Harvard vs. Yale


A Nutmegger’s perspective.

  1. Location, location, location

The most obvious comparison to make between Harvard and Yale is their locations. While Harvard is situated along the Charles River in Cambridge, with lots of other colleges nearby, Yale is the centerpiece of…. New Haven. I grew up about half an hour from New Haven, and I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s nothing to call home about. It often smells like swamp when the tide is low and Yale itself is one of the city’s few redeeming qualities. I really only ventured to New Haven for a few reasons—Yale New Haven Hospital, the Apple store, and pizza.

Winner: Harvard

  1. Pizza!

New Haven pizza is one of the few things Connecticut has to be proud of, but it definitely does have the right to be proud. A few cult classics populate the tiny city, especially on Wooster Street. My personal favorite is Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, commonly known as Pepe’s (which you must try at next year’s game), but others prefer Sally’s or Modern. Whichever you choose, it will be some of the best pizza you have ever had (sorry, Noch’s).

Pepe's in New Haven.
Pepe’s in New Haven.

Winner: Yale

  1. Food Trucks

On a related note, Harvard’s food trucks are far superior to those found in the New Haven area. While the Science Center Plaza here is always bustling with at least a couple of delicious offerings, like Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, Bon Me, or Ben & Jerry’s, the New Haven food truck offerings are far less desirable. One might notice driving down I-95 the long row of food trucks by New Haven’s Long Wharf area—but I’d advise you not to stop. The cleanliness of those trucks is suspect, and my favorite, Sugar cupcake shop’s truck, is usually found not in New Haven, but at the outlet mall in my town about half an hour down the road. Overall, Yale’s selection of food trucks is subpar.

Winner: Harvard

  1. CS50

If only Yalies would be honest with themselves—they are all jealous of us. Even their computer science program is jealous, and for good reason; they couldn’t find someone to teach their students introductory computer science. Thus, they convinced David Malan to send them the taped Sanders Theatre lectures so they could partake in the glory that is the cult of CS50—or for them, CPSC 100 (although that seems to have less of a cult-y ring to it).

Winner: Harvard

  1. Nightlife

Each time Harvard-Yale is played at Yale, there is way too much HYpe (ha, get it?) about going to Toad’s Place. For Harvard-Yale weekend, they do implement special rules to keep it open for mainly college students, but it’s important to know that most weekends, that isn’t the case. My friends and I went to Toad’s fairly often in high school for concerts, and my parents still do—Toad’s really isn’t as “hopping” as people think it is. While Harvard has its own issues with social life, partying with my parents, or high schoolers, certainly isn’t one of them.

Winner: Harvard

  1. Sports

If you are a person who likes watching sports, you do not want to go to Yale. Their own sports fields are much farther from their main campus than ours — just across the river — and their Harvard-Yale record is significantly lacking (Harvard has won The Game for the past nine years—the longest winning streak in the history of The Game). Harvard also boasts access to lots of professional sports teams—the Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins are easily accessible in Boston, and the Patriots are not too far away in Foxboro. New Haven doesn’t have a single professional sports team, and the only national-level team in the state is the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun. Baseball fans might have to stick with the Hartford Yard Goats, over an hour from campus, or the Bridgeport Bluefish, located in a city worse than New Haven (yes, it’s possible).

Winner: Harvard

If you’re looking for Gothic architecture, pizza, and a really cool furniture store with an indoor ropes course attached, then Yale is the place to be. If you’re interested in anything else: stick to Harvard.

Final Score: Harvard – 5. Yale – 1.

Emily Hall (emilyhall@college.harvard.edu) is proud of her Connecticut roots but even prouder of Harvard’s victories over Yale!