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We’ve been living in Fairfield County for six years now, and I’ve certainly developed lots of favorites over the years! At first, when I came here, I was so worried that I’d miss all of the “options” that the city had to offer, in terms of activities, food, drinks, and shopping. What I quickly learned is that there are absolutely fantastic restaurants, cafes, stores, bars, and businesses of all kinds…and that the people running them are just as remarkable! I’m so proud to live in an area where there is so much to do and discover, and I very rarely go to NYC to explore now. I last shared my “Fairfield County Favorites” over four years ago!
Sadly, many businesses that I highlighted in that post have since shut down. As I sat down to update the post, it was a sobering reminder that it truly is so important to patron the businesses all around us in our area. It makes such a difference for the entrepreneurs who run them! I hope this post gives you some fun ideas of spots to try if you haven’t already. Let me know below in the comments if there are places I’ve forgotten or need to try!
Wakeman Town Farm
We love visiting this awesome local farm as a family. They have great camps in the summer, and even offer cooking seminars and events!
This is our go-to spot to check out the petting zoo. I’ve taken the kids here regularly since we moved! They also do amazing seasonal Apple and Pumpkin picking that makes for the perfect photo opp. I personally can’t pass up their fresh apple cinnamon donuts in the fall!
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk
My kids adore this aquarium, and it is always a great way to kill time, especially when the weather outside is too hot or too cold. Make sure to watch the sea lion feeding time show!
Stepping Stones Children’s Museum
This fun and large museum is a great time for families! There is even an area set up for tiny babies and crawlers. I really love how there are great activities for all ages, and the cafe is pretty good as far as museum fare goes!
Stamford Nature Center
We love the nature center! It’s almost like a mini outdoor zoo, and they have awesome events and farmers markets in the summer time.
Rock Climb Fairfield
Marlowe, Kyle, and I had an awesome family date rock climbing here! It’s a rock climbing gym where you can hire an instructor by the hour or even climb around solo.
Yoga For Everybody
I took prenatal yoga at this studio, and my class was EXCELLENT, and a great community-building environment. They also have meditation classes.
This studio is a really fun way to spend an afternoon with the kids. We like creating special pieces for gifts and special occasions.
We love going to this drive-in movie theater in the warmer months in Westport! They play such fun movies, and the organization is actually a nonprofit (The theater employs and supports people with disabilities), so your ticket price goes to a wonderful cause!
Sea Kayak CT
We love renting kayaks with the kids and paddling down the Saugatuck! So fun.
Devil’s Den Hiking
This is an amazing set of trails near where I live. Highly recommend checking it out!
My kids LOVE a zoo, and this one is super cute and manageable! We also love their carousel, which is extra fun in the colder months
The Barnum Museum
This museum has a great collection of items related to P.T Barnum…and is a must if you have kids like me who LOVE “The Greatest Showman”!
Sherwood Island State Park & Compo Beach
I think the beaches of Westport are some of the most charming parts of our town, and they’re definitely worth a visit!
This is the best Japanese pub food EVER. It’s our favorite date night spot, and never disappoints. They also have delicious cocktails! I highly recommend eating upstairs on the patio overlooking the river on warm summer nights.
This is a great family friendly restaurant, and has awesome healthy options. Call ahead to put your name down on busy weekends!
Ian helped open this restaurant when he was still working in the restaurant industry, and it remains one of our favorites! Delicious Mexican food and an incredible cocktail program. Eat out on the beautiful patio on nice nights!
Thank goodness for OKO .Fairfield county had been significantly lacking in great sushi, and OKO just opened with delicious omakase and nigiri! They also have lots of yummy cooked options and outstanding cocktails available.
This is our favorite non-fancy Japanese restaurant in the area. It’s very solid, and has a pretty large menu!
I’ve been eating the green papaya Salad weekly from Jeera Thai! I can’t get enough. I also highly recommend their noodle and fried rice dishes.
This is a good, dependable sushi spot that is open for lunch and has a really nicely priced brunch bento on the weekends. I find that it is also very kid friendly.
My favorite jewish deli in the area. It feels like it’s stuck in time, in the best way possible. I LOVE their matzoh ball soup.
Really good food, and great beer and wine list. My favorite oyster selection in the area! Hop across the piazza after dinner for ice cream!
A fun spot for wine and tapas! Plus it gets a little cray cray on the weekend, in a good way!
Wire Mill BBQ
I looove this bbq place, and often use it to cater. It’s fun to eat in, too, and sometimes they have live music on the weekend evenings!
This little bistro is really great for appetizers and cocktails!
I love the Poke Bowls and the Poke Burritos and this yummy local spot!
Coromandel Cuisine Of India
This restaurant is so so tasty, and has so many interesting regional Indian dishes! I’ve loved every single thing I’ve tried from this place!
This family-owned french restaurant is delicious and hits the mark every time. Such a solid Date Night spot!
I love the salad pizza at this Norwalk pizza spot!
This is my go-to chopped salad spot in Fairfield, I’m beyond obsessed. They also have fantastic wood-fired pizzas!
This sweet little gem is right next to the train station and serves up thoughtful, seasonal dishes and to-go prepared foods as well!
