New Haven is definitely a foodie's city; ethnic food rules the streets. Whether you're searching for pad thai or falafel, New Haven's got you covered. Perhaps the presence of so many gastronomic cultures is due to Yale's own diversity or to the city's proximity to New York. Regardless of its origin, New Haven food culture is about variety. There are lots of options for vegetarians (especially Indian food) and many restaurants are open late for the college crowd. Prices are generally reasonable, although they vary with the type of establishment. Some areas of New Haven (especially by Chapel St.) boast very fine gourmet experiences with very fine price tags to match. Other places, like Mamoun's Falafel, boast delicious dishes at even more delightful prices (think $5 per meal). So it's up to you to decide what you and your wallet are hungry for.
However, don't expect to be able to find a $0.79 taco or a $2.99 nugget special in New Haven. There is one type of food that you simply won't find in New Haven: fast food and national franchises. There is no McDonald's, no Panera, no Steak 'n Shake. New Haven caters to independent, unique restaurants and, in all frankness, it's better off that way. So save your Taco Bell cravings for spring break. Try a real burrito from the local burrito cart guys.