Mar 242014

While Chris and I were in Connecticut recently, we stopped in at Louis’ Lunch, which is the birthplace of the hamburger.  We both love a good burger and couldn’t resist making a pit stop there.

This is what they have on their website:

The beginnings of the hamburger sandwich as we all know it today was really quite simple. One day in 1900, a gentleman hurriedly walked into Louis’ Lunch and told proprietor Louis Lassen he was in a rush and wanted something he could eat on the run. In an instant, Louis placed his own blend of ground steak trimmings between two slices of toast and sent the gentleman on his way. And so, the most recognizable American sandwich was born.


As you can see, this place is extremely small and it was packed.  There were a few tables in there with few being the key word.   We were able to take  a few pictures of the process, but it wasn’t easy, trust me.  We were getting bumped left and right because there was barely any room to move in there.







But when I noticed this, I had to go wait outside:


I posted it to Instagram & Facebook and one person told me it was a joke, but honestly – I don’t think it was. Either way, the grammatical butchering was enough to send me straight out the door. It wasn’t like we were going to find a place to sit inside anyways.

We waited a good 45 minutes for our burgers and yes, it was worth the wait. Here’s mine:


And here is Chris’s:


They serve their burgers on bread, which normally I don’t like, but the burgers were so good that it worked. The most important thing you need to know if you are ever heading to Louis’s Lunch is that they offer NO condiments. None whatsoever. No Ketchup. No mustard. No mayo. Nothing.

I thought that was really weird because seriously, who doesn’t eat ketchup on their burgers?


They have a very limited menu and way over charge for chips & drinks, but the burgers were so good that it’s worth a stop. Just remember to bring your own ketchup.

Louis’ Lunch is located at 261-263 Crown Street in New Haven, CT.

  91 Responses to “Louis’ Lunch – The Birthplace of the Hamburger”

  1. There is like literally 7 seats in the whole place but the burgers are number 1 for me

  2. No ketchup?? That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard! I had no idea about this place or that it was located right in our back yard practically!

  3. My grandfather used to not use any condiments on his burgers. but he was a butcher by trade and said that it ruined the flavor of the actual meat. But still I need my ketchup! 🙂

  4. That is odd that there were no condiments. I’m glad you liked your burger though!

  5. Can you get a cheeseburger?
    I saw this on tv once.. cool

  6. i’ve seen it on tv and have always been curious!

  7. First I’ve heard of this place-and I love hamburgers! New Haven is doable for me–might just take a car trip up there and I will remember to bring my own ketchup!

  8. What an interesting place, I bet it’s a fun place to eat at. I haven’t eaten a hambuger in ages (my stomach is a bit delicate for these things) but I do remember the old times when I used to eat all this stuff…fun times…

  9. I love how simple their menu is, it’s quite cute. However, I have to say that I don’t know if I could get down with the not having mayo and ketchup available. Ketchup at least is a necessity. I mean come on everyone knows that burgers are fries were only invented to be receptacles of getting ketchup from the plate to the mouth 😉

  10. I never knew the story behind the creation of the hamburger. Bet he didn’t know just what he started.

  11. omg this is amazing!!! I love burgers but never really thought of where they came from haha.. thanks for sharing this!!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  12. Sometimes, I’m ok with being overcharged for a hamburger. This place sounds like the food was worth the hassle, and it’s got so much character! The grammar issue would’ve sent me out the door too! LOL

  13. Oh I would so love to eat here. I love burgers and if you say this is the birthplace then I know their burgers have to be amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  14. That looks like an interesting burger…neat back story though!

  15. I think I recall a tv show about this place once. I think the building is charming, but no buns or condiments almost kills the deal for me. We used to eat burgers and hot dogs on bread, but that was out of necessity because we were dirt poor lol. I don’t think I would willingly eat a burger on bread unless I absolutely had to now.

  16. Maybe they want you to taste the burger for what it is, not hide the flavor with a different flavor. Not sure. Having a limited menu can be bad, or good. Bad because of less choices. Good because they don’t have to keep a lot of stuff on stock, and their menu can fit on a chalk board, vs. printing out paper menus.

  17. I want that. I swear I can smell it.
    If my hubby uses his special spices and a bit off bbq basting – I don’t put anything else on my burger either. but your typical frozen patty or grocery store burger; yes – the works!
    There is a burger place in Ottawa called The Works – and you cannot believe all the various burgers they have. And huge. So so good.

