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Chamber President Matthew Mandell with Rolando Guardado of Romanacci, Best Caesar Salad.

Featured Article

How the Chamber of Commerce Began “The Great Westport" Contests

A Dramatization

It was the winter of 2017. The cold wind as unrelenting as steel, the sidewalks corrugated with packed snow and ice.

Members of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce peered out of their conference room and across the river. Vacant-eyed residents crawled from cars shadowed grey with salt onto the frozen asphalt of Parker Harding to do some light shopping.

“Our people…” murmured the COC president. He slammed his fist on the conference table, startling the attending COC members. “We must do something to bring a ray of sunshine into their winter-weary lives.”

All nodded and sat.

“It’s a brainstorm,” he explained. “No bad ideas.”

“How about a ‘Funny Hat’ day?” a member suggested.

Everyone winced.

A small voice said, “The Great Westport Pizza Contest?”

Heads slowly turned. The president encouraged, “Go on…”

“Well,” said the COC member, “we ask everyone in town to vote on their favorite pizza. We could have, you know, categories like Best Slice, Best Gluten Free, Best Plain…” the member’s voice stammered. “…people like pizza?”

Soon everyone was smiling and laughing and, on March 1 of 2018, the COC kicked off their first pizza contest. So great was the response that other categories soon followed: Great Burgers and Great Salads.

All was well in Westport that winter.

Most recent Best of Westport:

Best Salads

Best Caesar Salad – Romanacci 

Best Chef Salad – Joe’s Pizza 

Best Cobb Salad – La Plage 

Best Deli Salad – A&S Fine Foods 

Best Greens Salad – The Porch 

Best Make Your Own Salad – Parker Mansion 

Best Mediterranean Salad – Manna Toast  

Best Unique Salad – Capuli 

Honorable Mention - Calise's

Best Sandwiches

Best Chicken Sandwich – Stiles Market

Best Steak Sandwich – JR’s Grille

Best Vegetarian Sandwich – Manna Toast

Best Combo Sandwich – Stiles Market

Best Club Sandwich – Joe’s Pizza

Best Wrap – Layla’s Falafel

Best Breakfast Sandwich – JR’s Grille

Best Pressed Sandwich – Mystic Market

Best Fish/Seafood Sandwich – Rizzuto’s

Best Burgers

Best Classic Burger - Viva Zapata 

Best Cheeseburger - Match Burger Lobster 

Best Goumet Burger - Match 

Best Veggie Burger - Little Barn

Best Non-Beef Burger (Fish, Turkey, Lamb....) - Little Barn

Best Fast Food Burger - Shake Shack

Best Slider - Dunville's 

Honorable Mention - Parker Mansion

And, finally, Best Pizzas

Best Slice – Westport Pizzeria (now closed)

Beat Plain Pizza – Westport Pizzeria (now closed)

Best Meat Pizza – Joe’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant

Best Gluten Free Pizza – Joe’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant

Best Veggie Pizza – Tuttis Ristorante

Best Delivered Pizza – Jordan’s Restaurant and Pizza of Westport

Best Personal Pizza – Rizzuto’s Oyster Bar and Restaurant and Toscano Pizzeria

Honorable Mentions - Romanacci Pizza Bar and Planet Pizza

For winners and information on how to vote, visit

  • Chamber President Matthew Mandell with Rolando Guardado of Romanacci, Best Caesar Salad.
  • Eric Johnson (E.J.) of JR's Deli and Grille, holding awards for Best Steak Sandwich and Best Breakfast Sandwich.
  • The contest that started it all!