Patching Together Westport’s Top 10 Restaurants

Patch is not exactly at the forefront of Westport media. That’s not surprising, since it is was owned by AOL — you know, the company that back in the last century was for a while the world’s largest distributor of CDs.

Kids! Ask your parents what these were.

Kids! Ask your parents what these were!

But the other day someone sent me a link to Patch’s list of the Top 10 Restaurants in Westport (according to Yelp).

It must have been a slow news day over at Patch. But hey — it’s a slow news day at “06880” too!

So here is the Yelp list.

There’s no arguing with #10 and 9: Acqua and Via Sforza. Kibberia is #8, though I’d bump this great Middle Eastern spot a few notches higher.

Some of the many intriguing dishes at Kibberia.

Some of the many intriguing dishes at Kibberia.

#7 is Rainbow Thai, in Bridge Square. I’m glad it’s not overlooked.

Checking in at #6 is Yamafuji, which apparently is a sushi place across from Super Stop & Shop. I’ve never heard of it, but Yelpers give it rave reviews.

The Top 5 is where things get a little odd.

Yelp’s 5th most popular restaurant in Westport is Gold’s Delicatessen. Sure, it’s been around since Moses. And yeah, the lox and bagels are good. But when was the last time you heard anyone say answer “Gold’s!” to the question, “We’re looking for a really good restaurant in Westport. What do you recommend?”*

Westport's 5th favorite restaurant. (Photos/Judy Crowley Simonetti)

Westport’s 5th favorite restaurant. (Photos/Judy Crowley Simonetti)

#4 is Finalmente — that’s reasonable — but #3 is Westfair Fish & Chips.

Let me repeat that. The 3rd best restaurant in Westport is a place whose signature dish comes wrapped in newspaper.

Fortunately, Westport’s Top 2 are actual restaurants, with many devoted fans. The Whelk is #2, LeFarm is #1 — and Bill Taibe is a very happy man.


I know that ranking restaurants is subjective. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, to use a pretty gross but nonetheless apt saying.

Westport Patch invited readers to comment on Yelp’s Top 10 list. There were none.

I bet there will be a few here on “06880.”

*Around the last time you clicked on Westport Patch for the latest town news.



33 responses to “Patching Together Westport’s Top 10 Restaurants

  1. I get a different list when I check Yelp. Westfair falls to 14 and Golds slides to 27. A few more good choices move into the top 10 (Spotted Horse, Bartaco) along with the restaurant at Terrain, Neat and some other places. Yamafuji is loved but it only has 13 reviews. My investigative journalism is done for the day now.

  2. Blue Lemon isn’t on the list? Yes, I know service can be very slow at times, but the food has always been good.

    • Susan, I love Blue Lemon and I love the relaxed/slow feel of the whole place. The art is ever changing, the music soft and low and jazzy, and it’s the coziest place in town. Love Blue Lemon

  3. Matthew Mandell

    The Chamber of Commerce says eat at them all and forget about rankings. When Tuttis is left off the list you know something is amiss. Tough to compare Westfair to Post 154 or Golds to Pane e Bene which also was not listed. Each one has its own merits, right down to JR’s to get a dog.

    Mange folks. And continue to eat local.

  4. I’m sure all of this attention is tongue in cheek (as you say, slow news day) but of course these rankings are based on a tiny sample (consider the source) and are as easy to manipulate as book reviews!

  5. Seth Schachter

    Dan (and anyone else who hasn’t tried them) Yamafuji is super good Sushi. It replaced another sushi restaurant that was in the same location a while back. If you enjoy sushi, you will have to give this a try. Its a small restaurant but they do a ton of delivery in the area and they are pretty quick to deliver so we have never had a problem with our order not being fresh, etc. The quality of the sushi is very good and we have rarely been disappointed when ordering from there.

  6. I don’t think there are any surviving bad restaurants in Westport- it just depends on what you’re looking for! Cheap eats, classy dining, organic, bar food, Asian fare, fish house, diner, Italian, middle eastern, Mexican, burger and a beer. They are all here! Biggest decision- Do you want to drop less than 50 bucks, around 100 smackers or more than 150 dollars. Leisurely meal or feed the kids/grandkids and go home! Do you want to dress up or dress down. Do you want to hit an iDine place or one to save a couple of bucks. Quiet dining, friends, family, sports scene or romantic. Which top ten are you looking for??

    For whatever it is worth- our favorite sixteen based on multiple outings are in no particular order – The Black Duck, Kibberia, Villa del Sol, Matsu Sushi, Blue Lemon, Arezzo, Spotted Horse, BobbyQ’s, Via Sforza, Oscars, Shack Shack, Positano, Tavern on Main, Commuter Diner, Boat House and the Lime (ooops- that’s in Norwalk). The only reason the The Whelk and Le Farm didn’t make this eclectic list is we often go out at the last minute on weekends or late during the week and you can never get reservations.

