While Greater New Haven celebrates its diversity with global cuisine, our international fame comes from two staples: pizza and the hamburger sandwich. The time-honored big three of Pepe’s, Sally’s and Modern have been joined by BAR, Da Legna and Zuppardi’s as local favorites. In fact, there isn’t a town in the region where you can’t find delicious pizza. For those who have never had New Haven-style pizza, be prepared for a very thin, slightly charred crust. And depending on the restaurant, mozzarella is sometimes considered a separate topping. For less traditional tastes, try the white clam pizza at Pepe’s or the mashed potato pie at BAR.
Recognized by the Library of Congress as the birthplace of the hamburger sandwich, Louis’ Lunch is not your typical hamburger joint. Here tradition, dating back to 1895, rules. The burgers are a proprietary blend of meats, cooked to order in the original cast-iron grills and served on toast. Condiments are not on the menu and toppings are limited to cheese, tomatoes and onions. This authentic foray into culinary history is worth forsaking some garnishes.
What’s the easiest, and possibly cheapest, way to travel around the world? Put on your walking shoes and tour the four street food districts in New Haven. A full loop is 5.4 miles, but chances are you’ll be full before you finish. You’ll travel from Downtown New Haven with its historic green, admire the “Yale Whale” (Ingall’s Ice Rink designed by Eero Saarinen) at the Sachem District, then head over to the Cedar District (near the Yale School of Medicine and Yale New Haven Hospital) with its long history of food carts. Finally, or firstly if you arrived by car, you can be wowed by Food Truck Paradise at Long Wharf located off of I-95 at exit 46. www.streetfoodnhv.com