Located in Connecticut’s Fairfield County, the coastal city of Norwalk has a rich colonial and maritime history, attracting tourists from across the Tri-State area. As the city develops and grows in size, as well as its diversity, Norwalk’s culinary scene continues to thrive with a dynamic selection of restaurants to try. We take a look at great restaurants in Norwalk.
Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.
Basso Café specializes in Mediterranean cuisine with a South American twist. Venezuelan-born and Italian-raised Chef Renato Donzelli opened the restaurant in 2007, sharing his multicultural upbringing with the community. Featuring a contemporary and sophisticated atmosphere within an old renovated house, Basso Café exudes an inviting ambiance with warm tones, soft lighting and jazz music in the background. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, offering a mixture of tapas-style appetizers and inventive mains such as sea scallops with polenta, pancetta, watercress and ruby red grapefruit salad. Save room for a decadent dessert of traditional tiramisu or the acclaimed Tres Leches – vanilla cake with a caramel drizzle soaked in three kinds of milk. With a BYOB policy that keeps the bill down, Basso Café is one of Norwalk’s hidden gems.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Located on Norwalk’s Main Street, Valencia Luncheria offers authentic South American fare at reasonable prices. The restaurant specializes in what Chef Michael Young calls ‘Venezuelan beach food’, featuring a colorful and cheerful, albeit humble, interior. A chalkboard lists the daily arepas; artisanal Venezuelan corn cakes stuffed with sweet or savory flavor combinations such as avocado and cheese or chicken stew. The menu features an additional selection of Latin American specialities, such as empanadas and burritos, homemade desserts from flan to rice pudding and coconut rum tres leches and an extensive list of cocktails, wine, tequila and beer. Using only the freshest ingredients, Valencia Luncheria is a fun and vibrant spot for a casual meal of delicious food.
Blue Cactus Grill
Specializing in consistently delicious American fare with Southwestern accents, Blue Cactus Grill offers breakfast and lunch with a side of great service. The hamburger is a popular choice at this eatery and several creative variations on this American classic keep the dining experience interesting for returning customers. The menu also features a selection of applauded Philly cheese steaks, soups and salads, made with traditional Southwestern flavors like chipotle and jalapeño. The restaurant is small but buzzes with customers, which are a mixture of loyal locals and pleasantly surprised first-timers. Choose between the signature Blue Cactus burger with charred jalapeño, avocado crema and melted American cheese, or a Southwestern cheesesteak topped with salsa, chipotle mayo and fresh avocado. Order a side of ‘cactus slaw’ and Fuego fries to complete your Southwestern experience.
Since its doors opened in 1999, Match has been serving high quality, inventive New American cuisine in the historic neighborhood of South Norwalk. The restaurant features a combination of rustic and contemporary components, from dark wooden floors to exposed brick walls, antique accents and deep purple hues, fostering an atmosphere simultaneously stylish and intimate. Over the years, Match has worked to refine its menu of local farm fresh ingredients – a dynamic mix of global and in season flavors – keeping expertly flavored dishes a constant and experimenting with new additions. Choose from a selection of large and small plates, salads, pastas and wood oven ‘pizzettes’. In addition to wine and beer, Match offers a one of a kind cocktail menu featuring classics and inventive concoctions.
Mediterraneo at Hotel Zero Degrees
For a truly unique dining experience in Norwalk, Mediterranean is a must-try, located within the boutique Hotel Zero Degrees. Reminiscent of a luxury yacht cabin, Mediterraneo boasts polished wooden floors and bold pops of color in conjunction with a row of floor-to-ceiling windows that offer an open air quality to the room. Guests enjoy the sophisticated décor with a rustic view of treetops and the quiet rumble of a nearby waterfall, all of which can be seen from the outdoor patio in warmer months. The menu marries old world and contemporary Italian flavors, from a dynamic list of appetizers and seafood dishes to a selection of artisanal pizzas. Mediterraneo at Hotel Zero Degrees offers inspired cuisine, moderate prices and a fantastic view.
Mediterraneo at Hotel Zero Degrees, 353 Main Avenue, Norwalk CT +1 203 750 9300
Specializing in traditional homemade Italian fare, Osteria Romana is a popular choice for quality Mediterranean food and wine. Open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, every dish is made fresh with the finest ingredients, including pasta which is made on site. Diners enjoy a selection of salads, pastas, chicken and fish amidst a wooden beam ceiling and warm, Mediterranean accents. On select evenings the restaurant hosts live music events from opera to jazz, enhancing a relaxed yet sophisticated dining experience making it a great location for a date night or gathering of friends. After dinner, indulge in typically rich Italian desserts such as tiramisu, gelato or ricotta cheesecake paired with a coffee or liqueur. For attentive service, a pleasant atmosphere and delicious old-world Italian food, try Osteria Romana.
For a consistently delicious and authentic Greek meal, Pontos Taverna in downtown Norwalk is well worth a visit. Fostering a warm, lively and family friendly atmosphere, Pontos Taverna offers soups and salads, a la carte dishes such as stuffed grape leaves and fried hot peppers, seafood and traditional grilled meats in large portions at reasonable prices. The restaurant bears a simple storefront exterior and a laid back atmosphere so the experience here is focused on good food and great company. The restaurant aims to share the owners rich culinary heritage with Norwalk and has become a popular place for lunch and dinner. Topped off with excellent service, Pontos Taverna is a great choice for a casual meal out.
Elegance meets urban chic at Southern Norwalk’s The Spread, which merges rustic wooden tables, exposed brick and floral accoutrements beneath an industrial ceiling. The restaurant specializes in New American cuisine with inventive global accents, featuring an eclectic menu split into a series of categories; farm fresh meats and cheeses, soup, salad and a succession of small, medium and large plates followed by dessert. Pair your meal with one of their many beers, cocktails and wines on offer. The food is consistently delicious but the menu is always subject to change. The Spread boasts several accolades, from best appetizers in Connecticut to the award for Best New Restaurant, not to mention rave reviews by satisfied customers.
The Spread, 70 North Main Street, Norwalk, CT, USA, +1 203 939 1111
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.