15 Must-Try Restaurants in Old Saybrook, CT

There is no shortage of restaurants in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Whether you’re looking for seafood, French cuisine, Italian fare, or a juicy steak, you’ll easily be able to find a restaurant that serves exactly what you’re craving.

However, with so many options, it can be difficult to decide where to eat. That’s why we put together this guide to the best restaurants in Old Saybrook. Bon appétit!

A restaurant in Old Saybrook, CT.
Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich (Photo Courtesy of Aspen Restaurant)

Top Restaurants in Old Saybrook, CT

1. Aspen Restaurant

Aspen Restaurant is one of the best places to eat in Old Saybrook. This modern eatery offers contemporary American cuisine made with high-quality, fresh ingredients and sustainable cooking techniques.

You’re able to order a variety of surf and turf dishes like chilled New England lobster rolls, NY prime strip steak, grilled octopus, chicken fettucini, and calamari. You can even build you’re own entree by mixing and matching some of their featured offerings.

The restaurant is known for great food and fantastic service, so I highly recommend visiting the next time you dine out. You can find Aspen at the intersection of Main Street and Boston Post Road.

  • Address: 2 Main St, Old Saybrook, CT

2. Liv’s Oyster Bar & Restaurant

Liv’s Oyster Bar is another excellent place to order seafood in town. This spot is famous for creating simple, focused dishes with an emphasis on local ingredients, particularly fresh fish.

The menu features favorites like New England clam chowder, grilled swordfish, roasted cod, clams on the half shell, and shrimp cocktails. There are some non-seafood options too, like the house-ground cheddar hamburger and the chicken Milanese.

Liv’s also has a more casual restaurant called Liv’s Shack located near the Saybrook Point Marina, where you can order takeout or delivery. Plus, they recently opened Liv’s Dockside Grill, which made our list of top restaurants in Clinton, Connecticut.

  • Address: 166 Main St, Old Saybrook, CT 

3. The Essex

The Essex is a small, yet distinguished French-American restaurant in Old Saybrook. This is a great place to visit if you’re looking for an intimate dining experience.

Some of the top dishes on the menu include butter-poached lobster, aged bluefin tuna, short rib Wellington, and crispy pork belly. There’s also a 5-course chef’s tasting menu with a wine pairing that’s worth a try.

Dining here is always a great experience, but make sure you book a reservation in advance. The dining room is tiny, so they run a tight shift.

  • Address: 247 Main St, Old Saybrook, CT

4. Nori

Nori just opened in November, but they’ve quickly established themselves as the go-to place to grab sushi in Old Saybrook. The restaurant offers a number of French-influenced Japanese dishes, including sashimi that’s literally flown in from Japan.

Aside from the expansive list of specialty sushi rolls, some of the other popular items featured on the menu include spicy tuna dumplings and Wagyu lollipops.

You can also order cold sake and creative Japanese-inspired cocktails. The chefs here pay attention to even the smallest details, making for a truly immersive dining experience. I highly recommend checking Nori out if you haven’t stopped by yet.

  • Address: 286 Main St, Old Saybrook, CT

5. Cocotte

If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, you’ll want to visit Cocotte. Located in the legendary James Pharmacy Bed & Breakfast, Cocotte serves up a variety of authentic French cuisines, desserts, and brunch dishes.

This is one of the best places to grab breakfast in Old Saybrook for a reason. Their elevated brunch experience includes a variety of unique cocotte egg dishes that are to die for. Brunch is served Wednesday through Sunday from 9 am to 2 pm.

A few of Cocotte’s other offerings include croissants, brioches, muffins, baguettes, and scones that are baked fresh daily. The restaurant also makes delicious treats, like artisanal gelato, lemon meringue tarts, and macarons.

  • Address: 323 Main St, Old Saybrook, CT

6. La Marea Ristorante

La Marea Ristorante is one of the premier places to eat Italian food in Old Saybrook. This family-owned restaurant serves a range of Italian favorites, alongside wood-fired pizzas.

You can order dishes like fettuccine bolognese, seared halibut, grilled pork chop, veal, pan-roasted duck breast, and NY strip steak. La Marea has a number of gluten-free and vegetarian options available as well.

Before finishing your entree, make sure you save room for dessert. All of the desserts are made in-house, so they’re sure to satisfy.

  • Address: 732 Middlesex Turnpike, Old Saybrook, CT

7. Fresh Salt

Fresh Salt is one of the many places that offer diners a waterfront view in Connecticut. Found at the Saybrook Point Inn & Marina, this restaurant is known for its American seafood.

The restaurant’s menu features foods like North Atlantic salmon, oysters, little neck clams, pork chops, and NY strip steak. Plus, you can pair your entree with a wide range of wines by the glass or by the bottle.

Fresh Salt serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week, making it a staple dining option in the Old Saybrook community. They even offer a separate Sunday brunch menu.

