Whether you’re visiting Stonington for the first time or you find yourself there frequently, knowing the best spots for dining is an essential part of the experience. While many of the town’s restaurants feature delicious food options, we’ve narrowed it down to our three favorites that focus on preparing and serving a variety of ocean fare, and great views.

Water Street Cafe is the destination for anyone looking for a casually elegant dining experience to end the night, nestled in the center of the Borough. They are most known for their house-made desserts, fresh seafood specials, and their succulent oyster bar, featuring the best of local oysters alongside those from the northern waters of Nova Scotia and even those from the Pacific Northwest.  A favorite spot among locals but also highly rated by the New York Times, Zagats, and Connecticut Magazine, Water Street Cafe provides a simple and fresh New American menu with local and fresh-caught seafood and farm-grown produce, and the staff are also happy to offer gluten-free and vegetarian options for anyone who asks. We recommend the Duck & Scallops entree, served with oyster mushrooms, sugar snap peas, and mashed potatoes.

Breakwater is a waterfront restaurant located in Stonington Borough and features seafood specials and stunning sunsets with views of the Harbor and Fishers Island Sound. We love the Grilled Seafood Medley, featuring shrimp, scallops, calamari, and salmon, served with citrus butter and coconut-scallion rice.

Dog Watch Cafe has three locations in Connecticut, and two of them are in Stonington, so you know they’re serious about keeping the town in awash with amazing food and waterfront views. As a phrase, the Dog Watch was coined in the 1700s to refer to the evening deck duty shift of sailors and mariners, which was a split shift that allowed the crew to enjoy dinner and a drink with the rest of the group. As a cafe, the Dog Watch follows this tradition of being a gathering spot to eat, drink, and be happy. Their food and beverage offerings are sourced from local vendors and include highlights such as the teriyaki salmon sandwich, for a casual lunch, or their bouillabaisse, made from a secret recipe of local fish simmered in a saffron infused broth.

Noah’s has been operating as a casual fine dining restaurant since 1979, and fits right in with the quaintness of the village. Check the website daily for lunch and dinner specials that keep the menu interesting, based on what’s fresh and available. Stop by for Tuesday night buck-a-shuck if local raw bar is your thing. Ask for a seat in the big picture windows for people watching along Water Street!