Saturday, May 17, 2014

Louis Lunch in New Haven CT

Ever since I was a little girl my dad would tell me the story of the famous Louis' Lunch in downtown New Haven CT.

Louis' Lunch, pronounced "Lou-ees", is credited for being the birthplace of the American hamburger. Legend has it that a businessman, hungry, and running late for an appointment, popped into Louis' and asked for something quick to eat. The proprietor scooped up some chopped meat scraps and formed a meat patty and broiled it for the gentlemen, placing the cooked beef  between two slices of toast to make the meat easy to eat on the run.

The American burger was born!

Dad also played the famous a capella Yale Whiffenpoofs' song for me, that contains the lyrics "the place where Louie dwells" referring to this wonderful downtown New Haven establishment's original proprietor. The Whiffenpoof Song contains several references to old New Haven locations such as "Mory's" and "Temple Bar".

The cowboy and I decided to stop at Louis' Lunch while running some errands in New Haven, and for both of us it was our first time there! It's a tiny little place located on Crown Street and as you can see, I was really excited to finally be there!

Louis' Lunch in New Haven CT

The place is teeny-tiny!

While we waited for our burgers to cook we ordered a side of potato salad and some Foxon Park Birch Beer.  We bellied up to the wooden lunch counter filled with over a century of etched sentiments carved into the wood.

Potato Salad and Foxon Park Birch Beer

Legend also has it that Lou was a hamburg snob (chuckle) and would never allow any condiments on his burgers.

And legend holds true today...

If you want ketchup or mustard or mayonnaise on your chopped beef sandwich - there's none to be found here. The only thing allowed on THIS burger is cheese, onion, and tomato.

There's even a sign saying "this is not Burger King - you won't get it cooked your way".

Well, I have to tell you, Louis' Lunch's way is pretty good! The burger was cooked a perfect medium rare on very lightly toasted bread with a thick slice of tomato and some grilled onions. *Note: You can have it cooked a bit longer to a med well or well done by asking. 

Louis Lunch Burger - Medium Rare with Tomato and Grilled Onions

And here's a few candid shots of Louis Lunch interior!

If you want to soak up some historic New Haven atmosphere - make it a point to stop at Louis Lunch and have a burger cooked their way!

Louis' Lunch
261-263 Crown Street
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 562-5507 

Follow them on twitter:  @LouisLunchCT

Like them on facebook: www.

Some things to know

  • Cash only is accepted
  • There is limited on street parking but a paid parking lot is right next door ($2.00 per hour)
  • Seating is limited - lunch time is extremely busy but the turnover is quick
  • Crown Street is one way
  • Hamburgers are the only thing on the menu
  • The only sides are chips and potato salad and for dessert homemade pie
  • Beverages are limited to soda, ice tea, and water (no alcohol - no coffee)

Louis' Lunch on Urbanspoon

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