WHERE to Eat in the Litchfield Hills
This collection of small villages set amongst rolling farmland contains some great spots to grab some food. From the quirky roadside stands to several fine dining establishments, you will not eat poorly in the Litchfield Hills.
Our favorite collection of restaurants, at Arethusa in Bantam, sums up this diversity of options with a bakery, a dairy serving some outstanding ice cream, and an upscale Italian restaurant. Beyond Arethusa, you'll find great places to eat all over this great corner of the state.
NOTE: Many restaurants in this region are closed Mon. and/or Tues. Please check availability before heading out, especially on these days.
$ - Cheap Eats and Snacks
This bakery and coffee bar is your starting place to experience the wonderful collection of Arethusa restaurants. Owned by the operators of the Manolo Blahnik fashion house in New York, this group has grown rapidly over the past couple decades. This new addition is a bakery that pairs pastries and great breakfast sandwiches with a coffee bar. They also have light lunch options.
This wonderful ice cream shop, made made of milk from the nearby Arethusa Farm has a permanent list of some staple flavors and adds to it with some seasonally relevant favorites. Our personal favorites across multiple visits are Strawberry, Chocolate , Mint Chip , and Sweet Cream with Chocolate Chip. That said, they do everything so well, you won’t be disappointed.
If some of the best coffee in the area is not enough of a reason to stop at this shop on the North end of Kent, the wonderful selection of chocolates should convince you. We’ll personally vouch for the salted caramels and the truffles. Awesome.
This is a bit of a sentimental choice, but it’s also a good one. Jessica’s grandparents emigrated to the US from the Netherlands about 65 years ago, and Dutch food is a family tradition. From cheeses to pastries to traditional sweets you’ll enjoy these European delicacies even if you didn’t grow up on it. Celebrating 50 years in 2017.
You won't find many gourmet chocolate shops down dirt roads (or in barns), but Thorncrest Farm is not a typical gourmet chocolate shop. The chocolates are made with care right on site and they can even tell you which cow provided the milk for your treat. Stop here for yourself or a box to bring back as a gift.
You'll find a great selection of breads and pies at this small shop just down the road from the Arethusa restaurants. We were impressed by the pain de campagne with its wonderful taste and a crust that's not quite as hard as it looks. Stop here for a bread that pairs well with the cheese and butter you'll find down the road.
This great, family owned hamburger stand has been serving visitors for more than 60 years from its location between New Milford and New Preston. It has great burgers and hot dogs with special mention also going to the fries, onion rings, and clam strips. It is a seasonal business, so you won’t be able to count on it year round, but it’s a great roadside stop.
$$ - Regular Dining
This delightful spot in the center of Kent specializes in upscale pub food – burgers, fish tacos, meatloaf, and Poutine (a personal favorite). There's no kids menu, but they were very accommodating witha half portion of their mac and cheese that fed all three and hit the spot. The tavern also supplies an attractive setting to sit back and sample some great craft beers.
Containing both a formal dining room and a pub with a different, slightly less expensive menu, this Litchfield favorite gives you plenty of options. The whole place is relatively casual and unpretentious, but the food is very good with the service to match.
A casual restaurant just north of Washington with a nice atmosphere and really good food. Pretty diverse menu with lots of vegetarian options. Breakfast is a particular specialty.
This breakfast/lunch spot is a great place to stop in the Northwest corner of the state. It has a more innovative and ambitious menu than you might expect (crab burgers, lobster frittatas, etc.), and the interior design is great.
The best pizza in the Litchfield Hills, Brickhouse also has a pretty extensive menu of pasta and grinders. It is on the Southern side of New Milford, so it’s not exactly centrally located, but the food is reasonably priced and consistently good.
We weren’t expecting to come across an authentic German restaurant in this small town, but we have a soft spot for German food, and it’s nice to have it around. Apparently, the Alpenhaus relocated from a previous location in Brookfield, but it didn’t get far. A bit more expensive than you’d like, but good quality food, and a great beer selection.
$$$ - Upscale, Luxury
This final entry from Arethusa is a fine-dining Italian establishment that opened in 2013. They use fresh ingredients from nearby Arethusa Farm to give a true farm-to-table experience. Presentation is almost as high on the menu as great taste, and you'll be satisfied by the great selection of dishes on this frequently changing menu.
This relatively high-end eatery in Woodbury is a rallying point for foodies in the Litchfield Hills. The menu is diverse and seasonal, and they claim their ingredients are as local and organic as possible. The Pad Thai was a personal favorite. There is a less expensive café menu in the room next to the bar.
This award winning ode to fine dining in Litchfield is a lovely atmosphere for a formal meal. A mix of traditional and slightly more eccentric offerings. Seafood is always on the menu and always great.
The Fife is a Kent favorite and has a straightforward, American, meat focused menu. It has a charming and welcoming atmosphere, a nice brunch, and a wonderful wine list.