Whether you’re visiting Stonington for the first time or you find yourself there frequently, knowing the best spots for seafood is an essential part of the experience. While many of the town’s restaurants feature delicious seafood options, we’ve narrowed it down to our three favorites that focus on preparing and serving a variety of ocean fare, and two can’t-miss options for gathering the finest sea-based ingredients to elevate your next homemade meal to the next level.
Water Street Cafe is the destination for anyone looking for a casually elegant dining experience to end the night, nestled in the center of the Borough. They are most known for their house-made desserts, fresh seafood specials, and their succulent oyster bar, featuring the best of local oysters alongside those from the northern waters of Nova Scotia and even those from the Pacific Northwest. A favorite spot among locals but also highly rated by the New York Times, Zagats, and Connecticut Magazine, Water Street Cafe provides a simple and fresh New American menu with local and fresh-caught seafood and farm-grown produce, and the staff are also happy to offer gluten-free and vegetarian options for anyone who asks. We recommend the Duck & Scallops entree, served with oyster mushrooms, sugar snap peas, and mashed potatoes.
Dog Watch Cafe has three locations in Connecticut, and two of them are in Stonington, so you know they’re serious about keeping the town in awash with amazing food and waterfront views. As a phrase, the Dog Watch was coined in the 1700s to refer to the evening deck duty shift of sailors and mariners, which was a split shift that allowed the crew to enjoy dinner and a drink with the rest of the group. As a cafe, the Dog Watch follows this tradition of being a gathering spot to eat, drink, and be happy. Their food and beverage offerings are sourced from local vendors and include highlights such as the teriyaki salmon sandwich, for a casual lunch, or their bouillabaisse, made from a secret recipe of local fish simmered in a saffron infused broth.
Breakwater is a waterfront restaurant located in Stonington Borough and features seafood specials and stunning sunsets with views of the Harbor and Fishers Island Sound. We love the Grilled Seafood Medley, featuring shrimp, scallops, calamari, and salmon, served with citrus butter and coconut-scallion rice.
Seafood at Home
J&R Scallops began in 2016, with the intent of shaking up the seafood industry. Former fishermen who were raised and still remain in Stonington, the founders had grown tired of low-quality and overpriced seafood products from chain groceries and set out on a mission to find the freshest products and deliver them for the most affordable price. Thanks to their strong industry relationships, they achieved this goal and now provide some of the best ingredients to local restaurants, fish markets, families, and home chefs. Order online through their website and have seafood delivered to you within a 30 mile radius of Stonington, or stop by their market inside the Velvet Mill. Choose from a variety of fish, shellfish, lobster, and shrimp options, one of their Seafood Bundles, or the enticing “SEAcuterie Bundle”, which includes bacon wrapped scallops, crab cakes, stuffed clams, shrimp, a salmon pinwheel, and one pound of lobster meat.
Sea Well Seafood is a fisherman owned & family operated retail & wholesale seafood dealer, lobster pound, and neighborhood fish market with locations in Pawcatuck, Stonington, and nearby Mystic. They specialize in locally caught fish, lobsters, and shellfish from their own boats, as well as other local fishermen, and they hand-fillet their specials daily. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff are always happy to assist you with the kind of customer service one would expect from a small coastal town.