Nutrition Sciences Major Explores Favorite Local Places to ‘Study, Adventure, and Snack’
Whether she’s looking for a place to study or spend some time outside, Beatrice Glaviano ’26 has her go-to places around New Haven. She discusses her favorite cozy coffee shops and where she heads when she’s looking for Indian street food.
September 27, 2023
By Beatrice Glaviano ’26
After being in New Haven for about a year, I think it’s safe to say that there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. Not only is New Haven home to Yale University and many colleges, libraries, and museums, but it’s also home to the diverse population of individuals and businesses that breathe life into the city. In this entry, I will be going over my favorite spots to study, adventure, and snack off-campus.
When it comes to studying, I feel as though a lot of people tend to have multiple criteria for what makes a spot study-able. Personally, I err toward a lot of libraries or places that other students frequent to boost my own productivity and really get into the daily grind. Speaking of the “grind,” if you haven’t guessed by now, I love my lattes, which leads us into spot #1.
Book Trader Cafe was a place I had walked by at least 20 times before I decided to enter, and it was definitely worth it. Not only does the cafe function as a thrifty bookshop, but (obviously) it has some of the best quick bites around town and a quaint study area on the side. Typically, I order a hot almond milk latte with a hazelnut shot and a cinnamon-raisin bagel with peanut butter before getting to work on my tasks for the day. The only negative that I have to add is that while Book Trader is a great spot to be in the summer, it can definitely get a little chilly in the store itself in the wintertime (though I am a very lizard-like person in body temperature, so this statement is quite biased! lol) I’d also like to note that this is a public area, and people will collaborate over projects. So, if you’re not a fan of conversation or a bustling environment while studying, perhaps this place isn’t for you. Yet, if you’re a coffee, bagel, and socialization fan like I am, perhaps this is your place.
If we’re looking for more secluded spots to get assignments done but still want some cafe vibes, I’d also like to recommend Koffee? To be honest with you, the fact that the cafe spelled the word “coffee” wrong was honestly so off-putting that I avoided the place. Yet, after receiving several recommendations to try it, I ended up going before work. Despite my cynicism, I was quick to realize why so many people loved going here. From floor to wall, Koffee? sports a very artist-friendly environment with a plethora of colors, textures, and a generally funky-fresh vibe that is meant for anyone who ever felt dissed by society. Throw in a banger Spotify playlist, house-made fig bars that my mother approves of, and the comfiest couches known to man, this is perhaps one of my favorite places to be when I’m searching for creative innovation for a school project or new art piece. For anyone who’s curious, there are a few secluded study booths (is that the right word?) that you can utilize if you’re looking to work a bit more seriously on something, but there are plenty of other seats available to start your university to-do list.
On the more social side of things (and honestly in the upper price range of coffee shops), G Cafe has perhaps one of the best egg-cheddar bagel sandwiches I’ve ever eaten in my life. This so happens to be one of the best things one could eat while discussing their weird summer fling with their co-worker. Aside from the food, however, G Cafe has one of the most beautiful interiors I have ever seen in my life (mind you, this is their address on 141 Orange Street specifically). Their vibe is a calm, polished wood with smooth painted walls and a lovely variety of plants that make it a great place to grab a snack with a friend, or even sit down and people-watch for a little bit. Also, for my plant lovers, this location is right across from a plant store that has rather reasonable prices for the species that they offer because what’s better than coffee, treats, and plants, right?
Last but not least, I’d like to introduce you to Cedarhurst Cafe: a pet-friendly, made-from-scratch, and homey environment perfect for those wintry study sessions. After having several pleasant experiences (including meeting a German Shepard named Peanut Butter), I would rank this cafe a solid seven out of ten. The best part about Cedarhurst is that it’s always reliable in terms of quality and service, but it’s definitely a bit more on the farther end of downtown in comparison to that of Book Trader and Koffee?. Yet, if distance is not a problem, I’d give this place a go! From personal experience, I’d highly recommend trying one of their homemade biscotti and their Nut & Honey latte.
