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    Haunts for Grad Students

6 Amazing New Haven Friday Night
Haunts for Grad Students


It’s Friday night and Downtown New Haven is thriving with students and locals. Everyone is enjoying the amazing bars and restaurants that this incredible city has to offer. So, get a group together, and head to one of these iconic locations for a memorable night out with great food, great drinks and great company!

New Haven is the city for foodies so this list wouldn’t be complete without some evening and late-night food options. Check out these recommendations alongside the best drinks around and you will not be disappointed.


This tequila bar is as well known for its incredible cocktails as it is for its Mexican cuisine. The Crown Street restaurant and bar has a lovely covered outdoor area as well as a relaxed indoor setting where you’ll want to spend your whole evening trying all their drinks and dishes.

Food Recommendations:

  • Their guacamole to share is always a hit!
  • Santa Fe Tacos
  • The Geronimo Burger

Drink Recommendations:

  • If you like Margaritas, you’ll enjoy the Geronimo.
  • Cucumber- Strawberry Margaritas
  • Passion Fruit Mojito

If there is a large group of you, I recommend reserving a space. Geronimo’s has private rooms for special occasions too.

geramino's tequila bar


Also located on Crown Street, Bar is a modern, industrial style establishment with a very fun vibe. Known for their incredible brick oven pizza and craft beers, Bar is also a lively night club every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9:30pm. I recommend heading there for the food and staying for the dancing.

Food Recommendations:

  • Mashed Potato and Bacon Pizza
  • White Clam Pizza
  • Buffalo Chicken, Bacon and Mozzarella Red Pizza

Drink Recommendations:

  • Bar’s Toasted Blonde
  • Bar’s Mosaic Mirage
  • Apple Cider Martini

This popular location gets booked up fast on weekends so be sure to reserve a table if you’re coming for food. If you’re heading to Bar after 9:30 for drinks and dancing, there is a $6 entry fee.

bars in new haven

Elm City Social

Elm City Social is a much-loved location for grad students. With its great happy hour drinks 4 till 6:30 Monday to Friday and its stunning rooftop bar, it’s the ideal place to unwind after a day of lectures and essay writing.

Food Recommendations:

  • Little Cheeseburgers
  • Crispy Rock Shrimp
  • Truffle Parm Fries

Drink Recommendations:

  • Rubber Ducky (duck included!)
  • Passionut
  • Short Shorts

Elm City Social is also open for an awesome brunch. So, if you enjoyed a fun Friday night out, why not go back for brunch on Saturday and keep the party going?

rubber ducky drink in new haven (1)


Known for being New Haven’s oldest tavern, Ordinary is a cozy, mature space with many amazing drinks on offer. Location by the green, its exterior is very incognito, unassuming and easily missed if you didn’t know about this treasure. There are also weekly pub quizzes that are very popular with the regulars. You will find food options here but the drinks are the true passion of this hidden gem.

Drink Recommendations:

  • The Vapors
  • Old Fashioned
  • Martini Service
  • BHB Sour Beer

Happy Hour is until 7pm every day and you can reserve a spot because seating is limited in this cozy location.

ordinary bar in new haven


The original arcade bar is a gamers dream. Situated on Orange Street, this retro bar includes video gaming and pinball classics like Joust, Galaga, Frogger and Ms. Pac Man. Barcade serves some bar snacks and sandwiches but their beer selection and games is what’ll keep people coming back!

Drink Recommendations:

  • Abita Wild Western IPA
  • Cape Ann Old Anteater
  • Victory Rye Score 2.0
barcades in new haven

116 Crown

This trendy bar is known for its creative cocktails that’ll make any evening feel like a special occasion. All the syrups used here are house made and juices are freshly squeezed. These cocktails are the best of the best – and the foods pretty impressive too!

Food Recommendations:

  • East Coast Oysters
  • Charcuterie and Cheese Board
  • Nordic Pizzettes

Drink Recommendations:

  • Margarita Noir
  • Branch and Vine
  • Church Key

Downtown New Haven is the best place for an evening filled with food, drinks and friends. You’ll have an amazing time at any and all of these locations! Be sure to call ahead for any bookings or restrictions currently in place.

116 crown in new haven