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New Haven, CT - Culinary Playground or Vast Wasteland?

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Hi All,

We may be moving to New Haven, and I am wondering how *small* of a small town this is. I know the nearest mall and Whole Foods are in Hartford, but is there anything in New Haven worth mentioning, culinarily speaking? Interesting restaurants with eclectic, ethnic, or fusion menus, great wine lists, wine stores, gourmet shops/bakeries/butchers... anything? From what I can find online, there's very little in New Haven, and most of it appears to be chain restaurants or pizza. I've not had much luck looking around online, and was hoping to get some information from locals.

We're between CT and Chicago, so I would love to know what New Haven has going for it. :)

Thanks in advance!

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  1. There's much more than chains to New Haven. To start off there is New Haven pizza. Hot topic whether you go for Modern, Sally's or Pepe's, and try it with clams. There's good Indian in Branford, and West Haven has lots of cheap ethnic food (2 good Turkish restaurants to start you off.) I don't know about the upscale food, but while it's not New York, it's got options.

    1. Don't worry - there's plenty of good chow to be had in NH. Search the board - there's many years worth of accumulated knowledge to be had.

      1. We came to the New Haven area after having spent years in small towns in Ohio and Indiana (talk about wastelands) and were delighted to find many great eating establishments with a wide choice of styles and ethnicities. There are many Italian restaurants, as you might expect from its history of immigration, but also many Thai, Indian, North African, Mexican, Latin, continental and Oriental places as well, both upscale and neighborhood eateries. Check out the New Haven Advocate site (http://www.ctnow.com/custom/nmm/newha...) for many restaurant listings and reviews, just remember that they often don't list some good restaurants that don't buy their ads.
        Also search for New Haven in Chowhound... quite a few older threads sitting around.

        1. new haven has some awesome pizza too thin crust ny style check modern or pepes on the boards good carribean food on the west side get out there and explore

          1. Don't worry, there's plenty, both here in New Haven and in the surrounding towns. Everything from street vendors (near the Yale Medical School and a few other places) to high-end restaurants, with lots in between. Good wine stores (The Wine Thief, Mt. Carmel, Amity), and some good small markets (Ferraro's, Nica's). Plus local specialities like Libby's italian ices, Longhini sausage and Foxon Park sodas.

            And rumor has it that Wild Oats is coming to Milford, but I haven't seen anything on the Wild Oats wesbite.

            1. There are many upscale Latin American restaurants.

              1. culinary promise: Something for everyone. My npersonal favorites

                Ibiza, Roomba, for spanish/so. american flair. these are fun places as well
                Modern Pizza is my favorite pizza spot although some may suggest wooster street (pepe's, sally's, spot)
                Bentara, Caffe Adulis, for something a bit different
                the yankee doodle for the best stuff your gut hotdog
                Gastronimique for the quick 'out the door' french twist

                New Haven has so much to offer.

                1. I doubt there's another city of its size in the country that has the same array of excellent restaurants of every conceivable cuisine and price range that New Haven has. You are really in for something special.

                  1. wow i heard about modern on here a few years back.we live in rhode island and drive through conn a few times a year,hitting up modern for an awesome pizza.then we found the carribean crust off of exit 44 or 43 in west haven.now ,after reading this thread i cant wait for our next trip south

                    1. Wow! Great to know!!! It's hard to imagine a place when you may move there, sight unseen. Thank you so much guys - I'll explore the boards this wkend.