Travel Guide CT: Hartford was a Shockingly Good Food City

Inside the old Connecticut State House in Hartford.
Inside the old Connecticut State House in Hartford.

What the hell am I going to do in Hartford for four days? That’s the question I asked myself when my friend had a business conference there and asked me to come along this past March. I didn’t know what to expect. I knew I’d be going to a Hartford Wolfpack game (big Rangers’ fan here) and that we would check out the aquarium and seaport an hour away in Mystic, but that’s about all. Sure enough, Hartford ended up being a shockingly good food city. We didn’t have a bad meal there. From Korean and Asian BBQ to a brewery in a nice historic building, Mexican food, and some of the best soul food I’ve ever had in my life, they seemed to have it all.

We learned a lot from the people. They were quick with recommendations, and every place we checked out was within walking distance of the Hilton Hartford. I think we only took the car out once, which was to drive to Mystic. In fact, there was one street paved with cobblestones basically across from the hotel. It contained a Korean BBQ, liquor store, tobacco shop, Thai restaurant, and Irish pub one right after the other. Do you need anything else in life?

There were also quite a few museums to check out, including the old Connecticut State House from the Revolutionary War era and then the Wadsworth Atheneum art museum. I’ve never really been into art, but it’s hard to not be wowed when you’re standing face-to-face with a Van Gogh. Mystic was a really cool place to check out as well. I loved the Seaport while he enjoyed seeing the penguins and Beluga Whale at the aquarium. The worst meal we had on the whole trip happened to be a diner down the street from those two places, but it was by no means terrible.

Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing these restaurant reviews from Hartford and Mystic that were originally published on my personal blog. What would ever bring someone to that area for a trip? I don’t know, but in case you do go, you’ll need what places to hit up. While everyone was ultra friendly, whenever we told people where we were visiting from, there was that sense of surprise in their voice, “You’re vacationing here?” An unassuming city, but a fun one. Total surprise. I’d actually go back.


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