All of the water sports and outdoor activities that this lovely area has to offer are guaranteed to tire you out and work up a good appetite. Luckily, Niantic's food and drink scene provides good meals and a hometown atmosphere for a comfortable vacation.
If you're coming from out of town, you may call Italian sandwiches subs, heroes, hoagies...but if you want to order one Connecticut, remember to call it a "grinder". There's a few different restaurants you can grab one, each with its own speciality. Locals rave about the seafood pizza at Eleni's Restaurant, Hartford Giant Grinder pack on the meat for the most hungry vacationer, and Giuliano's Bakery is said to have the best bread in Connecticut. These restaurants and more constantly compete for the title of "Niantic's Best Grinder." Other condenders include Pizza Plus and Family Pizza who's "bland" names disguise their flavorful pizza and grinders.
The battle for the best Italian sandwich is just one element to the beauty of Niantic's local food scene. You'll find a number of locally owned restaurants featuring American and Seafood specialties. In downtown Niantic, you'll find Lillian's Cafe a fabulous restaurant that serves fresh seafood, creative salads, steaks, and burgers. Black Sheep Pub and Restaurant are located in a great place on Main Street. You'll find ample seating indoor and outdoor and they frequently have live music in the evenings. Cafe Sol, also in downtown Niantic, is a great place to catch a healthy breakfast or lunch. While other favorite local family restaurants include Skipper's Restaurant, Charlies Place Restaurant & Lounge, The Spice Club, Illiano's Grill, Smarty’s Restaurant & Pub, Eleni’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, Castello Of Niantic, Dad's Restaurant, Deke’s Bagels, Rebeka’s Fresh Pasta Restaurant and the Main Street Grille to give you some ideas.
In season, over 13 local vendors regularly attend the Niantic Farmers' Market. The farmers' market is held every Thursday on Methodist Street and is a great event for sampling the local flavor of this quaint village. If you can't get to the Farmers' Market, visit the Natural Food Store which offers huge variety of fresh, local produce, natural supplements and teas for the health conscious person.
For a full week of Niantic's delicious treasures, come visit during the last week of February. During Restaurant Week, dozens of well-loved eateries offer unique deals: including gift cards, a free glass of wine, or prix fixe lunch and dinner specials. Whatever you're in the mood for, from East Coast Taco to Flanders Fish Market, you can grab a great deal during Restaurant Week. The event helps fund projects headed by the Niantic Main Street to revitalize and improve the surrounding community.
And before leaving Niantic, be sure to visit Gumdrops & Lollipops Candy, Ice Cream and Diner, a 1950's themed ice cream shop that offers sundaes, floats, shakes, cupcakes, and classic diner food.