Located in New Haven County, Connecticut, Meriden was historically an industrial hub and the site of several cutlery manufacturers. With several points of interest, including parks and colonial architecture, the city has developed an international culinary scene. We take a look at ten of Meriden’s best restaurants.
This family owned Italian restaurant on River Road offers lunch, dinner, take out and banquet menus. Avanti serves an extensive list of traditional Italian favorites such as fried calamari, pastas, eggplant parmesan, seafood dishes and a selection of pizzas; as well as standard American fare including half-pound burgers, wraps and grinders. Avanti provides a casual yet enjoyable dining experience, perfect for a relaxed date night, a lively gathering of friends or a family meal out. For good food and friendly, attentive service, give Avanti a try.
Castello Pizza & Italian Market is the place to go for authentic and delicious Italian food, offering an extensive menu of popular Italian dishes, from calzones and stuffed breads to grinders, pizzas, pastas and more. Choose between a specialty brick-oven Romana pizza with artichokes, olives, eggplant, garlic and mozzarella; or shrimp scampi sautéed in garlic, lemon, wine and butter sauce; and finish your meal with a cannoli or tiramisu. Visit Castello Pizza & Italian Market for some of the best Italian food in the city.
Loosely translating into ‘eenie, meenie, miney, moe’, Cucaramacara is an independent restaurant that serves authentic and delicious Mexican food. The owner hails from Chiapas, where she learned to cook family recipes passed down the generations. Thus Cucaramacara, aims to share the rich flavors of Mexican culinary traditions with the local community. The menu offers everything from tacos with cilantro and onion to tortas, fajitas and a selection of burritos filled with your choice of chicken, steak, sautéed shrimp or fried tilapia. Each dish is handmade using fresh ingredients, making Cucaramacara a restaurant not to be missed.
Huxley’s Bookmark Cafe offers ‘poetic breakfast’ and ‘literary lunch’ options crafted with the freshest ingredients from local farms. Huxley’s is perfect for a relaxed and low-key meal out, with farm-fresh eggs, a selection of omelets, pancakes, waffles and French toast on the breakfast menu, and garden salads, grilled paninis, wraps and sandwiches on offer for lunch. The atmosphere is comfortable and casual yet buzzing with customers, providing a dining experience characterized by large portions of American diner food with something for everyone on the menu. For a casual meal and friendly service at a great value, Huxley’s Bookmark Cafe is well worth a try.
Specializing in steamed cheeseburgers (a regional means of preparing this classic American fast food) K LaMay’s Steamed Cheeseburgers is a local favorite amongst Meriden residents and burger fanatics alike. Each cheeseburger is prepared in a large steam cabinet that cooks the meat and melts the cheese. The burger is then served by scooping the meat onto a freshly baked roll and topping it with the melted cheese as well as any desired extras. The restaurant has won a series of awards for its outstanding take on a Connecticut classic.
This low-key restaurant serves consistently good Italian favorites with a notably long list of dishes that are sure to please everyone. From grinders to pasta dishes, meats, seafood and an extensive selection of pizzas, Lido’s Restaurant is an excellent choice for a casual meal where the service is attentive, the portions are large, and the food won’t disappoint. The restaurant’s interior is simple yet comfortable, with a cozy, family friendly atmosphere that makes for a pleasant dining experience.
Named after a brook surrounding a historic factory that once produced utensils for the United States Army mess kit, Spooneshoppe Brooke offers delicious, handmade meals made from the freshest quality ingredients. The restaurant was voted ‘Best Deli in Meriden’ by Reader’s Choice, perhaps most notable for its lobster rolls. The menu offers a large assortment of hot sandwiches and wraps filled with everything from roast beef and egg salad to seafood options such as the lobster roll, breaded sea scallops or fish and chips. Try Spoonshoppe Brooke for a quick and delicious meal on the go.
This small and unassuming restaurant serves outstanding Mexican food to the Meriden community with a casual, hole-in-the-wall atmosphere. A self-proclaimed ‘great family restaurant’, Tacos Mi Nacho offers authentic Mexican dishes at unbeatable prices. Open for lunch and dinner, guests can choose from a flavorful selection of tacos, tostadas, quesadillas and large burritos, as well as nachos, tamales and flautas. Tacos Mi Nacho is ‘the real deal’ and the perfect place for quick and outstanding Mexican food.
Perhaps the best-known restaurant in Meriden for its appearance in television shows such as Hamburger Paradiseand Man vs. Food, Ted’s Restaurant is famous for its steamed cheeseburgers. This place has a small, American diner appeal, in which eager guests can watch their food prepared from behind the counter. Due to the popularity of the restaurant it can become crowded very quickly, but these cheeseburgers are well worth any waiting time incurred. Ted’s Restaurant has plenty of options on the menu and is a must try for any burger enthusiasts in Meriden.
Using an oven built in 1888, The Little Rendezvous on Pratt Street has been serving quality, coal-fired brick oven pizza for over 75 years. Situated in a historic building with a humble appearance from the outside, the dining area was once a local grocery store before becoming a part of the restaurant in the 1930s. Today, this place specializes in hand crafted pizza, offering a selection of doughs including traditional, thin crust, double dough and gluten free, as well as meats, vegetables and additional toppings. For a cozy, rustic dining experience, The Little Rendezvous is a quirky alternative to traditional pizza restaurants.