News about Claire's! Recently in 2014, Claire’s dipped its toes into the 21st Century and increased its proportion of vegan entrées, as well as began offering vegan cheese as an option to all its cow cheese dishes. (Until now, you could substitute cow cheese with blah tofu). Took a while for Claire’s to get here, as until around 1999 Ms. Claire used to offer tuna, but removed it from the menu, maybe upon opening her upscale meat restaurant next door. While a chef need not be veghead to creatively cook veggies, still it's unsettling that Ms. Claire is a carnivore at heart.
Most other vegan reviewers berate this place, which I can understand, but I would rate it "fair" rather than "terrible." You simply must pick and choose wisely from among its extensive menu. On the plus side, you can view some of the standard entrees and most of the specials in a display case near the registers, and doing so is more edifying than the inscriptions on the wall boards. The noise level inside compares to a college dining hall, and the seating is cramped and uncomfortable, so don’t bring your date here. But if you sit by a window you can enjoy the view of the Yale University and New Haven community parading by, and thereby take your mind off the bland, industrial-quality food, in which case you can actually enjoy sitting here.Pros: extensive selection, increased proportion of vegan entrees, the view out the windows
Cons: bland industrial-quality food, noisy and uncomfortable, finding parking sometimes futile