Westport, Connecticut Travel Guide | Tasting Table NYC

A one-day escape to Westport, Connecticut

At just an hour away from the city, Westport, Connecticut is close enough to Manhattan's radius to support a seriously burgeoning shopping and dining scene but far away enough that a single-day immersion feels restorative. This is small-town living done right (there's a legitimate Main St.), and the nearby beaches of Sherwood Island State Park are great for a nature hit.

Why choose just one?

Coffee An' Donut Shop
Newfangled doughnuts may be sweeping the States, but this old-fashioned shop sticks to tradition with its crunchy sugarcoated cake doughnuts. Crowd into the small storefront with the rest of town for coconut crullers that weigh about a pound each and marble sticks that knot chocolate and glazed strands together for a twist that's primed for dipping into a cup of coffee.

Decorations at Terrain change seasonally


There are stores that make us want to sweep everything up in big armfuls and head home, and then there's Terrain–where we'd be happy to just move on in. The astonishingly beautiful setting includes a full garden center, lust-worthy kitchen items, stacks of cookbooks and a restaurant. Leave time for an elderflower garden spritzer at the café before you check out.

Refuel at Double L Market

Double L Market

This sweet grocery store, run by owner Lloyd Allen, is just down the road from Terrain. Get to chatting with Allen and he'll take you for a spin around the shop, pointing out picnic-ready, Westport-made 8 to the Bar nut, oat and fruit snack bars here and tubular Witch Finger grapes there. Pursue the refrigerated cases for Sankow's Beaver Brook Farm raw milk, ice cream from Arethusa Farm Dairy (owned by a pair of Manolo Blahnik executives) and Butterfield Farm goat's milk cheese with ash.

A small-town butcher with a serious selection

Saugatuck Craft Butchery

Ryan and Katherine Fibiger left their Wall Street finance careers behind to train with Fleisher's Grass-Fed and Organic Meats, and subsequently opened this butcher shop. Stock up with a dry-aged "Westporterhouse," sky-blue Araucana eggs and housemade "Pot Sticker" pork sausages made with fresh ginger, garlic and scallions. With a brand-new location and café, The Kitchen, connected to the main shop, you can also take a break for house-smoked Berkshire Ham, cheddar and an egg on brioche or Berkshire pork loin, red cabbage and plum-ginger jam on ciabatta.

A bounty of seafood at The Whelk

More local gems: Whether you go old school at The Mansion Clam House or new school at The Whelk, the menus are a reminder that the coast (and its bounty) are never far away in this town. The Mansion Clam House has been dishing out fried whole belly clams in a red-shingled building since 1958. The Whelk is the newest restaurant from chef Bill Taibe of the renowned Le Farm. Stop in for whole griddled head-on shrimp and warm Peekytoe crab fondue.