10 Best New Haven Restaurants for Lunch: A Foodie’s Guide

lunch restaurants in New Haven

New Haven, Connecticut, is a city known for its rich history, prestigious Yale University, and most importantly, its diverse and delicious food scene. If you’re looking for the best lunch restaurants in New Haven, you’re in for a treat. From legendary pizza joints to modern American gastropubs and vegetarian havens, there’s something for everyone. Here are 10 must-visit lunch restaurants in New Haven.

Modern Apizza: A Slice of New Haven History

Modern Apizza is more than just a pizza place; it’s a piece of New Haven’s culinary history. Established in 1934, this restaurant has been serving thin-crust pies with fresh toppings for decades. It’s particularly known for its signature white clam pizza, a must-try for seafood lovers.

Located on State Street, near the Yale University campus and downtown attractions, it’s the perfect spot for a lunch break. They’re open for lunch from Tuesday to Sunday, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Website: Modern Apizza
Phone: (203) 776-5306
Address: 874 State St, New Haven, CT 06511

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana: The Birthplace of Neapolitan-Style Pizza

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana is another legendary pizza joint in New Haven. Founded in 1925 by an Italian immigrant, this restaurant introduced Neapolitan-style pizza to America. Their coal-fired brick oven pizzas, especially the original tomato pie and the white clam pizza, are famous citywide.

Situated on Wooster Street, in the heart of the historic Little Italy neighborhood, it’s open for lunch from Monday to Sunday, from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM.

Website: Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
Phone: (203) 865-5762
Address: 157 Wooster St, New Haven, CT 06511

Prime 16: A Modern American Gastropub

For those craving something other than, pizza Prime 16 is a modern American gastropub that specializes in gourmet burgers, craft beers, and cocktails. They offer a variety of burgers made with grass-fed beef, bison, lamb, turkey, or veggie patties, as well as salads, soups, sandwiches, and appetizers.

Located on Temple Street, across from the New Haven Green and near the Shubert Theater, it’s open for lunch from Monday to Sunday, from 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM.

Website: Prime 16
Phone: (203) 782-1616
Address: 172 Temple St, New Haven, CT 06510

Claire’s Corner Copia: A Vegetarian and Vegan Paradise

Claire’s Corner Copia is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant that has been serving healthy and delicious food since 1975. They offer a wide range of dishes made with organic and locally sourced ingredients such, as salads, wraps, soups, quiches, burritos, pasta, and desserts.

Located on Chapel Street, next to the Yale University Art Gallery and near the Yale Center for British Art, it’s open for lunch from Monday to Sunday, from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM.

Website: Claire’s Corner Copia
Phone: (203) 562-3888
Address: 1000 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510

Louis’ Lunch: The Original Hamburger Sandwich

Louis’ Lunch is not just a restaurant; it’s a piece of American culinary history. According to the Library of Congress, this is the birthplace of the hamburger sandwich. Established in 1895 by a German immigrant, Louis’ Lunch served ground beef patties between two slices of bread to its customers, creating the first hamburger sandwich.

Today, the restaurant still serves the original hamburger sandwich with cheese, onion, and tomato on white toast. Note that no ketchup or other condiments are allowed, preserving the authenticity of the original recipe.

Located on Crown Street, near the Yale School of Management and the Yale Repertory Theatre, Louis’ Lunch is open for lunch from Wednesday to Saturday, from 11:00 AM to 3:45 PM.

Website: Louis’ Lunch
Phone: (203) 562-5507
Address: 261 Crown St, New Haven, CT 06511

Atticus Bookstore Cafe: A Cozy Retreat for Book Lovers and Foodies

Atticus Bookstore Cafe is a cozy and charming bookstore café that offers a selection of books, gifts, coffee, tea, and baked goods. It serves a variety of sandwiches made with fresh bread from their own bakery, as well as salads, soups, quiches, and breakfast items.

Located on Chapel Street, near the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art, it’s open for lunch from Monday to Sunday, from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM.

Website: Atticus Bookstore Cafe
Phone: (203) 776-4040
Address: 1082 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510

Brazi’s Italian Restaurant: Authentic Italian Cuisine in New Haven

Brazi’s Italian Restaurant is a family-owned and operated restaurant that serves authentic Italian cuisine in a warm and elegant setting. The menu offers a variety of dishes, such as pasta, pizza, seafood, chicken, veal, and steak, as well as salads, soups, appetizers, and desserts.

Located on Long Wharf Drive, near the Long Wharf Theatre and the New Haven Harbor, Brazi’s is open for lunch from Monday to Friday, from 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM.

Website: Brazi’s Italian Restaurant
Phone: (203) 498-2488
Address: 201 Food Terminal Plaza, New Haven, CT 06511

BAR – Pizza, Beer and Nightclub: A Trendy Spot for Food and Fun

BAR – Pizza, Beer and Nightclub is a hip and trendy spot that combines pizza, beer, and nightlife in one place. It serves thin-crust pizzas with creative toppings, such as mashed potato and bacon, spinach and artichoke, and shrimp scampi, as well as salads and appetizers.

The restaurant also features a microbrewery that produces its own beers, such as the Blonde Ale, the Toasted Blonde, and the AmBAR Ale. Located on Crown Street, near the Yale School of Management and the Yale Repertory Theatre, BAR is open for lunch from Wednesday to Sunday, from 11:30 AM to 2:00 AM.

Website: BAR – Pizza, Beer and Nightclub
Phone: (203) 495-8924
Address: 254 Crown St, New Haven, CT 06511

Encore by Goodfellas: Fine Dining with a View

Encore by Goodfellas is a sophisticated and upscale restaurant that offers a fine dining experience with a view of the city skyline. This restaurant serves contemporary Italian cuisine with a twist, featuring dishes like lobster ravioli, veal osso buco, lamb chops, and filet mignon, as well as salads, soups, appetizers, and desserts.

Adding to the allure, Encore by Goodfellas features a rooftop lounge that hosts live music and events on weekends, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely lunch or a special occasion.

Located on State Street, near the Yale University campus and downtown attractions, it’s open for lunch from Monday to Friday, from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM.

Website: Encore by Goodfellas New Haven Gourmet Restaurant
Phone: +1 203-785-8722
Address: 702 State St, New Haven, CT 06511

Zuppardi’s Apizza: A Family Tradition of Pizza Excellence

Zuppardi’s Apizza is a family-run pizzeria that has been serving New Haven-style pies since 1934. It’s known for its fresh clams pizza, a local favorite that’s a must-try for seafood lovers. Other traditional and specialty pizzas, such as sausage and broccoli rabe, chicken pesto, and white spinach, are also on the menu.

In addition to pizza, Zuppardi’s Apizza also offers salads, sandwiches, wings, and desserts, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Located on Union Avenue, in West Haven, a short drive from New Haven, it’s open for lunch from Tuesday to Sunday, from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM.

Website: Zuppardi’s Apizza
Phone: (203) 934-1949
Address: 179 Union Ave, West Haven, CT 06516

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these lunch restaurants in New Haven offer a taste of the city’s diverse and vibrant food scene. From upscale dining to family-run pizzerias, there’s a culinary experience waiting for you in New Haven. So why wait? Start exploring these culinary gems today!