17 Unusual Dining Experiences in Connecticut Last Updated 3/20

Dining out doesn’t have to be just eating – it can be an adventure. Connecticut has some fantastically unusual restaurants that will give you more than just a meal. You can dine directly on the water;  Be served outdoors while seated on tree stumps;  Solve a mystery while enjoying your entrée. Check out these places for a dining experience you’ll never forget.

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The Dinner Detective, Hartford & New Haven

If you’re ready for some mealtime mystery-solving, this interactive dinner spot offers a murder mystery show paired with a tasty four-course meal. Actors are dressed like guests and begin the night seated amongst the crowd – anyone in the room may become part of the show! Enjoy delicious dishes while you watch and find out who done it.

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Mystic Whaler Cruises, Sunset Lobster Dinner, Mystic

Take dinner with a waterfront view a step further by eating dinner on the water. The Mystic Whaler Sunset Lobster Dinner Cruises bring a savory lobster dinner aboard a tour of the Connecticut coastline. Enjoy decadent food, drink, and raise a glass as you take in a sunset directly on the ocean.

 

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The Place Restaurant, Guilford

Named after the original owner’s saying “There’s no place, quite like this place, anywhere near this place, so this must be The Place” this unusual outdoor restaurant serves seafood while guests sit on tree stumps rather than chairs. Guests order off one large menu which towers above the tables and join in a lively experience much like a large community cookout. The Place is open May - September and on the weekends in October. 

 

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Han Restaurant, Hartford

Have as much fun preparing your dish as you do eating it! Experience an authentic Chinese cooking tradition, hot pot, which involves preparing food in a simmering pot of broth right on the table. You’ll choose from a flavorful variety of ingredients and can even get creative at the make-your-own sauce bar!

 

 

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East Side Restaurant, New Britain

No plane ticket needed to travel to this slice of Germany. East Side Restaurant creates an immersive dining experience where guests feel like they’re actually eating in Germany. Complete with a 36 by 9.5 foot mural of the ancient German city of Heidelberg, waiters in traditional German attire, authentic German cuisine and even tables with snow rails to keep your beverages cold, this spot will take you across the globe.

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The Board Room, Middletown

If you’ve made it to this cool hangout, you’ve chosen your cards wisely. The Board Room not only serves freshly made food and drinks, but has walls lined with shelves holding hundreds of board games that guests are encouraged to play while they dine – a marvelous place for a fun group outing!

 

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The Hungry Crab, West Hartford

Customize your own seafood experience at this unique spot that operates by the phrase "No plates, no forks, no rules!" Most known for their seafood combo bags, The Hungry Crab lets you choose your ingredients, sauce and even sauce heat to create your very own flavorful mix of seafood served in a big heap on your table. With options from blue crab, lobster and shrimp to mouthwatering sauces like Cajun, lemon pepper and garlic butter, your seafood fix will be satisfied and the experience will be unlike any other. For extra fun, try a cocktail or frozen drink served in a fishbowl!

 

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Food Truck Paradise, New Haven

Unique foodie fun doesn’t always have to be a sit-down experience – it can be a walking tour of tasty treats. Long Wharf in New Haven is such a popular food truck destination that it’s been named Food Truck Paradise. Take a stroll along the water and sample delicious food from tacos to hot dogs, ice cream to pizza, Thai cuisine to Middle Eastern food from the nearly 30 food trucks parked along Food Truck Paradise.

 

Photo credit Arnold Gold, Hearst Connecticut Media

 

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Traveler Restaurant, Union

This delightful roadside spot feeds both the appetite and the imagination. When you step inside, you’ll be greeted by shelves of books, framed and signed photos of authors, and a menu filled with literature-themed dishes. The most extraordinary detail? Everyone who dines leaves with a free book – a book lover’s dream!

 

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The Griswold Inn's Sea Chantey Night, Essex

On Monday nights bring your singing voice and your appetite to Sea Chantey Night at the historic Griswold Inn. The Jovial Crew bring the Tap Room to life with fun sing-alongs and a great sense of humor. Have a bite to eat and join the musical spirit that gets the entire crowd singing along.

 

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Bridge Street Live, Collinsville

Prepare for a night of nostalgia, tasty food and entertainment! This unusual spot is a Speakeasy themed restaurant complete with prohibition-inspired cocktails. While you dine, watch one of the fabulous shows on the Bridge Street stage, which hosts comedy nights, musical guests, and musical tribute acts for favorites from The Beatles to John Denver.

 

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Louis' Lunch, New Haven

Taste the original burger the way it was intended at Louis’ Lunch, the birthplace of the hamburger. At this spot burgers are served on slices of white bread and no condiments are allowed – cheese, onion and tomato are the only garnishes. With a historic and tiny setting and unique, friendly banter among servers and customers, you’ll immerse yourself in the traditional burger culture and play by the original rules of burger eating.

 

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Frog Rock Rest Stop, Pomfret

This one-of-a-kind spot is more than just a rest stop – it’s a destination for food, music, community and fun. Watched over by its iconic rock painted like a frog, Frog Rock Rest Stop includes a gift shop, a menu of tasty treats from seafood to ice cream, tables with awnings, and live music frequently playing right outside. Grab the family for a memorable drop-in – the kids can even play on the playscape! You can enjoy Frog Rock Rest Stop between the months of May and September.

 

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Treehouse Comedy Productions, Westport

Fill your belly with tasty treats and lots of laughs at this exciting dinner theater. Enjoy a menu of savory shareables and desserts while watching stand-up comedy at Connecticut's original and first full-time comedy showcase. This spot has hosted some of the biggest comedy acts around. To mention a few, the Treehouse Comedy stage has seen Rosie O'Donnel, Chris Rock, and Jerry Sienfeld. Come for a bite and stay for a night of laughter!

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Infinity Bistro, Norfolk

Get lost in your favorite tune at this unique music venue. Infinity Hall is home to a vibrant restaurant and bar scene as well as a fabulous four-star menu. Make it a memorable experience and overlook live music while you indulge your taste buds and your musical senses.

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Ascot's Pub, Norwich

This cozy British pub, located in the Spa at Norwich Inn, offers a typical pub menu with twists on flavors and spices that includes The Duck "DLT," and smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese bites. Ascot's has a seasonal drink menu and several Wine Flights.

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Pink Eggs & Glam, East Windsor & New London

Make it a fabulous morning at the semi-monthly Pink Eggs & Glam Drag Brunch! With a stellar list of rotating performers, each brunch is filled with games, theater, comedy, music, and debauchery! Sip unlimited mimosas and Bloody Marys, indulge in an outrageous brunch buffet, and even take home a #PinkEggsAndGlam t-shirt, perfect for autographs from your favorite drag queens!