Let’s Eat: Your Complete Guide to Eating Well in Fairfield County

Each year, we compile a list of all the things that make Fairfield County special, as part of our “The Good Life” feature. We include shops, workouts, services, and, of course, food.

Here, we’ve scouted out Fairfield County’s top restaurants, caterers, markets and more, for every palate.  Into comfort food? A chic setting? Satisfying your sweet tooth? Keep reading. 

Table of Contents


Restaurants

For the Brunch Bunch: Baldanza at the Schoolhouse in Wilton

Brunch at Baldanza. – Photograph: Venera Alexandrova

For organic, seasonal farm-to-table fare and a super-chic setting, look no further than Baldanza at the Schoolhouse in Wilton. Locals consider it the best weekend brunch spot and love their mission: “We work with farms that embrace the humane treatment of animals that are both hormone-free and fed grains that are GMO-free. These farms are owned by people who care about our sustainable future and grow crops that do not use synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizers.”

BALDANZA AT THE SCHOOLHOUSE
43 Cannon Road, Wilton
hours: Wed.–Sat. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sun. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
baldanzarestaurants.com

For Artful Dining: Art Space Cafe in The Norwalk Art Space

Art Space Cafe – Photograph: Venera Alexandrova

For coffee that is artfully prepared, tea, pastries, lite fare, enticing adult beverages and stimulation of the right brain, visit Art Space Cafe in The Norwalk Art Space. Local culinary artists and their products are incorporated into the menu. Bonus: There is no fee to enjoy the art, music and good vibes that abound at The Norwalk Art Space.

ART SPACE CAFE
455 West End Avenue, Norwalk (entrance on Butler Street)
hours: Wed.–Fri. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.,
Sat.–Sun. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
thenorwalkartspace.org/café

For A Spot that Feels Secret: Allium Eatery

Allium Eatery is so under the radar that even the website still says “Coming Soon,” though this French-inspired cafe/cozy restaurant across from the Westport Train Station opened in 2021. The exquisite attention to detail and flavors will win over even the most discerning diner. Squint and you might think you’re savoring a meal in Paris. Takeout available.

ALLIUM EATERY
54 Railroad Avenue, Westport
hours: Wed.–Sat. 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
alliumwestport.com

For Chic Comfort Food: 29 Markle Ct

29 Markle Ct. – Photograph: Meghan Olson

Whether you indulge in verdant veggies (sourced from local Bridgeport farms) or comfort items like smoked fried chicken or shrimp and grits, 29 Markle Ct. delivers decadent presentations of its delicious dishes. (Think The Bear—the TV show, not the animal.) Bonus: Enjoy the iconic art on the walls while dining.

29 MARKLE CT.
29 Markle Court, Bridgeport
hours: Tues.–Thurs. Kitchen 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.Bar 4 p.m. to late
Fri.–Sat. Kitchen 4:30 to 10 p.m. Bar 4 p.m. to late
Sun. Kitchen 3 to 8 p.m. Bar 3 to 10 p.m.
29marklect.com

For PYOB (Pour Your Own Beer): Hop & Vine Taproom

Tired of waiting in line at the bar? Head on over to Hop & Vine Taproom, where you can pour your own draft of mostly local craft beers from 69 automated taps. Global wines, ciders, seltzers, kombucha, nitro coffee and mocktails are also available, as well as an “eclectic global fusion of funky fare” on the seasonal menu.

HOP & VINE TAPROOM
30 Spring Street, Stamford
hours: Mon., Wed., Thurs. & Fri.4 p.m. to close,
Sat & Sun. 11 a.m. to close (kitchen closes at 10 p.m. nightly)
hopandvinect.com

For Girls’ Night Out: South Bay

South Bay is a restaurant and a hopping bar, and that’s what one loyal customer remembered—well, mostly—from a girls’ Saturday night out: “The DJ is so good and the espresso martinis definitely keep you going!”

South Bay

SOUTH BAY
403 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich
hours: Mon.–Tues..4–9:30 p.m.,
Wed.–Thurs. 12 to 10 p.m. (bar until 12 a.m. on Thursday)
Fri.–Sat. 12 to 11 p.m. (bar until 1 a.m.)
happy hour: Mon.–Fri. 4 to 6 p.m.
southbayct.com/greenwich

For Fashionable Light Bites: Browne & Co. Café

Browne and Co. Café manager, Jonathan Smith – Photograph: Venera Alexandrova

The inviting Browne & Co. Café is a lovely stop for a cup of Zumbach’s coffee and baked goods or a light meal and some light—or heavy—shopping for one-of-a-kind gifts and chic decor items. For heavier entertaining needs, the catering department brings 25 years experience in everything from intimate dinners to corporate events and weddings.

