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Union League Cafe
Union League Cafe

Union League Cafe Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://unionleaguecafe.com
  • Phone: (203) 562-4299
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:45am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: French
  • Executive Chef: Jean Pierre Vuillermet
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Please inquire for details.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: College Street
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: The parking lot may be entered from crown street. Additional parking may be found at the Schubert Theatre garage at the corner of college and crown streets, or in an additional parking garage found at the corner of crown and high street. These parking spaces are less than a block away from Union League Cafe and all three are within walking distance of the restaurant.
A word from Union League Cafe
Reminiscent of a Paris brasserie it is where old world charm meets the new. Warm and welcoming to New Haven's cafe society, it is located across from Yale University old campus. The restaurant offers menu and ambiance in a casual elegant style. Always using the best ingredients of the moment, Union League Café's food combines French classical traditions with a more contemporary approach to flavors, textures and native ingredients. Local and organic fish, meats, cheeses, produce and rare specialty products from around the world help our chefs create our award-winning cuisine.Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
Diner Reviews
  • "The soups are always outstanding; the service impeccable. The best things? No hideous, blasting music, and almost always child-free!"
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • "I had a business meeting with 2 others whom had not dined at Union League Cafe before. We were extremely impressed with the attentiveness of our server James. He assisted in pairing the wine with our dishes. One of my colleagues ordered the Bouillabaisse, he said it was the most flavorful and still light enough for lunch; it was the best he has ever had. Myself and another colleague choose the Braised Lemon Sole, we were both blown away by the freshness of the fish and the normande sauce. The service was quick but comfortable, we had a salads beforehand and a glass of wine with entrée and desserts that were to talk about for days. I would recommend Union League Café to anyone looking to “wow” a business lunch and get back to work happy!"
    Dined on 4/14/2014
  • "We dined at this local favorite for the first time and we're very happy with the entire evening."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "I've been coming to Union League Cafe since 1999 and I've never had a bad meal there. Better, dining there has always been a positive experience. I know of no other restaurant in the area that can match UL for consistency in well-prepared food, graciously served, in an impressive setting. It's my go-to restaurant for special occasions and simply, a great dining experience."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Maybe it is because we went for lunch during restaurant week, but the food was good but not memorable and the waker was very rude. Overall we were not impressed at all. I would not pay full price for that type of experience."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Maybe it was because I went during restaurant week (a particularly busy time) and had their $18 special lunch menu? But my veal was decidedly average - average for a decent restaurant, I mean. I tried some of my companions' trout, which was treated carefully enough to not turn dry, but otherwise nothing unusual - perhaps people who haven't had good fish before will think it's mindblowing. Appetizer tapioca (?) chips were heavily oversalted. Bread was cold. Dessert was absolutely delicious. Service was good for the number of people they had there, and excellent while it was less crowded."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Food was very good....not outstanding. Soup was wonderful and trout was very good. dessert was very good. I just didn't find it to be outstanding"
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "The Union League Cafe is one of our favorite restaurants. The menu is innovative and the food delicious and attractively presented. However, on this occasion, my complaint would be that they were training a new bartender. Being lunchtime, we ordered only one glass of wine each. The pour was incredibly scant, at $13.75 a glass.. Diners want to feel pampered - if there had been a half inch or so more wine, there wouldn't even be a second thought. However, when a restaurant, particularly one with French pretensions, is perceived as stingy, it does not leave a good overall feeling. (The pre-lunch serving of Lillet was also tiny.) Bartenders, whatever you are saving in one half ounce of wine you are dearly paying for in customer satisfaction."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "Union League can nbe depended on for high quality food and service."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "We chose this restaurant for my birthday because of its good reputation and elegant ambiance. But both our main courses were much too salty, the portions very small, the starters tiny, the glasses of wine (almost $ 13 each) with a musty aftertaste. Positive: I had let the restaurant know in advance we were coming to celebrate my birthday, and they gave us a nice table at the window as requested and special attention with a little surprise candle and two complementary cookies at the end of the meal. The service was very attentive and fast, but even the cookies were gooey and much too sweet with a hint of a chemical stabilizer. Our conclusion: The kitchen must have lost its chef. The quality of the food does not justify the upmarket prices."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "I wasn't looking for it, but I found a real gem. I dined with friends and we were blown away by the food, form beginning to end. Our waiter was friendly and attentive, but did not hover over us, to make us feel as though we were being rushed. The food was beyond delicious. We will be dining there again, I'm sure."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "This restaurant has so many outstanding choices both in food and wine. It's hard to go wrong. The service is impecable. They are there when you need them otherwise invisible. Thank you for a great evening."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "When I booked through Open Table, I mentioned that I had a dairy allergy and that we were coming there with my sister as a birthday gift to my to her. She loved the cafe and the food. I didn't have any expectation that what I wrote in the Open Table reservation would be heard by anyone, given how online communications sometimes don't lead to actual communications. I had a low expectation level. However, our waiter, Chris, was on top of things. He knew to separate cheese on a shared plate, and brought a wonderful small, simple birthday surprise with a candle from the chef for my sister on a plate with a handwritten happy birthday. Simple, but delightful. So thanks for listening. Wonderful ambiance with food and service to match."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "I came to this restaurant after an exhausting day of visiting colleges. I couldn't have picked a better place. It was great to sit in front of a warm fireplace after spending a day in the cold. Our waiter could not have been more gracious and professional. The menu was diverse and our dishes were cooked to perfection. My son said it best..."What a great way to end the day...I love this place!""
