12 Best Restaurants in Danbury, Connecticut

Last Updated on February 27, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Danbury is a lively city in western Connecticut with a vibrant dining scene. From cozy cafes to upscale eateries, Danbury offers tasty cuisine for every palate and budget. The city’s diversity brings a mix of culinary influences, with restaurants offering Italian, Indian, Thai, Mexican, American fare and more. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, Danbury’s top restaurants guarantee a delicious meal in a welcoming atmosphere.

This article highlights 12 of the best restaurants that Danbury has to offer. For each entry, you’ll find key information like the ambiance, signature dishes, and what makes the restaurant stand out. From casual spots like Richter’s Ordinary for burgers and beer to elegant venues like Ethan Allen Inn for special occasions, there’s something for every occasion. Read on for the top dining experiences in Danbury and where to find them!

Best Italian: Ballo Italian Restaurant & Social Club

With its dark wood interior, white tablecloths, and intimate lighting, Ballo Italian Restaurant & Social Club transports diners straight to Italy. Run by the Ballo family since 1969, this Danbury institution serves high-quality regional dishes from northern and southern Italy.

Start off with bruschetta or a Caesar salad before moving on to house specialties like chicken parmigiana, veal marsala, or seafood fra diavolo over linguine. Save room for canoli or spumoni ice cream for dessert. Between the friendly staff, extensive wine list, and live music on weekends, Ballo offers a memorable Italian dining experience.

Address: 21 Padanaram Rd, Danbury, CT 06811
Signature Dishes: Chicken Parmigiana, Veal Marsala

Best Steakhouse: Ethan Allen Inn

For the finest steaks in town, head to the historic and elegant Ethan Allen Inn. Set on an estate built in 1732, this Danbury steakhouse has formal service and charming décor with a rustic timber-beamed ceiling and fieldstone fireplace.

USDA Prime dry-aged steaks are expertly prepared, such as the melt-in-your-mouth 24 oz bone-in ribeye. Seafood like grilled salmon and jumbo shrimp also shine, alongside classic sides like creamed spinach and crispy onion rings with rémoulade. For special occasions or date nights, the contemporary American menu and exceptional service make Ethan Allen Inn the top pick.

Address: 21 Lake Ave Extension, Danbury, CT 06811
Signature Dishes: 24 oz Bone-in Ribeye, Creamed Spinach

Best Diner: Richter’s Ordinary

For no-frills burgers and diner fare at honest prices, Richter’s Ordinary is a go-to local spot. This downtown eatery has a retro 1950s feel with its Formica countertops and scattered knick-knacks. Located in a former historic bank, the building is full of quirky character.

Come hungry, as Richter’s portions are generous. Customer favorites include their half-pound Char Burger (topped with onions, peppers, bacon, cheddar, and barbecue sauce), Reuben sandwich layered high with corned beef, turkey club stacked with fresh roast turkey, and vegetarian options like the Garden Burger. See why Richter’s Ordinary has been a Danbury tradition since 1990.

Address: 15 E St, Danbury, CT 06810
Signature Dishes: Char Burger, Turkey Club

Best Thai: Pantana Thai & Noodle House

For vibrant Thai flavors, Pantana Thai & Noodle House is exceptional. This unassuming restaurant surprises with complex dishes crafted from family recipes. Start with chicken satay skewers with spicy peanut dipping sauce before diving into pad Thai, drunken noodles, fiery green curry, or other Thai staples.

Chef’s specials like grilled pork neck or crispy half duck also impress. With outstanding food at affordable prices, Pantana brings the flavors of Thailand to Danbury. The kitchen takes care to adjust spice levels to preference, ensuring everyone finds a new favorite.

Address: 77 Stony Hill Rd, Bethel, CT 06801
Signature Dishes: Pad Thai, Panang Curry

Best Indian: Tawa Indian Cuisine

Spanning aromatic curries, fluffy naan breads, and other authentic dishes, Tawa Indian Cuisine serves stellar Indian fare in a contemporary dining room. Expect beautifully presented plates, delicate spices, and talented chefs preparing family recipes.

Menu highlights include crispy samosas, rich chicken tikka masala, spiced lamb vindaloo, shrimp biryani mixing rice and succulent shrimp, and more. With an extensive menu of Indian classics, it’s easy to find new favorites. Don’t skip the homemade chutneys or creamy mango lassi beverage either. For excellent service and top-notch Indian cuisine, Tawa hits the spot.

Address: 8 Delay St, Danbury, CT 06810
Signature Dishes: Chicken Tikka Masala, Lamb Vindaloo

Best Mexican: La Zarza Ecocina

La Zarza Ecocina brings vibrant Mexican flavors to Danbury in a relaxed cantina setting. With exposed brick walls, colorful Mexican tiles, and hanging lanterns, the ambiance feels straight from Mexico City. Sizzling fajitas are a specialty, with your choice of meat plus peppers and onions served on a cast iron skillet.

Their tasty tacos deliver too, stuffed with spiced meats, freshest salsa verde, cilantro, and onions. Other favorites include enchiladas suizas blanketed in green tomatillo sauce and tender camarones al mojo de ajo (garlic shrimp). Wash it all down with a margarita, sangria or Mexican beer while soaking up the festive vibe.

