Some of Chip’s Family Restaurant’s famous pancakes.

Their fluffy pancakes, crispy bacon and freshly-made omelets make Chip’s one of the best places in Fairfield to go for the best meal of the day: breakfast for dinner. However, if your schedule is a bit too busy at night to make time for the pancake paradise, one can also visit Chip’s for meals such as breakfast-for-lunch, breakfast-for-brunch or even breakfast itself if one is feeling unnaturally awake before 10 a.m.

The uncontested stars of the restaurant are the pancakes. Chip’s pancakes were voted Connecticut’s best by Connecticut Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Restaurant Awards for the past eight years. The only question about their rating is why they have held the title for only eight years. Their pancakes are light, fluffy and can be either custom-ordered or chosen from a diverse, staff-picked menu. Popular favorites from the menu are the “Pigs in a Blanket,” which features three pieces of sweet sausage wrapped in fluffy buttermilk pancakes; the Cinnabon pancakes, created with brown sugar and drizzled in a powdered sugar glaze that drops the customer into a sweet cinnamon dream; and the “Choc-a-holic” pancakes, which are just as they sound — a chocolate wonderland containing both milk and white chocolate chips under a drizzle of warm chocolate sauce and accompanied by a dusting of powdered sugar.

Other than the pancakes and waffles, breakfast options include their succulent French toast and fresh omelets. Made with three eggs, Chip’s omelets are the perfect size for enjoyment during any time of day and can be custom-made to any specifications. Among the most popular of these suggested omelets are the “Meat Lovers” omelet, the “Chef’s Combo” and the famous “Chipper.” The “Meat Lovers” omelet is for the die-hard carnivores of the world. It is filled with their sweet sausage and ham, crisp bacon and finished with a mild American cheese. The “Chef’s Combo” includes the same sweet sausage as the “Meat Lover’s” omelet, but this omelet accompanies it with Feta Cheese and fresh produce including tomatoes, peppers, onions and mushrooms. Lastly, but in no way the least, is the famous “Chipper.” The “Chipper” makes customer’s mouths water and includes a mix of crispy bacon, creamy avocado, mushrooms and a sharp cheddar cheese. Accompanying their meals, but tasting particularly delightful on their French Toast, are a range of gourmet syrups that Chip’s provides to each table. From exotic coconut syrup to the traditional fresh Vermont Real Maple Syrup, there is a wide range of tantalizing syrup available to entice any syrup-loving patron.

If you do not wish to indulge in the delicacy that is Chip’s Belgian waffles — topped with fruit, layered in warm Nutella or served with a scoop of ice cream that gently melts over the steaming, crisp waffles in a perfect combination of hot and cold —, one can also drop by for a superb dinner. To begin the meal, a customer can start with an individualized appetizer such as a salad with grilled, all-natural salmon or with an appetizer that is perfect for sharing such as a plate of cheesy nachos speckled with crispy bacon. Next is the difficult decision of choosing which one of their extensive entrées, sandwiches or salad options that you should inhale for a main course. When selecting from the menu, a customer cannot make a wrong choice. One could choose Chip’s traditional fish and chips entrée, a reuben sandwich or could select the California Chicken Salad — made with tender grilled chicken and fresh vegetables dressed with honey-mustard. All of the options are delicious and can be cooked or arranged to the customer’s exact specifications.

Chip’s is also helpful for those with dietary restrictions. Many of their recipes — from any part of the menu — can and will be substituted into a gluten-free option upon request and their gluten-free pancakes are just as light as their gluten-containing counterparts. They also have a special portion of the menu filled with “Health and Fitness” combinations where the calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat and fibers are listed so that conscientious customers can make a more particular choice to suit their needs.

Overall, Chip’s delicious food, accompanied by their low rates, long hours, family-style atmosphere and acceptance of StagBucks makes Chip’s a perfect and highly recommended destination both for a group of low-income college students or for a family meal.

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-- Executive Editor Emeritus -- English Literature & Film, Television, and Media Arts

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