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "I have been to Union League many times and have never been disappointed, whether dining in the main room or at the charming back bar. This particular trip was meant to be special as we were treating new clients to a memorable day. Well memorable it was. The food was top notch. Two ordered the Lobster Omelets and two the Sole. Everyone was pleased and two saved room for the exquisite desserts, all made on site. A round of a rich French press coffee topped of an already perfect meal. The atmosphere was also elegant and inviting. we pondered a table by the fireplace but opted for a window seat as it was one of the fist sunny days in quite some time. The service was very professional and made excellent recommendations on our food choices."
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "If you would like to talk then I would highly recommend choosing Monday rather than Friday as the noise level on a recent Friday was unacceptable but Monday was delightful."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "My "go to" restaurant for fine dining in New Haven, Union League never disappoints. Wonderful food prepared beautifully and served in an elegant setting by an ever professional wait staff. Though not inexpensive, the prices are eminently reasonable, and lunch is a real bargain. Thank you, Union League, for being the venue for so many happy occasions! May you continue to thrive."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "If you have the time...and lottsa moolah...Union League Cafe is the place for you."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "We have eaten at Union League many times and always had a positive experience --- nothing at all to complain about -- and we can be fussy. In particular, besides the tasty food and wine, we were lucky enough to have Thomas as our waiter … he really made the difference between a very positive experience and a superior one! He gave clear explanations about food and the various wines by the glass … was there when you needed him, and not pestering when you didn't need him."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "I brought my boyfriend here late on a Tuesday night (9:30pm reservation) just to get dessert to celebrate his birthday. The restaurant wasn't crowded, which was nice. We ended up chatting with one of the few other tables in the restaurant, and they were a very generous pair who ended up inviting us over to share their exquisite French wine and some more dessert. And they picked up our tab! The desserts we shared were so delicious--unique but familiar. I was expecting something great, but our desserts were beyond what I could have imagined. And the great wine was a real treat: a rare Burgundy and then a Bordeaux full of character. Our waiter, Kenneth, was such a nice guy. We'd come back just to hang out with him! Perfect service."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "Fine French cuisine is served impeccably at the Union League. Beef, crabmeat, duck, lobster, mussels, oysters, sole and more are imaginatively prepared and presented along with a delightful-sounding vegetarian entrée. The waitstaff are good-humored and diligent, without being intrusive. The selections from the Raw Bar, the appetizers, entrées and desserts are all beautifully presented and everything has a clean, food magazine-look and tastes as if made with the freshest ingredients. Although some may find the entrance and dining room somewhat too formal or overly imposing for their comfort at first, the employees and service immediately put one at ease and insure a relaxed, sumptuous dining experience."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "My girlfriend and I chose this restaurant for our anniversary and were incredibly pleased. The ambiance and the history was fantastic. The food was outstanding, and well portioned for fine dining experience. There was plenty of wait staff, dressed well, with cloth around their arm. We sat for 3 hours without feeling at all rushed. This is definitely a place we'll come back to!"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "The noise level makes conversations hard and that's without any background music. The tables are too tight for the staff to move between comfortably. I had hung my purse on my chair and had to take it off any put it on the floor (yuck) because the waiter hit it 3 times in the first few minutes. He then bumped my chair at least 2 more times. I am not a large person who has their chair way back from the table and half in the aisle way. The wait staff in charge of refilling water glasses needs to back off. They place a water carafe in the middle of the table. We were a table of 4 and with every other sip from a water glass an arm would reach through to the carafe and top off all the water glasses- really annoying."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "The Union League Cafe is a "safe bet" restaurant in many ways, since it caters to well-to-do business people, Yale graduates and other mostly mature adults, but it makes it a point to keep their menu and their attention to detail top notch. This isn't always the case with a restaurant of this kind; even Bouley in NYC in its second iteration had lost much of its edge and was coasting largely on its name and huge prices. Wine list is very deep and filled with many excellent choices at affordable prices. Food was superb, inventive and service was very thoughtful, knowledgeable and prompt. The dining room is watched over carefully! It sure beats the pants off of many other high-profile French alternatives in Fairfield and New Haven Counties."