What to do in Connecticut: Brunch, art, and apple picking!

Hi friends!

Happy last day of October! I can’t believe how quickly this month has passed. I feel like November really snuck up on me this year haha. Let’s talk about a few favorite things to do in Connecticut!

First up, The Pantry

The Pantry is a rather unassuming little gem. I honestly wouldn’t have known that it is such a popular brunch spot based on the relatively plain exterior. When we started seeing long lines in front, we decided to give it a try. We were NOT disappointed!

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Source: Google Maps

Ever since then, The Pantry has been our favorite spot for breakfast or brunch. The menu is straightforward, the service is fantastic, and the food is incredible. My favorite order (pictured here) is 2 eggs over easy with wheat toast, home fries, and bacon.

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I’ve also tried their french toast and it is stellar –> it’s made from french baguette instead of regular bread, which makes it all the more delectable.

It has that classic “hole in wall” vibe that in my book, adds to its homey appeal. I like the fact that it’s a no frills experience that is all about good food. They do all kinds of breakfast foods, like pancakes, fruit, and lots and lots of great coffee. The prices aren’t too expensive either. Due to their location in the heart of East Rock in New Haven, the Pantry caters mostly to the Yale crowd –> so in general, the prices can fit a student’s wallet.

Inside the restaurant, the tables are small and fairly close together. I can see this as being either cozy or claustrophobic, depending on personal space preferences. I don’t mind the tighter fit at all, but I remember being surprised by it the first time I went.

If you don’t like standing in line, try to get there as early as possible. We arrived at 10:30am and stood in line for about 45 minutes. But there were 4 of us in our group, and so we had to wait for a larger table to open up. A single man who came around the same time only waited about 15 minutes, as a seat opened up quickly at the bar (they have a bar for extra seating, but to my knowledge no alcohol is served). So anyway, if you plan to go for brunch, expect to wait in line. It is just part of the experience! :)

Next up: the Yale Art Gallery

We have been to the gallery several times over the years, and we always enjoy our experience there. The exhibitions are breathtaking! My favorite collection is the ancient art collection from the ancient Mediterranean world.

This photo does not capture the beauty and size of this sculpture… I guess you’ll just have to check it out in person!

They do not allow backpacks or bottles of liquid in the gallery as they increase risk of bumping into or spilling on the art. There are lockers available to people who want to store their stuff somewhere.

I don’t really know what this is but I thought it looked interesting…

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There are multiple floors comprising the gallery. With so much to see, it would be easy to spend hours wandering around and still not see everything. I guess that is an excuse to go back again soon!

The location of the gallery is great, as it is right down the block from multiple restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. It’s the perfect place to go for a walk and see more of the Yale campus. The area is very scenic, with lots of gorgeous architecture to ooh and ahh at.

Parking can sometimes be slightly tricky. There are plenty of garages in New Haven, but they can be slightly expensive if you’re just wanting to go to the gallery for a few hours. A lot of the street parking in the immediate gallery street is 1 hour parking, so we went a couple blocks down to where there are 2 hour street parking spots.

And next up… the Bishops Apple Orchard

Who doesn’t love apple picking in the fall? We haven’t had much in the way of cooler fall temperatures yet, but that won’t stop us from getting out there and doing all the fall activities hah. I even drank a hot pumpkin soy latte on the way to the orchards — nothing says fall like a PSL, right? Except maybe a hot apple cider, which I also drank while at the orchards!

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During our most recent apple picking foray, I discovered a new-to-me apple: the Stayman! Wikipedia describes this as “medium-sized” but all the ones I picked were enormous. The orchard gave us papers describing each of the apples on the grounds. Staymans were described as firm, juicy, crisp, and tart –> the perfect apple, in my opinion! I loaded up my bag with them and have been happily munching on delicious apple ever since.

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My favorite apple is Honeycrisp, and the Stayman is a close second! I love that crunchy bite, it is so satisfying. I love that the Honeycrisp has a bit of sweetness to it too. The Stayman isn’t as sweet, but has plenty of that awesome crispness that will keep me coming back for more. I see Honeycrisp apples in my grocery store all the time, but have never seen Staymans. Anyone know why some apples make it to the local store but others don’t?

Apparently Bishops also has raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and pairs, but we spent all our time on the apples. Bishops also does wine tastings –> our friends did this and said they loved it. We didn’t get a chance this time around.

The freshly picked apples made for some delicious homemade apple cider and apple sauce. Maybe we’ll do an apple pie with the remaining apples.

Oh, and randomly (or maybe not so random?), there was a fenced off area where some llamas, alpacas, chickens, and goats were hanging out.

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And there ya go, those are some recent favorites that I couldn’t wait to share! The next time you are in Connecticut, check out some of these spots!

Have you seen my prior favorites posts? Here’s one on my favorite place to get my sweat on, and here’s one on my favorite music app! And in case you haven’t seen it, here is my very first favorites post, where I talk about a collection of things I love!

What is your favorite thing to eat for brunch? Do you like museums? What’s your favorite type of apple?

16 thoughts on “What to do in Connecticut: Brunch, art, and apple picking!

    1. Pantry is amazing, you won’t be disappointed! Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have a lovely day! 😊

    1. Those are the best finds! I’m excited to discover more of these gems around us. I’m on the lookout for a great Thai place!

  1. I consider myself worldly when it comes to apples but I’ve never had a Stayman. My go to apples are Honeycrisp and Braeburn. Maybe I’ll add Stayman to the list 😀

    1. Yes add Staymans to your list!They’re pretty great. But igotta say, honeycrisps remain at the top of my fave list! I have several sitting in my fridge at all times. My husband likes the green granny smiths which I never understood haha!

    1. Thank you! It was even tastier than it looks! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your taking the time to read! Enjoy your day! 😀

  2. That must have been fun – apple picking the orchards, Dawn. I have not been apple picking yet, like ever, so I have got to add it to my list of ‘done fun’ someday. I have to look up a Stayman now…increase my repertoire of apple recognition skills. x

    1. It was such a blast, and we left with lots of apples in our bellies lol! Definitely keep an eye out for Stayman apples, they are nice and crisp, I think they would be a crowd pleaser if they were sold in regular grocery stores! 😀

      1. I just realised I like them too after I looked them up. Not that I knew its name but well thanks. I like Stayman more than Honeycrisp :-) Realisation on a fine Monday noon. xx

      2. Honeycrisp is one of my favorites too! They are a little sweeter than Staymans which is probably why I keep going back for more lol!

  3. I haven’t heard of Stayman apples yet, but golden delicious were my jam growing up! I literally ate an apple a day and believed that’s how I kept my teeth somewhat white. :) I don’t see too many golden’s anymore… my current favorite is honeycrisp!

    1. You and me both, Bento! Honeycrisp fans all the way! Thanks for taking time to stop by, I appreciate it! I hope you have an amazing day! :)

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