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June 1, 2020

Six Best Restaurants in Downtown New Haven

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Discovering the best New Haven dining options is surprisingly easy and rewarding in this beautiful and historic city. In addition to seeing some great attractions, including the historic Yale University campus, travelers to New Haven can look forward to an amazing food scene in this beautiful Connecticut city. Our New Haven furnished apartments are within close proximity to numerous highly-rated restaurants, so we’ve compiled this guide of some of our team’s favorites that are sure to satisfy any craving that arises during your stay. Below, check out our six must-try spots:

ZINC New Haven

Since 1999, ZINC New Haven has been a popular fine dining option in the New Haven area. ZINC takes an innovative approach to recreating classic dishes from diverse cultures; our team in particular loves the nachos made with smoked duck breast and wonton skins. The sizable menu showcases a vast array of modern American culinary delights, so even the pickiest of eaters is sure to find something to please their palate.

Here’s what one reviewer had to say about ZINC:

“Incredible sea food entrees like scallops and tasty small plates. Perfect cozy and romantic spot for cocktails too. If you are looking to spend a bit more, you will definitely get your money’s worth at ZINC.”

Mecha Noodle Bar

Check out Mecha Noodle Bar to have a culinary experience like no other. This self-described “American-Vietnamese-Japanese-Thai-Chinese-Korean-New-England-Momofuku-Totto-and-Ippudo-inspired” restaurant is a New Haven dining gem, serving comforting dishes from all over the Asian continent. If you’re not in the mood for noodles, Mecha offers a wide assortment of other dishes, including a shiitake bao, firecracker wings, and roasted mushroom dumplings.

Read one happy patron’s review of their experience at Mecha:

“Above and beyond your average ramen spot. We’re talking great music, awesome vibe, personalized services, and of course — out-of-this-world ramen!!! If you are feeling for more than just noodles, try a drink at the full bar or try one of their other delicious menu items like scrumptious recommended spicy chicken wings!”

Skappo Italian Wine Bar

This family-owned establishment features a rotating seasonal menu of delicious Italian favorites made with fresh, locally-grown and produced ingredients. Choose from an assortment of decadent dishes or order the artfully curated three-course special consisting of pasta, salad, and dessert. Whatever you choose, you’re sure to be served a quality, filling meal made with love. So Skappo easily makes this list of best dining options in New Haven.

One reviewer had this to say about Skappo:

“The food is incredible – the gnocchi are like fluffy, cheesy broccoli clouds, the carbonara is legit with guanciale; literally everything will knock your socks off. Believe it or not, that isn’t the best part; the family members that run the restaurant are some of the nicest people ever. I bring family here whenever I can because you become part of theirs!”

Louis’ Lunch

Grab a bite at this 125-year old spot that claims to be the first restaurant to serve hamburgers in the United States. While Louis’ Lunch is no longer located inside of the wagon it originated in, its burgers are still made the same way they’ve been cooked for the last century. All you burger aficionados and history buffs can relish in a delicious meal at this famous dining spot in downtown New Haven – one that has made an indelible mark on American cuisine.

Read this fan’s take on Louis’ Lunch:

“No list of New Haven food spots is complete without the venerable Louis’ Lunch, the self-proclaimed home of America’s first hamburger. The burger is served on toast and it is what it is – that is to say – it’s the ultimate classic burger. To some, it is a piece of history. To others, a patty made out of heaven sandwiched between two pieces of pure delight. Still, to many it is a classic old burger on toast. Whatever it may be to you, you will never know unless you check it out for yourself!”

Union League Café

Enjoy a high-end meal in a no-frills environment at this award-winning, French-inspired brasserie. Located in the heart of downtown New Haven, Union League Café invites diners to experience chef Jean-Pierre Vuillermet’s unique take on Old World dining. Don’t miss out on this beautiful restaurant’s classic French dishes and unmatched service on your next trip to New Haven!

Here’s what one reviewer had to say about Union League Café:

“One of the most stylish and elegant restaurants in New Haven, the Union League Café justifies its higher price tags with food that is thoughtfully laid out and carefully prepared. Our guests have absolutely raved about the roast rack of lamb and classic French duck confit. Union League is perfect for a romantic date, a celebratory dinner with family or friends, or a foodie looking for delicious French cuisine.”

Ninth Square Market Too Caribbean Style

Ninth Square Market Too Caribbean Style serves up delicious, 100% vegan Caribbean food at an affordable price and in the center of New Haven’s downtown dining options. Choose from a delicious assortment of foods, including jerk tofu, macaroni and “cheese”, and plantains. Forget what you’ve heard; vegan eating is anything but bland at this flavorful spot. In this case, the last on the list may truly be the best dining option in New Haven for vegans AND non-vegans alike!

Read this patron’s rave review:

“Heading out to pick up some vegan dinner often entails spending sky-high prices at an expensive dine-in restaurant. But what if you want delicious vegan food you can just pick up and takeout at affordable prices? Ninth square serves up mouthwatering vegan takes on Caribbean classics such as Ginger Chicken, BBQ Drumsticks, or Hyatus’ favorite, Jerk Tofu. These proteins can be paired with a choice of delicious sides, including our two favorites, Ackee or curried chickpeas. Ninth is a casual spot not meant for romantic dates. But if you are hungry, you can get an overflowing plate of 3 vegan proteins and 4 sides all for just 12.99. Your taste buds will thank you.”


With all these fantastic dining options you might want to extend a day trip into an overnight stay or maybe even a month long hiatus (excuse the pun!). Check-out our wonderful guide to the best places to stay in and around New Haven

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