BROWNE & CO. CAFE
865 Boston Post Road, Darien
hours: Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
dianebrowne.com

For Snacking & Shopping: Mercantile at GrayBarns Café

Wine and Cheese at Mercantile at GrayBarns – Photograph: courtesy of Graybarns

At the picturesque Mercantile at GrayBarns Café and marketplace, ladies love to sit outside with a glass of wine and a charcuterie board. After a soup and salad and a browse through the curated provisions and dinners to-go, check out the selection of private-label goods and gifts—clothing, linens, home goods, décor—for sale in the marketplace (and online).

MERCANTILE AT GRAYBARNS
193 Perry Avenue, Norwalk
hours: Tues.–Sun. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
mercantileatgraybarns.com

For a Waterfront Spot: The Saugatuck Boathouse

The Saugatuck Rowing Club has an upscale gym, yoga and workout classes, and an extensive rowing program. Upstairs, with a gorgeous view of the river, is the Boathouse at Saugatuck restaurant. The menu and ambiance are both exquisite. The Boathouse also accommodates private events.

BOATHOUSE AT SAUGATUCK
521 Riverside Avenue, Westport
hours: Wed.–Sat. 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Sun. Brunch 11:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
boathouseatsaugatuck.com

For Live Music With Your Meal: BRYAC Black Rock and Park City Music Hall

Like some live music with (or after) your meal? Fans say it’s well worth the outing to BRYAC Black Rock and Park City Music Hall, both in Bridgeport. Check their websites for packed schedules of live bands.

BRYAC BLACK ROCK
3074 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport
hours: Mon.–Thurs. Bar 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Kitchen 3 to 11 p.m.,
Fri.–Sat. Bar 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. Kitchen 12 to 11 p.m.
Sun. Bar 11 to 1 a.m. Kitchen 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
bryac.biz

PARK CITY MUSIC HALL
2926 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport
hours: Tues.–Wed. 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Thurs. 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Fri.–Sat. 8 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
parkcitymusichall.com


Diners, Drive-Ins and Donut Shops

Sometimes there’s nothing like your favorite diner, donut shop or pizza slice to give you that ol’ life-is-good feeling. Coffee An’ receives rave reviews for having the nicest staff and greatest donuts and eggs. Colony Grill has produced a number of pizza addicts, who can’t get enough of Colony’s thin-crust pies, drizzled with a spicy pepper hot oil. Luckily, now there are three locations in the area. Colony also has a pizza truck available for private parties. Greenwich & Delancey is the place to take your parents for old-school pastrami or corn beef sandwiches and the best babka. Lakeside Diner is “truly our most special greasy spoon,” says a Stamford fan, “cozy, crowded. Signature donuts. Yum.” A Wiltonite raves: “Rise Doughnuts is beloved for their donuts, chic café, great coffee and gracious staff.”

COFFEE AN’ DONUT SHOP
343 Main Street, Westport
hours: Mon.–Sat. 7 a.m.–3 p.m.
Sun. 7:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
coffeean.business.site

COLONY GRILL
1520 Post Road, Fairfield
515 West Avenue, Norwalk
172 Myrtle Avenue, Stamford
hours: Mon.–Thurs. 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.
Fri.–Sat. 11:30 –12:30 a.m.
Sun. 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.
colonygrill.com

Greenwich & Delancey – Photograph: Venera Alexandrova

GREENWICH & DELANCEY
59 East Putnam Avenue, Cos Cob
hours: Sun. – Thurs. 11 a.m.–9 p.m. (last seating 7:45 p.m.)
greenwichanddelancey.com

LAKESIDE DINER
1050 Long Ridge Road, Stamford
hours: Mon.–Fri. 6 a.m.–3 p.m.,
Sat.–Sun. 6 a.m.–2 p.m.
lakesidediner.org

Rise Doughnuts owners, Laura Malone and Hugh Mangum – Photograph: Venera Alexandrova

RISE DOUGHNUTS
28 Center Street, Wilton
hours: Tues.–Fri. 7 a.m.–2 p.m.
Sat.–Sun. 8 a.m.–1 p.m.
@risedoughnut on Instagram


Sweet Shops & Bakeries

The high-fructose corn syrup in processed foods is deadly, but a little indulgence of some locally made sweets can only be good for the heart, right? Here are our picks.

FLOUR WATER SALT BREAD
20 Grove Street, Darien; 160 E. Putnam Ave., Cos Cob
hours: Tues.–Sat. 8 a.m.–1 p.m. (or until sold out)
flourwatersaltbread.com

For amazing pastries—pain au chocolat, bomboloni, coffee cake—visit Flour Water Salt Bread in Darien and Greenwich. We advise double committing to carbs and picking up some to-die-for breads, as well. Plenty of the 100-year-olds living in those Blue Zones are freshly-baked-bread eaters.

MAGNOLIA CHOCOLATIER
magnoliachocolatier.com
Magnolia Chocolatier is a Black female-owned small batch chocolatier that has moved from Stamford to Stratford. But no matter, everything you need to prove why life is so worth living—bonbons, truffles, confections, custom printed chocolates—is available on the website.