  18. I love a good burger but it MUST have ketchup!

    Danielle at Framed Frosting

  19. When we travel, my Hubs always looks for a good burger place. I think I would have had to wait outside too… but not because of the spelling but because I don’t like crowded places. I do have to laugh at the potato salad though.

  20. That sign was really interesting! Hmmm, sometimes it just really makes you wonder if things like that are on purpose or not. Well, I’m glad that your burger was delicious and all that you had hoped for. I have never been to Connecticut and really hope to visit in the fall or spring time some day. I live in TX.

  21. This is making me hungry! Looks great! I love ketchup on mine too. 🙂

  22. Oh these look so good and I’m With you not a fan of bread unless the burger is really good..

  23. I couldn’t eat a burger without my mustard, ketchup and pickles. They are necessity! I’m also not sure about bread, give me a roll. They do look great though.

  24. Seriously you find the coolest places to visit! I want to go there so badly! I love me a great hamburger!! -Amber

  25. Normally I am not a burger fan on bread wither bc I find they get the bread soggy. This one looks like it kept it in tact looks delicious!

  26. I love a good burger and would totally wait online for something that looks as good as that one! This looks so good! (Insert Homer Simpson drool)

  27. I saw this place on a show I was watching! I would love to have a chance to eat here!

  28. That’s a big burger. I”m surprised that place had room for it. LOL

  29. Wow, that burger looks delicious!! But what I really love is the front of that restaurant. It is just TOOOO cute!

  30. I love burgers on bread. These burgers look wonderful!

  31. I am literally starving right now.

  32. Sounds like an interesting place to visit. My Dad would say they want people to taste the burger and not the condiments.

  33. Sounds good! That just made me way more hungry than I already was.

  34. This looks an AMAZING place to get a burger!! It looks delicious.

  35. These burgers look so good, Louis Lunch is called the birth place of hamburger for a reason then.. 🙂

  36. That’s neat! And odd at the same time…LOL I do hope the spelling errors WERE a joke!

  37. Ok, I have so many questions about this place! Haha The fact that they don’t have condiments is bizarre. Do people bring their own? And, why the white bread?

  38. It would be interesting to see and of course eat there because of the story behind it being the place of the first burger. I wonder if they could do seating outside though? No condiments – I do that often with my burgers, usually when I make one that I am trying to find if the blend of seasoning is good or not though.

  39. Interesting place! No condiments is weird though!

  40. I’ve been fascinated with the hamburger grills they use since I saw this place on some TV show years ago. The burgers look really tasty but I would need to slide a tomato on there. LOL, when you said you had to wait outside after reading that sign I cracked up!

  41. i am born and raised in ct and haven’t even heard of louis lunch!! eek! i need to get with the program. and bring my ketchup.

  42. What an interesting place! Your pictures of the burgers are mouth-watering but I agree with the others, I would have wanted a bit of mustard and ketchup with my burger. I guess they didn’t want anything to take away from the taste of the burger….thanks for sharing!

  43. Strange that they don’t offer condiments! It would be neat to check it out once though.

  44. Ok it is seriously weird that there are no condiments!!

  45. No ketchup? At a burger place? lol I guess the burgers are flavored well enough to stand on their own. They do look scrumptious!
    (I agree with you about the sign – that would drive me nuts!)

  46. What a great restaurant! I love the rustic charm!!

  47. Now that is a burger! What a fun place to visit. I must go!

  48. YUMMY 🙂

    I so want to go have one!

  49. We like our burgers on toast here. I would have to bring mayo. lol

  50. How fun to go to the originator of the hamburger. Misspelling words aside pretty neat place to visit.

  51. I like finding little holes in the wall places with amazing food. It must have been great eating at the birthplace of hamburgers

  52. This place sounds really different and a bit out of the box. I was really surprised that they don’t offer condiments though.

  53. Those burgers look delicious! I’m going to have to add this place to my “to visit” list in CT.

  54. That burger looks so good! Though geez on the spelling. That would disturb me.

  55. Interesting. Great pictures you snapped! I would be bothered by the sign, the fact that I have no condiments and I have to remember that I need to tell them to cook my burger completely!

