There are many fun things to do in Hartford, including plenty of romantic restaurants and cozy eateries that are perfect for intimate dinners and special celebrations.
From casual cafés to bustling bistros and elegant eateries to fine dining establishments, Hartford has a special spot for every occasion.
1. 50 Elm Cafe & Spirits
50 Elm Café & Spirits highlight the diverse tastes of the city with a creative menu that boasts an eclectic blend of South American and Caribbean cuisine and tropical-inspired cocktails. Based in the South Downtown (SoDo) neighborhood, the new addition to Hartford's dining scene specializes in small plates and tapas-style dishes like Colombian empanadas, Puerto Rican shrimp mofongo, Cuban black bean soup, Jamaican callaloo, and Peruvian Pollo a la Brasa. Signature dishes include Jamaican braised oxtail stew and Peruvian ceviche and jalea mixta, and the food is paired with a wide range of spirits, and vacation-reminiscent drinks and exotic cocktails ranging from Peruvian pisco sours to mojitos and caipirinhas with Brazilian cachaca.
50 Elm St, Hartford, CT 06106, Phone: 860-206-3322
2. Artisan Restaurant, Tavern, and Garden
© Artisan Restaurant, Tavern, and Garden
Seamlessly blending 18th-century classic Scandinavian design with New England-inspired farm-to-table seasonal cuisine, Artisan Restaurant, Tavern, and Garden is an award-winning restaurant in Southport and Newfane that offers an unforgettable dining experience. One of the best places to visit in Connecticut, Located in the heart of Blue Back Square at the Delamar Hotel, the restaurant is beautifully decorated with light wide-plank pine flooring, muted Gustavian Swedish furniture, and bookcases with a collection of eighteenth-century Swedish books, and glassware. A vast 1,500 square foot outdoor garden with a shaded pergola offers starlight dining with romantic hanging lantern globes and soft music. Celebrating the theme of craftsmanship, Executive Chef and Partner Frederic Kieffer artfully prepares a creative menu of market-driven dishes with locally sourced ingredients like Artisan Seafood Chowder, Royal Shrimp and Grits, Baked Vegan Tian, Bison Carpaccio, and velvety cheesecake for dessert. Artisan Restaurant, Tavern, and Garden is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
1 Memorial Rd, West Hartford, CT 06107, Phone: 860-937-2525
3. Arugula Bistro
© Arugula Bistro
Arugula Bistro is an intimate, contemporary eatery that serves classic Mediterranean fare with innovative twists. Opened in 1996 in West Hartford, Arugula Bistro has been serving the bustling neighborhood for more than two decades with a market-driven menu of Mediterranean-inspired dishes with Middle Eastern, Northern Italian, and rich French flavors. Using locally sourced ingredients, all dishes are prepared in house and from scratch, including charcuterie and cheese platters, flatbreads and dips, mezze of artichokes and olives, and hearty entrées of fresh seafood, prime meats, and organic vegetables. The full-service bar offers a wide range of libations, including global wines, craft beers, top-shelf spirits, and handcrafted cocktails. Arugula Bistro is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Saturday.
953 Farmington Ave, West Hartford, CT 06107, Phone: 860-561-4888
More romantic weekend getaways in Connecticut
4. Carbone's Restaurant
© Carbone's Restaurant
Carbone’s Restaurant is a family-owned and operated restaurant that has been serving authentic Italian cuisine since 1938. One of the best things to do in Connecticut, Carbone’s provides an unforgettable dining experience with three spacious dining rooms to suit all occasions, a lively bar area with televisions for casual drinks, and an intimate Old World ambiance. The casual Italian eatery serves a market-driven menu of contemporary farm-to-table fare with dishes such as antipasto platters, homemade soups, fresh salads, housemade pasta and lasagna, wood-fired pizzas, veal, beef, and fresh seafood plates. The full-service bar offers a wide range of libations, including global wines, craft beers, top-shelf spirits, and handcrafted cocktails. Carbone’s Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Saturday, and dinner only on Mondays.
