Ever heard of Yale University? That’s just one of the attractions found in New Haven, Connecticut. Found just a couple of hours from the heart of New York City, New Haven is a welcoming yet sophisticated location with a focus on the arts, culture, and fine dining.
When I visited New Haven, I spent a lot of time exploring the arts and cultural attractions in this mid-sized city.
When you go to New Haven, make time to see The Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, and the Yale Center for British Arts. If you want to explore the great outdoors, enjoy adventures at East Rock Park.
- Union League Cafe
- Shell & Bones Oyster Bar & Grill
- Atticus Bookstore Cafe
- ZINC New Haven
- Modern Apizza
- Brazi’s Italian Restaurant
- Goodfellas Restaurant
- Consiglio’s Restaurant
And of course, sample the delicious cuisine available at the fantastic restaurants in New Haven. No matter what kind of cuisine and atmosphere you prefer or want to try, New Haven has more than enough to exceed your expectations. Check out my list of the best New Haven restaurants below!
806 State St, New Haven, CT 06511
L’orcio is a New Haven institution when it comes to fine dining with Italian cuisine. There are both indoor and outdoor dining areas at this restaurant, all of them beautiful and spacious.
L’orcio is family-owned and operated, which is lovely to know. When I visited L’orcio, I appreciated the welcoming and helpful staff.
The decor here is exactly what you would expect for a classic restaurant offering fine cuisine. All the meals are beautifully presented as well, and the food is absolutely delicious.
You’ll find L’orcio conveniently located on State Street between Pearl Street and Eld Street. Head over there during your New Haven stay.
1032 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510
Never gone to Paris but would love to visit a Parisian Brasserie? Look no further than Union League Cafe in New Haven.
With a strong focus on what it aptly describes as “Old World Charm,” Union League Cafe is absolutely enchanting. The dining room is truly vintage, making you feel you have stepped back in time as you enjoy your meal.
I love the decadence of French food. When I visited this New Haven restaurant, I ordered the splendid Goat Cheese Ravioli for my main course.
It was a beautiful meal, with house-made ravioli, Parmesan emulsion, sauteed Swiss chard, Perigord truffle, and more. For my appetizer beforehand, I had the Duck Confit. Please try these while you’re in New Haven!
100 S Water St, New Haven, CT 06519
If you’re looking for a great waterfront restaurant in New haven, head over to Shell & Bones Oyster Bar & Grill. This local establishment is award-winning and focuses on seafood and steak, as well as rawbar dishes.
Shell & Bones Oyster Bar & Grill focuses on sustainability. In fact, it has been recognized for this by The James Beard Foundation.
I’m always ready for clam chowder, so I had the New England Clam Chowder at Shell & Bones. This was truly a classic chowder, and if you’ve only ever had commercial clam chowder from a can, are you ever in for a treat. It comes with mussels, too.
Atticus Bookstore Cafe
Ask the locals about Atticus Bookstore Cafe and they’ll tell you to make a visit as soon as you can. This is a truly unique eatery, and it’s been around since 1975.
Not just a cafe, this establishment is also a bookstore and market. It even does grocery delivery. All the culinary items here are made fresh using regionally sourced ingredients.
The bread at Atticus Bookstore Cafe is naturally-leavened. If you love comfort food and friendly locals, add Atticus Bookstore Cafe to your itinerary.
Atticus Bookstore Cafe is found in downtown New Haven, and it’s perfect for stopping by during your walking and shopping excursions.
964 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510
ZINC New Haven prides itself on using farm-fresh, locally sourced ingredients. In fact, they list their local partner farms on their website, and you can taste the freshness in all this restaurant’s dishes.
The setting here is casual and the food is impressively presented. Stop by ZINC New Haven for lunch or dinner as you explore downtown New Haven.
The menu here is inspired by a variety of global cuisines, and it has an excellent wine menu to go along with its dishes.
In fact, ZINC New Haven won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2016. There are plenty of popular dishes here, such as the Sea Bass, Cobb Salad, Pacific Black Cod, and Spring Rolls.
1157 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06511
For a taste of New England tradition, enjoy a meal at Heirloom on Chapel Street. The dining room has stylish contemporary decor, and there is an exciting menu on offer.
