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Rebel Dog features seasonal flavors for its specialty drinks, like a pumpkin-spiced peach for early fall.

The story

Rebel Dog has established itself as a coffeehouse with an extensive food menu, going way beyond the typical pastries and breakfast sandwiches. In 2017, Peter Lemnotis closed his former Confetti! restaurant in Plainville and partnered up with Harrison Poltorak to launch the brand in that space. They expanded to Farmington in March 2019, and almost exactly two years later, they crossed the river to open a third Rebel Dog in East Hartford, close to Goodwin University and Pratt & Whitney. 

The newest café has a full food menu with sandwiches, build-your-own burgers, tacos and a pizza oven, as the location hopes to attract night students and third-shift workers. “We found that there could be a potential for an evening business here, during the prime seasons in the fall and winter,” Poltorak says.

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A falafel sandwich on housemade panini bread, highlighted by lettuce, tomato, pickled onions and lime tahini sauce.

The food

East Hartford’s location offers breakfast, lunch and dinner items all day. Traditional egg-and-cheese breakfast sandwiches and avocado toast can be customized with your choice of protein, veggie add-ons and creative sauces, like pomegranate tzatziki, Korean BBQ or Tabasco maple butter. 

Lunch and dinner sandwiches include a top-selling Reuben on housemade marble rye, a “Belgian bird” with fried chicken on a waffle bun, and an excellent falafel on panini bread made from Rebel Dog’s pizza dough, its crisp chickpea patties highlighted by fresh lettuce, tomato, pickled onion and a slightly sweet lime tahini sauce.

Thin-crust, brick-oven pizzas have both classic and gourmet presentations: a New Haven-inspired pie with red sauce and romano cheese, a garlicky “Spud Love” with mashed potatoes and bacon and a “Yard Goat” with goat cheese, ricotta, sopressata, red onion and honey.

And of course, Rebel Dog offers a full array of caffeinated (and decaf) options: drip coffee, espresso drinks, cold brew, matcha, kombucha. And there are seasonal flavors like an upcoming pumpkin-spiced peach.

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Rebel Dog offers build-your-own burgers at the East Hartford location, with choices of add-ons and sauces.

Eat in or take out?

Rebel Dog has an easy-to-use online ordering system for takeout, but the spacious, light-filled East Hartford location is a comfortable spot to relax, meet friends or do some work — plus there’s a beer and wine menu.


Rebel Dog Coffee Co.

361 Main St., East Hartford (Corner of Ensign Street)

860-519-5621, rebeldogcoffeeco.com/east-hartford@rebeldogcoffeeco

Hours: Open daily for breakfast and lunch

Wheelchair accessible

Leeanne Griffin is the food and consumer reporter for Hearst Connecticut, handling coverage of restaurant openings and closings, trends, events and general news about Connecticut food and beverage businesses.

This article appears in the October 2021 issue of Connecticut MagazineYou can subscribe to Connecticut Magazine here, or find the current issue on sale hereSign up for our newsletter to get our latest and greatest content delivered right to your inbox. Have a question or comment? Email editor@connecticutmag.com. And follow us on Facebook and Instagram @connecticutmagazine and Twitter @connecticutmag.