  56. I kinda like the fact that they serve the hamburgers on bread. Honestly, I am a condiment type of gal, so I would most definitely bring my own mayo,,mustard, and ketchup.

  57. I hadn’t heard the story of the burger before. Looks like a great place to get a burger if you don’t mind waiting.

  58. You always visit the coolest places. I may have to convince Mr. Sergeant to go for a ride up north and make some stops. I would have left immediately after viewing that sign too. lol

  59. I love these types of places. Just the experience of somewhere new with a little history makes stuff taste better I think! Looks pretty tasty!

  60. Oh, that looks so good! I am marking this place down on my bucket list.

  61. Interesting place! I love places like this. I wrote about one that is local to where I grew up awhile back called Pete’s Hamburgers. That stand has been open for over 100 years and there is no place to sit. But they are simply the best burgers around.

  62. I’m not good at small, crowded or ketchup free. But I feel like I should go anyway!

  63. I love places like this – not your typical chain, and with a great story behind them. I definitely would keep ketchup on hand. Not sure if I could just eat a plain burger!

  64. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a grill quite like that. How many of those trays can be cooked at once?

  65. The story sounds a little stretched. The sandwich was invented far before 1900!! But, that burger sounds yummy. More pickles for mine!

  66. Wow this is new found learning for me – and I didn’t knew that there are burgers that big – lol I never had one before, lol.

  67. Look at that! That’s really yummy looking. Never knew that was the birthplace of the burger.

  68. I’ve seen this place featured on tv! Would love to make a trip there someday! Drooling looking at the pics and for sure I’d bring my own ketchup 🙂

  69. I hope these are juicy enough without any condiments!!

  70. What a fun place! I love the story and the charm! 🙂

  71. Oh geez, I would have been too tempted to fix the grammatical error. I did once at a local pizza place. They had an “e” at the end of tomato. It was easy enough to discreetly erase! Other than that, it looks like a neat place!

  72. What a neat story! I never knew that was where burgers got their start! and I’m with you on both the ketchup and the grammatical errors. 🙂

  73. Those look delicious! There is this great little hole in the wall burger joint in Florida that we go to on vacation and it’s the same way, and I swear they have a sand floor though my Mom said it’s just from people dragging it in, lol.
    I love burgers, but I am very shocked they don’t offer ketchup or mayo!

  74. I am not sure I would be a fan of this one. I like well done and I just don’t know if I could stomach that. But the bread looks good. My husband would eat one of these up though!

  75. I’m not sure if I could handle that much meat without any condiments. My husband, the carnivore, I’m sure would love it!

  76. I think I’ve seen this place featured on The Food Network or Travel Channel. I LOVE joints like this – history and good eats!

  77. You go to the coolest places. I love a good hamburger, so should we happen to ever be in the area we will definitely have to go there.

  78. Who knew the beginning of the hamburger could happen to haphazardly? Interesting place to eat!

  79. I just learned something new. I had no idea where the first hamburger was made and now I know. Those burgers look so good. I wonder if my sister-in-law has been here before she is from Massachusetts.

  80. Wow, they must have making hamburgers down to a science. Their burgers look juicy and full of flavor.

  81. so this is the birthplace of burger..interesting! not really a big fan but good to know a bit of history :D…TFS and I hope I might be able to stop by one day…

  82. Oh my gosh, this place looks so darn delish!! I would LOVE to visit and get a burger…I LOVE a good burger with onions!

  83. That places looks like it has lots of character! Love the toasted bread instead of a bun – looks delicious!

  84. Ahh! I’ve seen this place on so many of those food shows! I would love to go there one day.

  85. If the meat is really good it can stand on it’s own without all the condiments. Just a little salt and pepper and it’s good to go. What a quaint little place.

  86. Wow those burgers look amazing! That sign was hysterical.

  87. I haven’t had a burger on bread since I was a kid because my mother didn’t buy buns.

    No condiments for the burger. Really?

  88. I eat the burger as just the paddie and the bread! I’m not a big person with mixing textures and flavors.

  89. Ugh YUM. I want a burger now. But no condiments… that is super weird!

  90. This is my first time hearing about this place. Even though I’m a vegetarian, I can see why it is so popular! I just don’t understand about the lack of condiments, though. MOST people want their hamburgers to have something else on it other than onions. 🙂