Hartford is Connecticut’s charming and historic capital city, with a wealth of iconic attractions. It’s home to Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s respective 19th-century mansions turned museums.
Along with a rich history dating to 1635, Hartford has a centuries-old reputation for being one of the richest cities in the U.S. Today the source of its wealth comes from its hub to the nation’s largest insurance companies.
Hartford’s riches extend to its bounty of brunch restaurants, for what could be more luxurious than a leisurely mid-morning meal?
Read on to discover my list of diners, bistros, and taverns with the best brunch in Hartford.
35a LaSalle Rd, West Hartford, CT 06107
Modeled after the charming streetside cafes in Paris or Lyon, Avert Brasserie is a romantic and authentic French comfort-food café in West Hartford Center.
Avert Brasserie sources its high-quality ingredients from local farms and purveyors to create a traditional French menu of beautifully plated dishes to enjoy in a casual and laid-back atmosphere.
Their impressive brunch menu features a wonderful brunch cocktail menu along with a wine and draft beer list. I started with onion soup with a gruyere gratin which was the height of comfort on a chilly fall day.
For the main dish, I had to go with a French classic, the Croque Monsieur, a deep-fried brioche sandwich stuffed with mornay and ham then topped with a fried egg.
1 Memorial Rd, West Hartford, CT 06107
An utterly charming ode to New England, Artisan Restaurant West Hartford combines fine dining with farm-to-table menus in a cozy yet sophisticated atmosphere.
Founders and friends Charles Mallory, Rick Wahlstedt, and Frederic Keiffer have created an award-winning dining experience in this old-school West Hartford stone building with an adjoining herb and vegetable garden.
The menu and ambiance have received praise from Modern Magazine and The Telegraph, not to mention every local publication and TV station. Chef Keiffer sources his ingredients fresh from the garden.
Since they’re a New England cuisine restaurant, I wanted to try the most famous New England sandwich, so I ordered the Maine lobster roll.
953 Farmington Ave, West Hartford, CT 06107
Arugula Bistro is a longstanding West Hartford neighborhood bistro owned by Chef Egyptian immigrant Christiane Gehami and her partner and fellow Chef Michael Kask.
Arugula Bistro opened in 1996 in an intimate space that once housed an art gallery. Arugula Bistro has since acquired a neighboring space to offer more seating with the same artsy-chic vibe.
Chef Gehami uses her heritage and culinary training to create modern takes on Mediterranean dishes. There are traditional mezze platters and creatively plated Middle Eastern specialties to pair with Mediterranean-inspired cocktails.
I had a meal more on the lunch side of brunch, with a plate of perfectly crispy falafel in house-made pita with French fries.
165 Brainard Rd, Hartford, CT 06114
As the name implies, U.S.S. Chowder Pot IV is a kitschy family-friendly New England seafood and chowder restaurant with two enormous nautically themed dining rooms.
Old ship lanterns and fishnets hang from the rot iron chains, illuminating the recycled wood walls and booths. U.S.S. Chowder Pot has been a South End favorite for over 20 years.
You can get a seafood brunch at Chowder Pot daily from 11:30 to 3 pm. The menu consists of classic sandwiches from every region of the U.S., from a Reuben to a Tuna Salad Sandwich.
I recommend the Maryland-style crab cake sandwich with remoulade, lettuce, and tomato on a brioche bun with a side of thick-cut French fries.
1046 New Britain Ave, West Hartford, CT 06110
The Corner Pug is an old-school neighborhood pub in West Hartford, named affectionately for the owners’ favorite dog and pet.
The rich wood bar and finishes, burgundy leather booths, and exposed brick walls lined with old black and white photographs are reminiscent of an Irish tavern.
The Corner Pug serves Irish and American pub fare along with a long list of beer, wine, and cocktails. Whether you want burgers, fish and chips, or shepherd’s pie, The Corner Pug has every hearty pub dish under the sun starting at 11.
To recover from a late night of drinking, I recommend heading to the Corner Pug for the ultimate hangover brunch.
