A city of many contrasts, Stamford is home to a combination of century-old architectural delights and modern day office blocks. The food on offer in its highly acclaimed restaurants is equally as varied. Guests can tuck into New York style pizza, authentic Southern Italian classics, Japanese sashimi or short rib stroganoff. Discover the top 10 places to dine in this charming Connecticut city.
Sometimes, the best kinds of restaurants are those which are supremely confident in what they do. So confident in fact, that they only have one item on the menu. Having opened in 1935, Colony Grill is a staple restaurant in the Irish neighborhood of Stamford, displaying just this level of confidence. Serving only thin-crust pizza with a variety of toppings and a splash of its signature hot oil, Colony Grill is a tavern-style haunt run by Stamford’s much-loved father and son duo. Guests can choose to top their pizza with a choice of meatballs, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, black olives, cherry peppers, stingers, anchovies or bacon. A wide variety of delicious drinks are also available to accompany the pizzas.
Plan B Burger Bar Stamford, Stamford | Courtesy Plan B Burger Bar
A venue that takes great pride in only ever using the finest quality, sustainable beef in its freshly ground burgers, Plan B Burger Bar is a perfect example of a traditional burger bar with an admirable conscience. Some of the most locally famed appetizers include beef wellington bites, American nachos and chicken tenders. Onto the much anticipated main event however, the bacon, cheese and caramelized onion burger is an explosion of flavor, as is the fried egg, avocado and kalamata olive alternative. Those requiring a gluten-free option will be delighted with the extensive menu designed just for them, featuring many of the same tasty dishes.
Be transported to Latin America with the delicious assortments of exotic spices and flavors at Spanish-themed Brasitas in the heart of Stamford. A family run business, this venue is an absolute favorite in the area. Stop by for a feast of mini duck empanadas, avocado salad, steak skewers with crispy yukka cakes and spiced jumbo lump crab cakes. Of course, no meal – be it lunch or dinner – is complete without sampling Brasitas’ homemade sangria and margaritas. Full of character and rich in culture, this is an adorably authentic locale that serves consistently high standards of delicious dishes.
A fine Italian restaurant, Cafe Silvium is operated by a pair of brothers with a passion for old world southern Italian cooking. Everything is made from scratch, from the delicious tomato sauces to the intricate cavatelli pasta. Enjoy a light lunch of Caprese salad and whole wheat penne with asparagus, mushrooms and fresh tomatoes. If looking for a romantic dinner for two, order the fried calamari and mussels sautéed in garlic and oil to share as a starter, then choose between the delicious black linguine with scallops or the rigatoni with prosciutto in a vodka sauce. For the entrées, opt for either the chicken breast sautéed with artichokes and mushrooms, or the red snapper with gaeta olives. Accompany everything with a bottle of refreshingly cool white wine.
Another delightful Italian locale, this time nestled in downtown Stamford, Columbus Park Trattoria is renowned for its market fresh ingredients and homemade pasta. Guests are encouraged to start with an antipasti selection of mozzarella di bufala or figs wrapped in prosciutto before indulging in one of the chef’s speciality dishes – osso buco or branzino alle erbe. If it’s a special occasion, groups are invited to partake in a cooking class in the restaurant’s upstairs kitchen, where they are able to personally craft an array of dishes tailored to their tastes to be enjoyed with a selection of superb wines.
Famed for serving the best sushi in the area, the Ichiban Teriyaki House is a relaxed Japanese restaurant in the heart of Stamford. The pieces of sashimi served here are much larger than in most restaurants, making them excellent value for money and incredibly flavorsome and delicious. Try the coconut curry soup, Casablanca rolls with sirachi, the tiger rolls, buffalo chicken dumplings and the Bluefin tuna for an extremely fulfilling and tasty meal. Seating is abundant, so the restaurant rarely feels overcrowded – relax with a plate of delicious Japanese cuisine and enjoy an intimate meal with friends.
Specializing in fresh and seasonal American comfort food dishes, Napa & Company is a great dinner venue for chillier winter days. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Napa & Company puts as much effort into compiling its extensive wine menu as it does in preparing its delicious food menu. Over 300 bottles are available to be enjoyed with dinner and 50 different wines are also available to order by the glass. True wine aficionados can sign up for one of the bi-monthly wine tasting classes and for those that prefer a mixed drink, there’s a selection of cocktails made with barrel aged spirits and numerous infusions to choose from too. The cuisine is made up of wholesome, filling dishes such as roasted chicken with parsnip puree, short rib with wild mushrooms, and filet mignon with broccoli rabe.
Open for brunch, lunch and dinner, Olio serves new American cuisine all day every day. Focusing on sustainable dining practices, the restaurant sources its ingredients from high-quality, local producers wherever possible and makes many of its staple ingredients in-house daily. Although at first glance the menu seems primarily Italian in style, alongside the veal ragu, lobster fettuccine and ricotta gnocchi with scallops, there are several more classically American dishes that are becoming increasingly popular. The porterhouse steak, stuffed shrimp and braised beef short rib stroganoff all come highly recommended.
One of the city’s best-loved pizzerias, Sbarro makes its dough and marinara sauce fresh every day and tops its pizzas with 100% whole milk mozzarella for that deliciously creamy taste and playful stringiness. Split between two cultures, Sbarro’s has found the perfect fusion of American and Italian pizza making styles. Available to be enjoyed in the restaurant or taken away to eat at home, Sbarro’s pizzas are great value for money and notoriously flavorsome. For those not in the mood for pizza, Sbarro’s also offers a delicious array of homemade pasta dishes, complete with silky sauces to truly transport the diner to Italy.
Calling itself a gastro-bar rather than the more customary gastropub, ZAZA is a sophisticated Italian restaurant that attracts a young, professional clientele. Open for lunch and dinner daily as well as weekend brunch, diners can choose between an array of delicious tapas dishes, pizzas, pasta dishes, salads and paninis. Choose three or four small tapas plates to share with friends whilst enjoying a refreshing bottle of wine, or settle down for an indulgent three or four course meal, feasting on Tuscan herb fries, veal saltimbocca, crispy shrimp salad and lobster ravioli.