Literally Speaking: A Place for Book Lovers

Literally Speaking: A Place for Book Lovers


With its vibrant cultural scene and rich literary history, Yale University’s The Shops at Yale in New Haven is the place for booklovers. Bibliophiles can spend hours exploring our noteworthy bookstores, literary cafes, and cultural spots.



For an enriching journey through Yale’s literary and artistic gems, begin your browsing at the The Yale Bookstore. Here, the shelves brim with a broad selection of authors and academic titles, including an impressive collection of publications produced by Yale University Press, and many books by local authors.



Continue your cultural odyssey at Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University, home to rare tomes including the Gutenberg Bible and the Voynich Manuscript, where you can explore a treasure trove of print antiquities and literary artifacts.  Experience the grandeur of knowledge at Yale’s Sterling Memorial Library, a majestic setting steeped in Yale history and wisdom. To complete your cultural exploration, admire the brushstrokes of world-famous masterpieces at the extraordinary Yale University Art Gallery, where admission is always free.



Let literature inspire a culinary lunchtime adventure at a charming café nestled within the Shops at Yale. In the heart of Yale University, Atticus Bookstore Cafe is popular spot to enjoy a good read with an aromatic cup of coffee and specialty sandwiches, salads, and baked goods. Or settle in for coffee, sandwiches, and baked good at Book Trader Cafe, a cozy, literary-themed cafe filled with books to buy or exchange.



For delightful brunch experience surrounded by the ambiance of books and creativity, bookmark a visit to the Heirloom at The Study at Yale. Inspired by academia and literature, this boutique hotel features a sophisticated and elegant atmosphere with scholarly surrounds that extend to the lounge and restaurant. Experience a refined dining experience with a focus on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.



To make it a cultural brunch experience, visit Villa Lulu, where regional Italian comfort cuisine in a modern, café-style setting; or get comfortable at Harvest Wine Bar & Restaurant for modern American custom cuisine with Asian, Latin, and Mediterranean influences, paired with wines from around the world.



Resume your bibliophile-style browsing at The Shops at Yale. A world of words and creativity awaits at Grey Matter Books, a used bookshop emphasizing literature, the arts, the humanities and the sciences. To add a touch of literary flair to your look, you’re sure to find eyewear evocative of the spirit of iconic literary figures or time periods at Warby Parker or Kennedy & Perkins Opticians. With selections offered among 30 boutiques and popular national retailers, your shopping story continues.  Consider a stop at a classic Yale fashion favorite,  J. Press, or shop for classic American style at J.Crew.



For fans of the written word, Paper Source  is the place you’ll find high-quality stationery, journals, notebooks, and writing accessories for a touch of literary elegance. Page through our collection of unique boutiques including idiom, Lou Lou Boutique, Katahdin Furniture, MINIPNG, and dwell New Haven to create sequels to this shopping story. Hunt for literary-themed accessories (think book-shaped handbags, writer-inspired jewelry, and literary scarf designs) or complement your home with a piece of art, sculpture, or home décor that reminds you of a favorite character or setting.


This itinerary has been designed as a good read to immerse you in the world of books and literature during your visit to The Shops at Yale in New Haven. Feel free to adjust the schedule based on your interests and the opening hours of the bookstores and cultural spots.


Insider tip: Visiting on the weekend? Free parking is available behind the Payne-Whitney Gym at Yale University’s Lot 78, located at 78 Ashmun Street; and at the parking lot at 433 Temple Street, behind Hot Pot, New Haven’s newest Chinese restaurant.