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Jan 17, 2010 03:38 PM

New Haven Connecticut

I will be in New Haven for four days next week and staying at the Omni. What are your best restaurants? I need suggestions for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Price not a problem I just love great food. Thanks!

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  1. I hope you plan on trying some of the New Haven apizza while you are there! Either Pepe's or Sally's on Wooster St., or Modern on State St. You may also want to head to Louis' Lunch for a burger. York St. Noodle House has great Thai/Vietnamese dishes,...very cheap! Crowne 116 is a unique spot for incredible cocktails (very pricy though, but worth it). Prime 16 has a great beer list. L'Orcio on State is an Italian spot, a favorite of mine. It would help though if you let us know what food you would want most, New Haven really has a lot to offer!

    1. Don't know why pizza is the first thing out of so many mouths. A little searching will give you many top ten lists, etc. Things have not changed that much recently.
      Here's a start:, and
      danieljdwyer, scargod, linguist and eastrocker are just a few reliable locals. I'm more of a newbie.
      Try Heirloom, Union League, Thali, Foster's, Barcelona, Bentara, Ibiza, Skappo and L'Orcio. Heirloom does breakfast. Bella Rosa has great breakfast, but out a mile or two. There are others for a good breakfast.

      7 Replies
      1. re: All Dente

        "Don't know why pizza is the first thing out of so many mouths"

        For me, it's because when I'm back in the Elm City, it's the first thing I want to put in my mouth.

        1. re: solargarlic

          It's true. People usually recommend a place for what they're famous for and New Haven is famous for #1 pizza and #2 Louis' Lunch burgers. The rest is all icing on the cake!

          1. re: bewley

            Exactly what Bewley said.

            If I had to recommend anything in New Haven to a visitor, pizza is the first thing on the list, especially if you have never had NH pizza.
            Then Louis' Lunch, how can you not recommend the "birthplace" of the hamburger.
            I think that if you have never been to NH and do not have a pizza at Pepe's or Sally's, you have missed one of the #1 culinary treats in CT.

        2. re: All Dente

          The signature New Haven culinary *experiences* are the Wooster St. pizza houses, and Louis' Lunch. That's not to say there aren't a myriad other fine food choices, just that those are the ones that are uniquely "New Haven".

          As Experiences, there are things you'll have to put up with in order to, um, experience them: namely long waits, and sometimes surly service. At Pepe's/The Spot/Sally's, you can waits upwards of 90 mins or more.

          At Louis', if its' really busy, be prepared to wait 20-30 mins for a burger that will in all likelihood be medium well to well despite what you may have ordered. And a medium well Louis' burger is not that great, honestly. However, it's worth visiting Louis' to see the quaint little building, the unique vertical gas grills, and the chance to say you ate at the birthplace of the hamburger. If you can go when it's calmer, you'll get a much better burger.

          1. re: plien69

            Ibiza on High St. for a great dinner.
            Louis for lunch
            Breakfast, I'm stumped on

            1. re: plien69

              I've also found if you go when Jeff, the grandson is there, you get a much better burger...he's there all the time except on Fri and Sat afternoons bc he has to work the late shift the night before.

              Personally, I wasn't as wowed as everyone else by Ibiza. If I pay that much for food, without the atmosphere, it better speak for itself. At least Wooster St and Louis' have a bit of aura going for them...kind of like going to a Yankees game, or *gag* Fenway Park. If someone is visiting NH, I hope they get to experience a little something you can't find elsewhere.

              That being said, what about a good hot dog spot...another thing CT has that no one else does is the great Hummel's hot dogs.

              1. re: solargarlic

                You are right about Hummels. I hated working in Hartford county and had to suck down the Grote & Weigels. Or when i go into NYC and the Sabretts. Nick's Char Pit North Haven/New Haven line on Middletown Ave., great hot dogs and burgers

          2. Breakfast: The Pantry (but beware of long lines if you arrive late)
            Lunch: Caseus, Modern Pizza or (wait for it) Mamoun Falafel!
            Dinner: Ibiza, Union League, Zinc, Fosters, Bentara.

            1 Reply
            1. re: DonShirer

              doh...forgetting Mamoun's!!! I have so much love for that spot!

            2. breakfast: the Pantry, Bella's Cafe in Westville
              Top Fine Dining : Thali, Union League, Ibiza, Caseus
              Casual Dining: yes, you should try the pizza I prefer Modern but Wooster St is the classic. Prime 16 right across from the Omni makes a good burger and has a great beer slection. Great Wall on Whitney Ave does szechuan hotpot and other traditional chinese . Mamouns is late night comfort food. If you are from the Bay area you probably aren't looking for Mexican on the east coast but I like mezcal. Thali Too is a vegetarian sister to Thali.

              3 Replies
                1. re: Bayareafoodiei

                  If you don't mind leaving New Haven proper, I really enjoyed The Terrace in Hamden when we went this summer.

                  Within NH, I've always liked Bangkok Gardens on York St., but that doesn't seem to be a favorite on this board, so others can help steer you.

                  1. re: Bayareafoodiei

                    sorry i didn't get back to you sooner. There are thai places all over chapel street, and I like the rice pot on state. none of the Thai in NH is destination worthy if you are coming from out of state though.

                    Have you already finished your trip? what did you end up trying?

                2. Agree with many of the posters here, and doubly endorse Modern. Bar (opposite Louis) is another good alternative to Pepe/Sally's.

                  L'Oricio is excellent fuss-free italian.

                  Ibiza is worth it if you are ready for high end Spanish food. I would recommend them over Barcelona.

                  Thali is excellent; not your mother's vindaloo.

                  Pot au Pho up Whitney is good, but not great.

                  Union League is the ur-French place, excellent food and service, for which you will pay.

                  Bentara is good, but I would sooner recommend Central Steakhouse, owned by the same people with a superb wine cellar.

                  Zinc is a perennial favorite. I have been wanting to try Crown 116 and Bespoke but not sure if they live up to the hype.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: eodell

                    Thank you for the Ibiza over barcelona rec. 116 is one of my favorites. Bespoke just changed hands, so i do not know what the food will be like without Camacho in the kitchen.

                    1. re: eodell

                      Crown 116 has excellent drinks, and a great atmosphere. But I wouldn't necessarly think of it as a place to go for dinner, more like tasty small plates to accompany the awesome cocktails.

                      as triggs pointed out, bespoke just changed hands so i can't vouch for the new regime either.

                      1. re: EastRocker

                        When I first posted the information that Bespoke was to be sold, the kindergarten Hall Monitors who run ChowHound were extremely aggressive in deleting all of my posts about this (including one from the owners of Bespoke, confirming the upcoming change), but it is now a fait accompli and presumably they will let me point you to an article in the Register (a paper for which they seem to have rather greater respect than most). tells about the plans the former owners have and a bit about the new people. This and other information is available on the website which hasn't changed.