  • Address: 2 Bridge St, Old Saybrook, CT 

8. Parthenon Diner

The Parthenon Diner is one of the most popular Old Saybrook restaurants. This classic, no-frills diner is famous for its all-day breakfast menu, but they serve other meals as well.

Some of the more notable menu options include steak & eggs, huevos rancheros, classic eggs benedict, corned beef hash, Philly cheese steaks, burgers, chicken fajitas, and mac & cheese.

You’re also able to order a number of smoothies and shakes. There’s something for everyone at Parthenon Diner.

  • Address: 809 Boston Post Rd, Old Saybrook, CT

9. Old Saybrook Pizza Palace & Restaurant

Old Saybrook Pizza Palace & Restaurant is one of the top places to grab a pizza in town. This restaurant has been serving award-winning pizzas since 1977.

The menu features a variety of specialty pizzas, including plain cheese, BBQ, Hawaiian, Margherita, seafood, and meat lovers.

This long-standing pizzeria also offers a range of appetizers, like buffalo wings, fries, onion rings, and garlic bread. If you’re looking for a tasty, yet affordable pizza in Old Saybrook, look no further than Old Saybrook Pizza Palace.

  • Address: 1283 Boston Post Rd, Old Saybrook, CT

10. The Tea Kettle Restaurant

The Tea Kettle Restaurant is a popular breakfast spot near the shoreline. It specializes in offering a plethora of paleo, gluten-free, keto, whole 30, organic, and vegetarian options.

Some of the offerings include apple crisp pancakes, organic omelets, biscuits & gravy, egg sandwiches, chicken & waffles, and breakfast burritos, to name a few.

The restaurant also has a lunch menu, but be aware that they do close by 2 pm on most days.

  • Address: 1395 Boston Post Rd, Old Saybrook, CT

11. TJ’s Restaurant & Pizza

TJ’s Restaurant and Pizzeria is another great pizza joint to try out. It’s a family-owned and operated restaurant, so they prioritize quality and service.

The menu is packed with specialty pies that feature toppings like buffalo chicken, pastrami, mac & cheese, clams, veggies, and bacon ranch.

Anyone looking for a cheap, easy, and delicious dinner should check out TJ’s. They offer both outdoor and indoor dining. Plus, you can order takeout and delivery if you’re in a rush.

  • Address: 735 Boston Post Rd, Old Saybrook, CT

12. Johnny Ad’s

Johnny Ad’s is one of the oldest restaurants in Old Saybrook. Opening in 1957 as a weekend seafood shack, this place has grown into one of the most beloved restaurants in town.

The options here are seafood-centric and include dishes like oysters, clams, flounder, shrimp, grilled salmon, and soft shell crab. Plus, they offer plenty of flavorful sandwiches, burgers, wraps, soups, and sides.

Don’t forget to finish off your meal with some ice cream or an extra thick chocolate milkshake.

  • Address: 910 Boston Post Rd, Old Saybrook, CT

13. Penny Lane Pub

Penny Lane Pub is a casual gastropub that offers plenty of small plates and appetizers. It’s a great place to visit and socialize if you have a big group.

A few of the standout options on the menu include the ahi tuna salad, pulled pork burger, corned beef Rueben, and smoked baby-packed ribs. They also have a rotating list of high-quality beers, wines, and creative cocktails.

As a two-story English-style pub, I think a lot of people will enjoy the unique atmosphere here.

  • Address: 150 Main St, Old Saybrook, CT

14. Cuckoo’s Nest

Cuckoo’s Nest is another Old Saybrook restaurant that’s been around forever. It’s a casual dining spot that serves an extensive menu of Mexican cuisines.

Some of the top dishes include Cajon prime rib, pasta jambalaya, street tacos, burritos, empanadas, guacamole burgers, quesidillas, and nachos.

For dessert, you’re going to want to go with either the fried ice cream or chocolate lava cake.

  • Address: 1712 Boston Post Rd, Old Saybrook, CT

15. Little Pub Old Saybrook

Finally, Little Pub Old Saybrook rounds out our list. This rustic tavern is known for its excellent drinks, but it has a solid menu of light entrees as well.

When eating here, be sure to order the cheeseburger sliders, classic bacon burger, or the southwest egg rolls. The big pretzel is amazing as well.

You can find Little Pub, by the high school on Boston Post Road.

  • Address: 1231 Boston Post Rd, Old Saybrook, CT

Additional Old Saybrook Restaurants

There are so many restaurants in town that it can prove difficult to try them all. But, here are a few other Old Saybrook restaurants that deserve an honorable mention:

  • Alforno Trattoria
  • Jack Rabbit’s Burgers, Wings, and Things
  • Paperback Cafe

Final Thoughts

Old Saybrook is a hidden gem for food lovers, offering an impressive selection of restaurants to suit every palate. From seafood to French cuisine, Italian fare to sushi, and casual diners to elegant fine-dining establishments, this charming town has it all.

Whether you’re a local looking for a new favorite spot or a visitor seeking a memorable dining experience, these restaurants are sure to delight.