Fairfield’s Finest

What could be better than lunch at the Darien, Connecticut institution the Sugar Bowl? In my book, not much. The greasy spoon is known by locals and non-locals alike as the place to eat in the posh Connecticut suburb. Breakfast on the weekends is a crowded affair, but a late Friday afternoon lunch ensured space at the counter complete with a cheese burger, chocolate shake and a belly ache. Once you’re done, head over to the Darien Sport Shop for some sneakers and go for a run.


The locals know to sit at the counter.
No more half sandwiches, sorry.




The decorations change four times a year. With Labor Day behind us, Halloween is currently on display.

Comments on “Fairfield’s Finest

    Paul on September 11, 2009 6:51 PM:

    I LOVE places like this. Old fashioned burger/fries/shake joint! I’ll bet anyone in the place was really had thoughts about their youth, or times gone by – remembering. Great post sir.

    BF on September 11, 2009 7:13 PM:

    always a big fan of photos inside a greasy spoon. nice.

    Tyler on September 11, 2009 7:24 PM:

    this taking pictures of food nonsense has been poising the modern culinary scene since the institution of the digital camera. Its good to see a good old fashion greasy ass burger in a picture rather than some asparagus topped with a petite steak and some garnish – save that for the Food Network and their mediocre following.

    Mike D. on September 11, 2009 8:12 PM:

    Soda and a shake. Class.

    Miguel on September 11, 2009 8:14 PM:

    Oh Darien… A waspier, more homogenous place, there is not.

    Ben on September 12, 2009 12:37 PM:

    How long has this joint been around?

    Looks great, but I would have to give the honor of “Fairfield’s Finest” to Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napolitana.

    I’m a New Yorker through and through, but will drive the hour + to New Haven to get my true pizza fix, nothing compares.

    Michael Williams on September 12, 2009 12:38 PM:

    Not sure when Sugar Bowl opened.

    Frank Pepe is the truth indeed. —ACL

    T.S. on September 12, 2009 3:03 PM:

    I grew up and live in darien and i absolutely love this place.

    I was so surprised to see it this morning on your blog… incredible

    Its always been the same, and the burger and black and white shake are to die for

    as always great commentary on one of my favorite greasy spoon joints

    Paul on September 12, 2009 4:36 PM:

    Ben – a true connoisseur of Apizza! Pepe’s is the finest on earth! Buona fortuna!

    AP on September 13, 2009 10:53 PM:

    the hot oil pizza at the colony grill in stamford is the best in fairfield county. if you want frank pepe’s, go to the OG spot in new haven.

    Michael Williams on September 13, 2009 11:02 PM:

    I’ve been to Colony and like it, but not as much as Frank Pepe.


    Laguna Beach Trad on September 13, 2009 11:35 PM:

    Great story! Post Corner Pizza anyone? My family shopped at Darien Sport Shop starting in the 1970s. I remember my father going there to buy a pair of patch madras trousers. I bought my first pair of tasseled loafers and seersucker suit there. In the late 1970s, my grandfather, a huge Anglo-Canadian guy, was staying with my family in Darien while our house was being re-painted. After a few days, however, the painter disappeared. My parents panicked. My grandfather stopped by one of the local Darien watering holes near the Metro-North station where he struck up a conversation with a diminutive Italian guy–who, it turned out, was our painter. He ordered the painter back to our house, under threat of a beating.

    Morgan on September 14, 2009 12:55 PM:

    If we’re discussing Fairfield County greasy spoons, I must chime in and recommend Swanky Frank’s in Norwalk. Get a deep-fried hot dog with the works and then you can cruise over to ShoeMart to check on their selection of Alden seconds.

    Ben on September 14, 2009 5:24 PM:

    My family of New Havenites turned New Yorkers have decided that the tomato pies at Pepes of Fairfield are about 85-90% as good as the Wooster Street originals, yet this still makes them better than 99% of the other joints out there.

    It’s honestly embarrassing the rep that NYC has as this mecca of pizza. While there are some gems (Lucali, Artichoke, etc) the majority of New Yorkers are just as dumb as the tourists eating their “slices” reheated from hours of languish under glass display cases, folding them and proclaiming it the stuff of gods.

    And no I’ve never tried Sally’s or Modern and have no interest in doing so. Thats like saying “Why don’t you root for the Red Sox just this one time to see how it is, then you can compare”.

    AP on September 14, 2009 7:18 PM:

    big-ups to the swanky franks call. the deep fried-chili cheese dogs are the tops. the only place that compares is rutt’s hut in clifton, NJ (also deep-fried).

    Morgan on September 15, 2009 2:31 PM:

    Oh man AP, I can’t believe you mentioned Rutt’s Hut! Its weird to write, but that’s where my whole family went on a rainy November day a couple years ago on our way back from the graveyard where we buried my grandmother. We all got fried dogs and beer and had some sort of wake I guess. The walls were brown with smoke stains and grease but the pitchers of beer were cold and clean.

    bradford on September 15, 2009 3:17 PM:

    Farfield County isn’t complete without the Syamore in Bethel, CT…specifically on Saturday evenings when the car collectors come to show off. Fantastic burgers and home made root beer.

Comments are closed.