Yale is located in the heart of New Haven, Connecticut - a small city with a big cultural scene and a rich history spanning more than 375 years. New Haven residents lovingly refer to their home as #GSCIA for Greatest Small City in America. Visit and learn why.
“Large enough to be interesting”
Yale’s campus is surrounded by hundreds of shops in every price range and restaurants that offer everything from Thai food to Spanish tapas to hamburgers (New Haven’s Louis Lunch claims to have invented the hamburger sandwich). A short walk from campus will take you to New Haven’s East Rock neighborhood, lined with Victorian houses and perhaps best loved for family-run markets that serve as hang-outs for graduate students. Yalies often jog through this neighborhood on their way to East Rock or Edgerton parks. Head east from campus and you’ll find New Haven’s gorgeous Wooster Square, a historic Italian neighborhood where you can sample the famous pizza from Pepe’s or Sally’s. Just north of downtown, the Morris Cove neighborhood enjoys views of the Long Island Sound and New Haven’s Lighthouse Point Park, still home to a mid-nineteenth century lighthouse and an original 1920s carousel. Downtown clubs and concerts are popular with some students on the weekends. Others prefer to walk to the movies or one of the theaters, whose productions are regularly reviewed in The New York Times.
“Small enough to be friendly”
New Haven is small enough that Yale students can make a difference. Many get involved in local politics; a Yale student typically serves on the Board of Aldermen, New Haven’s governing council, and other students intern at City Hall. Students also venture out into the city to volunteer, tutoring at local schools and prisons, serving as coaches for youth sports teams, and helping at soup kitchens.
Founded in 1638 and the first planned city in North America, New Haven has a grid of nine squares that puts Yale directly in the heart of downtown, with Old Campus (one of two central quadrangles) bordering the New Haven Green. With no line of demarcation between campus and the city, Yale students have unrivaled access to their urban surroundings, making New Haven an integral part of Yale’s unique educational experience.
Carts: Although you won’t find what you might typically think of as “fast food” in New Haven, there are plenty of ways to get food fast. “Carts” are food stands on wheels serving anything from burritos to salad to Thai and Indian food, and you can find clusters of them on Prospect St., near the Medical school, and up and down Elm and York street.
Cluefest: You might call Cluefest the New Haven edition of the Amazing Race. Each Summer, New Havenites gear up in teams to compete in an epic scavenger hunt that tests their knowledge of the city and its secrets.
Downside Watson: A specialty at Ashley’s Ice Cream on York Street: seven scoops of ice cream, nine different toppings, and two bananas served in a Frisbee.
Elm City: New Haven’s endearing nickname, stemming from the abundance of Elm trees lining the city’s streets and squares.
Saarinen: The architect Eero Saarinen designed many of Yale’s most notable buildings, including Morse College, Ezra Stiles College, and Ingalls Rink, known as “The Whale” because of its unusual shape.
Slice: New Haven pizza is some of the best you’ll find anywhere. Whether it’s late night pizza at Yorkside, the world-famous Sally’s and Pepe’s in Wooster Square, or the ever-innovative BAR, there are lots of places to grab a slice - in fact, there are almost twenty.
Ultimate: Frisbee, that is. The Frisbee is one of New Haven’s many firsts, and was supposedly invented when some Yale students began throwing a pie tin from Mrs. Frisbee’s pie shop back and forth. From Yale’s Club Frisbee team to friends on the Green, New Haven residents have kept the sport alive.
Wenzel n. A delicious Buffalo chicken grinder from Alpha Delta Pizza at the intersection of Elm and Howe. Perfect for a late night snack, whether it’s a study break or after a night out.