A Charming New England Town & Home to the Best Coffee Shop in the World

Fairfield Beach

My husband’s family has spent their summer vacations in the charming town of Fairfield, Connecticut – not far from where he grew up in New York – for over 25 years.

As my mother-in-law explained to me once, the decision to buy a house in Fairfield was — and as I have come to understand is factored in to many of the decisions New Yorkers make — all about the traffic. The Hamptons was a deal breaker for that reason, Cape Cod was too far, etc. and ultimately they landed in Fairfield.

Fast forward 25 years later and I wonder if they knew then that the decision they made would become what their children, seven grandchilden, and fortunate son and daughter-in-law all consider to be their “happy place”.

My mother-in-law is the consummate nurturing grandmother and hostess – she makes endless meals and snacks and hors d’oeuvres and is constantly asking, “What can I get you?” (which isn’t a formality; she really wants to know.)

Fairfield isn’t a true vacation town, really – people live here year round and commute to New York City (about an hour on the train), it’s a university town (home to Fairfield University), and a town steeped in history (with houses dating back to the 1700 and 1800s) – but it is also a beach town, complete with lighthouses, American flags, shells, and sunsets that rival any Caribbean island.

My Southern bones still have a hard time with the temperature of the Long Island Sound (freezing) compared to my beloved Gulf of Mexico (basically a warm bath), but I love it nonetheless.

What I love most, however, is the town itself and more specifically, what I have now come to refer to as the Greatest Coffee Shop in the Entire World, Las Vetas Lounge.

I cannot recall exactly how I stumbled on this shop, but it is always my very first stop the morning after we arrive in Fairfield. To say it is quirky would be an understatement – the decor is a funny collection of tchotchkes like gnomes and artwork , there’s a bulletin board with announcements and postings on town happenings and concerts and the like, and there’s no rhyme or reason to the seating options – a table here, a bar stool there – and I don’t know why it all works but it just does.

The food is simple but great, the coffee is delicious (always served in a mug from their unique collection, none of which are branded with the name of the shop) and basically it is just the best place ever. To underscore how great it is, I can’t give you a link to it because there’s no website.

I hope you enjoy the photos of this all-American, charming New England town. Happy Labor Day!

The aforementioned sunsets. They are simply amazing and no two are ever the same.
My in-laws’ house that looks out over the Long Island Sound and is the best place to watch sunsets.
A Happy Place
Las Vetas Lounge, a.k.a. The Greatest Coffee Shop in the World
What’s not to love about a bulletin board advertising a 70’s Dance Party??
This sign basically sums up The Las Vetas Lounge.
A selection of delicious coffee choices. I always get the Costa Rican. They also have espressos, cappuccinos, lattes, and the like.
Healthy breakfast choice ordered by my mother-in-law.
My second favorite place in town, The Firehouse Deli
I live for this salad bar – they have the most delicious selections like roasted vegetables, deviled eggs, sesame noodles, pumpkin seeds, etc,, etc. It is so so good.
Gazebo in the center of town where weekly concerts are held in the summer.
My husband and I enjoying the show.
My husband’s go-to bar for 25 years, The Seagrape.
Just your classic dive bar with a juke box, pool table, and…a shark covered in Christmas lights with a plastic arm coming out of its mouth on the ceiling.
The cutest candy store, Saugatuck Sweets, is next door to The Firehouse Deli.
Shopping in Fairfield at a store my sis-in-law and niece introduced me to, The Beehive
The town movie theatre
Original home of the Burr family (yes, those Burrs). John Hancock was married here in the late 1700s, and the home also hosted George Washington, John Adams, and Samuel Adams during this time.
The town of Fairfield
Shiny happy people…and by people I mean boys.

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