Family-friendly restaurants around Bridgeport to visit during the … – CTPost


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Howling Hot Chicken, Bridgeport
House-made sausage at Hub and Spoke in Black Rock.
Black Rock Social House: “Noshables” at Black Rock Social House include frito misto (right) with shrimp, calamari and peppers. At left is an octopus salad.
Hot pizza fresh out of the oven at Frank Pepe’s in New Haven on April 23, 2021.
Outdoor dining igloos at Dockside in Milford on Dec. 1, 2021.
The dining room at Ralph ‘n Rich’s restaurant at 815 Main Street in Bridgeport, Conn. on Wednesday, November 4, 2015.
Blind Rhino Friday, November 6, 2020, on North Main Street in South Norwalk, Conn.
In town with the kids to see UConn or another contender in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament? Visit these family-friendly eateries in the Bridgeport area for laid-back fare.
 
Beer for the adults, root beer floats for the kids, and thin-crust pizza for everyone: Brewport, a brew pub and pizzeria in a renovated old industrial building, is a crowd pleaser. Choose from gourmet selections like The Barrett, with Korean BBQ pulled pork and kimchi; the white clam with freshly-shucked bivalves, or make your own pie (on a red or white base) with dozens of toppings.
Howling Hot Chicken, Bridgeport
The restaurateurs behind the popular Milkcraft ice cream brand opened Howling Hot Chicken last year, with meals, sandwiches, nuggets and a la carte chicken pieces. A range of heat levels starts with a no-spice version and progressing through “lite mild,” medium, hot, very hot and “reaper,” and sides include kale slaw, fries, fried onions and pickles. If your taste buds are still on fire after the meal, just step next door to Milkcraft for a made-to-order ice cream treat.
Black Rock Social House: “Noshables” at Black Rock Social House include frito misto (right) with shrimp, calamari and peppers. At left is an octopus salad.
If anyone in your group avoids gluten, Black Rock Social House is a safe spot — the menu is 100 percent gluten-free, with globally-inspired “noshable” small plates, charcuterie, soups, salads and comfort entrees like roasted chicken paprikash, pan-seared flank steak, garlic parmesan risotto and housemade fettuccine with sausage. Weekend brunch offerings include chicken and waffles and breakfast poutine.
The dining room at Ralph ‘n Rich’s restaurant at 815 Main Street in Bridgeport, Conn. on Wednesday, November 4, 2015.
A city mainstay for fine Italian fare, Ralph n Rich’s features pastas, seafood, steaks, chops and prime rib. A”Sunday Sauce” family-style meal on Sunday afternoons offering antipasto, pasta with assorted meats; entree choices and dessert.
This neighborhood tavern is known for its fried chicken sandwiches on thick-cut toast, like the Honey Badger with Swiss cheese, crispy bacon, pickles, honey mustard and apple jam and the Bada Bing, with roasted red peppers, provolone, prosciutto and pesto. Other indulgences include chili cheese fries, pork belly tacos and a cheesesteak with  roasted mushrooms, cheese sauce and spicy mayo.
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The Blind Rhino is synonymous with wings, in creative flavors like plum sriracha, togarashi brown sugar rub and truffle enchilada, but the sports bar offers plenty more options: build-your-own burgers, wraps, fried chicken sandwiches, loaded fries, soft pretzels and nachos with braised pork and poblano cheese sauce. 
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Hub & Spoke features a menu of “American tapas” (chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, roasted Brussels, deviled eggs), sandwiches, burgers, tacos and “cutting board” plates like smoked sausage, brisket, maple bourbon glazed grilled salmon and baby back ribs. Brunch dishes include peach and pecan French toast, spicy shrimp and avocado toast, eggs Maryland (poached eggs atop crab cakes) and gooey cinnamon buns.
This staple for fast-casual food, once featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” features burgers, hot dogs, fried seafood, milkshakes and all-day breakfast sandwiches. Spice lovers looking for heat can brave the chili dog or its “brutal” version, but be forewarned — there are no refunds.
Outdoor dining igloos at Dockside in Milford on Dec. 1, 2021.
The waterfront brewery is home to an outdoor igloo park throughout the fall and winter, with themed experiences include a miniature jungle, a man cave with a leather couch and a log cabin. A full food menu features shareable appetizers, pizzas, sandwiches, tacos, burgers and assorted specials.
Kids are welcome, but family members under the age of 21 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, according to Dockside’s website. The venue also has highchairs available, and kid-friendly food like chicken tenders and cheese pizza. 
Hot pizza getting cut and boxed at Frank Pepe’s in New Haven
No time for a jaunt to New Haven? No problem. The Wooster Street coal-fired apizza experience is available at Pepe’s Fairfield location, with its signature tomato pie (with or without mozzarella) and other fan favorites like white clam, margherita and Amanti Della Carne (mozzarella, meatballs, pepperoni, sausage and bacon.) Wash it down with your choice of Foxon Park soda.
Leeanne Griffin is the food and consumer reporter for Hearst Connecticut Media Group, handling coverage of restaurant openings and closings, trends, events and general news about CT food and beverage businesses.
She’s been working in Connecticut news for more than 15 years, most recently as the food and dining reporter for the Hartford Courant. A native of Worcester, Mass., she holds a master’s degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University.

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