280 Cedar St, Hopkinton, MA 01748, Phone: 508-435-3465
5. Cora Cora Restaurant
© Brent Hofacker/stock.adobe.com
Located in Shield Street Plaza Shopping Center, Cora Cora Restaurant is one of the city’s best for authentic Peruvian cuisine. The casual eatery has a warm and welcoming ambiance with contemporary décor and soft lighting, creating an intimate and romantic atmosphere for a special dinner or celebration. The menu features traditional Peruvian eats, including Saltado de Pollo, Empanadas, Cora Tamal Criollo, Chaufa de Pollo, and Cora Yuca Rellena, along with a wide variety of libations from global wines and imported craft beers to top-shelf spirits, and handcrafted cocktails. The menu also offers several vegetarian options, and many of the dishes can be altered to cater for specific dietary requirements. Cora Cora Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
162 Shield St, West Hartford, CT 06110, Phone: 860-953-2672
6. Division West Bistro and Bar
© Division West Bistro and Bar
Located in the area that was once known as the West Division of Hartford, Division West Bistro and Bar is a casual community gathering spot for great food and drinks in a friendly, welcoming environment. The bistro and cocktail bar serves elevated New American fare and casual wines in a lively, rustic-chic setting with a long bar counter where diners can grab a quick bite, comfortable tables and chairs and large windows that flood the interior with natural light. The bistro offers several menus including regular lunch and dinner menus, a pre-fixe menu on Sundays and Mondays, and a Happy Hour menu of light bites and snacks. The full-service bar offers a wide range of libations, including global wines, craft beers, top-shelf spirits, and handcrafted cocktails. Division West Bistro and Bar is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Saturday and dinner only on Sundays.
36 LaSalle Rd, West Hartford, CT 06107, Phone: 860-955-9034
More ideas: Beaches in Connecticut
7. Feng Chophouse
© Feng Chophouse
Located in Downtown Hartford, Feng Chophouse is one of the city’s top spots for fine dining. Previously known as Feng Asian Bistro, the newly renovated space is decorated with a modern flair with stylish décor, an expensive bar and cocktail area, a wine room filled with vintages from around the world, private dining space for special occasions, and large windows with street views. The restaurant specializes in Southeast Asian-Fusion cuisine with Japanese dishes like edamame, nigiri, and omakase sushi, as well as New American dishes of dry-aged steaks, fresh seafood and more. The full-service bar offers a wide range of libations, including global wines, craft beers, top-shelf spirits, and handcrafted cocktails. Feng Chophouse is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday and dinner only on Saturdays.
93 Asylum St, Hartford, CT 06103, Phone: 860-549-3364
8. J Restaurant and Bar
Conveniently located in midtown Hartford just minutes from the bustling area where all the theaters are situated, J Restaurant and Bar is a casual pizzeria that specializes in Italian and Greek food and relaxed, easy-drinking wines. Featuring exposed-brick walls, modern décor, and an inviting ambiance, J Restaurant and Bar serves a variety of sharing plates of Spicy Calamari with Sweet Chili Sauce, Mussels and Onions, Crab cakes with Baby Arugula, Coconut Shrimp, Bruschetta Tomatoes, Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese, and Chicken Tenders with Cranberry Dipping Sauce. Other dishes range from fresh salads, gourmet sandwiches, wood-fired pizzas, burgers, wraps, gyros, and classic entrées of pasta, veal piccata, and lasagna. J Restaurant and Bar is open for lunch Monday through Friday and dinner only on Saturdays.
297 Washington St, Hartford, CT 06106, Phone: 860-527-7764
More ideas: Best Glamping in Connecticut
9. Lucky Lou’s Bar and Grill
Set in a beautifully restored vintage house known as the Deming-Standish House at the historic crossroads of Main and Marsh Streets, Lucky Lou’s Bar and Grill is a pet-friendly grill with a seasonal outdoor patio that serves classic American and Italian fare. The restaurant features several raised-panel dining rooms for intimate experiences, a pub-style bar with a buzzing vibe, and an outdoor patio which seats over 100 people and hosts live entertainment and music throughout the week. Owner and executive chef Lucas Kyriakos uses ingredients native to the area to create delicious farm-to-table offerings such as Rosemary Chicken Lollipops, Famous Lobster Mac and Cheese, Grass Fed Steak Medallions, New Zealand Baby Lamb Chops, and Norwegian Salmon. The full-service bar offers a wide range of libations, including global wines, craft beers, top-shelf spirits, and handcrafted cocktails. Lucky Lou’s Bar and Grill is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Sunday.