Address: 5 Delay St, Danbury, CT 06810
Signature Dishes: Sizzling Steak Fajitas, Tacos al Pastor

Best Vegan & Vegetarian: Sweet Pea Vegetarian Bistro & Lounge

With locally-sourced organic ingredients, Sweet Pea Vegetarian Bistro & Lounge plates creative vegan and vegetarian dishes in a chic downtown setting. Its fresh salad bar features over 60 toppings to customize nutrient-rich bowls.

Small plates like Vietnamese summer rolls or General Tso’s cauliflower satisfy lighter appetites. Heartier mains such as buckwheat soba noodles, tofu tikka masala, or Sweet Pea’s signature veggie burger on a house-made multigrain bun also hit the spot. With thoughtful dishes, it caters well to vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike in an artsy, romantic atmosphere.

Address: 97 Stony Hill Rd, Bethel, CT 06801
Signature Dishes: Buckwheat Soba Noodles, Veggie Burger

Best Seafood: Fish Tale Oyster Bar

For the area’s best seafood, Fish Tale Oyster Bar comes highly rated. This casual New England-style eatery gets daily fish deliveries for ocean-fresh fare. Their raw bar shines with East and West coast oysters, littleneck clams and jumbo shrimp cocktail.

Move on to their award-winning clam chowder – rich, creamy and loaded with fresh clam meat. For mains, seared sea scallops, classic fish and chips, lobster rolls, and other seafood essentials hit the spot. With friendly service and a nautical-themed setting, it’s a fantastic option for seafood any night of the week.

Address: 77 Stony Hill Rd, Bethel, CT 06801
Signature Dishes: Clam Chowder, Lobster Roll

Best Breakfast & Brunch: The Pantry

For freshly prepared breakfast favorites, cozy neighborhood favorite The Pantry is a top choice. Their selection of pancakes, French toast, and egg dishes shine, using high quality ingredients.

Hearty omelets bursting with fillings, eggs Benedict crowned with silky hollandaise, and fluffy lemon ricotta pancakes satisfy morning cravings. For lunch and dinner, they also plate up soups, salads, sandwiches – including juicy burgers. With friendly service in a relaxed setting, the Pantry is the perfect local spot for any meal.

Address: 25 Padanaram Rd, Danbury, CT 06811
Signature Dishes: Eggs Benedict, Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Best Coffee Shop: Cafe Aurora

In the heart of downtown, Cafe Aurora brews Danbury’s best artisan coffee drinks in a sleek, modern setting. Their knowledgeable baristas love to chat about different beans and brewing techniques while crafting made-to-order lattes, cappuccinos, pour overs, cold brews and more.

Beyond expertly pulled espresso drinks, they serve fresh light bites like pastries, bagels, soups and pressed sandwiches. The atmosphere invites lingering, with comfortable couches, free wifi, and occasional live acoustic music. For exceptional coffee, delicious snacks, and an upbeat social hub, Cafe Aurora delivers.

Address: 67 Main St #1, Danbury, CT 06810
Signature Drinks: Vanilla Latte, Cold Brew Coffee

Best Winery: Jones Family Winery

Combining a wine shop, tasting room and production facility, Jones Family Winery is both a destination and community fixture. As the first vineyard in Connecticut growing European vinifera grapes, they produce small-batch award-winning wines on-site.

Their tasting room offers samples of wines like dry Rieslings, crisp Pinot Grigios, and oak-aged Cabernet Francs. With warm, knowledgeable staff and charming rustic building, tastings feel relaxed rather than stuffy or pretentious. Beyond their wines, people come for lively events with live music, food trucks, and gorgeous views of the vineyards.

Address: 606 Lake Ave Ext, Danbury, CT 06811
Signature Wine: Barrel Fermented Chardonnay

Best Gastropub: The Blind Rhino

With elevated pub grub and 19 rotating taps pouring craft beers, whiskeys, and wines, The Blind Rhino charms guests with its speakeasy vibe. This downtown gastropub plates creative dishes like duck confit poutine, seared diver scallops with butternut squash purée, street corn chowder, and their stacked Rhino burger dripping with applewood smoked bacon.

Their menu hits the sweet spot between sophisticated flavor combinations and approachable bar food. With friendly bartenders and cooks preparing food from scratch, it’s an easygoing spot for sharing plates, drinks, and good times with friends.

Address: 15 Main St, Danbury, CT 06810
Signature Dishes: Duck Confit Poutine, Rhino Burger

Conclusion


From Italian classics at Ballo to innovative gastropub plates at The Blind Rhino, Danbury offers dynamic dining for all tastes. Seafood lovers will find fresh catches at Fish Tale Oyster Bar, while Sugar Hi Bakery satisfies sugar cravings with artful cakes and pastries.

For hearty helpings of comfort food, Richter’s Ordinary hits the spot. With the area’s diversity comes authentic Thai, Indian, Mexican and more, on top of contemporary American cuisine.

Whether meeting friends for coffee at Cafe Aurora or celebrating over steak at Ethan Allen Inn, Danbury brings culinary variety and quality at different price points citywide. Use this guide to discover your new go-to spots among the top restaurants in Danbury, Connecticut!

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