10 Best Restaurants in Hartford County

10 Best Restaurants in Hartford County

Hartford County, Conn., has a diverse culinary scene that reflects the area's rich history and modern tastes. From classic New England seafood to inventive global cuisine, restaurants in Hartford County offer an array of flavors for every palate. Whether you're a local or a visitor, this guide will help you explore the best dining options throughout the region.

Max Downtown

Max Downtown is a premier steakhouse located in Hartford's city center. Known for its high-end steaks and fresh seafood, the restaurant has been a local favorite for years. The sophisticated atmosphere and attentive service make it ideal for special occasions and business dinners.

Signature dishes include the shellfish plateau, roasted Alaskan halibut, and filet mignon Oscar. The extensive wine list pairs beautifully with the menu, offering carefully selected vintages worldwide.


Salute is a cozy, contemporary restaurant known for its eclectic menu and warm hospitality. The menu ranges from traditional Italian fare to inventive seafood and steak dishes. Lunch options center on salads and sandwiches, with ten options total. Dinner brings a handful of starters into play, as well as Salute’s famous pasta dishes, which come in many varieties — sausage and mushroom, chicken and sun-dried tomato, or veal and vegetables. With a vibrant bar and an inviting dining area, Salute is ideal for casual and celebratory dinners. Enjoy one of their creative cocktails or browse the well-rounded wine selection.

The Mill on the River

The Mill on the River in South Windsor combines stunning waterfront views with a varied menu of upscale New American cuisine. Housed in a beautifully restored mill overlooking the river, the restaurant provides an intimate setting for diners. It’s an ideal spot to celebrate any special occasion. On Sundays and Tuesdays, you can experience a three-course dinner comprising a soup or salad, entree, and dessert. The restaurant’s chicken parmesan and chicken teriyaki are among the best in Hartford County. Brunch guests can enjoy more casual dishes like Belgian waffles and the signature mill burger.

Peppercorn's Grill

Peppercorn's Grill in Hartford is known for its flavorful Italian dishes that blend old-world recipes with a modern touch. The restaurant was founded in 1989 and has kept its Main St., Hartford location for over 20 years. The rustic-chic interior creates a cozy setting, and the knowledgeable staff is always ready to recommend the perfect wine pairing. The menu includes classic pasta like rigatoni, fettuccine, and ravioli. Peppercorn's Grill also offers gluten-free and vegetarian options.

Millwright's Restaurant

Located in Simsbury, Millwright's Restaurant is set inside a restored 17th-century mill that overlooks a scenic waterfall. Their farm-to-table menu showcases New England ingredients through dishes like buttermilk biscuits, mushroom toast, lamb loin, and foie gras. Downstairs, the tavern provides a more relaxed atmosphere for guests to enjoy creative cocktails and lighter fare. The historic architecture and beautiful natural setting make Millwright's unique dining experience.

Social Republic

Social Republic is a popular gastropub located in the heart of Hartford. The restaurant combines locally sourced ingredients with bold flavors to create dishes like scallops, salmon salad, and steak frites. Their craft beer selection features local brews, while the cocktail menu offers innovative takes on classic drinks. The warm, inviting atmosphere and welcoming staff make Republic a great spot to meet friends for dinner or grab a drink at the bar.

Black-Eyed Sally's Southern Kitchen & Bar

For authentic Southern cuisine in a lively setting, head to Black-Eyed Sally's Southern Kitchen & Bar in downtown Hartford. This popular spot is known for its Cajun-inspired creations. Start with Southern fried chicken tenders, gumbo fries, Creole deviled eggs, or Louisiana gumbo. The po’boy sandwich, beef brisket sandwich, and pulled pork sandwich are fantastic lunch or dinner options. Try the St. Louis ribs or low-country shrimp and grits for incredibly flavorful barbeque. With its Southern hospitality, signature cocktails, and live blues music, Black-Eyed Sally's stands out among restaurants in Hartford County.

J. Gilbert's Wood-Fired Steaks & Seafood

J. Gilbert's in Glastonbury specializes in wood-fired steaks and fresh seafood served in a refined setting. The menu hits many different notes — choose from filling burgers, perfectly seasoned seafood, and the famous wood-grilled steaks. Their happy hour is popular for its discounted appetizers and drink specials, while the extensive wine list and craft cocktails complement the upscale dining experience. With its warm ambiance and quality service, J. Gilbert's is a favorite for date nights and special occasions.

The Capital Grille

The Capital Grille in Hartford has earned its reputation as one of the city’s best restaurants. The sophisticated steakhouse is known for its dry-aged steaks, fresh seafood, and extensive wine list. Diners can enjoy classic favorites in the elegant dining room or on the terrace. The knowledgeable staff can assist with wine pairings, offering over 350 selections to enhance your meal. The Capital Grille is ideal for a memorable dinner or a business lunch in a refined setting.

Barcelona Wine Bar

Barcelona Wine Bar in West Hartford offers a taste of Spain through its extensive menu of tapas and paellas. The lively, modern restaurant is perfect for sharing charcuterie and cheese starters, of which there are 15 different choices. Their wine list includes an impressive selection of Spanish wines, and the cocktail menu features creative drinks made with seasonal ingredients. Barcelona is ideal for those seeking a social, upscale dining experience.

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