The Fourth of July is finally here and grilling season is in full swing. CTBites has been taking advantage of this wonderful time of year by undergoing a broad sampling of burgers from the coastal towns of Fairfield County CT. We are pleased to present our dining guide to the “Ten Recommended Burgers from Greenwich to Westport.” We know we have some more eating to do. Part 2 coming soon.
Beach Burger (Norwalk) – Across the river from SONO, the newest arrival on the Fairfield County hamburger scene is the creation of “Chopped” winner Marc Anthony Byrum and local ice cream store owner Anthony Luciani. This duo immediately entered the discussion as a recommended destination with their 6-ounce grass-fed all natural beef hamburger. Their toppings include traditional cheese bacon and sautéed onions, plus non-traditional toppings such as pulled pork, guacamole and fried oysters. Beach Burger also offers some very uniquely flavored milk shakes, including Banana Foster, Twinkie and PB&J.
- 1st Street & Cove Avenue, Norwalk, CT (203) 956-5767 -
Black Duck (Westport) – Tucked under I-95 off Exit 17 sits a reconstructed 1840’s barge overlooking the Saugatuck River, and the hamburgers are unquestionably one of the best in Fairfield County. The hamburger is a full 8-ounces 80-20 Angus beef patty (a 12 ounce variety is also available), perfectly cooked and delivered encased in a plain bun. The hamburger has a nice rich flavor and the texture is soft and shows that care is taken in the kitchen in preparing the meat. The larger size burger allows the flavor of the meat to be the highlight even when topped with my favorite frazzled onions and cheese.
- 605 Riverside Avenue, Westport, CT 06880-5918, (203) 227-7978 -
Blue Cactus Grill (Norwalk) – This hidden-gem of owner Vic Amereno serves hand formed hamburgers with daily-delivered meat from Omaha Beef Company in Danbury using a 75 year old recipe. The 8-ounce 70/30 blend burgers are hand formed on site each day and then grilled to perfection. The hamburger is served on a plain grilled bun from the New York Bakery in Norwalk, based on a recipe that Amereno developed. Together the deep flavor of the meat and the mild bun work perfectly together. In addition the hand cut fries as well as the hand-made chips are fantastic sides; plus be sure to try the home made cactus slaw.
- 51 Stevens Street, Norwalk, CT 06850-3540, (203) 838-8800 -
Burgers Shakes and Fries (Greenwich / Darien) – Considered by many as the best hamburger in Fairfield County, owner Kory Wollins combines delectable beef from Master Purveyors with his signature butter grilled bread at the original location in Byrum as well as the BSF restaurant in Darien. Customers choose from numerous toppings, such as cheese or fried eggs to complement the great flavor of the meat. If a hot dog is desired; BSF also serves one of the best ‘dogs’ in the county. For side choices, customers choose from the perfectly prepared fries or the latest addition of delicious sweet potato tots. To complete the meal, BSF offers several delicious shakes made with house made syrups. The tasty chocolate shakes are the mainstay at many tables.
- 302 Delavan Ave, Greenwich, CT 06830, (203) 531-7433 –
- 800 Post Road, Darien, CT 06820, (203) 202-9401 -
Cherry Street East (New Canaan) – When I envision the perfect bar hamburger, Cherry Street East ranks as one of the best. Each day, CSE hand forms their hamburgers for local business and town’s people. This institution has survived economic downturns and a ground leveling fire to remain a destination spot for hamburger lovers. My favorite, and in my unofficial poll, the favorite of many, is the Vermonster, a single hamburger with bacon and cheddar on an English muffin. To accompany the hamburger, the French fries and the daily hand cut onion rings (my favorite onion rings in Fairfield County) add to the perfect lunch or dinner in combination with a large beer or soda.
- 45 East Avenue, New Canaan, CT 06840 (203) 594-1515 -
Farmer’s Table (New Canaan) – After six months on the vibrant New Canaan restaurant scene, Robert Ubaldo and his fiancée, Lucia, are delivering an incredible hamburger. The meat is sourced from John Boy’s Farm in New York, and the hamburger is served with two slices of delicious cheese and thin slices of cornichon. The slight tartness of the latter perfectly complements the richness of the beef, and Farmer’s Table delivers their signature French fries perfectly prepared with just a touch of salt. Always wanting to improve the product, stay tuned as Farmer’s Table looks into developing a new twist in the near future.
- 21 Forest Street, New Canaan, CT 06840-4702 (203) 594-7890 -
Harvest Supper (New Canaan) – Harvest Supper’s hamburger begins with superbly prepared American Wagyu beef. Owner Grace Lamb then complements the deliciously rich flavor with a melted slice of Beemster XO cheese, a few slices of bread and butter pickles, a thin slice of red onion and the Harvest Supper “Special Sauce” all encased in a wonderful sesame seed bun. I recommend eliminating the special sauce (ordering on the side is an alternative), which allows for the great flavor of the meat and the deep, nutty flavor of the Beemster cheese to shine. Harvest Supper serves their hamburger with perfectly fried shoestring potatoes that are accented with a touch of rosemary.
- 15 Elm Street, New Canaan, CT 06840 (203) 966-5502 -
Le Farm (Westport) – Chef Bill Taibe serves his vision of an incredibly delicious high end hamburger beginning with Pat LaFrieda’s single grind shoulder meat which is cooked to perfection. He next complements the rich flavors of the meat with several slices of delicious bacon, melted mild cheddar cheese, a few thick slices of bread & butter pickles and housemade pepper mayonnaise. He serves this flavorful combination encased in a poppy seed bun from SONO Baking Company and Café. Each of the ingredients are delicious individually, and when combined create a great hamburger. Alongside the hamburger Chef Bill serves salty and peppery roasted potatoes and a delicious balsamic dressed mixed salad.
- 256 Post Rd E., Westport, CT 06880, (203) 557-3701 -
Napa & Company (Stamford) – Chef Arik Bensimon’s delivers the quintessential high end hamburger, which begins with delectably seasoned American Wagyu beef. Chef Arik pan fries this incredibly flavorful and succulent meat to perfection and then serves with red onion jam, aged Gouda and black pepper mayo encased in a brioche bun. The red onion jam adds an incredible sweetness and the aged Gouda brings a deep nutty flavor to the other rich flavors. On the side Chef Arik serves mouth-watering fries, currently featuring a touch of rosemary. With a glass of beer or a perfectly paired glass of wine, this hamburger is the epitome of perfection.
- 75 Broad Street, Stamford, CT 06901, (203) 353-3319 –
Nicholas Roberts (Norwalk) – With Owner / Chef Robert Troilo overseeing the kitchen, Nicholas Roberts, produces another delicious hamburger in Norwalk. He begins with D’Artagnan natural beef and then pan-fries the hamburger to its perfect doneness. The hamburger is served with a few slices of aged Vermont cheddar cheese, soft and sweet caramelized onions, a few slices of bacon, sautéed mushrooms and fries. The bacon, also from D’Artagnan, is a perfect complement the flavors of the meat and I always ask for extra fried onions. In addition the perfectly prepared French Fries at Nicholas Roberts are some of the best in the county.
- 5 Main Street, Norwalk, CT, 06851 (203) 229-0035 -
I am sure there are others that readers feel passionate about including on this list. Please feel free to post the destinations and I will give them a shot for inclusion in next year’s edition of the Greenwich to Westport list.