Dining In Connecticut At New Haven’s Best Restaurants

Burger lunch
Burger lunch | Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash
Vincent JS Wood

Home to one of the world’s most famous and well-respected educational institutions, Yale University, New Haven is open to a wealth of cultural influences that are prevalent in its architecture, art and cuisine. Eating out in the city is a truly multicultural experience, as dining spots range from Ethiopian fare to all-American eats. Here’s our guide to the best restaurants in New Haven, Connecticut.
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Crepes with chocolate and strawberries

A rather sparse and functional interior belies the exotic nature of the food served at Lalibela. There is no need for cutlery as meals are eaten on injera, a large spongy flatbread somewhat akin to a crepe. Largely containing curries, the menus are split into vegetarian and non-vegetarian categories, making sure there’s something for everybody, although it is still possible to mix and match from both.

Union League Cafe

Uniting contemporary and classical influences, Union League Cafe brings the finest French fare to the tables of Connecticut with a flourish. Located directly across from Yale University, the brasserie itself holds a certain charm and sophistication that one might find on the Parisian boulevards, yet the atmosphere is far less formal than might be expected from its European counterparts. Although elegant dishes such as duck leg confit and entrecôte béarnaise may sound like they are from the opposite side of the Atlantic, the actual ingredients are from local and organic produce, many from small producers who are exclusive to the restaurant.

Louis’ Lunch

Bacon Burgers

The apparent birthplace of the hamburger sandwich, Louis’ Lunch stakes its claim to a piece of pure Americana with a recipe that has changed little from its historic prototype. The current proprietors, descendants of the original owner who created the famed sandwich, place such stock in the recipe that they refuse to offer any condiments to accompany it with cheese, tomato, and onion being the only acceptable garnish. This is an iconic eatery of New Haven, so much so that when threatened with the possibility of demolition in the early 1970s, patrons took it upon themselves to save the site and when a spot was found for relocation, bricks were donated to the build.

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

The phrase ‘iconic American pizza’ tends to conjure up images of either Chicago’s famous deep dish or New York’s folded slice. However, New Haven has its own unique pizza known as ‘apizza’ (pronounced ‘ah-beets’ in the local accent) which is served without the mozzarella and is notable for its thin crust. This New Haven delicacy wad debuted at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana and has served the great and the good including former US President Bill Clinton. A must-try is Pepe’s signature dish, The White Clam Pizza.

Mamoun’s Falafel Restaurant

Mamoun’s Falafel

Mamoun’s Falafel Restaurant aims to offer authentic Middle Eastern cuisine in a traditional environment with staples such as falafel, hummus and shawarma all served as either single dishes, on plates, in special combinations or even as sandwiches to take away. A selection of sweet pastries means that it is also well worth staying for dessert. There are vegetarian options too.

Ashley’s Ice Cream

Named after a Frisbee-catching whippet, Ashley’s Ice Cream is decked out with a range of Frisbees from down the years along the walls. Whipping the cream fresh in-store every day and never using any artificial flavors or colors goes perfectly with their freshly baked waffle cones or infamous bittersweet hot fudge. Founded in 1979, Ashley’s has been a popular feature of New Haven since opening and has consistently picked up awards.

Atticus Bookstore Cafe

Dining among the shelves of novels, biographies and the current art exhibit that Atticus Bookstore Cafe is hosting, makes for some inspirational eating. With three homemade soups offered daily, inluding one vegetarian, along with a wide array of salads, sandwiches entrees and sides, this is a one-stop shop for all lunching and literature needs.

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