222 Main St, Wethersfield, CT 06109, Phone: 860-257-0700
10. Max Downtown
Max Downtown is a trendsetting restaurant in the heart of Hartford’s downtown business center that has been serving award-winning food and hospitality to customers for more than 20 years. Owners Richard Rosenthal and Steve Abrams focus on serving a classic fine dining menu in an elegant, stylish setting with soft lighting and a romantic ambiance. The flagship restaurant offers internationally-inspired dishes and regional fare with signature dishes of prime cut steaks and chops, fresh seafood, housemade pasta, and from-scratch sauces, and fresh salads and vegetable plates. The full-service bar offers a wide range of libations, including global wines, craft beers, top-shelf spirits, and handcrafted cocktails. Max Downtown is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday and dinner only on Saturdays and Sundays.
185 Asylum St, Hartford, CT 06103, Phone: 860-522-2530
You are reading "20 Must-Try Restaurants in Hartford, Connecticut" & Weekend Getaways
Tuck into extravagant and exotic dishes of octopus with chorizo, duck, and venison along with globally-inspired wines from around the world in an intimate and charming setting at ON20. Located on the 20th floor of one of Hartford’s tallest buildings on One State Street, the fine-dining restaurant boasts spectacular views of the city and a creative menu of contemporary cuisine. The menu features signature dishes such as starters of Yellowfin Tuna Poke, Chilled Pea Soup, and Green Asparagus Salad, followed by entrées of Rohan Duck Breast, N.Y. Strip Steak, Arctic Char, Filet De Veau, Halibut, and Scallops. ON20 offers several private dining options ranging from medium-sized spaces to larger private rooms equipped with wireless access. ON20 is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday and dinner only on Saturdays.
400 Columbus Blvd., Hartford, Phone: 860-722-5161
More ideas: Lakes in Connecticut
12. Peppercorn's Grill
Owned and operated by the Cialfi siblings, Sal and Dino, Peppercorn’s Grill is a classic Italian restaurant that has been serving traditional Mediterranean fare since 1989. Renowned for their huge portions and welcoming, family-friendly atmosphere, the restaurant produces and serves award-winning cuisine with a menu of favorites such as thick and thin-based pizzas with a variety of toppings, homemade baked and creative pasta dishes with creamy sauces, freshly prepared salads and soups, casseroles, and fresh seafood platters. The full-service bar offers a wide range of libations, including global wines, craft beers, top-shelf spirits, and handcrafted cocktails. Peppercorn’s Grill is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and dinner only on Saturdays.
357 Main St, Hartford, CT 06106, Phone: 860-547-1714
More ideas: New Hartford, Connecticut
13. Pond House Cafe
© Pond House Cafe
Nestled on the pond in the historic Elizabeth Park in West Hartford and surrounded by magnificently manicured gardens and grounds, the Pond House Café offers a romantic dining experience in all four seasons. The café focuses on using local, fresh and organic ingredients sourced from the onsite herb and vegetable garden to create a seasonal menu of fresh salads, organic vegetable dishes, gourmet sandwiches and wraps, hearty chicken and meat entrées and delicious desserts. The café also serves an award-winning Sunday Brunch which can be enjoyed in the cozy dining room with a fireplace or on the charming patio overlooking the gardens. The Pond House Café is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Friday and breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturdays and Sundays.
1555 Asylum Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06117, Phone: 860-231-8823
More ideas: Wedding Venues in Hartford
14. Republic at the Linden
© Republic at the Linden
Republic at the Linden is a gorgeously decorated restaurant with exposed brick walls and intimate dining nooks, high tin ceilings, and glittering chandeliers that serves a seasonal menu of New American cuisine and signature cocktails. The dimly lit, the vintage-chic dining room is the perfect place for a romantic dinner for two or a special celebration and diners can enjoy live music on Thursday nights and an award-winning Sunday brunch. The gastropub serves a menu of small plates ranging from cornmeal-crusted buffalo calamari to bacon-wrapped, date-filled green olives, along with a variety of housemade cocktails, bottled and draft beers, single malts, and finely blended Scotches, and a range of wines by the bottle. Republic at the Linden is open for lunch and dinner Sunday through Friday and dinner only on Saturdays.
