Connecticut Best Bargains 2010
Lunch A La Carte
FOOD CARTS, New Haven
An outdoor gathering of food vendors as an epicurean hot spot? If you’re in the Elm City, absolutely. The vendors, a weekday fixture in front of Yale-New Haven Hospital, offer seriously authentic street food spanning the globe: gyros, falafel, sushi, and burritos. Enjoy your lunch alfresco, accompanied by live music on summer Fridays. Jct. York and Cedar Sts.
THE BOOK BARN, Niantic
Times are tough for independent bookstores, but this page-turner’s paradise, a veritable treasure trove of used literature, has the support of a loyal following. Bonus: a sales table crammed with aging hardcovers and paperbacks, priced to move at $1. 41 West Main St. 860-739-5715; bookbarnniantic.com
En Plein Air
WEIR FARM, Wilton
This National Historic Site devoted to American painting offers soul-soothing countryside and a peek at the lives of J. Alden Weir and his peers, America’s most famous Impressionist painters. Guided tours take in the antique buildings and rolling farmland that inspired these artists. Plus, there’s no admission fee. 735 Nod Hill Road. 203-834-1896; nps.gov/wefa
Stuff of Childhood Dreams
BARKER CHARACTER, COMIC & CARTOON MUSEUM, Cheshire
Herb and Gloria Barker’s cache of childhood nostalgia is one of the largest such collections in America. Old-time treasures such as Lone Ranger flashlight rings appeal to Baby Boomers, while the Pixar collectibles are a hit with the young set. Admission: $5 adults, $3 ages 3-12; free for ages 2 and under. 1188 Highland Ave. (Route 10). 203-699-3822; barkermuseum.com
Soup For You
LIQUID LUNCH, Shelton/Milford
In case the name hasn’t tipped you off, this on-the-go lunch spot is all about the soup. The daily rotation offers made-from-scratch varieties, from chicken noodle and beef barley to green chicken chili and Louisiana crab Florentine. Soups: from $3.75 (8 oz). Sandwiches: from $3.75 (half), $6.49 (full). 434 Howe Ave., Shelton, 203-924-0200; 84 South Broad St., Milford, 203-877-7687; liquidlunchrestaurant.com
Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.