Groton Guide to Seafood Shacks

Summer in New England means one thing: seafood shack season! Luckily the Groton area is home to a number of open air, delicious seafood joints. I’m talking the good, the greasy, the hard-to-find-because-they’re-located-in-a-dilapidated boatyard-kind of place.

*As of May 20, Connecticut restaurants with outdoor seating were allowed to reopen. I encourage you to contact restaurants before visiting, as the restrictions may change over time. At the time of publication, these restaurants were at least open for curbside pick-up and/or delivery.

If you haven’t already, make sure you add a seafood shack outing to your summer list:

Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough – Noank, CT

Photo Courtesy of Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough Facebook Page

Tucked away on the shores of the Mystic River, Abbott’s is a local legend. Since 1947 the seafood shack has celebrated the best of New England seafood, acclaimed by food writers worldwide. Hunker down on a picnic table and enjoy everything from clams and oysters on the half shell to steamers, stuffed clams and of course, lobster rolls. Abbott’s offers a full line of soft drinks, but you can BYOB (bring your own beer) or BYOW (bring your own wine).


Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock – New London, CT

Photo Courtesy of Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock Facebook Page

A New London legend, Captain Scott’s is a beloved seafood shack right along the Thames River. Plan ahead and come early – this place is notorious for long lines, for good reason. Their most popular items are the piping hot lobster rolls, hand-crafted clam fritters and the choice of New England Clam Chowder (cream loaded) or Rhode Island Chowder (broth-loaded). Order up at the counter and enjoy their generous portions at nearby picnic tables.


Costello’s Clam Shack – Noank, CT

Photo Courtesy of Costello’s Crab Shack Facebook Page

I have so many good memories here, as it was one of the first places my husband and I discovered when we moved to Groton. Costello’s is located just down the road from Abbott’s, tucked away next to a boatyard. Don’t let the lines fool you – it is absolutely worth it. Costello’s offers wonderful outdoor dining with classic New England seafood – fresh and fried. Their menu offers fried clams, fish tacos, scallops, oysters, steamed lobsters and so much more. Like many fellow seafood shacks, they do not sell alcohol and encourage BYOB!


Ford’s Lobsters – Noank, CT

Photo Courtesy of Ford’s Lobsters Facebook Page

Ford’s Lobsters is a charming little seafood restaurant housed on the site of a historic, family-ran small gas dock, bait and tackle shop from the mid 1950s. The menu celebrates local seafood with dishes ranging from chowders and salmon salads to crab cakes and lobster bomb sandwiches. They are currently offering a Spring 2020 Take-Out Menu.


Johnny’s Clam Shack – Norwich, CT

Photo Courtesy of Johnny’s Clam Shack Facebook Page

Johnny’s is a veteran, family-owned and operated business that’s all about seafood, all year round. Their menu offers fresh, local seafood ranging from lobster bisque and scallop tacos to whole belly clams and classic fish and chips. Mark your calendar for Thursday nights – steak and lobster night. The restaurant is currently offering online ordering for pick-up.


Liv’s Shack – Old Saybrook, CT

Photo Courtesy of Liv’s Shack Facebook Page

Located along Harbor One Marina, Liv’s Shack is a destination all its own. From what originated from weekend stands at Connecticut Farmer’s Markets, Liv’s Shack has grown into a New England institution with hot buttered lobster rolls, fish tacos, hand-ground burgers and more.


Sea View Snack Bar – Mystic, CT

Photo Courtesy of Sea View Snack Bar Facebook Page

Just down the street from the Mystic Seaport Museum is the storied, family-owned Sea View Snack Bar. Housed inside a turquoise shack, the counter-serve establishment has been serving up New England delights since 1976. Enjoy local favorites like lobster rolls, clam chowder, freshly handmade burgers, long dogs, shrimp, clam fritters and shakes.


Sea Swirl – Mystic, CT

Photo Courtesy of Sea Swirl Facebook Page

Sea Swirl is a family-owned and operated seafood shack located at the junction of Routes 1 & 27 in Mystic. The roadside stand serves up a full roster of expertly fried seafood including scallops shrimp and fish. Other menu items include hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, ice cream cones and much more.


OK – now who wants a lobster roll? You’re welcome. Did I miss any? Comment below and we’ll add to our list!

2 thoughts on “Groton Guide to Seafood Shacks

  1. What a wonderful story. I have never had lobster but it looks yummy. Such quaint places too.

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