I had their Irish nachos featuring wavy kettle chips drowned in beef and sausage chili, hot cherry peppers, cheddar cheese, scallions, sour cream, and pico de gallo.
91 Park Rd, West Hartford, CT 06119
Winner of West Hartford Magazine’s vote for best breakfast in Hartford, Effie’s Place Family Restaurant is a family-owned and operated All-American restaurant with a diner feel.
Owned by the local Paindiri family whose long history in the Hartford restaurant scene started in the 1960s, Effie’s Place is Charles and Effie Pandiri’s second West Hartford venture.
They run the business with the help of their son and a staff that makes all guests feel like family. They offer a classic diner menu of hearty sweet and savory breakfasts, sandwiches, burgers, and comfort food entrees.
In true diner fashion, breakfast is served all day and night. They have my vote for the best value for your budget. I recommend the pastrami, egg, and Swiss cheese breakfast bagel with tomato and home fries.
939 Maple Ave, Hartford, CT 06114
Located on the very outskirts of Hartford in the Plainville suburb, First and Last Tavern Hartford is old-school Italian at its finest.
Opening in 1936, First and Last Tavern got its name for being the last stop on your way out of town or your first stop on the way in.
Their classic Italian fare and old-fashion tavern atmosphere have earned them a beloved place in Hartford history.
They serve wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, scratch-made pasta, soup, salads, and focaccia for brunch hours.
I enjoy eating leftover pizza from the previous night as the ultimate breakfast of champions, so I ordered a personal-sized pizza for brunch at The First and Last Tavern Hartford.
30 Hebron Ave # E, Glastonbury, CT 06033
Ken’s Corner Breakfast and Lunch is a quaint counter café and eatery in Glastonbury Center overlooking Riverfront Park.
Ken’s has a down-home country feel with farmhouse décor and a wall lined with black and white pictures of Ken’s family farm.
They serve giant portions of home-cooked breakfasts to enjoy in a cozy and family-friendly atmosphere.
Ken’s Corner Breakfast and Lunch has been a Glastonbury favorite since 1988. I was especially impressed with the giant portions.
I loved their griddlecake selection, with everything from buttermilk pancakes to waffles, to over-the-top French toast stuffed with cream cheese and Nutella.
110 Glastonbury Blvd, Glastonbury, CT 06033
Voted Best Seafood Restaurant by Connecticut Magazine and Best Boozy Brunch by Hartford Courant, Max Fish is a New American seafood restaurant, raw bar, and cocktail bar in downtown Glastonbury.
Max Fish has a lively and fun atmosphere in a classy dining space with hardwood floors, white tiled walls, and blown-glass light fixtures.
Their incredible Bloody Mary menu has more than earned the Best Boozy Brunch Award. I could’ve made a meal out of the garnishes alone!
The spectacular brunch food menu has a full raw bar menu, salads, steaks, burgers, and a diverse array of refined regional brunch favorites.
I had their Salvadoran Breakfast with bean and cheese pupusas, chorizo, sunny side-up eggs, avocado, plantains, and curtido.
1555 Asylum Ave, West Hartford, CT 06117
Surrounded by the manicured gardens and of Elizabeth Park, Pond House Café is a fine dining farm-to-table eatery in a rustic-chic space.
Pond House Café offers chef-driven seasonal meals sourced from the adjoining vegetable garden in an oasis-like atmosphere replete with a stone fireplace and a lovely outdoor patio overlooking Elizabeth Park’s pond.
They offer Saturday and Sunday brunch, serving a colorful menu of shared plates, salads, egg-centric dishes, and sandwiches.
I wanted to sample all their farm-fresh veggies, so I chose their signature Pond House Scramble consisting of three eggs scrambled with tomatoes, onion, asparagus, spinach, black beans, and poblanos, then sprinkle with cheddar and served with home fries and cornbread.
10 Capitol Ave, Hartford, CT 06106
Republic at The Linden is the second Republic restaurant from Connecticut native Chef Steven Wolf. Wolf is a second-generation chef, learning the trade at his father’s restaurant before working around the U.S. in fine dining restaurants.
Republic at the Linden is a vintage-chic gastropub in the heart of downtown Hartford serving elevated pub fare and craft cocktails.
