Louis' Lunch

263 Crown St
New Haven CT 06511
(203) 562-5507
Categories Food

Sigh. Deep breath. A conversation about Louis’ Lunch is never simple. Is it the birthplace of the hamburger? Supposedly, one day in 1900, a gentleman hurriedly told proprietor Louis Lassen "he was in a rush and wanted something he could eat on the run" resulting in a blend of ground steak trimmings between two slices of toast being sent with the gentleman on his way. But is it a "burger," or is it a "sandwich"? Some argue that historically and semiotically speaking, the "original burger" is a sandwich and not a hamburger because a hamburger is technically a ground-beef patty on some form of yeast bun. It’s a smart conversation, one it would be fun to get Chicago’s deep-dish lovers to take on (theirs is a casserole, not a pizza). But because of the "it’s a burger" answer that comes from 99.995 percent who answer the "what-is-this" question, and because, well, give us a break, it’s a place in the pantheon of hamburger sandwiches (how is a burger not a sandwich anyway?), Louis’ Lunch made this list.

Sandwich, hamburger, whatever. So what do you get? A flame-broiled burger made in a vertical hinged-steel wire gridiron that cooks the burgers on both sides at the same time. That’s what. It’s a hamburger sandwich supposedly made from a blend of five cuts of ground steak. If you want condiments, you’ll have to ask. The extent that your burger is going to get tricked out is cheese, tomato, and onion. No mustard, ketchup, or mayo. But do you really need all that? You can practically taste the nostalgia. And that never disappoints. — Arthur Bovino



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The Daily Meal Editors and Community Say

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Foursquare Tips
Travel + Leisure
Don’t even think about asking for mustard or mayo: the only approved toppings are tomato, onion, and cheese.
The Havenist
They invented the hamburger in 1900. No, really. And they still use the same 100+ year old cast iron gas cookers to make them.
Edward Homick
go here and eat a very tasty part of american history, delicious burgers with a great atmosphere, something this historic is worth a day trip to alone!
Best Delegate
Hello SCSY delegates! The first hamburger ever was invented here -- check out this culinary landmark!
Chris Sheehy
Where the hamburg was invented! {really - it was, right here!!}
Travel Channel
“Jeff Lessen, owner of Louis Lunch, makes expert level Cheese Works sandwiches." --Adam Richman, Man V Food Nation
Sony Mobile WTA
Classic or traditional burger and fries is all you want at Louis' Lunch. Don't even think of asking for ketchup.
Urban Oyster
This great little place has been serving hamburgers since 1900, and is now a fourth-generation family business. They also serve up a local favorite, Foxon Park sodas, to wash down your burger.
The Daily Meal
The “Birthplace of the Hamburger Sandwich.” Their original burger recipe has hardly changed since its inception in 1895.
GourmetLive
The strongest claim to the birth of the hamburger comes from Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut.
Burger Days
Lays claim to the birthplace of the hamburger sandwich. Grab a burger with everything (onions and cheese). Don't even think of asking for ketchup-- it ain't allowed.
Jeffrey Behm
Bring cash, order a Birch beer, and don't ask for ketchup, mustard, or mayo.
Brian Verrelli
I dare you to order ketchip
donnie G
The cheese works... is the business
Anita Dyer
Never ask for ketchup the burger is perfect without it!
Marisa Green
Your burger options are cheese, tomato, and onion. Large variety of local bottled sodas - try the birch beer.
Eric Dallemagne
everytime i drive by new haven, i gotta to stop a louis lunch ... best hamburgers in the world
Ryan R
"Salid" = potato salad
Mark
Go to Louis' Lunch, Order the Cheese plain. Don't ask for ketchup.
mark matienzo
Get a cheese works and a birch. Don't ask for ketchup.
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