By Gillian Burdett
With 600-plus miles of shoreline and major commercial fishing ports in New London and Stonington, fresh seafood is plentiful in Connecticut. Commercial fishermen in the state land more than 8 million pounds of fish, lobster, crab and squid each year. Add to that the nearby bounties of New Bedford and Gloucester in Massachusetts, Point Judith in Rhode Island and the haul from Portland, Maine, and it’s easy to see why fresh fish is ever-present on restaurant menus throughout the state. Whether you are looking for a classic battered and fried hunk of scrod wrapped in waxed paper, or something more upscale and exotic, Connecticut restaurateurs have stepped up to and filled the plate when it comes to fish sandwiches.
Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale
86 Boston Post Road
Westbrook, CT 06498
Lenny & Joe’s regularly makes “Best Of” lists for Connecticut seafood restaurants. Diners can order their scrod broiled of fried. Either way, expect a large, fresh fish filet served with an overflowing basket of fries. The Westbrook location features an indoor dining room with an outdoor feel thanks to three walls of windows. Lenny & Joe’s also has locations in Madison and New Haven.
Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point Inn
2 Bridge St.
Old Saybrook, CT 06475
Fresh Salt’s lunch menu features a beer-battered fried flounder sandwich that replaces the traditional tartar sauce with an avocado-sriracha aioli for an unexpected kick. Served up with their beyond ordinary slaw (just a hint of fennel), this is the go-to spot for a high-end fish sandwich. Located at Saybrook Point, Fresh Salt ranks high for its nautical atmosphere and sweeping ocean views. Reservations are recommended, particularly during the busy summer season.
The Blue Oar
16 Snyder Road
Haddam, CT 06438
For a freshwater fish sandwich, check out Blue Oar on the bank of the Connecticut River. They serve up catfish Cajun style on a hard roll with a roasted pepper aioli. Blue Oar is seasonal, open Mother’s Day through the end of September. They do not have a liquor license, but diners may bring their own bottle. The outdoor seating offers a spectacular view of the water and marina where diners who chose to boat in may dock their vessel. Blue Oar is casual but slightly more upscale than traditional New England seafood shacks.
Related: Top Scallops In Connecticut
Sono Seaport Seafood
100 Water St.
South Norwalk, CT 06854
Originally a seafood market, Sono’s is now a full-service restaurant and bar overlooking Norwalk Harbor. Diners can enjoy a traditional fried cod sandwich (with all the fixings) at a picnic table overlooking the water. Don’t be surprised to find a gull or two hanging around in search of free french fries. At Sono, seafood is often served with live music on the deck making for a complete dining and entertainment experience.
Blue Lobster Seafood
376 Berlin Turnpike
Berlin, CT 06037
Not all seafood restaurants are on the shore. If your travels bring you through the state’s Capital Region, you’ll find a hefty Cod sandwich at the Blue Lobster in Berlin. This family-owned restaurant is a traditional New England seafood shack made famous for their lobster roll. The fish sandwich is a tender and crispy fried cod served on a soft potato roll. Slather on the tartar sauce and pick from a selection of sides for a seaside experience in the shadow of the Hartford skyline.