As someone who has lived in Hamden for quite some time now, I've had the pleasure of exploring the diverse and delicious culinary scene this town has to offer.
From cozy coffee shops to sophisticated fine dining establishments, there's something for everyone here in Hamden.
Over the years, I've discovered some amazing gems that have satisfied my taste buds and made me feel right at home.
In this article, I'm excited to share with you an insider's perspective on the best restaurants in our lovely town, guaranteed to provide you with memorable experiences and delectable dishes.
So, buckle up and get ready to embark on a mouth-watering journey through the best restaurants in Hamden, Connecticut!
Oh, how I love starting my day at Funcle's Café!
It's my absolute favorite brunch spot.
Every time I dine there, I can't help but notice the care they put into the preparation and presentation of their food.
I've tried numerous items on their menu, but I always find myself coming back to their French Toast and Eggs Benedict.
And don't even get me started on their Avocado Toast – it's simply divine!
Aside from my usual dishes, I've also tried the Cali Gal — an off-menu item that sometimes appears as special.
It's a scrumptious breakfast sandwich featuring avocado, onions, hash brown, and egg.
And if you have a sweet tooth, you must try their cinnamon roll and chocolate chip cookie scones.
Mazorca Mexican Cuisine
I've had my fair share of dining experiences at various restaurants in the area.
But Mazorca Mexican Cuisine has a special place in my heart.
It's become a favorite within my household, and we even celebrated my sister's boyfriend's birthday there!
I have tried everything from a quick taco to a sit-down bowl of soup and even had the pleasure of tasting the mole they prepare and ship over from Mexico – it's all delightful and satisfying.
What I also appreciate about this place is their commitment to the community.
They had a free children's book stand last summer, helping to keep kids reading and entertained.
It's always nice to support a business that truly cares for the community they serve.
My partner and I recently went on a trip to Mexico, and the food from Mazorca is always on par with the quality and quantity we experienced there.
I highly recommend trying their specials, which change depending on the day of the week.
Some of my favorites include the chicken and grilled steak taco, chicken adobo, bistec enncebollado, and pork chop (these last three were daily specials that came with flautas).
Don't be fooled by the modest decor; Mazorca has the most delicious tamales in Connecticut, as well as great tacos and burritos.
The Soup Girl
I recently visited The Soup Girl for the first time, and I must say, the soups were absolutely delicious.
It wasn't the cheapest option, but the quality and taste definitely justified the price.
I appreciated that the soups were already prepared, which made for a quick and easy lunch option.
My daughter and I tried the Lemon Chicken Orzo and the Chicken Noodle soup, and both were amazing - packed with flavor and just the right amount of lemon.
Fresh Greens & Proteins Hamden
I absolutely enjoy going to Fresh Greens & Proteins Hamden for a healthy and delicious meal!
The bowls are tasty, and I especially love the burrito bowl with chicken.
The avocado servings were insufficient and fresh.
The portions were just right and filling.
The smoothies are another favorite of mine, and I highly recommend them!
Whitney Donut And Sandwich Shop
Every morning before heading to work, I make it a point to stop by Whitney Donut and Sandwich Shop (Facebook Page).
I absolutely love their amazing iced coffee - especially their sticky bun coffee, which is exceptional.
They have a wide variety of donuts to choose from, and my all-time favorite is their apple fritter.
It's huge, crispy, and delicate, and I simply crave it every day.
Another favorite of mine is their maple bacon donut.
Trust me when I say they know what they're doing when it comes to donuts.
They are incredibly soft and delicious, and you can't go wrong with any flavor.
The blueberry cake donut also has a special place in my heart.
But it's not just about the donuts and coffee for me.
Whitney Donut And Sandwich Shop serves breakfast sandwiches that are perfect for a quick bite on the go.
I've tried their bacon, egg, and cheese on a croissant and loved it, but I wish they had a little more meat.
The bacon, egg, and cheese on an English muffin with jelly was also a hit.
One thing I truly appreciate is their drive-through option, which is great when I'm in a hurry.
Spuds Your Way
One of my favorite spots for a satisfying meal in Hamden is Spuds Your Way.
It's conveniently located near Quinnipiac University and Sleeping Giant Golf Course on Whitney Rd, making it an ideal place for a quick lunch break or a fulfilling dinner.
I remember when I first tried their food, I was recommended the potato skins, but my adventurous spirit led me to order the Cowboy Bacon Burger and Mac&Cheese Bites instead.
Trust me when I say that it was an absolutely delicious decision.
The food was fresh and made to order, just the way I like it.
What's even better is that they offer curbside pickup, allowing me to easily grab my order and be on my way.
Their website makes it convenient to place orders, so there's no hassle in enjoying their mouthwatering dishes.
Just last weekend, I decided to try out this new spot called Roishi in Hamden, and I must say, it was one of the best decisions I've made in a while.
I knew I was in for a treat.
I started off with their Takoyaki octopus balls appetizer, and they were nothing short of a masterpiece.
Seriously, the flavors were absolutely incredible.
I also tried their Japanese seaweed salad, which had the perfect crunch and taste.
I couldn't resist trying one of their teas as well, so I opted for the mango tea with mango pops.