Republic offers Sunday brunch with a classic line-up of cocktails expertly crafted with fresh purees, juices, and mixers. I had a Bellini with peach puree, crème de peche, and sparkling wine.
The food menu has brunch plates and globally inspired pub dishes. I recommend the fluffy and light Dutch pancake with berries and whipped cream.
78 LaSalle Rd, West Hartford, CT 06107
Restaurant Bricco is a refined yet inviting traditional Italian bistro in West Hartford. They serve heaping plates of Italian comfort food using the freshest and highest quality ingredients in a welcoming and rustic-chic dining space.
The Italian American owners strive to make customers feel like family, dining on the comforting recipes reserved for special Sunday gatherings.
The brunch menu is more of a lunch menu, served from 11 am-3 pm weekly. It is a classic multicourse Italian menu with antipasti, wood-fired pizza, fresh pasta, and hearty entrees.
I started with a brunch appetizer of Smoked Salmon flatbread with crème Fraiche, caper, red onions, and arugula. It was a delicious prelude to a plate of Penne Alla Vodka.
1076 Main St, Newington, CT 06111
Owned by seasoned Chef and restaurant industry couple Kenneth War and Jaime Ward, Rooster Company is a farm-to-table American eatery, specializing in rotisserie-style chicken.
Located in a country-meets-urban-chic, homey restaurant space in Newington Center, Rooster Company offers an exciting menu that combines tradition with innovation.
They offer Sunday boozy brunch with a delicious cocktail menu, New American brunch dishes, and their signature rotisserie chicken family-style meals.
I had a Peanut Butter Cup Hot Toddy to accompany a plate of Fried Chicken and Waffles with mustardy maple syrup and maple butter.
Had I gone with a group, I would’ve ordered the whole bird rotisserie brunch, but that just gives me an excuse to return!
10 N Main St, West Hartford, CT 06107
Founded in 1969 by New York transplants Bob and Sally Dworetsky, Sally and Bob’s has been a West Hartford standard for classic American breakfasts for over 50 years.
The ownership has changed hands first to the Dworetsky’s daughter and then again to longtime patrons Helen Brower and Cesar Contreras who have preserved the same menu and welcoming atmosphere.
The breakfast and lunch menu is a classic diner-style menu with omelets, sweet breakfasts from the griddle, breakfast sandwiches, deli sandwiches, melts, club sandwiches, and burgers.
I went for a classic Reuben on toasted rye with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and thousand island dressing with a side of potato salad and a pickle.
100 Trumbull St, Hartford, CT 06103
Located in the heart of downtown Hartford, Salute is an Italian American restaurant, lounge, and cocktail bar in an elegant and modern space.
Owned by Jimmy Cosgrove, Andy Rizzo, and Executive Chef Dave Caudill, Salute is a great option for special occasion dinners and social brunches and lunches.
Their daytime menus make for a great weekday or weekend brunch, with a long list of freshly made pasta, American sandwiches, and entrée salads.
Whatever you order, you should pregame with a plate of their “soon-to-be famous” garlic cheese bread.
My favorite pasta was the classic Ragu Bolognese with beef, pork, and veal, sofrito of vegetables, and a cream-infused tomato sauce over rigatoni.
Brunch is a lavish meal that’s best enjoyed slowly with friends on a lazy Sunday morning. Hartford has a diverse array of tasty brunch spots to choose from.
Whether you want an old-school diner or a farm-to-table urban oasis, you’ll find every dining experience from my list of restaurants with the best brunch in Hartford.
Check out the city’s hottest places to eat for the rest of your stay as well!
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment and we’ll check it out!
- Avert Brasserie
- Artisan Restaurant West Hartford
- Arugula Bistro
- U.S.S. Chowder Pot IV
- The Corner Pug
- Effie’s Place Family Restaurant
- First and Last Tavern Hartford
- Ken’s Corner Breakfast & Lunch
- Max Fish
- Pond House Cafe
- Republic at The Linden
- Restaurant Bricco
- Rooster Co.
- Sally and Bob’s
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