I wish Yale’s dining plan was set up more like Northeastern University’s. The huskies are able to use their meal cards at local restaurants while we poor bulldogs are helplessly in thrall to a strict dining hall system.
As a vegan this is kind of troublesome, especially when the meal options are limited (and the plan is expensive!)
It’s especially frustrating when one considers how many excellent vegan dining options there are in the New Haven area. I mean, I get that New Haven is famous for its pizza- but let me tell you, there is nothing quite like Ethiopian Food or a good plate of Mike’s Nachos (see number ).
So if you’re heading to New Haven, these are the places I recommend you pop in at, vegan or no!
The aforementioned Ethiopian place. My favorite thing is to go with family or friends and get one of the immense shared vegetarian platters. It’s finger food you get to pick up with scoops of soft bread. And the platter on which it’s served is also covered in this soft, spongy bread. They have excellent non-spicy dip options, which is important for someone like me (who has a kind of sensitive stomach). And trust me, you’ll need help from your tablemates. It’s the most formal of the restaurants I’m listening here, but even so not very formal. And they also have a food cart that wanders up Science Hill or down to the Medical School sometimes, if sit down meals aren’t your thing.
Some great classic Indian food in an adorably retro diner. I usually get the chapati (because I’m a woo woo whole wheat nut) and share some vegetarian specialties (Alu Gobhi and Channa Masala!) with the table.
- Claire’s Corner Copia:
These last two are probably the places I’ve eaten at most. They’re decidedly less formal and decidedly more breakfast- and lunch-friendly. Claire’s is a wonderful small place with great vegan options- both meals and pastries! I would probably have to do a whole other post just to talk about all of the wonderful things they serve here, but let’s just say that the mini loaves are orgasmic. No exaggeration. Well, yes exaggeration because not literally. But pretty damn close! (So close that I’ve taken to stealing mini loaves (okay, I’ve only done it twice) when people leave without eating them).
- Blue State:
It’s a chain cafe, yes, but it’s such a significant part of the Yalie consciousness. It’s where you go for interviews and meetings and all that, where everyone who drinks coffee (i.e. not me) stops for coffee (because apparently the dining hall coffee is both ineffective and poisonous). BUT I come here for the beautiful pressed sandwiches- specifically the Tuna-Chickpea Melt (Vegan cheese, multigrain bread, hold the sad tomato slices). Oh, and also the vegan cowboy cookies. Yum. And the banana-peanut butter-chocolate milk smoothie. Do try it at home. Delicious and because it’s a smoothie and has protein you can pretend it’s not dessert.
That’s everything, although I would like to give a special shout out to Atticus for dumping their unsold bread (rare) outside at the end of the day. That ciabatta, though.
Kind of amazing that I could eat more cheaply at these delicious and healthful places than at the Yale dining halls, which are really only price-effective if you’re an athlete who bolts eggs, both hard-boiled and scrambled.