FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — You can eat with abandon up and down Fairfield County where Daily Voice readers confirmed what we already knew.
There was no shortage of favorite places to eat in 2016, with Daily Voice readers casting their ballots for everything from their favorite hot dog joint, to special occasion establishments, and even where to get a sudsy belly full of the "Best Craft Beer" among DVlicious winners.
Here are the champions for the year:
The Original Swanky Franks in Norwalk snagged the honors in the "DVlicious Hot Dog Contest" for best in Fairfield County. The unpretentious stand earned bragging rights to being "top dog."
Bailey’s Backyard in Ridgefield is the winner for December of the DVlicious “Special Occasion Restaurant” contest. Even if your occasion isn’t a “special” one, Bailey’s chef, who likes to mingle with the customers, makes it feel like one.
Luigi's in Fairfield won the competition for "Best Italian" in November. Its mouth-watering dishes include Gnocchi con Broccoli and linguini with red clam sauce — inspiring a Yelp reader to say her husband "devours" the dish as if "his own mama made it."
The 51 sudsy ways to fill your belly led readers to hoist Craft260 in Fairfield to the head of the class in October's "Best Craft Beer Bar" contest. The establishment serves rare beers and a nice list of Connecticut local breweries, such as New England Brewing Co., Two Roads, Kent Falls and Aspetuck Brew.
What kid doesn't like pancakes for dinner? Chip's, with locations in Fairfield and Trumbull , won family-friendly favor in September for its "kid-worthy" vibe. Chip's serves 40 different kinds of pancakes, from buttermilk to gluten-free. Adult-friendly dinnertime options include meatloaf and souvlaki from the extensive menu.
You can watch the current ripple on the Saugatuck River from your dining table and do it affordably in Westport at Bartaco, our readers pick in the DVlicous 'Waterfront Dining" contest. The outdoor vibe and easy-on-the-wallet prices is what keeps this lively eatery forever "hot."
Bridgeport's TruNorth was the "Best Brunch" winner for many reasons, not least of which are the bottomless mimosas all weekend, and popular entrees such as Eggs Benedict over applewood smoked ham, and grilled six-ounce hanger steak with caramelized onions.
In May, readers hankered for a plate of hot fries when they heard about our "Best Fries" winner JK's in Danbury . The family-run hometown mainstay, open since 1924, is known for its “original Texas hot wieners,” which are split, grilled and slathered with a secret “sauce.”
Bagel hunters know toasting is optional when you go home with a bag of the doughy delights from Liz Sue's Bagels in Stamford , readers "Best Bagel" pick in the spring for a breakfast/brunch fix.
It is no secret that there is no shortage of good coffee in the region. Readers voted Tusk & Cup Fine Coffee in Ridgefield was hoisted to the top of the heap.
Leave it to February readers to select the "Best Soup" winner as Liquid Lunch in Shelton. Here the most popular staple is Beef Barley, but the-all time, most requested is Roasted Artichoke Chicken Gorgonzola.
And did you know our best diner, found on Route 7 just off the Merritt Parkway, has been around since 1921? Orem's Diner in Wilton , at its current site since 2003, is where residents make it a habit of hunkering down for a favorite meal. Known for its popular Greek dishes such as chicken souvlaki, it was the "Best Diner" choice in January's DVlicous contest.