Before we get started, let me make one thing very clear: I do not condone staying up late UNLESS it is in pursuit of a chill fun time! My thought is that sleeping is always a chill fun time, so unless you’re doing something that is more chill and fun than sleeping, you should go to bed. But that’s just my two cents.
So say you’re having a chill fun time one night and you want to get a snack before turning in. Where’s a Yalie to go? Good thing that New Haven is chock-full of shops and restaurants that remain open into the early morning. Here is my entirely subjective analysis of the various options.
Good Nature Market (colloquially “Gheav”)
Offerings: Basically anything. Dumplings, breakfast sandwiches, kinder eggs, toilet paper, fruit popsicles, mochi, decorative plants.
Vibe: Going into Gheav at 2 am is a gamble. You may see people you know and they may be dressed very beautifully for some kind of formal event and you may have to eat your mashed potatoes in front of them. Imagine drinking imported yogurt in a Target at midnight, except the Target is very small and very expensive. Extremely bright lights. Occasionally feels like entering a liminal space.
Yorkside Pizza & Restaurant
Offerings: Pizza, mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders, milkshakes.
Vibe: Very fun. The staff will come and gossip with you about people at other tables. The theme is “Yale,” so the residential college crests are all over the menus and we love to see the picture of our friend Tommy’s football-playing dad on the wall. Listen, everyone wants to come to Yorkside for the pizza, and the pizza is good.* I just want to plug the milkshakes. The milkshakes are creamy and FREEZING and very generous in size. Also, if you don’t want to stay at Yorkside because there are too many people (which there can be), then you can order an entire loaf of garlic bread to go.
*It’s also very hot. I have a friend who got a second-degree burn when he accidentally flipped a slice off the table and onto his leg. This is a major drawback of Yorkside. Be careful; wear pants.
My friends being huge goofballs at Yorkside
Mamoun’s Falafel Restaurant
Offerings: Mediterranean fare and mango juice!
Vibe: I’ll be totally honest. I’ve only been to Mamoun’s once. I kept trying to go all last year but somehow it didn’t work out. The one time I went it was so nice. It’s cozy and the lights are pretty and I love babaganoush! Mamoun’s is a little far from Old Campus/ most of the colleges, but it is worth the trek.
Closes: 2am on weekends
Offerings: Hamburger. That’s it.
Vibe: Louis’ Lunch feels like if the phrase “Hey! I’m walkin’ here!” were a restaurant. They claim to have invented the hamburger, which I find difficult to believe, because the hamburger was probably invented in Hamburg, right? Origins of the hamburger aside, Louis’ Lunch is a wild spot. The two guys who work there have a sort of Muppets-Theater-Critics thing going on and can be intimidating (NEVER ASK FOR MODIFICATIONS TO YOUR HAMBURGER!) but I also know that if anyone were to bother me in this establishment, these two men would defend my honor. When you get your (delicious) hamburger, it will look different from any hamburger you have ever had before. I will not say why because I don’t want to spoil it.
Alpha Delta Pizza
Offerings: Pizza, wings, burgers, but most importantly…The Wenzel
Vibe: I have never been inside Alpha Delta Pizza. This is because they deliver for free. Yes, UNTIL 3AM. The late hours and Greek letters of Alpha Delta have led many first-years to think that this venerable institution is, in fact, a frat. Think again. Unlike a frat, Alpha Delta is always a good time. They are most famous for their Wenzel sandwich, named for Eric Wenzel (‘04). Yale students are so crazy about this sandwich that they invented an app called One Button Wenzel, which delivers fresh Wenzels to your door with the click of a button. For a beautiful ode to the Wenzel, read this Admissions Office blog by Elliot back in 2011.
In conclusion, New Haven’s array of late-night snack options is vast and glorious. I didn’t even list them all! Next time you’re on campus, make sure you take full advantage of the offerings. And then go to sleep.