Vegetarians gasp with happiness at the sight of the menus at Bloodroot Restaurant (85 Ferris St., Bridgeport, 203/576-9168, www.bloodroot.com , 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Tue. and Thu.–Sun; 6–9 p.m. Tue.–Thu.; 6–10 p.m. Fri.–Sat., $8–14), housed in a funky feminist bookstore. The lengthy roster of options includes dishes like penne in slow-roasted tomato sauce, tempeh-stuffed eggplant, and spanikopita.
Don’t show up at Taco Loco (3170 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport, 203/335-8228, www.tacoloco.com , 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Thu.; 11:30 a.m.–10:30 p.m. Fri.–Sat.; 11:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Sun., $8–14) expecting burrito-stand staples. Everything here is homemade, from the mahimahi with cilantro to the shrimp and scallop enchiladas.
Delectable Spanish and Argentine tapas and entrées fly from the kitchen at the loud-and-happening
Barcelona Wine Bar (4180 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield, 203/255-0800, $9–14 for small plates). ). Dishes are just as lively as the room, too—specialties like pan-seared grouper with grilled fennel and skirt steak with deep-green chimichurri sauce.
Named after one of the oldest cities in South India, Tanjore (222C Post Rd., Fairfield, 203/255-1970, http://tanjorect.com , $8–12) serves excellent North and South Indian dishes in a pastel-purple dining room.