Another straggler from the New Haven Fave list:
534 Orange St.
New Haven, CT 06511
What It Is: It’s like the Cheers of New Haven – everyone comes here to study, but then runs in to everyone they know and therefore spends more time chatting than studying. It’s Michelle and my go-to place for talking a little too loudly about things like vulvar dermatology issues, STIs, nipple discharge and menstrual abnormalities.
What They Serve: Soy lattes and vegan pastries. They have a more extensive menu, but those are really the only things I care about.
Why I Love To Hate It: First of all, the internet. The WiFi is free, but, in my experience, often unreliable. Other people don’t seem to have as many problems as I do, but I am in a constant state of searching for WiFi and reconnecting when I’m there. On the plus side of this problem, I get to read the hilariously passive aggressive WiFi names in the surrounding area (e.g. “OMG, why does your dog bark all the time?”). And secondly, the herbal tea selection. I ask what they have, they give me a list, I select something off the list, they spend five minutes trying to find it only to return and tell me they don’t have it, I choose something else, which they also don’t have, I ask what they actually do have, they go looking, come back and tell me “mint.” Fine, I’ll take it (in all fairness, this issue got a lot better in the last month that I was there).
Why I Actually Love It: It’s a big space with lots of tables and they really don’t care how you organize the tables (e.g. for study groups), or how long you sit at a table and they have a giant glass door that lets in plenty of light and a nice breeze (when it’s not in the single digits and snowing). Michelle and I almost always buy something (because that’s the courteous, respectful thing to do if you’re going to monopolize two tables and a wall outlet for 5h at a time), but there have been times when we haven’t and nobody has even looked sideways at us. They also don’t seem to have any rules about how often you have to buy something in order to monopolize their tables. Basically, they know their audience and they cater to it. Plus, the soy lattes and vegan pastries are delicious.
Cost: Pretty reasonable, $7-$10 for most food items (sandwiches, salads, soups, etc.), $2-$3 for beverages.