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Overhead shot of a New Haven-style pizza with a thin, charred crust, topped with sausage and red peppers.
Modern Apizza is an icon in New Haven’s East Rock neighborhood, but New Haven’s not just about apizza, and East Rock has lots more to explore.
Amy Kundrat/Eater

A Taste of New Haven’s East Rock Neighborhood

Get to the Connecticut city in as little as two hours from Boston by train, and find plenty to eat in the East Rock neighborhood just a mile from the station

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Modern Apizza is an icon in New Haven’s East Rock neighborhood, but New Haven’s not just about apizza, and East Rock has lots more to explore.
| Amy Kundrat/Eater

A two-hour train ride from Boston’s South Station, New Haven typically draws visitors seeking Yale or famous pizza (known here as “apizza.”) The city offers a wide variety of foods worth seeking out, however, and the compact East Rock neighborhood, adjacent to downtown, a mile from the Union Station, is the perfect place for a day trip.

This walkable mixed-use neighborhood is known for its namesake trap rock ridge, appealing architecture, and density of enticing eateries, both established and new. Trek through with an appetite for these fantastic restaurants, bakeries, markets, and bars — from local haunts dating back to the late 1800s to brand new spots like New Haven’s first food hall.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. East Rock Brewing Company

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285 Nicoll St Suite 103
New Haven, CT 06511
(475) 234-6176
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It’s bold to lead with a year-round Vienna-style lager in Sam Adams territory, but East Rock Brewing, stationed by the foot of 425-acre East Rock Park, makes it look easy, and the rest of the mostly German-inspired tap list is impeccable too. Since the brewery allows outside food, head next door to New Haven’s first food hall, the new East Rock Market, for a takeout charcuterie board or sushi platter before hunkering down with a pint of rustic Farmhouse Lager kellerbier in the spacious beer hall or on the patio.

2. Archie Moore's Bar & Restaurant

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188 1/2 Willow St
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 773-9870
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Archie Moore’s has been a neighborhood institution since 1898. Some things have changed — the location flipped sides of the street in 1913, for example — but plenty haven’t: The current bar is a reconstruction featuring elements of the original beverage counter, and pine walls adorned with vintage Coca-Cola ads feel timeless. Equally consistent are the wings, coated with a balanced Buffalo sauce. Pair them with local drafts like Two Roads Ol’ Factory Pils or New England Brewing Coriolis double IPA, and time slips away altogether.

3. Atticus Market

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771 Orange St
New Haven, CT 06511

Atticus Market, a recent expansion from a longstanding bookstore-cafe downtown, is filled with sought-after ingredients, from Oh Shito Ghanian pepper sauce and Burlap & Barrel spices to Rancho Gordo heirloom beans. Most impressive, however, is the company’s dedication to baking exclusively with regional whole grains — from banana cream tarts with miso caramel to loaves of pumpernickel rye. In addition, Atticus’s collaboration with local makers via the CT Food Launchpad helps bring more winning baked goods, such as Sanctuary Kitchen chef Abir Yousef’s Syrian za’atar rolls, to the table.

4. Madeline's Empanaderia & Bistro

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48 Middletown Ave
New Haven, CT 06513
(475) 238-6026
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Madeline’s is the delicious result of two successful food truck owners opening a physical location. Located on Middletown Avenue where East Rock abuts the Cedar Hill and Fair Haven neighborhoods, the restaurant both exalts and expands upon traditional Caribbean flavors. In addition to empanadas — like the savory ropa vieja, stuffed with braised sirloin and Cuban rice, and the Sweet Thang, filled with sweet potato cheesecake — don’t miss the pernil canapes, whose crisp tostones are piled with flavorful roast pork, pico, and cheese.

5. Nica's Market

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603 Orange St
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 787-5919
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With a generous patio on bustling Orange Street, Nica’s is a great place to people-watch while you tuck into a sandwich loaded with thick spirals of Italian cold cuts or chicken cutlets and broccoli rabe. Filled with a selection of imported Italian treats and fresh produce, this is also a perfect place to pick up fixings for an expert-level cheese and charcuterie plate.

6. Bar August

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3 Edwards St
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 745-4531
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Compact and cozy with a restored tin ceiling, exposed brick wall, and a sliver of patio, Bar August woos with a tight list of excellent wines and a simple, savvy menu of snacks and small plates. Combined with its sibling specialty market across the street, Flynn’s Grocery, this is the type of establishment every neighborhood should have.

7. TOKA Asian Kitchen

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996 State St
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 821-7217
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TOKA serves dishes from across Southeast Asia with a focus on Indonesian specialties, like comforting buntut oxtail soup and fragrant dry curry beef rendang. Shadow boxes showcasing folk art adorn the intimate space and tropical cocktails complement the food menu.

8. Jordan’s Hot Dogs & Mac

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970 State St
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 789-2244
Visit Website

Burgundy booths, bright red walls, and hot dog wall art alert you to the priority at Jordan’s. Get the Californian — a split and grilled Hummel dog (produced right here in New Haven) on a buttered, toasted bun, overflowing with turkey chili, parmesan, and diced onion.