    PS- I don’t like waiting anywhere for tables, standing at a bar or getting served after people who were seated after us!

  7. Terry Brannigan

    BTW: How many restaurants do we officially have (not including delicatessens? including delis?

    • Trip adviser lists 137 food establishments in Westport with at least 7 that are closed still listed. Their list includes fine dining, fast food and sandwich shops. The bottom two listed are Subway and Ronald MacD. Hope no one is offended but I have been know to eat at both establishments on rare occasion.

      Borrowing a line from my son – Evan Strin-
      “My investigative journalism is done for the day now.”

  8. West Fair Fish and Chips IS a top 5 Westport dining experience Dan, you need to get out more often my friend! Best fresh seafood in town, prepared every which way. It’s also an institution among many “townies”, which makes it a natural for this blog’s crowd.

  9. Sherwood Diner – irreplaceable. When all else fails, let’s go to the diner!

  10. I will give a shout out to Tarantino’s. Always friendly and great food-have to try the Chicken Scarpiello. Best in Westport b

  11. Unfortunately, Yelp is not to be trusted. My business was on the first page with positive reviews. Then Yelp contacted me to subscribe to a pay service for advertising. I declined and suddenly my first page ranking dropped to page 5 and my good reviews mysteriously disappeared. I called them to discuss this and they said if I reconsidered my decision to not advertise they would “look into it.” Very nasty.

  12. marvin goldstein

    Don’t understand your love affair with Kiibberia. Their food is mediocre at best. Try Layla’s in Stamford and Fairfield. Their food puts Kibberia to shame!!

    Mid-eastern maven

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Marvin- mediocre is your opinion. The Topic is the 10 best in Westport.

      Layla is in FAIRFIELD or STAMFORD.

      Our daughter lives in Fairfield and takes out from Layla- but she loves coming to Kibberia with us and the grandkids. Why drive 30 minutes if you can do as well and better in WESTPORT!!

      Besides- Kibberia’s food is delicious, most dishes can be shared easily, it is a nice place for a sitdown quick or slow meal, BYOB and is priced reasonably by any standard!!

      Just my opinion

  13. Steve,
    Last time I checked Fairfield is about 5 minutes from Westport…and Stamford is about 15. 30 minutes is a bit off.

    • Hmmmm- Google maps right now as we speak says from my home near exit 41 to Layla Fairfield is 20 to 25 minutes and to Layla Stamford is 25 minutes.
      It probably takes me longer because I tend to drive with traffic.

  14. My favorite restaurant in Westport is Pane e bene, with Via Sforza and Finalmente Trattoria running close seconds. Dan — have you ever figured out the number of Italian restaurants per capita in Westport? I think the Westport News many years ago stated that Westport ranks second only to Chicago in pizza places. But I would include all Italian.

  15. By the way, Rainbow Thai is opening a restaurant in Fairfield, where Grilled Cheese just closed (and Cafe Lola prior to that).

  16. Notice that there has been no mention of Mario’s – cannot imagine Westport without it.

  17. Hey, JR’s Hot Dog Stand on Riverside Ave-Best Breakfast and Elvira’s Market on 222 Hillspoint Rd-Best Gyro.
    Wendy Cusick

  18. I think the rankings are more a reflection on the credibility of Yelp and it’s reviewers rather than the quality of the restaurants. I speculate that Le Farm and Whelk got the top ratings as Bill Taibe is the only “celebrity” chef in Westport who attracts customers for his talents…and his restaurants which have a reputation for his reliability, innovation and quality. I would venture that when people say let’s go to Aqua or Blue Lemon or whatever they’re thinking of the restaurant and not who’s cooking the food. It is inherently misleading to lump a deli and a farm to table restaurant on the same list as the experiences are completely different.

  19. The owner/celebrity chef of Tarry issued very negative comments about ‘Wall Streeters’ and financial types. I find it interesting given his desire to be negative against those that can afford his $20 pizzas and pastas.

    Just saying but a he has no problem taking their money.

  20. Well Kibberia takes the overall top spot for a fresh tasty value! Alway consistently fresh and Nick and all the staff are always welcoming! Like Jack Whittle stated…Westfair is a best kept secret! Best fish and chip joint east of Dover! My friends Dad was a former RAF Pilot who would visit from time to time and was a world class authority of fish and chips. One of his favorite places was Westfair. Had lunch at Gold’s a week ago and it was as good as ever…Matzoh Ball soup and whitefish is as good as it gets! Rainbow Thai is another winner! I also remember Mario Batali ranting against those who helped to make him the success he has become…. Along way from him starting out at his first restaurant PO on Cornelia Street way back when.

  21. Lots of great spots to eat in Westport, but how does Da Pietro’s not make the list? We’ve never had a bad meal there.