Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Traveler Restaurant

1257 Buckley Highway, Union, CT 06076
(860) 684-4920 Find location!

Photo of Traveler Restaurant, Union, CT You like reading a good book with your meal? Well, there is a dining spot in Connecticut about an hour away from Boston that not only offers decent food, but also has stacks of books from which to choose as well. Now surely most of you have seen the Traveler Restaurant while traveling to and from New York along Route 84. Do you know the sign just off the highway near the Massachusetts border that says FOOD and BOOKS? Well, that indeed, is the Traveler Restaurant, and if you haven't stopped there yet, you may just want to check this unusual place out.

From the outside, the Traveler Restaurant looks like a rather plain-looking dining spot that is wedged between Route 84 and the vast woodlands of Bigelow Hollow State Park in the town of Union. The inside of it is anything but plain, however, with books everywhere you look, not only on the main floor where the dining room is, but also in the basement. And when you order a meal at the Traveler, you get not one, not two, but THREE free books. Granted, these books are used, and some of them are not the most exciting bits of reading, but hey, they are free, so who's complaining?

The food at the Traveler Restaurant is pretty much what you would expect from a roadside restaurant; large, hearty breakfasts, as well as satisfying lunches and dinners. The chicken noodle soup is almost as good as the soup at Rein's, a famous deli 20 miles down the road. Both the open-faced turkey sandwich and the turkey dinner at the Traveler are particularly good, with lots of white meat and, in the case of the turkey dinner, all the fixings that go with it. The char-grilled burgers are hearty and full of flavor, and are offered with a variety of toppings, including bleu cheese dressing and horseradish sauce. The French fries are decent, but the sweet potato fries are the real winner here, as they have little grease and are firm and crispy. The Traveler Restaurant also has beer; this isn't exactly a bad thing, but remember that you are just off of Route 84, which can be a rather dicey highway, so you may want to go light on the adult beverages.

In these days of generic dining spots and boring fast-food chains, it is refreshing to see that there are still unique restaurants along the nation's highways. And the Traveler Restaurant is certainly one of these; the next time you see that quirky sign along Route 84, do yourself a favor and stop in for a great meal and a good read.