The Best of the Gold Coast – Top Restaurants in Fairfield County [2024]

Each year we poll Fairfield County residents for the Best of the Gold Coast awards. For 2024, you cast nearly 100,000 votes in 170 categories to pick your top restaurants, shops and services across the county.

Here are our readers’ picks for the best restaurants along the Gold Coast. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly vibes or an al fresco spot with a view, take your neighbors’ word for it with these local favorites.

The Best of the Gold Coast 2024 – Top Restaurants in Fairfield County

BARCELONA WINE BAR

Spanish + Tapas 

With a focus on tapas-style Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine, Barcelona serves up its small plates in a lively and stylish atmosphere that’s nearly as big of a draw as the sangria and charcuterie. 

4180 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield
(203) 255-0800 

515 West Avenue, Norwalk
(203) 854-5600 

222 Summer Street, Stamford
(203) 348-4800 

BARTACO

Mexican 

Bartaco has locations in 14 states but the local outposts, in Westport and Stamford, still manage to feel thoughtful thanks to creative—and mouthwatering—menu offerings. Rotating taco entries like warm buttered lobster sit alongside staples like chicken verde and chili lime. Both locations offer a vibrant atmosphere, plus plenty of tequilas and refreshing cocktails.  

222 Summer Street, Stamford
(203) 323-8226 

20 Wilton Road, Westport
(203) 222-8226 

Photo courtesy of The Benjamin

THE BENJAMIN

New Restaurant

This Ridgefield newcomer has been welcoming a steady stream of diners from all over Fairfield and Westchester counties since it opened in June 2023. Named For Benjamin Franklin with a wink at his role as the first ambassador to France, the restaurant reflects that transatlantic connection in its approach. The little gem Caesar salad and roasted half chicken (above) are top reader choices from the tightly curated, seasonal menu. Executive Chef (and serendipitously monikered) Benjamin Traver joined fromNYC’s The Modern and Cafe Boulud, while Pastry Chef Melissa Knauer hails from Litchfield bakery fave Arethusa a Mano

20 West Lane, Ridgefield
(475) 275-6001 

CAFÉ SILVIUM

Italian 

This longstanding trattoria, operated by brothers Nick and Vincenzo Petrafesa, focuses on traditional Italian cuisine, serving whisper-thin fettuccine, classic scaloppines and a wine list to match, all generously portioned in a warm, family-friendly environment.

371 Shippan Avenue, Stamford
(203) 324-1651  

THE CAPITAL GRILLE

Business Lunch

Part of a renowned national chain, Capital Grille offers an upscale dining experience with expertly prepared steaks, fresh seafood, and an extensive wine list, all in a convenient downtown-Stamford location. 

230 Tresser Boulevard, Stamford
(203) 967-0000  

COLONY GRILL

Family-Friendly Restaurant + Pickup/Delivery Option 

If you’ve ever placed a takeout order at Colony Grill on a Friday night, you won’t be surprised to find it on our list. Locally famous for its Irish-style pizzas, Colony Grill is a Fairfield County staple offering a casual dining experience with a classic pub atmosphere. 

1520 Post Road, Fairfield
(203) 259-1989 

515 West Avenue, Norwalk
(203) 866-5252  

172 Myrtle Avenue, Stamford
(203) 359-2184 

COROMANDEL

Indian

Dining at Coromandel is marked by its indulgent Indian flavors, quality ingredients and high attention to detail, plus friendly service and an inviting atmosphere.

25 Old Kings Highway North, Darien 
(631) 837-2419 

THE COTTAGE

Creative Menu

Known for its American cuisine with a twist, The Cottage offers seasonal menus with locally sourced ingredients, emphasizing both taste and presentation. 

49 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich
(203) 769-1220 

256 Post Road East, Westport 
(203) 557-3701  

THE INN AT LONGSHORE

Event Space/Weddings

Gorgeous coastal views and open event spaces make The Inn at Longshore our readers’ top choice for celebrating special events. Furthermore, its tastefully crafted menu is sure to elevate all occasions. 

260 Compo Road South, Westport
(203) 226-3316 

KOUZINA

Greek

The spot for Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, Kouzina showcases traditional flavors with modern flair in a relaxed and inviting environment inspired by the Greek islands. 

223 Main Street, Stamford 
(203) 588-0110  

LAYLA’S FALAFEL

Mediterranean

A Middle Eastern delight, Layla’s offers traditional dishes like falafel, shawarma and other regional specialties in a fast-casual setting. It’s a must for any takeout night or UberEats delivery. 

2088 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield
(203) 384-0100 

926 High Ridge Road, Stamford 
(203) 461-8004 

1535 Post Road East, Westport 
(203) 955-1583 

LE PENGUIN

French

Jean-Louis Gerin has served elevated French cuisine at 61 Lewis Street in Greenwich since 1985. His first endeavor, Restaurant Jean-Louis, shuttered in 2012. It reopened a year later as Le Penguin, named after a sobriquet for French waiters, and has been a go-to for bistro fare and a convivial scene ever since. 

61 Lewis Street, Greenwich 
(203) 717-1200  

LITTLE KITCHEN

Chinese

Little Kitchen is our readers’ top pick for Chinese food staples like Peking duck and egg-drop soup, but this Westport restaurant also offers a wide range of Pan Asian dishes. Think: Soto Ayam, pad thai and a full sushi bar (the Caterpillar Roll is a standout). The lunch specials are especially popular for takeout.

423 Post Road East, Westport 
(203) 454-5540 

LITTLE PUB

American

Known for its neighborly atmosphere, this pub provides an extensive menu packed with American fare (including a kids’ menu), beer and wine, making it a local default for casual gatherings, easy family dinners and drinks with friends. 