Heirloom focuses on New American cuisine using farm-fresh ingredients, and it’s also a popular local lounge.
You can enjoy any meal you like here, whether you prefer breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. If you choose brunch, though, make sure you go on the weekend. It’s available from 11 am to 2 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
That’s when I had a meal at Heirloom, and I went with the delectable Buttermilk Pancakes. For a brunch cocktail, I had an excellent Mimosa.
874 State St, New Haven, CT 06511
Modern Apizza has a long New Haven history stretching back to 1934. You can’t leave New Haven without trying the New Haven-style thin-crust pizza served up at Modern Apizza. All pizza here is made in a traditional oil-fueled brick oven.
When you go to Modern Apizza, you can choose your own toppings or select one of the Apizza Specialities. If you’re a big meat lover, check out the Italian Bomb pizza.
This tasty creation features sausage, bacon, pepperoni, onion, mushroom, pepper, onion, and garlic. Or if veggies are more your thing, order the Veggie Bomb. This includes broccoli, spinach, mushroom, olive, pepper, onion, and garlic.
771 Grand Ave, New Haven, CT 06511
If you have classic Italian cuisine in mind for dinner, Adriana’s is a great place to go. This restaurant boasts a traditional setting with classic decor, and the dishes here are known to be excellent.
The one that I ordered certainly was, and that was the Gamberi Pancetta. This delectable dish features sauteed jumbo shrimp that is wrapped with pancetta. This is served with spinach as well as lemon and garlic sauce.
And don’t forget to enjoy an Antipasti item before your entree. I had the Lumache Alla Adriana, which is escargot with garlic and butter. It was wonderful. And don’t forget to have a lovely glass of wine with your meal.
201 Food Terminal Plaza, New Haven, CT 06511
Located near Long Wharf Park, Brazi’s Italian Restaurant is yet another fantastic New Haven restaurant. This Italian restaurant offers an impressive selection of pasta dishes and much more, such as steak and pizza.
Among the many popular menu items here are the Eggplant Rollatini, Pasta Bella, Shrimp Parmigiana, Chicken Parmigiana, and Fried Calamari.
You can also enjoy specialty coffee drinks here, such as cappuccino and latte. There are also aperitifs on offer, so ask the famously friendly staff for recommendations.
Of course, there is an excellent selection of wines with which to pair your meal. I found the setting at Brazi’s Italian Restaurant especially comfortable.
702 State St, New Haven, CT 06511
Goodfellas Restaurant is all about classic Italian cuisine, and you can taste the farm freshness in all of its dishes.
While the food here is impressive, the setting is totally unpretentious. There are flat-panel TVs all over the dining room, so you can watch the movies and shows on offer.
But don’t forget the food. Locals told me about several fantastic dishes here, such as the Chicken Cordon Bleu, Filet Cognac, Sicilian Pork Chops, and Beggars Purse.
When it comes to dessert, you can’t beat the Tiramisu. I found the waitstaff here incredibly friendly and helpful, so feel free to ask them for recommendations when it comes to the food and wine pairings.
165 Wooster St, New Haven, CT 06511
Head over to the Little Italy district of New Haven and enjoy a delicious meal at Consiglio’s Restaurant. This restaurant has been around since 1938 when it was opened by Salvatore and Annunziata Consiglio.
Consiglio’s Restaurant is all about fine dining. It’s also the oldest family-owned Italian restaurant in all of Connecticut.
This well-known New Haven culinary establishment offers indoor and outdoor dining settings, both beautiful and welcoming.
When I went to Consiglio’s Restaurant, I tried the Lobster Ravioli, and it was a decadent delight! Other popular meals here are the Braciole, Fried Calamari, and Shrimp Tortellini Carbonara. And dessert? Chocolate Mousse Cake. Need I say more?
As we’ve seen here, New Haven should never be overlooked. This cultured city is the perfect location for a relaxed and fascinating vacation.
If you’re a big arts and culture enthusiast, you can’t do better than a trip to New Haven, Connecticut. As you plan your itinerary, set aside time to dine at a few of the restaurants listed above.
If you’re heading to NYC while you’re in the region, check out our list of the best steakhouses in New York City.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list of the best restaurants in New Haven? Make sure you leave us a comment and we’ll check it out!