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "It is a wonderful French restaurant however instead of sharing the ambience with French people one is subjected to groups of obstreperous Americans whose voices create a cacsphony that disallows a conversation and feels like an assalt- therefore, I would not go during busy times like Friday lunch."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Fabulous food, great service, and never a disappointment. I always have a great meal at Union League and this time was no different. It's like being in NYC!"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "The food and ambiance was so reminiscent of times I have dined out in France."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "just good food good service and a good dining experience"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "My wife and I were completely blown away by the great food and the impeccable service at a Saturday night dinner. Our server, Chris, reminded us of something right out of a Daniel Boulud restaurant, which we found out later he recently came from. The food reminded us of four star meals we eat in NYC - we simply didn't expect this in New Haven (no offense to the city!). You won't be disappointed."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Not our first time to the Union League. Consistently meets or exceeds our expectations. Well worth the price. Atmosphere, service and food all superior."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Incredible food, service, and ambiance! Will definitely be back. Best restaurant in New haven."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Beautiful setting in the midst of the Yale campus, excellent food, crab appetizer was fresh and delish! Waiter friendly and informative. outstanding wine cellar. $$$"
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "My first time there and I was very pleased with my choice. I would definately return and see it as my go to restaurant in New Haven. A bit pricey but worth it. You can certainly have a fabulous lunch and keep your costs down or you can splurge. I am looking forward to going for dinner. I would highly recommend."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "You feel as though you've been sent back to the 1930's or 40's. A beautiful interior welcomes you as the staff takes quick note if your arrival. Seated at our table, the waitstaff exudes professionalism, expertise, a bit of humor and a perfect sense of boundaries. The confit de canard is truly amazing as a starter-sized well enough to share between two. The hanger steak divine with bearnaise sauce that didn't last long enough. True French bread with delicate butter rounds it out. Cassoulet (a special) and the crocque Monsieur are divine choices as well. Definitely a restaurant where you feel like a "grown-up" without being stuffy. Wish I lived closer. This is a gem!!"
    Dined on 3/10/2014
  • "Beautiful restaurant, food was good but not really a classic french menu. Good wine list and reasonably priced selections. Wait staff attentive, overall a good experience, but less than expected from a Zagat rated restaurant."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Union League Cafe provides all that is expected of a superb restaurant: fabulous food, lovely setting (with fireplace) & great service! And spectacular desserts!"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Sometimes you look at a menu and have a hard time picking between two or three entree's that sound spectacular; and sometime you feel your settling for something. This was the latter. while my wife and i ordered the rack of lamb and fillet, and it was good. I expected more from the menu."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "This restaurant has a great menu; everything we ordered was wonderful, beautifully presented and delicious. Good wine list, excellent service, and a view of Yale outside the windows. It was a lovely way to spend a cold afternoon in March."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Much too long a wait between courses. The basic salad was totally unimaginative, had very little color interest and some brown lettuce. They forgot to give us some of our leftovers. Our entrees were left to cool on a tray we could see from our table So they were not especially hot when we got them. And even though we were there 2 hours ahead of show time , the slow service did not allow us time for dessert."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "This is a lovely old school (in the heart of Yale) restaurant. It is pricey but the food is of the highest quality, expertly prepared without over salting at the end which is a real food peeve for me, presented elegantly and though the portions are appropriate it is a dining experience, not a buffet. You will feel the history of the building and decor as well as enjoy the top quality food and service."
    Dined on 3/1/2014