Regardless of which spot you pick, these are all lovely spaces to exist in for however long you please. If we are more interested in libraries, however, I’d strongly recommend exploring Yale’s Sterling Memorial Library, which is located in the Chapel-Broadway area. There is also Beinecke Library, which is home to a large variety of rare texts and books, but I would not recommend it as a place of study to be very honest. It’s more of a “look-mom-I’m-smart-hehe-haha” type of vibe if you’re asking me.
But, when the studying is done and the assignment list checked-off, where does one find adventure?
Simple answer: East Rock Park, baby.
East Rock Park takes your breath away the moment you step foot onto her trail. Not only did I see several white-tail deer on my hike, but everything is lush, and the wind smells sweet as it rustles through the trees. Depending on which part you go to as well, there is a little waterfall spot that I enjoy swimming in (please only swim in running water – we don’t like parasites in this blogging household) as nothing beats the feeling of several pounds of fresh water being dunked on you in the ninety-degree summer heat of New Haven. But, if we’re more of a hiker, there are plenty of trails, with ranging difficulties, for you to try. Personally, I’m a bit more of a passive hiker, so I take the steep but steady climb up to the summit where I just...I don’t even know.
I just exist up there.
The summit allows you to look all across New Haven. Some days I wish that it was overlooking New York City, but I refuse to complain with the view that it does give me. When I’m up there, there isn’t a gradebook – no numbers, no drama, no nonsense. You feel alive, for once, and I feel as though that’s something people find to be so evasive nowadays. Yes, we are living life, but is life living in us? Perhaps that’s a hard-to-digest statement, and it probably is, but I like keeping my perspectives open and my heart on my sleeve. I will say, though, that Olmo bagelry is only about a 10-minute walk away, and there may be nothing better than a cheesy, eggy, everything bagel to wrap the day up.
If we’re not a fan of parks, Yale’s Museum of Art (there are two, by the way) is a good place to find a creative, educated mind, buuuuuuuttt if we are looking for somewhere we can embrace our inner child, let’s go to the Peabody Museum instead. While it’s currently under construction, I have many fond memories of going there as a kid with my family. I believe that my favorite part of the entire museum would have to be the model of the giant squid on the top of the lobby ceiling or the many dinosaur fossils they have in the next room. Of course, this tends to be put to the test when one goes upstairs and sees the animal exhibits they have featuring poisonous frogs, ants, and other interesting species. Overall, if you want someplace where you can find some fun and go back to childhood for a little bit, the Peabody Museum is the way to go.
Now, with all this moving about and sightseeing and living-life stuff, I believe it would be safe to assume that the idea of grabbing a bite to eat has been flirted with. I’m not really sure what everyone’s flavor or food preferences are, but I will do my best to provide a wide variety of the best spots New Haven has to offer.
I’ve been going to Sherkaan for almost a year now. Let me tell you, it’s perhaps one of my favorite places on the planet – and not just because their garlic naan slaps. When it comes to hospitality, Sherkaan really sets the bar by creating an open, casual, genuinely friendly environment where you don’t need to be afraid of subtly tripping on your way to the bathroom. Additionally, from an artist’s POV, the display of colors and artwork throughout the restaurant’s layout is absolutely fantastic and brings to light the traditional aspects of Desi culture. Getting down into the dishes, though, here are some of my favorites:
Moong Masoor Dal With this dal specifically, it’s a blend of red and yellow lentils served alongside your choice of basmati rice or naan (garlic naan all the way for me, haha). Given how dreary the weather has been, it’ll certainly make your day a bit better.
Butter Chicken (or paneer) Butter Chicken: a creamy, flavorful dish that’s a bit more on the mild side for those who tend to be a bit more sensitive to spice. If you’re vegetarian, feel free to sub the chicken with paneer.
Palak Paneer For those who don’t know, paneer is a type of cheese that has a similar texture to that of tofu. The palak itself, however, is creamy spinach gravy that definitely packs a little bit of a kick. If we’re not a fan of spice, ordering a side of yogurt may help bring the temperature down a little bit.
Kheer Look: kheer is my jam. In short, it’s a rice pudding flavored with cardamom, pistachio, and almond that’s served chilled – perfect to follow a spicy meal with.