Matcha Mille Crepe and Mochi Donuts from Shiro – Photograph: Venera Alexandrova

SHIRO
172 Bedford Street, Stamford
hours: Mon.–Thurs. 12–10 p.m. Fri.–Sun. 11 a.m.–11 p.m.
shiroct.com

A female-owned Asian dessert and nonalcoholic drink shop, Shiro features crepes, slushies (far from the neon red and blue variety), hot drinks and enticing cool beverages: Hibiscus Sparkling Ade, Oreo Milk, Brown Sugar Boba.

The Cake Box – Photograph: Venera Alexandrova

THE CAKE BOX
10 Bay Street, Westport
hours: Tues.–Sat. 11 a.m.–4 p.m. (or until they sell out)
ctcakebox.com

The Cake Box is the opposite of cake from the box. Every scrumptious cake and cupcake is made from scratch. All items are available gluten-free, and there are options to please vegans too.


Epicurean Markets

Whether you’re shopping with health and animal welfare in mind or looking for authentic ethnic ingredients, this list has you covered.

Saugatuck Provisions has a master butcher who sources meats from local farms; fresh oysters, other shellfish and fish; charcuterie and cheese; Italian pasta and sauces, as well as prepared roasts and sandwiches.

Double L Market brings you locally sourced produce, meats and select products that meet all the criteria for ingesting what will help you live to 100—and help the planet outlive you. Hudson Milk + Market delivers milk in glass bottles and fresh eggs to your door, as well as other dairy products, meat and produce—all from small family-owned farms.

Cucina Daniella offers fine Italian imports. Maruichi Japanese Food & Deli features produce, meat, fish, bread, snacks, drinks and gifts from Japan. For an Indian supermarket, visit Patel Brothers. And for all the spices you could ever dream of, Penzey’s is it. (I know a culinary enthusiast who travels here from Pennsylvania.)

Darien Cheese & Fine Foods has been bringing loyal turophiles the world’s finest cheeses since 1967. Modern Love Cheese and Provisions calls its shop a “foodie paradise,” and cheese lovers agree.

Saugatuck Provisions – Photograph: Venera Alexandrova

SAUGATUCK PROVISIONS
580 Riverside Avenue, Westport
hours: Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–6 p.m.,
Sun. 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
203-557-3655

CUCINA DANIELLA
Shop online or at the New Canaan Farmer’s Market on Saturdays and Westport Farmer’s Market on Thursday Oct. 12 and Nov. 9. Store opening soon!
daniellasmarketplace.com

DARIEN CHEESE & FINE FOODS
25 Old Kings Highway North, Darien
hours: Wed.–Fri. 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
dariencheese.com

DOUBLE L MARKET
730 Post Road East, Westport
hours: Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
doublelmarket.com

HUDSON MILK + MARKET
hudsonmilk.com

MARUICHI JAPANESE FOOD & DELI
1980 West Main Street, Stamford
hours: Mon.–Sun. 9 a.m.–7 p.m.
maruichius.net

MODERN LOVE CHEESE AND PROVISIONS
71 High Ridge Road, Stamford
hours: Tues.–Sun. 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
203-274-5190
@modernlovecheeseandprovisions on Instagram

PATEL BROTHERS
330 Connecticut Avenue #3, Norwalk
hours: Mon.–Sun. 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
patelbros.com

PENZEY’S SPICES
197 Westport Avenue, Norwalk
hours: Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–6 p.m.,
Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
penzeys.com


Clean Eating

If you have watched You Are What You Eat or Live to 100 on Netflix, then no doubt you are all about cutting-the-crap. From new Green & Tonic and Sweetgreen locations to Supr. Food Kitchen (not just super food but its own parking lot off the Avenue), delicious health food has never been so abundant. Juice cleanses, acai bowls, superfood smoothies, breakfast sandwiches, seasonal soups, wraps, veggie burgers (Green & Tonic); warm grain bowls and salads, chock-full of colorful veggies, and topped with your favorite protein (Sweetgreen); all of the above and throw in some ethnic flair with saute bowls like Curry Up and Korean BBQ (Supr. Food)—yum!

SUPR. FOOD KITCHEN
19 West Elm Street, Greenwich
hours: Mon.–Fri. 8 a.m.–7 p.m.
Sat. 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
Sun. 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
suprfoodkitchen.com

SWEETGREEN
126 Heights Road, Darien
hours: Mon.–Fri. 10:30 a.m.–9 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 10:30 a.m.–8 p.m.
102 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich
hours: Mon.–Sun. 10:30 a.m.–9 p.m.
coming soon
374 Post Road East, Westport
sweetgreen.com

Green & Tonic – Photograph: Venera Alexandrova

GREEN & TONIC
Cos Cob/Darien/Westport/New Canaan
coming soon:
Stamford & Old Greenwich
Check website for addresses and hours
greenandtonic.com


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