Haute to Hot, Danbury's Restaurant Scene Is All Over the Map

Danbury Fair Mall
Danbury Fair Mall

Danbury’s Spanish and South American immigrants have certainly put their stamp on the town’s eateries.

Downtown, also known as CityCenter, has two Brazilian spots, Brazilis on Main Street and Calypso on White Street, that join a host of other South American restaurants such as Empire of the Incas and Mitad Del Mundo.

Cuban and South American specialties are on the menu at Amigo’s, a combination short-order Cuban restaurant, butcher shop and grocery store on West Street.

The downtown district also features a large and popular spot in a renovated 1884 fire station: Two Steps Downtown Grille, with two outdoor patios and 12 microbrews on tap. Next door is Ciao Café & Wine Bar, a smaller Italian eatery with its own patio and emphasis on presentation.

Nico’s on Main Street gets raves for its pizza and shrimp scampi over linguini.

The city has no shortage of elegant spots, either.

Ondine Restaurant on Pembroke Road is outright swanky, offering contemporary French cuisine. Café on the Green, with its focus on northern Italian and Mediterranean, has huge picturesque windows overlooking Richter Park.

Prime rib and lobster are the draws at Jim Barbarie’s on Padanaram Road, a classic supper club staple that’s been serving up slabs of beef since 1961.

Danbury is home to some offbeat spots as well. A city staple for years, JK’s Texas Hot Weiners, facing Rogers Park, has been reviewed by a biker blog claiming patrons have ridden 1,000 miles just to get to the stubby but plump hot dogs, served crusty and topped with onions, mustard and a sauce with a kick – and a side of gravy-smothered fries.

The Marcus Dairy Bar restaurant gets high marks from Roadfood guru Michael Stern for its hot and cold turkey sandwiches. Since it opened in 1947, the joint has roasted and carved birds every day. A popular spot for locals, the vintage dairy bar offers all the classics – cheeseburgers, fries, familiar soups and, of course, ice cream treats. The sundaes, shakes, and banana splits are all made with Marcus Dairy Ice Cream.

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