What's great is that you can ask them to adjust the sweetness to your liking – I went with 30% sweet, and it was perfect for my taste buds.
The customer service was exceptional, and I feel like I found a new favorite spot in town.
La Isla Spanish Restaurant
Let me tell you about my absolute favorite spot for Spanish food: La Isla Spanish Restaurant.
I was introduced to this gem by a friend, and it has been my go-to spot for a delicious, satisfying meal.
I still remember the first time I ordered yellow rice with beans and stewed chicken; every single bite was bursting with authentic flavors that transported my taste buds straight to Spain.
The food is not just scrumptious, but La Isla also offers a warm, inviting ambiance where I can comfortably dine.
They create such a pleasant atmosphere that I cannot help but bring my friends along for a memorable dining experience.
Additionally, the lively music and authentic vibes make this cozy little spot the perfect place to catch up with friends over some mouthwatering Spanish dishes.
My personal favorite dish at La Isla is the plantain cups with pernil.
Trust me when I say that it tastes as amazing as it sounds!
It is no wonder many people recommend this place for its delectable dishes and exceptional customer service.
Whenever I crave Korean food, my go-to place is Midori Hamden.
Their dishes always hit the spot and make me feel right at home.
I remember one cold, rainy winter day when I stopped by for a hot steaming bowl of udon and some kimbap.
The cozy atmosphere and excellent service made me forget all about the unpleasant weather outside.
One of my favorite dishes to order at Midori is their Dol-sot Bibim Bap.
It's always fresh, hot, and the ingredients are perfectly matched.
I'm also fond of their complimentary side dishes, which add an extra touch of authenticity to the overall experience.
MiKro Depot has become one of my favorite spots to hang out with friends or just enjoy a solo meal.
The first thing that caught my attention was the warm and welcoming atmosphere created by the blond wood interiors, but the real treat lies in their food and drinks menu.
As someone who enjoys trying out new dishes, I always find something exciting to indulge in on their menu of international small plates.
Be it General Tso's cauliflower appetizer or the shrimp and grits, each dish is packed with unique flavors that keep me coming back for more.
On some occasions, I like to treat myself to their pork belly Cubano with perfectly buttery brioche and melt-in-your-mouth pork belly.
And let's not forget the crispy French fries that accompany the meal.
Now, if you're a craft beer enthusiast like me, you're in for a treat at MiKro Depot.
Their selection of local craft beers is impressive, and I've discovered some amazing brews during my visits.
Orale Tacos Hamden
On a recent visit to Orale Tacos Hamden, we were greeted by a warm atmosphere.
Despite being out of Margarita mix and ice, I decided to give the food a try.
What a brilliant decision that was!
The ingredients were incredibly fresh, and portions were generous.
The fajitas were served sizzling on a cast iron plate, showcasing their great plating skills.
Although the seasoning could have used a little improvement, it didn't take away from the overall experience.
The soup, especially, was a delight as it helped combat the chilly environment inside the restaurant.
On another visit, I tried their Carinitas tacos, and they were juicy and packed with flavor!
Route Ten Restaurant
One of my favorite spots for a hearty meal has got to be Route Ten Restaurant.
Their food is delicious and affordable, not to mention the generous portions.
Every time I visit, the service is always outstanding, and the atmosphere is lively, reminiscent of a classic diner.
The place is well-maintained and clean, making it a pleasant experience for anyone who walks in.
What I absolutely love about Route Ten Restaurant is its location along the Farmington Trail - perfect for those morning walks or bike rides.
Recently, I had an amazing veggie omelet with cheese that totally hit the spot, and my buddies enjoyed their meals as well.
The freshness of the ingredients and the exceptional customer service make it a must-visit for anyone in the neighborhood.
On another visit, I treated myself to a Swiss cheese omelet with onions and a mouthwatering hamburger for lunch.
As always, the home fries were scrumptious.
I can't help but share my experience at Freskos because it's truly become my go-to spot for Greek food.
I've been there twice now, and the delicious gyros and flavorful pita and tzatziki have left me impressed both times.
Not only do they offer traditional gyro options, but my partner got to try their colossal gyro with French fries, which was a pleasant surprise!
As for dessert, the baklava was fantastic, with so many layers that it resembled a slice of spaghetti.
The banana truffle cookies were a bit artificial tasting, but they were still enjoyable.
Ibiza Restaurant Hamden
I've been fortunate enough to visit Ibiza Restaurant Hamden more than once.
It's one of my favorite spots for a fantastic dining experience.
Trust me, the food there is absolutely phenomenal.
I remember randomly stopping by for the first time while driving back from a trip, and I was amazed at how lucky I was to find it.
The service has always been good, and the space is roomy and comfortable.
One of the standout dishes for me is the paella, which has a beautiful, perfectly burnt crust that adds an incredible depth of flavor.
The mango margaritas are a must-try as well; they're simply amazing.
Ibiza offers tapas and other traditional Spanish cuisines, and the patio is a great place to enjoy your meal during warmer months.
Other Restaurants Nearby
The Luke Brasserie (New Haven)
I couldn't wait to try out The Luke Brasserie after hearing so many positive reviews from friends.
