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Jul 9, 2009 07:37 AM

Anyone been to Louis Lunch in New Haven?

I know this is supposed to be the original place where hamburgers were invented. Now I know they are also very famous, food noetwork, historic place..etc.....But is it worth the drive from Westchester to go????

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  1. We went from Westchester, just for the fun of it. The burger was ok, the experience fun to do once. The best part, IMHO, was discovering the wonderful New Haven pizza ( we went to Modern and it was great!) :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: debmom

      For the most part, I would concur with (debmom and gillyweed).....the burger is not a life changing moment...but if your a food buff or someone in the business, it is definitely worth the trip from that stand point. To see the operation and wonder how this place has been able to survive all these years is truly remarkable in my opinion.

      My thoughts are been there , done that. I would rather go for a Frank Pepe's Clam Pizza myself.

    2. If your sole reason to venture to New Haven would be to eat at Louis' Lunch, then turn around and go home, I doubt you'd think it was worthwhile. That being said, I think you could easily spend the day walking around New Haven (I recommend the Beinecke and Peabody Museums as well as the Yale Art Gallery) and visit Louis Lunch while you're there. It's a unique place and I love the burgers - though I confess that I think I would love them more if they were on buns instead of toast, but that's just my own personal preference.

      I second debmom - you have to try some New Haven pizza while you're there, too!

      3 Replies
      1. re: gillyweed

        Thanks everyone! I wouldn't drive up there eat and leave..I would make a day out of it also and try the burger. But yes I am in the restaurant business and a big colonial history buff so seeing the old place and how they use the same machine would be worth it I guess... I would def visit different historic site and/or museums since I will be in that neck of the woods.... But I promise I will got try the pizza also. What makes the New Haven pizza different?

        1. re: Paris76

          A combination of the dough/crust, oven and ingredients.....and the finished product. The pizza are better enjoyed on premise and do not travel as well as New York Pizza in my opinion. Take that into account for the extra pies you may consider bringing home.


          1. re: Paris76

            I guess in a philosophical sort of way, the pizza is different because they seem to be made with the attitude that they should be the best they can possibly be. If you went into a Pizza Hut or typical mom and pop pizza joint and asked them to describe the perfect slice of pizza, how many of them would honestly say "you're looking at it." Although people have preferences over the New Haven pizzas, I'd say the owners each think they make the best pizza in the world.

            Everything about them seems homemade. You know your local pizza joint uses food service pepperoni, sauce, sausage, etc.. They may or may not make their own dough. I don't know if New Haven pizzas make every single thing from scratch, but it seems that way. The crust is chewy, yeasty, crisp, and charred. The pepperoni are thick sliced and spicier than typical pizza. The sausage tastes like the kind you'd want to grill yourself, and it's chunky (all the sausage pizzas by me have these perfectly uniform elliptical slices of meat, and no character). The sauce tastes fresh. Etc.. etc... And the clam pizza is like having clam and garlic injected straight into your veins.

        2. my boyfriend and i are eating our way through the 20 hamburgers to eat before you die, and I imagine Louis' is on it for the pure historical reasons, I would not make Louis' the destination but rather a stop off if you are in the area. From a taste perspective it shouldn't be on the list, imho, much better burgers out there...

          3 Replies
          1. re: I love Jersey

            Could you provide us with that 20 hamburger list plz?

            1. re: jfood

              It was in GQ Magazine several years ago and Oprah's friend Gayle did a show on it for Oprah-- Here goes:


              1. re: debmom

                No.15 on that list - The Counter Burger - also has a spot in West Hartford CT that is worth a visit if in the locale. The burger is decent and superior to many others in the CT area.

          2. I think it's worth it. the burger is cooked well and the place has charm. you could do that for lunch and then sally's/pepe's for dinner. wash it down with an italian ice and you have a pretty good day in my opinion.

            1 Reply
            1. re: LW1

              I was disappointed. The burger was unexceptional--and, despite the sign saying they cook them medium rare, mine was well done.

              I thought their food-safety protocols to be... strange.

              There's a guy behind the tiny counter who shapes the raw meat into patties, puts them into the cooking racks, then assembles the finished burgers. The time I went, his left hand had a glove, and his right hand was bare--you're presume he did the raw meat with his right, and assembled with the left. No. He formed the raw meat with the gloved hand, then assembled the ready-to-eat stuff with the bare one (also using the gloved hand used for the raw meat to assist). I can't figure that out.

            2. Go and have a burger, IMHO they're OK, everyone should try one for history's sake. Then go across the street to BAR for a great pizza and a pitcher of beer. Their pizza's can be the equal of Modern, Pepe's and Sallys.
              Try a white pie with bacon, onions and mashed potatoes. Very yummie. The home brewed beer is also quite good.