2133 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield 
(203) 612-4567 

531 East Putnam Avenue, Cos Cob 
(203) 717-1147 

10 Washington Parkway, Stratford 
(203) 612-7523 

41 Saugatuck Avenue, Westport 
(203) 227-0511 

26 Danbury Road, Wilton 
(203) 762-1122  

LITTLE THAI KITCHEN

Thai

Our readers who can’t shake their cravings for drunken noodles and coconut curry chicken choose Little Thai Kitchen, a small and simple Thai restaurant with sought-after lunch specials and a long menu of Thai classics. 

4 West Avenue, Darien 
(203) 622-0038 

21 St. Roch Avenue, Greenwich
(203) 622-2972 
 

The spareribs at Mecha Noodle Bar. Photo contributed by Mecha Noodle Bar.

MECHA NOODLE BAR

Asian/Asian Fusion

Winning Best Asian Fusion is your sign to go beyond steaming bowls of pho and ramen and explore the rest of the menu at youthful chainlet Mecha Noodle Bar. Edamame is seasoned with garlic confit, rosemary, sage and sea salt. Pork and shrimp dumplings in spicy red chili oil are a top order, but we’re also suckers for the roasted mushroom dumplings. Of course, no one is disputing Mecha’s noodle primacy. Beef Noodle is a bowl of brothless rice noodles tossed to perfection in a sweet, umami-rich sauce that get rave reviews.

1215 Post Road, Fairfield
(203) 292-8222 

116 Washington Street, Norwalk
(203) 295-8718 

151 Bedford Street, Stamford
(203) 801-7577  

NORDIC FISH

Sushi

While Nordic Fish is primarily known as a premier fish market, discerning locals know it as a hidden gem for exceptional sushi. With a menu of over a hundred rolls and an expert staff, Nordic Fish stands out for its inventive, ultra-fresh fare.

1499 Post Road, Fairfield
(203) 292-8400 

THE RESTAURANT AT ROWAYTON SEAFOOD

Outdoor Dining + Seafood

Views don’t get better than the ones from The Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood’s outdoor dining deck, which overlooks the Long Island Sound. Enjoy a delectable spread of shrimp cocktail, fried calamari and buttery lobster rolls while sitting seaside at this fan favorite. Hungry after a long day on the water? The restaurant offers limited docking spots to boaters. 

89 Rowayton Avenue, Rowayton
(203) 866-4488 

Photo courtesy of Sakura

SAKURA

Japanese

Our readers say arigato to Sakura, the Westport staple, for offering up both kid-friendly hibachi and a more elevated dining experience that parents look forward to. Dining options range from sushi to hibachi, from sukiyaki to shabu shabu. There’s also an array of options to park yourself for the night from belly up to the bar (sushi or otherwise) to outdoors on the patio, from the main dining room to more intimate tatami rooms. Few area restaurants have the staying power of this Japanese standout, in business since 1982. On the occasion of its opening, The New York Times called it “winning.” More than 40 years later, we still agree

680 Post Road East, Westport
(203) 222-0802 

Marsha and Nikki Glazer at Graybarns. Photo by Morgan Yaeger

TAVERN AT GRAYBARNS

Hotel Restaurant + Private Dining/Intimate Venue + Special Occasion/Date Night

By clinching both Intimate Venue and Date Night, it seems like perennial favorite Tavern at GrayBarns might be this year’s choice for romantic evenings out. Local ingredients star on hyperlocal, lifelong Fairfield County resident Chef Joseph Wabshinak’s New American menu. For truly special occasions take full advantage of the transported-to-the-countryside vibe and book an overnight at the Inn. There, the Glazer family (Marsha and daughter Nikki, above) welcomes you to the property they’ve owned since 2017. Their discerning redesign transformed the old Silvermine Tavern into the epitome of quiet luxury, all warmth and refinement.

TONY’S  interior. Photo by Robert Hubbardand

TONY’S AT THE J HOUSE

Best Service

It’s no surprise that the restaurant known for its namesake founder’s penchant for making the rounds to personally greet guests—whether newly arrived NYC transplants or boldfaced naked celebs—would get the attention of our readers who voted Tony’s at the J House this year’s Best Service winner. The entrance sign reads “Right this way, my friend” and is the welcoming mantra reflected through every detail of this always-popular steakhouse that is so much more than just a steakhouse

1114 East Putnam Avenue, Riverside
(203) 698-6999

Photo: by Rob Moss

WASHINGTON PRIME

Steaks

The only tough thing about a night out at Washington Prime is deciding which of its six signature steaks to order. Regulars love this expansive, trendy spot for its perfectly cooked cuts and tender tartares, complemented by attentive service and an impressive wine list. 

141 Washington Street, Norwalk
(203) 857-1314  

314 BEER GARDEN

Event Space

314 Beer Garden has solved the party planning predicament with a variety of event spaces to choose from, a delicious and extensive menu with something for everyone, and an onsite event coordinator to help your celebrations run smoothly. 

314 Wilson Avenue, Norwalk
(203) 857-1516 

 

 

Related Articles

Best Outdoor Dining in Westport [2024]

We’ve waited all year for this: summer dining en plein air. It’s the dreamiest time to relax, snag a coveted table outside and catch up with friends.

Outdoor Dining in Stamford: Our Top Spots to Eat Outside this Season

’Tis the season for eating al fresco Here are 10 of our favorite spots.

New Canaan Butcher’s Paul Paris Marks a Year in Business

The New Canaan Butcher SErves quality meats, Gourmet sandwiches and a community atmosphere