It's Called The Rustic For A Reason

The Rustic Cafe has been a landmark on Route 1 in East Lyme for over 75 years!  It has been a restaurant and dance hall, a wine bar, a local watering hole, and continues to morph into one of the greatest “little secrets” to all of those whom have visited this tiny bar on their way to or from the shoreline.  A cozy bar with an extensive menu, the popular term “GastroPub” is fitting for this establishment serving several skillfully prepared dishes typically found in fine dining.  Locals and tourists alike enjoy conversation of the day along with great food, beer, wine and cocktails.

Come visit one of the greatest "little secrets" on your way to or from the shoreline

Our Story

Built in 1947 as the Rustic Inn, it was a large restaurant, bar and dance hall.  It was known to have the likes of Frank Sinatra stop by for evenings out.  After a devastating fire in the mid ’60’s, it was rebuilt in 1969 to its present, cozy size and renamed the Rustic Café.  It had a brief stint as the wine bar the Fiddleleaf Inn, but was brought back to its roots in 2007.  Now eccentric locals and summer tourists alike enjoy the freshest seafood, tastiest ribs and renowned hamburgers paired with delicious beer and cocktails in an open wood-beam atmosphere under the original iconic sign.