Finally, last weekend, I booked a table for a special date night.
I must say, I was not disappointed!
The moment we walked in, we were greeted with a warm atmosphere and a complimentary glass of champagne.
As we settled into our cozy table, the candlelight and music created a perfect ambiance for our evening.
The menu, designed for sharing, allowed us to indulge in various flavors and dishes.
We started off with a delicious beet salad and a white asparagus appetizer.
The seared tuna and veal chop were cooked to perfection, and I can't forget to mention the incredible polenta - it was genuinely a game-changer.
September in Bangkok (New Haven)
Their warm ambiance, friendly service, and amazing food keep me coming back for more.
I must say, their seafood tom yum fried rice is the best I've ever had.
The portion sizes are generous, and the quality of the seafood is top-notch.
Another dish that I enjoy is the mussels pad Thai, which has a unique bright yellow color that sets it apart from the typical pad Thai.
What I truly appreciate about September in Bangkok is their extensive menu, which even includes a vegan and vegetarian section.
I absolutely love their eggplant green curry, which I usually request to be extra spicy.
Their tempura green bean appetizer is also a must-try.
When the weather is warm, I prefer dining in their large outdoor patio area, which is also pet-friendly.
My dog loves joining me for a meal out on the patio.
Midpoint Istanbul Fine Dining (New Haven)
Last week, I decided to try out Midpoint Istanbul Fine Dining with my friends, as we had heard great things about their modern Mediterranean cuisine.
We didn't make a reservation, but luckily, we arrived early enough and managed to get a table.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that their menu offered unique dishes, different from the typical Mediterranean fare I had tried at other restaurants.
The ambiance of the place was perfect for our evening out, with cozy and casual decor that made it ideal for a date night or a relaxed dinner with friends.
We ordered an appetizer and two entrees, and I must say, all of them were delicious.
Their fresh take on Mediterranean dishes, coupled with the inviting atmosphere, makes it a must-visit spot for food lovers like myself.
Rockfish Sushi Bar (New Haven)
I've tried many sushi places in the area, but nothing comes close to the experience I had at Rockfish.
I ordered the Omakase and sat at the sushi bar, which I highly recommend doing.
We started with edamame and tuna sashimi in ponzu soy sauce, followed by four rounds of nigiri and two rolls, all freshly prepared right before my eyes.
The fish, in all its freshness and complexity of flavor, was the centerpiece of every single dish.
I was particularly impressed by the creaminess of the yellowtail and the silky richness of the salmon.
As a dessert lover, I must mention the incredible dessert I had at Rockfish.
It changes weekly, but on my visit, I was served an amazingly creative and delicious concoction.
The dessert consisted of sticks of freeze-dried cream with bits of red peppercorns, strawberry jam, and a mousse made with lime and mint.
It was a fantastic way to end an unforgettable meal.
If you're looking for an exceptional sushi experience, Rockfish Sushi Bar is the place to go.
CT Chowder Co. (North Haven)
I stumbled upon CT Chowder Co. one day while exploring the area near Exit 9 Montowese, off I-91, and it quickly became one of my favorite spots for mouthwatering seafood dishes.
From chowders to fried fish and even burgers, I have found myself returning time and time again to enjoy their fantastic food.
Their incredible menu never ceases to impress me, and I love the warm and welcoming atmosphere where everyone seems to be treated like family.
CT Chowder Co. has certainly become a local gem with their unique offerings and exceptional service.
What sets CT Chowder Co. apart is their inventive and delicious take on clam chowder, the “Connecticut Clam Chowder.”
This is a perfect blend of Manhattan and New England Clam Chowders with an extra kick that I can't get enough of.
Of course, their New England Clam Chowder is also a must-try, scoring a perfect ten out of ten in my book.
Besides their signature chowders, the made-to-order sandwiches and burgers are always a hit and have kept me coming back for more.
Olde World Apizza (North Haven)
One evening, I decided to grab some pizza from my favorite local spot, Olde World Apizza.
As always, I was reminded that it's a cash or check-only establishment, and it's mainly for pick-up.
The restaurant is conveniently located next to Frontier, at the corner of Whitney Ave and Skiff St. in a charming brick building.
The atmosphere inside may not be extraordinary, but it's clean, comfortable, and has a couple of tables if you prefer to eat there.
I was in a rush that day, so I ordered my usual small mozzarella with hot cherry peppers, and my partner got the gluten-free cauliflower crust with artichoke.
We couldn't wait to dig in, so we started eating in the car while driving.
The pizza was absolutely delicious, with no oily residue and a perfectly crispy crust.
These guys really know how to use top-notch ingredients.
I've heard great things about their whole wheat crust pizza, and now I can't wait to try that as well.
Hamden truly offers a diverse and delicious dining scene.
Whether you're looking for a mouth-watering Mexican dish at Mazorca Mexican Cuisine, a healthy yet satisfying meal at Fresh Greens & Proteins, or a taste of the Mediterranean at Midpoint Istanbul Fine Dining, you won't be disappointed.
The variety is truly astounding, and I'm sure you'll find your new favorite spot in Hamden.