El Amigo Felix
8 Whalley Avenue, 785-8200
Margaritas, chips, salsa sauce and salsa music greet fiesta-seeking Yalies at this Whalley Avenue establishment. The Pina Colada is excellent, and the food is among the most authentic in the area. Try ordering in Spanish.
The News recommends: Nachos
172 York Street, 789-8684
Students who like Thai food will love Bangkok Garden. Although the restaurant is a nice place to dine in, it also offers quick service for delivery and take-out, especially in the evenings when the dining halls are closed and you don’t feel like going to Durfee’s.
The News recommends: Drunken Noodle
76 Orange Street, 562-2511
Bentara specializes in Malaysian cuisine — and this truly is cuisine. Ask your parents to take you here, because this elegant restaurant is not priced for the student budget. Many plates allow for sharing among family members, making for a private buffet. You can also try eating a generous entree all by yourself. This restaurant is reputed for its unique Roti Chanai, a bread with a sauce so good that it could act as an entree itself. This place is definitely suitable for dates and other special occasions. Check out Bentara — it is well worth the price.
The News recommends: Roti Chanai (the bread)
228 College Street, 562-3993
Caffe Adulis on Chapel Street is an upscale North African restaurant that perfectly blends a formal atmosphere with a comfortable feel. White walls decorated with traditional African art are complemented by soft, tasteful background jazz. The food matches the atmosphere in aesthetics and style. Served on a thin sourdough-lined plate, Adulis’ stews are delicious medleys of sliced vegetables, cabbage, a red tomato tibsie sauce and meat, chicken or shrimp. The Adulis Appetizer, a small stew with tibsie sauce, shrimp and vegetables, is fantastic.
The News recommends: Chicken Tibsie
1180 Chapel Street, 865-5033
There are many different types of curry, and Indochine Pavilion lets you sample them all. Most of the curries contain a lot of coconut milk and sometimes peanuts. The portions are large and plentiful. The food is excellent, filled with meat and flavor.
The News recommends: Anything curry
316 Elm Street, 562-9933
This cute new restaurant has yet to establish itself as a New Haven favorite, but it is headed that way. An authentic Chinese noodle shop, this spot also serves rice and meat dishes, along with lychees and other more exotic fare. It’s all for low prices, in a sleek stainless steel setting, with a variety of seating options for single eaters and larger groups.
The News recommends: Pan-fried dumplings
376 Elm Street, 777-3747
Main Garden is your typical Chinese take-out restaurant. Because of its speedy delivery, freshmen in search of Moo Shu Chicken, Pork Fried Rice, Wonton Soup and other Chinese delicacies frequently order from Main Garden. The late hours makes it more inviting than some of its competitors and great for a late night snack. If you order, just make to meet the deliveryman quickly; otherwise, he’ll give you an earful.
The News recommends: Sesame Chicken
85 Howe Street, 562-8444
Mamoun’s is a Middle Eastern restaurant on Howe Street, behind Pierson College. While Mamoun’s may be far from Old Campus, it’s worth the trek. This food is as close to authentic Middle Eastern food as you will get. The sandwiches are always made fresh, the pita bread is warm, and the baklava is sweet, sticky and scrumptious. In fact, there is nothing better than baklava with coffee to get you through an all-nighter. Since Mamoun’s closes so late, it’s the perfect spot for a late-night study break with friends.
The News recommends: Hummus sandwich
Mom’s Indian Kitchen
283 Crown Street, 624-8771
Mom’s Indian Kitchen is an excellent Indian restaurant at the corner of Crown and High streets. This place is good not only because of the food, which is tasty, but also because the portions are large. Two people with regular appetites can probably share one entree. The atmosphere is quaint, so don’t come with a crowd. But if you are in the mood for a quiet atmosphere, this small eatery is ideal.
The News recommends: Chicken Tikka Masala
Pika Tapas (pictured)
39 High Street, 865-1933
This Spanish restaurant’s main feature is tapas, small appetizer-sized dishes. Order several and share with friends to make a full meal. The combinations create delicious offerings. This is a great place to go before a formal event or with parents. Reservations are necessary.
The News recommends: Sangria and goat cheese tarts
230 College Street, 562-6766
Samurai’s elegant Chapel Street location and sushi bar have won it a following from Yale students who crave tasty low-fat eats at reasonable prices. Some students like the ample portions — every dinner comes with miso soup and a Japanese salad. But some sushi connoisseurs said Samurai’s fish is low-quality and crumbles when dipped in soy sauce. The Spice Salmon resembles a “Tex-Mex” fish entree, which isn’t usually found in Japan and students say demonstates the low quality of the joint.
The News recommends: Shrimp sushi
1151 Chapel Street, 776-9802
This is a great, classy restaurant without high-end prices. You can actually afford to go to Thai Taste without breaking the bank. The entrees run around $8, and the portions are large. Thai food is a mixture between Chinese and South Asian, and Thai Taste’s offerings include noodles, rice, curry, duck and anything else east of the Pacific you could ask for. Among the more popular dishes are Spicy Noodle, Chicken Yellow Curry and Blanket Shrimp. The atmosphere is pleasant — cloth napkins for all — and the service is wonderful. You can afford to treat your parents or that special someone. Both will compliment your good taste.
The News recommends: Pad Thai
161 Park Street, 562-2499
A laid-back joint that looks like a hole-in-the-wall from its Park Street exterior, Viva’s delights late-night nacho fiends upon entrance. The dark wood interior, decorated with chili lights and Mexican paraphernalia, has turned into a hot Thursday night pre-party spot because of its ample pitchers of margaritas. Drunken Yalies enjoy free tortilla chips, and the kitchen is open until midnight for plates of cheesy nachos and fajitas.
The News recommends: Chimichongas
The Whole Enchilada
21 Whitney Avenue, 230-4640
This Whitney Avenue Mexican spot offers massive burritos for moderate prices. It’s a far cry from authentic Mexican cuisine or even Tex-Mex, but its burritos should suffice to satisfy the palate of anyone craving a tortilla with beef, beans and rice. Their food is healthy and they have a number of vegetarian offerings.
The News recommends: Spinach burrito