9. Tavern on State

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969 State St
New Haven, CT 06511
(475) 202-6883
Visit Website

Tavern on State, whose thoughtful sourcing recently led the owners to open New Haven’s first whole-animal butcher shop next door in Provisions on State, offers a cozy space in which to lose yourself in conversation. A regularly changing menu features seasonal and house-preserved ingredients and highlights excellent cuts like heritage pork coppa steak alongside cocktail gems like the Sea Witch, a tipple of gin, bay leaf-infused vermouth, brine, and pickled onion.

10. Marjolaine Pastry Shop

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961 State St
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 789-8589
Visit Website

Serving European-inspired treats on State Street for more than 40 years, Marjolaine changed ownership in 2013 when Rusty Hamilton sold the shop to his longtime employee and protegee, Arlene Cardenas. Hamilton’s iconic favorites — including decadent chocolate mousse mice and fruit tarts packed with pastry cream — remain crave-worthy, and Cardenas has only added to the shop’s allure with treats like Puerto Rican-style flan. Order the namesake dessert — a terrine of hazelnut meringue and chocolate hazelnut creme chantilly — to go, or savor a pillowy cheese Danish inside the petite cafe or on the outdoor benches.

11. Oriental Pantry

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486 Orange St
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 865-2849
Visit Website

The city’s first Asian market, Oriental Pantry has been a neighborhood staple for over 35 years. Amid shelves stocked with goods from teaware to frozen dumplings, owner Yoon-ock Kim serves a tight menu of Korean classics, including bibimbap, a heaping bowl of rice, greens, sauteed and pickled vegetables, fried egg, and beef or tofu.

12. Modern Apizza

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874 State St
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 776-5306
Visit Website

Founded in 1934, Modern Apizza is the youngest of New Haven’s “Big Three” pizzerias, slightly less widely known than Pepe’s or Sally’s, Modern has its own fanatical following thanks to high-quality toppings and flavorful, slow-fermented dough. The crust has a touch more heft than its predecessors, making it ideal for more substantial orders, such as the house special Italian Bomb featuring three meats and three veggies, or a white mootz pie adorned with thinly sliced and breaded eggplant amplified by bacon, black olives, onion, and garlic.

13. L'Orcio

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806 State St
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 777-6670
Visit Website

Fresh handmade pasta and Old World Florentine charm help L’Orcio stand out in New Haven’s robust Italian food scene. Located in the historic 1889 Thomas Kelly House, a Queen Anne Victorian-style building nestled next to beloved community collective Never Ending Books, the restaurant offers white-tablecloth elegance inside and a secluded outdoor escape in the trellised garden patio. Go on Ten Dollar Tuesdays for terrific value on luscious pasta dishes like pappardelle al ragu.

1. East Rock Brewing Company

285 Nicoll St Suite 103, New Haven, CT 06511

It’s bold to lead with a year-round Vienna-style lager in Sam Adams territory, but East Rock Brewing, stationed by the foot of 425-acre East Rock Park, makes it look easy, and the rest of the mostly German-inspired tap list is impeccable too. Since the brewery allows outside food, head next door to New Haven’s first food hall, the new East Rock Market, for a takeout charcuterie board or sushi platter before hunkering down with a pint of rustic Farmhouse Lager kellerbier in the spacious beer hall or on the patio.

285 Nicoll St Suite 103
New Haven, CT 06511

2. Archie Moore's Bar & Restaurant

188 1/2 Willow St, New Haven, CT 06511

Archie Moore’s has been a neighborhood institution since 1898. Some things have changed — the location flipped sides of the street in 1913, for example — but plenty haven’t: The current bar is a reconstruction featuring elements of the original beverage counter, and pine walls adorned with vintage Coca-Cola ads feel timeless. Equally consistent are the wings, coated with a balanced Buffalo sauce. Pair them with local drafts like Two Roads Ol’ Factory Pils or New England Brewing Coriolis double IPA, and time slips away altogether.

188 1/2 Willow St
New Haven, CT 06511

3. Atticus Market

771 Orange St, New Haven, CT 06511

Atticus Market, a recent expansion from a longstanding bookstore-cafe downtown, is filled with sought-after ingredients, from Oh Shito Ghanian pepper sauce and Burlap & Barrel spices to Rancho Gordo heirloom beans. Most impressive, however, is the company’s dedication to baking exclusively with regional whole grains — from banana cream tarts with miso caramel to loaves of pumpernickel rye. In addition, Atticus’s collaboration with local makers via the CT Food Launchpad helps bring more winning baked goods, such as Sanctuary Kitchen chef Abir Yousef’s Syrian za’atar rolls, to the table.