Chai French Toast Following Sherkaan’s initial Mother’s Day Brunch, the brunch menu was a hit. The chai French toast is a perfect mix between soft spicy kick and drizzled jaggery sweetness, and it will undoubtedly make your day a bit better. (Outside of this, note that the brunch menu overall is amazing, and I encourage you all to try it).
Of course, these are my personal preferences. Feel free to check out their menu online, and see if there are any share plates, chaats (synonymous with appetizers), or street eats that you and your friends may enjoy. In terms of price, I do believe that everything is rather reasonable for the quality of food being served and the service. In summary, if you find yourself with nothing to do with your weekend, punch a reservation in and see what happens.
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, Claire’s Corner Copia is the place for you! Claire’s offers a casual, open, and loving environment for all. Aside from their wide variety of baked goods and rotating menu options, there are definitely a few staples I recommend:
Right off the bat, the vegan Caesar salad. Topped with buffalo tofu, vegan parmesan, and a house-made Caesar salad dressing, this salad has given me the strength to power through almost any and every study session I’ve dedicated myself to. Additionally, you are offered a side of house-made bread with your choice of regular or vegan butter (I highly recommend taking the offer, by the way).
Secondly, vegetable curry. Most often, it’s a blend of stewed veggies and tofu served over your option of rice, spinach, or quinoa. Definitely good for rainy, miserable cold days such as the ones we’ve been having lately.
If we’re looking for things on the sweeter side, I would strongly recommend their citrus lavender cupcakes (perfect for summer), carrot cake, or Lithuanian coffee cake with a strong cup of coffee or espresso.
When we’re looking at the prices, they are a little bit higher (i.e., the vegan Caesar tends to be around $20, rounding up), but the food at Claire’s is all organic based, which contributes to that higher price. As a nutritional sciences major, I feel as though it’s very important for me to say that it’s better for one’s health in the long run to eat high-quality food for a higher price than to eat something made with cheaper, less-hearty ingredients. But, given that the “poor college student” is definitely a state of being for many, it’s totally cool if Claire’s isn’t your jam.
Now, here’s a place for meat lovers. Whether you err toward a classical Bolognese made with freshly prepared pasta or love the crisp crunch of calamari dipped in marinara, Olives & Oil is the perfect place for you. Coming from a Sicilian background, I strongly remember waiting for my father’s judgment in regard to the food. My father has always been one to appreciate multicultural foods, but when it comes to his own culture – especially here in the states – he’s definitely a *tad* more judgmental. Yet, to my slight surprise, he loved it (as well as my mom, who ordered the risotto). Given that Olives & Oil has been Sicilian-father approved, I would take the time to check it out if you can.
I mentioned it before in regard to the Peabody, but I refuse to stop raving about Olmo’s bagels. There is a large variety of spreads, sandwiches, drinks, and merch paired with a homey, bagel-loving community. In terms of spreads, the spicy scallion, spinach artichoke, or cinnamon raisin would be my top three. As for bagels, I absolutely love their everything, Zaatar, and classic plain options. For my order, however, it’s a solid egg and cheese on an everything bagel, with a light shmear of the spinach artichoke spread that creates the best savory, cheesy, eggy, and bagel-y sandwich that you could ever have in your life. If you’re a bagel freak like I am, this is your place to pursue your carbohydrate dreams.
If you’ve stuck around this long through my study-spot-adventure-restaurant bonanza, thank you! While campus is absolutely lovely, sometimes getting out and about can really help change your perspective toward schoolwork. Every year, the thought process of “romanticizing” one’s schoolwork comes up. If you’re one of those people, I’d strongly recommend visiting one of the coffee shops I mentioned if you’re yearning for that Rory Gilmore study environment.
With that, I hope everyone is having a great week and is staying dry amidst this very wet, rainy, and, frankly, miserable weather. Take care, everybody.
Peace, love, and lots of peanut butter, Beatrice Glaviano
Beatrice Glaviano ’26, a nutrition sciences major, is a member of the University’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program.