Essex, Connecticut is a picture perfect village with a rich Revolutionary-era history. We had an amazing weekend exploring the area and staying at the Griswold Inn. We also ate our way around the town. Here is a list of the best restaurants in Essex.
Best coffee shop
Start off with the best coffee in town. The Essex Coffee & Tea Company is an independently owned coffee and tea shop offering gourmet coffee, organic loose leaf tea, and delicious fresh baked goods. I had an iced Hawaiian Hazelnut Coffee and have been dreaming of it ever since.
Best grab and go deli
We loved the vintage gas station vibe of Olive Oyls. They are much more than a deli, offering restaurant-style entrees and side dishes to go. It’s the perfect place for a quick lunch or picnic prep.
Best pub style dining
The tavern inside of the Griswold Inn, lovingly referred to as “The Gris” by locals, is an experience. Sit outside on the patio where you can people watch on the Main Street or sit inside the dimly lit tavern with oil lamps flickering on the tables. Large fireplaces in every corner make it a cozy atmosphere.
Best fine dining
Carlson’s Landing is an airy modern building overlooking the Essex Island Marina and the Connecticut River. Sip craft cocktails while enjoying those water views. Live calypso music on the weekends will make you feel as if you were transported to a tropical island.
Best Outdoor Seating
Siren Kitchen & Bar is an adventure from the start. You actually have to take a small ferry to scoot you across the Essex Island Marina. It takes all of 3 minutes to get across and the rides are constant, so there isn’t any planning involved. This full service restaurant has a laid-back atmosphere and is a great place to watch the boats coming in and out of the harbor.
Best Ice Cream
Sweet P’s is a family owned and operated ice cream parlor right in the center of the village. The “Essex mud” is simply delicious. There are 24 flavors to choose from including sorbet, sugar-free and dairy-free options.
I hope you enjoyed this list of the best restaurants in Essex, Connecticut. To read our full travel guide to this area, click here. Are there any restaurants I missed? Please let me know in the comments below!