Artisan at the Delamar
I love this elegant restaurant at the Delamar Hotel in Southport. You truly feel like you’ve been transported outside of Connecticut!
I really like the healthy eats at this downtown Westport spot. They have cocktails and great coffee as well!
This is my favorite Italian deli in the area! The sandwiches are fantastic, but their creamy breaded chicken tenders are SO addictive too!
Gigi & Joe
This Cafe in Westport is awesome for coffee drinks and pastries!
Want authentic Italian coffee, and imported goods? Visit Pausa Caffe ASAP. It mends my homesickness for Italia every time!
This is one of our faves because it serves up delicious “Hawker Fare”, or Asian street food! It’s family-run and just so lovely.
This Korean Fried chicken spot is a top choice for us when eating out with the kiddos. We all love it so much!
The Granola Bar
I like the healthy bowls at this spot!
I love the California vibes of this super chic boutique and art gallery hybrid. Kerri turns her cool paintings in to awesome home decor accent pieces and even has interior design services if needed!
Sport Hill Farm
I love checking out the market at this charming farm! Make sure to grab your A++++ produce as well as try some of the packaged products from local small businesses selling there.
This sustainability-focused clothing brand has ultra chic clothing and accessories!
I usually stop by Terrain to get inspo for any home or garden project I’m embarking on! If you haven’t been yet, it’s a whole destination in itself! It’s definitely on the pricey side, but it’s so well curated that I can get great ideas there!
This is a really sweet jewel box of a jewelry store in downtown Westport! She has beautifully curated pieces in a variety of price points!
This is a really cute, preppy boutique with something for everyone. They have a really cute jewelry selection, and great hostess gifts. I also use their monogram services to make custom baby gifts for friends!
I love going in to the local paper source for inspiration– they always have the greatest products and seasonal displays. Plus the best card selection around!
This is a very cool clothing and accessory boutique that is decidedly “Un-Connecticut”. They take their cue from west-coast style and it’s a nice breath of fresh air!
If you’re looking for a cool children’s boutique, YOYA is it! It’s on the pricier side but WOW is it amazing.
This is a small, hidden shop at the docks where Copp’s Island oysters are harvested in Norwalk! It’s beautifully designed, and has really cute, maritime-inspired products
This jewelry and women’s apparel brand is available online, and out of Greenwich Connecticut. The pieces are all so gorgeous and instantly transport me to Europe.
Thank you for posting this! As a fairly recent transplant to Fairfield County I was so happy to find your blog (discovered it after a friend who used to live in CT told me to start following Julia/Lemon Stripes) and love reading all of these recs. I can’t wait to try Kawa Ni especially!
Absolutely love this post! Thank you for all the awesome recommendations. Definitely need to check out the few new restaurants, I can eat at BarTaco everyday :), and things to do with the kids.
This is so helpful Eva! I live in Los Angeles with my two kiddos (3 year old girl and 9 month old boy), but we are headed to Fairfield in October to visit my inlaws! Now we have our list of spots to check out while visiting. Thank you!
Thanks for all the great ideas! I love Fairfield county and discovering new places especially to shop. I love Rothbard..it is my happy place! I’ve been wanting to try Caffe Social in South Norwalk for breakfast and coffee. It looks amazing with all my breakfast favorites and its run by the family who owns Jordan pizza. French bakery Isabelle et Vincent on Post Road in Fairfield is my favorite patisserie for all things French. The asiago and rosemary bread is a meal in itself. I am super excited that the old Bertuccis on rt 1 is gonna be a pizza place from a Brooklyn pizza maker. I am curious what kind of pizza they are gonna make.
Check out Compo Beach and The Westport Country Play House
What is that amazing nail color?
Great list, thanks for sharing. As far as activities, I’d add the fab Westport Farmers’ Market on Thursdays, and Earthplace on the weekends when the staff feed the raptors (in the back but open to the public.) They’ll even bring out the more docile big birds like Ladybird the one-eyed owl! And don’t forget the free outdoor shows at Levitt Pavilion. Your food list is very thorough, and I whole-heartedly second Gaetano’s (right in my ‘hood) and Basso (most romantic spot for date night, plus cool live music.) I would add pizza strongholds Angelina’s (best in town IMHO) and the legendary Nauti Dolphin at the Fairfield train station (only two stools so get take out.) Also look for the new authentic Italian cafe Il Pastaficio, across the street from Design Within Reach; Chef Federico was classically trained in Italy. And Shake Shack never fails either, plus they pump great music inside and out. For shopping definitely West, love Kitt’s style and I would add Christian’s new boutique/gallery The Collective West, totally glams up the Post Road. Lastly, stay tuned for Hummingbird harmonic healing studio, opening downtown in September. OK Mille Grazie, ciao bella!
Check out Ridgefield Connecticut!
Beautiful quaint town,
They have 2 museums
3 theatres, one also employs people with disabilities.
Great restaurants, beach on the lake, terrific parks and all summer entertainment in the parks.
Thank you for all the awesome recommendations .This is so helpful Eva! wholesale sarees
Where is the shirt from? I love it!