Growing up as the daughter of a chef, I’ve learned to take food very seriously – food is my life. I’ve been tired of Yale Dining since literally the first semester, and I’ve made it my mission to go around New Haven and find restaurants to sustain my food-addicted lifestyle. (Follow me on Yelp! @DeannaTiao)
Below are my some of favorite cheap eats – everything is below $10, and absolutely delicious.
Okay, Junzi is the single-best thing that has ever happened to me. When I moved to New Haven, I thought all hope of ever eating anything close to my Dad’s cooking was lost –until Junzi opened. Junzi is the love of my life.
While I do love their regular menu, I especially love their late night menu. With everything from ramen to amazing bings, Junzi is the perfect snack to eat at night. My only complaint is that their late night option is only open from Friday to Sat, 10:30-1:30AM.
Their prices are low, and everything is delicious. My favorite is their pork belly bing. They place soft, marinated pieces of pork belly inside a delicious scallion “bing” (thin savory pancake), top it off with a perfectly yummy egg, secret Asian spices, and pieces of fresh cucumber, scallion, and daikon. Result? Amazing perfection.
2) The Pantry
The Pantry is actually heaven on Earth. The space is warm, the waitresses are so nice, and the food is absolutely amazing.
Their cinnamon roll pancakes are a must-have – they’re thick layers of sweet and fluffy pancakes with a caramelized sugar swirled in, and topped off with yummy cream cheese icing. This is literally one of my favorite things in the world. (And it’s so cheap!) Typically when I come here, I’ll also order their eggs, bacon, toast, and potato combo. However, it is a bit of a far walk, and if you’re lazy like me, you’ll probably have to take an Uber. The portions are huge, and definitely share-able, so feel free to dig in with your friends.
*This place is cash-only as well!
3) Zoi’s on Orange
If you’re looking for an amazing sandwich/brunch restaurant, Zoi’s on Orange is the place to go. It’s super cute spot with vases of small flowers, but most importantly, they have some of the most filling sandwiches I’ve ever had.
I love the Lumberjack and Mean Dean. The Lumberjack is by far my favorite – three large eggs with melted cheese, bacon, sausage, ham, and crispy potato are all carefully placed on a crispy sub roll, and smashed together. It’s a little messy to eat, but so worth it.
Their buttermilk pancakes are also super warm and fluffy – definitely not as good as the cinnamon roll pancakes, but they are delicious in their own way. The flavors are a lot more subtle. It's around the TD area, so it’s a bit of a walk, but definitely manageable.
4) Dr. Jung’s Kimchi Corner
Whenever I’m missing good Korean comfort food, aka when I’ve just received another horrible PSET grade, I run to Dr. Jung’s food cart. His food is extremely cheap ($6-$7!), and so satisfying. Each dish comes with your choice of meat – I highly recommend the spicy pork – your classic bibimbap ingredients, japchae, a runny egg, and spicy gochuchang. I would eat here every day if I could. I would recommend you go at least once during your time here at Yale.
The only downside is that it’s kind of far. His cart is near the med school, by the cluster of all the other cute food carts.
*Another downside is that it’s cash only, and I typically only have $1 in quarters.
5) Sandra’s Next Generation
If you’re ever on Yelp, you’ll know that Sandra’s Next Generation is a huge hit. It is honestly some of the most amazing soul food I’ve ever had. I would attach a photo, but every time I come here, I always forget to take a picture because I’m too excited to eat.
Everything, literally everything is amazing here, so feel free to order whatever you want. Their warm, buttery cornbread is especially delicious. I also love their Cajun Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Macaroni and Cheese, and their regular Crispy Fried Chicken -- basically everything. Although this place is kind of far (by the med school - I always take an uber), it is so worth it.
Hope you all enjoy trying out these new places, and love them as much as I do. Let me know which place is your favorite in the comments down below, and if you have any other restaurant recommendations! Happy eating.