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Since our first dining survey was published way back in 1979, more than 1,700 restaurants have been named by our readers or experts as being among the best the state has to offer. Great restaurants often become repeat winners, but among those are a few beloved and enduring institutions that receive accolades year after year. Below, in alphabetical order, are the restaurants that have appeared in at least 20 of Connecticut Magazines annual Best Restaurants sections, either as a selection in our Readers' Choice survey or our more recent Experts' Picks. 

Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough, Groton — Awarded for: Seafood

Altnaveigh Inn & Restaurant, Storrs* — Awarded for: Most Romantic; Continental

Ann Howard’s Apricots, Farmington* — Awarded for: Desserts; Continental

Avon Old Farms Inn, Avon* — Awarded for: Brunch; American

Bee & Thistle Inn, Old Lyme — Awarded for: Most Romantic; Overall Excellence; American; Desserts; Lunch; Brunch; Service

Carbone’s Ristorante, Hartford — Awarded for: Italian

Cavey’s Restaurant, Manchester* — Awarded for: French; Overall Excellence; Most Romantic

China Pavilion, Orange — Awarded for: Chinese

Chuck’s Steak House, various locations — Awarded for: Steak

Claire’s Corner Copia, New Haven — Awarded for: Vegetarian/Vegan

Cobb’s Mill Inn, Weston* — Awarded for: Most Romantic; Continental

The Cookhouse, New Milford (formerly located in Darien) — Awarded for: Barbecue; Family Dining

The Copper Beech Inn, Ivoryton — Awarded for: Most Romantic; Overall Excellence; Desserts; Service; French

Cuckoo’s Nest, Old Saybrook — Awarded for: Mexican

Flood Tide Restaurant, Mystic* — Awarded for: Continental

The Golden Lamb Buttery, Brooklyn* — Awarded for: Most Romantic; Overall Excellence; American

Good News Cafe, Woodbury — Awarded for: American; Desserts; Overall Excellence; Vegetarian/Vegan

The Griswold Inn, Essex — Awarded for: American; Bar; Brunch

The Harvest, Pomfret* — Awarded for: Brunch; Continental; Desserts

The Hawthorne Inn, Berlin — Awarded for: Prime Rib/Steak

The Hopkins Inn, Warren — Awarded for: Most Romantic

Lenny & Joe’s Fish TaleMadison, Westbrook, formerly New Haven — Awarded for: Seafood; Family Dining

Little Mark’s Big Bar-B-Que, Vernon* — Awarded for: Ribs; Barbecue

Margaritas, Mystic, formerly Canton and Hartford — Awarded for: Mexican

Mario’s Place, Westport* — Awarded for: Value; Prime Rib; Business Lunch

Max Downtown, Hartford — Awarded for: Overall Excellence; Service; Lunch, American

Mayflower Inn & Spa, Washington — Awarded for: Hotel Dining; Continental; Service; Romantic

Oliver’s Taverne, Essex* — Awarded for: Ribs; Business Lunch; Family Dining

Rein’s Deli, Vernon — Awarded for: Sandwiches; Lunch

Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Newington — Awarded for: Steak

Sakura Japanese Restaurant, Westport — Awarded for: Japanese

Saybrook Fish House, Old Saybrook location* — Awarded for: Seafood

Silvermine Tavern, Norwalk* — Awarded for: Brunch

Steak Loft, Mystic — Awarded for: Steak

Su Casa, Branford* — Awarded for: Mexican

The Three Bears, Westport* — Awarded for: American

Union League Cafe, New Haven — Awarded for: French; Overall Excellence; Service; Desserts; Most Romantic

The Vanilla Bean Café, Pomfret — Awarded for: Vegetarian/Vegan; Desserts; Sandwiches

The Venetian Restaurant, Torrington — Awarded for: Italian

Water’s Edge Resort & Spa, Westbrook — Awarded for: Brunch; Hotel Dining

West Street Grill, Litchfield — Awarded for: Lunch

* restaurant is no longer in operation.

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