Not a surprising list for most Connecticut natives, but these 6 spots claimed TheDailMeal.com's 101 Best Casual restaurants in America for 2017, with one CT favorite taking the #2 slot!

Read the full list over at https://www.thedailymeal.com/eat/101-best-casual-restaurants-america

#95 Super Duper Weenie, Fairfield, Conn

#95 Super Duper Weenie, Fairfield, Conn

What started as a humble hot dog truck is now a full-blown Fairfield institution, with good reason: these are some insanely delicious hot dogs. “Super Doop” owner Gary Zemola makes all the chili and condiments from scratch, and they go atop a hot dog that’s split before it hits the griddle, allowing maximum flat-top exposure. Dogs are modeled after Zemola’s interpretations of regional styles, including the Chicagoan, the Californian, the Cincinnatian, and the New Yorker, but the true standout is the New Englander, an ode to the classic regional dog topped with sauerkraut, bacon, mustard, sweet relish, and raw onion. It’s indeed super duper.

#77 Zuppardi's, New Haven, Conn.

#77 Zuppardi's, New Haven, Conn.

Frank Pepe's, Sally's Apizza, Modern Apizza, and Bar and the Bru Roomround out New Haven’s big four pizza names, but there's a lesser-known pizzeria on the other side of I-95 in West Haven that has been around almost as long: Zuppardi's. Zuppardi's has its own take on Connecticut's renowned thin-crust style. It’s as thin as, but less crisp than, New Haven's other pies, with a New York City crust that's lighter and airier than the ones you'll find in Gotham. The difference is in the edge, which is charred in places, and is thicker all around. The signature pie is the Special, topped with mozzarella, mushroom, sausage, and marinara, but there are two other pies worth noting: the market-price, freshly-shucked littleneck clam pie (there’s a cheaper and quicker clam pie, but why would you want that?) and a wet and juicy escarole and bean white pie, which features garlic and interspersed bites of crisp and wet escarole and soft bean. All good Italians know that escarole and bean soup is a great winter savior. Here, you get that on a pie. Salud.

#46 Ted's, Meriden, Conn.

#46 Ted's, Meriden, Conn.

Most burger purveyors griddle, grill, or pan-sear their patties, but since 1959, Ted's — in the historic community of Meriden, Connecticut, north of New Haven — has steamed theirs. Steamed meat? Yep. Steamed Cheddar cheese, too. Cooked in custom-designed steam boxes, the burgers, served on kaiser-like rolls, lose very little bulk while cooking and hence stay very moist. The steamed cheese is spooned over the patties and cloaks them thickly. Add lettuce and tomato (or complimentary sautéed onions and/or mushrooms) and you've got an unusual, and unusually good, burger.

#45 Sally’s Apizza, New Haven, Conn

#45 Sally’s Apizza, New Haven, Conn

Sally's Apizza is a New Haven classic, operating from the same location in Wooster Square where Sal Consiglio and his wife Flo opened it in the late 1930s. Today it’s run by their sons, Richard and Robert, and their pizza is a traditional thin crust, topped with tomato sauce, garlic, and "mozz." The pies look pretty similar to what you'll find down the street at Frank Pepe, which, as any New Haven pizza believer will note, is because the man who opened Sally's is the nephew of the owner of Pepe. The folks at Sally's will be the first to tell you that Pepe makes a better clam pie, but as for their tomato pie (tomato sauce, no cheese)… well, Sally’s has the original beat.

#36 Louis’ Lunch, New Haven, Conn

#36 Louis’ Lunch, New Haven, Conn

A conversation about Louis’ Lunch is never simple. Is it the birthplace of the hamburger? Supposedly, one day in 1900, a gentleman hurriedly told proprietor Louis Lassen "he was in a rush and wanted something he could eat on the run," resulting in a blend of ground steak trimmings between two slices of toast, with which the gentleman was sent on his way. But was this a "burger," or was it a "sandwich" — because it wasn't a ground-beef patty on some form of yeast bun? Sandwich, hamburger, whatever. So what do you get at Louis'? A flame-broiled burger made in a vertical hinged-steel wire gridiron that cooks the burgers on both sides at the same time; a hamburger sandwich supposedly made from a blend of five cuts of ground steak. If you want condiments, you’ll have to ask. Otherwise, all you’ll get is cheese, tomato, and onion. No mustard, ketchup, or mayo. But do you really need all that? You can practically taste the nostalgia. And that never disappoints.

#2 Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, New Haven, Conn.

#2 Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, New Haven, Conn.

If you want to discuss the loaded topic of America's best pizza with any authority, you have to make a pilgrimage to this legendary New Haven pizzeria — whose "clam pie" has taken first place in The Daily Meal's ranking of The 101 Best Pizzas in America nearly every year. Frank Pepe opened his doors in New Haven, Connecticut’s Wooster Square in 1925, offering classic Neapolitan-style pizza. After immigrating to the United States in 1909 at the age of 16 from Italy, Pepe took odd jobs before opening his restaurant. Since its inception, Pepe’s has opened an additional seven locations. What should you order at this checklist destination? Two words: clam pie ("No muzz!"). This is a Northeastern pizza genre unto its own, and Pepe’s is the best of them all — freshly shucked, briny littleneck clams; an intense dose of garlic; olive oil; oregano; and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano atop a charcoal-colored crust. The advanced move? Clam pie with bacon. Just expect to wait in line if you get there after 11:30 a.m. on a weekend.

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