771 Orange St
New Haven, CT 06511

4. Madeline's Empanaderia & Bistro

48 Middletown Ave, New Haven, CT 06513

Madeline’s is the delicious result of two successful food truck owners opening a physical location. Located on Middletown Avenue where East Rock abuts the Cedar Hill and Fair Haven neighborhoods, the restaurant both exalts and expands upon traditional Caribbean flavors. In addition to empanadas — like the savory ropa vieja, stuffed with braised sirloin and Cuban rice, and the Sweet Thang, filled with sweet potato cheesecake — don’t miss the pernil canapes, whose crisp tostones are piled with flavorful roast pork, pico, and cheese.

48 Middletown Ave
New Haven, CT 06513

5. Nica's Market

603 Orange St, New Haven, CT 06511

With a generous patio on bustling Orange Street, Nica’s is a great place to people-watch while you tuck into a sandwich loaded with thick spirals of Italian cold cuts or chicken cutlets and broccoli rabe. Filled with a selection of imported Italian treats and fresh produce, this is also a perfect place to pick up fixings for an expert-level cheese and charcuterie plate.

603 Orange St
New Haven, CT 06511

6. Bar August

3 Edwards St, New Haven, CT 06511

Compact and cozy with a restored tin ceiling, exposed brick wall, and a sliver of patio, Bar August woos with a tight list of excellent wines and a simple, savvy menu of snacks and small plates. Combined with its sibling specialty market across the street, Flynn’s Grocery, this is the type of establishment every neighborhood should have.

3 Edwards St
New Haven, CT 06511

7. TOKA Asian Kitchen

996 State St, New Haven, CT 06511

TOKA serves dishes from across Southeast Asia with a focus on Indonesian specialties, like comforting buntut oxtail soup and fragrant dry curry beef rendang. Shadow boxes showcasing folk art adorn the intimate space and tropical cocktails complement the food menu.

996 State St
New Haven, CT 06511

8. Jordan’s Hot Dogs & Mac

970 State St, New Haven, CT 06511

Burgundy booths, bright red walls, and hot dog wall art alert you to the priority at Jordan’s. Get the Californian — a split and grilled Hummel dog (produced right here in New Haven) on a buttered, toasted bun, overflowing with turkey chili, parmesan, and diced onion.

970 State St
New Haven, CT 06511

9. Tavern on State

969 State St, New Haven, CT 06511

Tavern on State, whose thoughtful sourcing recently led the owners to open New Haven’s first whole-animal butcher shop next door in Provisions on State, offers a cozy space in which to lose yourself in conversation. A regularly changing menu features seasonal and house-preserved ingredients and highlights excellent cuts like heritage pork coppa steak alongside cocktail gems like the Sea Witch, a tipple of gin, bay leaf-infused vermouth, brine, and pickled onion.

969 State St
New Haven, CT 06511

10. Marjolaine Pastry Shop

961 State St, New Haven, CT 06511

Serving European-inspired treats on State Street for more than 40 years, Marjolaine changed ownership in 2013 when Rusty Hamilton sold the shop to his longtime employee and protegee, Arlene Cardenas. Hamilton’s iconic favorites — including decadent chocolate mousse mice and fruit tarts packed with pastry cream — remain crave-worthy, and Cardenas has only added to the shop’s allure with treats like Puerto Rican-style flan. Order the namesake dessert — a terrine of hazelnut meringue and chocolate hazelnut creme chantilly — to go, or savor a pillowy cheese Danish inside the petite cafe or on the outdoor benches.

961 State St
New Haven, CT 06511

11. Oriental Pantry

486 Orange St, New Haven, CT 06511

The city’s first Asian market, Oriental Pantry has been a neighborhood staple for over 35 years. Amid shelves stocked with goods from teaware to frozen dumplings, owner Yoon-ock Kim serves a tight menu of Korean classics, including bibimbap, a heaping bowl of rice, greens, sauteed and pickled vegetables, fried egg, and beef or tofu.

486 Orange St
New Haven, CT 06511

12. Modern Apizza

874 State St, New Haven, CT 06511

Founded in 1934, Modern Apizza is the youngest of New Haven’s “Big Three” pizzerias, slightly less widely known than Pepe’s or Sally’s, Modern has its own fanatical following thanks to high-quality toppings and flavorful, slow-fermented dough. The crust has a touch more heft than its predecessors, making it ideal for more substantial orders, such as the house special Italian Bomb featuring three meats and three veggies, or a white mootz pie adorned with thinly sliced and breaded eggplant amplified by bacon, black olives, onion, and garlic.

874 State St
New Haven, CT 06511

13. L'Orcio

806 State St, New Haven, CT 06511

Fresh handmade pasta and Old World Florentine charm help L’Orcio stand out in New Haven’s robust Italian food scene. Located in the historic 1889 Thomas Kelly House, a Queen Anne Victorian-style building nestled next to beloved community collective Never Ending Books, the restaurant offers white-tablecloth elegance inside and a secluded outdoor escape in the trellised garden patio. Go on Ten Dollar Tuesdays for terrific value on luscious pasta dishes like pappardelle al ragu.

806 State St
New Haven, CT 06511

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