"Whenever I'm downtown, if people say, 'Where's a good place to eat?" I say, 'Go down Route 1. Go to The Cove,'” said Linda Johansen, of Mystic.
"Their food's great and it's a great, easy place to bring the kids and we love being able to be outside," Jill Miller, of Mystic, said.
The Cove started as a fish shop back in 1964. The shop remains, but now it's also a restaurant, serving 500 meals a day. The menu is a mix of clams, crabs and lobster. But the codfish sandwich takes the top spot.
"Last year, Esquire magazine named it as one of the 20 best sandwiches in the country," owner, Andrew Kowal, said.
The key to a great sandwich is fresh fish, he said. "We can buy cod three times a week, so we always have a very fresh fish.”
"It's fresh, you can ask when it was caught and it was probably a caught a couple days ago,” said Johansen.
Stonington sea scallops are also favorite local catches.
The Cove doesn't overlook details either. The fries are cut fresh.
"It's a lot of effort, but the quality and the taste is significantly better than the frozen varieties that most people use," Kowal said.
Kowal credits the good meals to the Cove staff.
"They're locals. They have worked here, some of them for a number of years. They can talk to people about how to get to different places. They know all about fish because they've worked here in the market," Kowal said.