10 Capitol Ave, Hartford, CT 06106, Phone: 860-310-3269
Located in downtown Hartford, Salute is a casual restaurant with contemporary décor that serves classic and modern takes on Italian cuisine. Owned by Jimmy Cosgrove, Andy Rizzo, and Dave Caudill, the restaurant boasts a relaxed, laid-back vibe with delicious cuisine, fine wines from around the world, and friendly wait staff who provide exceptional service. Salute has an expansive bar and comfortable lounge area, as well as an outdoor patio for alfresco summer dining. The menu features appetizers, antipasto platters of charcuterie and cheeses, fresh salads, housemade pasta and from-scratch sauces, wood-fired pizzas, fresh seafood, prime beef, chicken and veal dishes, and decadent desserts. The full-service bar offers a wide range of libations, including global wines, craft beers, top-shelf spirits, and handcrafted cocktails. Salute is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday and dinner only on Sunday.
100 Trumbull St, Hartford, CT 06103, Phone: 860-899-1350
More ideas: New England Day Trips
Sorella offers simple and fresh Italian cuisine in a comfortable setting in the heart of Hartford. Specializing in traditional Italian cuisine with a modern flair, the restaurant serves a menu of authentic plates of Italian cuisine like a wide selection of creative antipasti, including meats, cheeses, vegetables, seafood, fresh home-made pasta, wood-fired Neapolitan pizza, and fresh seafood dishes. The enoteca offers an imaginative selection of fine wines from around the world, along with birreria (beer), and signature cocktails. Hartford's newest gem, Sorella is open for
901 Main St, Hartford, CT 06103, Phone: 860-244-9084
17. The Capital Grille
© The Capital Grille
The Capital Grille is an upscale steakhouse chain that serves classic American fare of prime steaks, fresh seafood and signature cocktails in an elegant, clubby setting. Renowned for its relaxed, yet refined setting and exceptional cuisine, the Capital Grille serves an impressive menu of famous dry-aged steaks, succulent seafood, and handmade pasta, along with an award-winning wine list of over 5,000 bottles from around the world. Signature dishes include classic Filet Mignon with Cipollini Onions and Wild Mushrooms, Dry-Aged New York Strip Steak with Shallot Butter, Seared Sirloin with Poached Lobster Tails, and Bone-in Ribeye with 15-year-old aged Balsamic Vinegar. The Capital Grille is open for lunch and dinner during the week, and dinner only on Saturdays and Sundays.
44 Front St, Hartford, CT 06103, Phone: 860-244-0075
More ideas: East Coast Beaches
18. Trumbull Kitchen
© Trumbull Kitchen
Located in one of Hartford's premier locations, Trumbull Kitchen is a contemporary, relaxed, and inventive eatery owned by Richard Rosenthal and Executive Chef and partner Chris Torla that serves a globally eclectic menu that focuses on local ingredients and regional flavors. The menu features a collection of innovative cross-cultural dishes such as small plates and tapas, hearty entrées of fresh seafood and prime meats and chicken, fresh salads and vegetarian dishes and decadent desserts. The casual, industrial-chic eatery has a lively bar scene and offers a wide range of libations, including global wines, craft beers, top-shelf spirits, and handcrafted cocktails. Trumbull Kitchen is open for lunch and dinner during the week, and dinner only on Saturdays and Sundays.
150 Trumbull St, Hartford, CT 06103, Phone: 860-493-7412
19. VIVO Seasonal Trattoria
© VIVO Seasonal Trattoria
Located on the ground floor of the Hartford Marriott Downtown just steps away from Front Street, VIVO Seasonal Trattoria is an upscale Italian trattoria with an elegant and charming Mediterranean ambiance. Focusing on using fresh locally-sourced and market-driven ingredients such as day-boat seafood, select meats, and cheeses, field ripened produce, and imported olive oils and vinegar; the award-winning restaurant serves a menu of refreshingly creative fare with a modern Napa Valley twist. Perfect for a romantic rendezvous before a theater show or post-work drinks, VIVO Seasonal Trattoria is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week.
200 Columbus Blvd, Hartford, CT 06103, Phone: 860-760-2333
More ideas: Connecticut Flea Markets
The 20 Must-Try Restaurants in Hartford, Connecticut & Fun things to do near me today: