town, and has fresh churros and amazing breakfast sandwiches. In addition to beaches, gorgeous parks for walking/hiking/biking include Mianus River Gorge in Stamford and Waveny in New Canaan.

  • Caitlin

    My husband and I moved from the city to CT a few years ago (first Stamford, now homeowners in Fairfield!) and also love the places you highlighted! Kawa Ni in Westport, which is also owned by the same people that own The Whelk, is an amazing Asian restaurant! It’s diagonally across from The Whelk, and serves incredible dishes! Considering you seem to like most of the same places we do, you should check it out!

  • Shannon King

    The shore is gorgeous, but you should make your way up inland or further down the coast! Visit the greater Hartford area for even better food and great shows & sports games.

  • What a great post, Julia! I aways loved Connecticut!

    Wishes & Reality