Louis’ Lunch in New Haven: the Birthplace of the Hamburger

Louis’ Lunch in New Haven: the Birthplace of the Hamburger

In the middle of New Haven, Connecticut, one tiny restaurant has the distinction of being the place where the hamburger sandwich was invented, and being the oldest hamburger restaurant still open. It is recognized as such by the Library of Congress, but other contenders are out there as well.

Louis’ Lunch is a small place, only a few tables and most of the space is taken up by the counter. But don’t let that deter you.

The hamburgers and toast are both cooked using antiques, which is incredible to witness. The stove is from 1898 and the toaster is from 1928, it’s amazing that they function so well!

The place is quirky; they don’t give you ketchup for your burger. You have to eat it their way. They address this with signs on the wall reminding you that this “isn’t Burger King.” They serve it the original way, without all of the additions that have become normal since then.

It can be a bit of a tourist trap, it tends to get pretty crowded on weekends during lunch, but the burgers are excellent. If nothing else, go for the story and the great burger that will go with it.

Are you interested in visiting Louis’ Lunch? Comment below!

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Christa is a student at Vassar College. She likes reading, playing saxophone, dancing, acting, and eating.