Danny’s Drive-In

Review by: Michael Stern

*This restaurant is permanently closed*

New customers at Danny’s Drive-In are warned, verbally and in writing (on a sign by the order counter) that the chili is very, very hot. It is Kuhn’s chili, well-known to Fairfield County chiliheads, still made according to a secret recipe, and delivered to Danny’s as the coup de grace for hot dogs, hamburgers, and fried potatoes. It is a powerfully aromatic emulsion that will make your lips and tongue tingle and will set your digestive tract aglow.

The charms of this 1935-vintage drive-in go beyond four-alarm chili, which in this case is really only a condiment (albeit a persuasive one). Danny’s main claim to fame is a hamburger – or a cheeseburger, or a double burger or a triple piggie (3 patties, 3 slices of cheese, 3 strips of bacon) – with the works. That means lettuce, tomato, sliced onion (Vidalia in season) and a ring of green pepper. The burger is a modest one, so doubles and triples make sense, as does an available six-ounce angus burger on a king-size roll. Of course, you can have your burger blanketed with chili.

Hot dogs, known descriptively as long dogs and served in tender-outside, grilled-inside buns, are Hummel-brand beauties. You can have yours assembled however you like it in forms that include the bull dog (chili and fried onions), the devil dog (chili, bacon, onions, cheese, and jalapeno peppers), the New York dog (with special onion sauce), and with the works, which in the case of tube steaks means Gulden’s mustard, relish, and sauerkraut.

French fries at Danny’s are terrific in their “crazy” form — topped with chili, molten cheese, jalapeno chips and chopped raw onions. Good alternatives are waffle fries and batter-dipped onion rings (both available in the crazy configuration). Milk shakes are made to order in tall silver beakers; flavors include chocolate, vanilla, coffee, creamsicle, peanut butter, and root beer.

Aside from being a source of exemplary quick eats, Danny’s is worth knowing about for its old-time drive-in flavor. There are no seats inside – just a narrow counter by the window for stand-up eating – so many people dine either at outdoor picnic tables or in their cars. The interior wall space is devoted to a personality-plus collage of roadside memories, old Coke advertisements, patriotic manifestoes, and letters from extremely satisfied customers. If you like Roadfood, we can practically guarantee you too will find satisfaction.

What To Eat


Long Dog

Crazy Fries


Danny’s Drive-In Recipes


What do you think of Danny’s Drive-In?

3 Responses to “Danny’s Drive-In”


May 15th, 2023

No longer in business.



    May 16th, 2023

    Thank you! I have updated the website


John Brundage

May 21st, 2008

After hearing some good things about Danny’s, I decided to check it out with my family. The experience was good, but the food was lacking.

I got the “famous” chili on a hot dog. Maybe I’m missing something, but chili isn’t supposed to be watery with a whole lot of pepper seeds in it. Of course it’s going to be hot when all they are doing is putting some water and pepper seeds on a hotdog. I was highly disappointed, especially after reading that this was their “specialty.”

I also got an order of plain fries. They were OK, but not much different from what I can cook at home. I always expect simple things like French fries to have value added by the establishment, even if it’s as simple as salting the fries to their taste.

All that said, I will not be making another trip to Danny’s. It wasn’t terrible, but nothing stood out for me. They have a good location, a lot of history, and good employees. I just wish the food measured up.


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