Fact: you eat lunch in Manhattan. Fact: you never leave the three-block radius around your office. Fact: this is stupid. Fact: you could really use a guide to the best place to eat said lunch in 30 different neighborhoods in Manhattan. Fact: this is that guide.
Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter (address and info)
What you’re getting: Fried chicken supper
Fried chicken, biscuits, and beer -- that’s the tagline for this Ave C spot serving mouthwatering soul food. Get the juicy, crackly bird as a platter with a biscuit and slaw, or stuffed into a grilled bun with pickles and optional (hahahaha yeah right) pimento cheese.
Battery Park City
Hudson Eats (address and info)
What you’re getting: Brisket sandwich at Mighty Quinn’s or the cheesesteak at Little Muenster
An upscale food court featuring a who’s who of lunch vendors (BBQ guru Mighty Quinn’s, grilled cheese experts Little Muenster, etc.), you can eat here for a week and still have options leftover.
The Randolph at Broome (address and info)
What you’re getting: Burger with cheese
Before it transforms into a buzzing bar in the evenings, The Randolph serves as a friendly hangout for downtowners seeking a comfort-food lunch. There are killer burgers and various salads on the menu, plus excellent coffee that they’ll booze up if you ask. (Editor’s Note: You should ask.)
Los Tacos No. 1 (address and info)
What you’re getting: Adobada taco
Trust us, fighting through the Chelsea Market crowds will be worth it once you bite into the griddled tortillas piled high with your choice of spit-roasted pork and pineapple, guac-covered carne asada, or grilled cactus.
Spicy Village (address and info)
What you’re getting: Big Tray of Chicken
Ditch the dollar dumplings for specialities from China’s Henan province. Plates like the Spicy Big Tray of Chicken, pork dumplings, and beef pancakes are delicious and more (most?) importantly, dirt-cheap.
Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop (address and info)
What you’re getting: Pastrami sandwich
For a top-notch pastrami experience minus the tourists (MINUS THE TOURISTS!!), hit up this old-school deli, where Jewish classics share the menu with tuna melts, BLTs, and other all-American eats.
Upland (address and info)
What you’re getting: Upland Cheeseburger
With incredible pizzas (order the ‘nduja) and one of the best new cheeseburgers in town, Justin Smillie’s California-Italian restaurant is the lunch spot that every other neighborhood wished it had, but doesn’t (sucks to be you, every other neighborhood!).
Melvin’s Juice Box; Miss Lily’s (address and info)
What you’re getting: Jerk chicken roti
Dive into Caribbean classics at this hip juice bar, which dishes up specialties from adjacent Miss Lily’s -- we’re talking tender jerk chicken on rice, roti burritos packed with curried chicken, and butter-drenched jerk corn.
The Handpulled Noodle (address and info)
What you’re getting: Ding ding noodles with spicy cumin lamb
No need to trek down to Chinatown anymore: this Uptown newcomer twirls stretchy, pliant ribbons for build-your-own bowls smothered in stir-fry beef, cumin lamb, or spicy mutton soup.
Streetbird Rotisserie (address and info)
What you’re getting: The Crispy Bird sandwich
Get chicken done up any (EVERY???) which way -- roasted, fried, jammed in a sandwich -- along with Asian-Latin rice and noodles at Marcus Samuelsson’s funky, boom box-lined spot.
City Sandwich (address and info)
What you’re getting: LGBT
You won’t find a plain ol’ ham and cheese at this pint-sized sandwich joint. What you will find, though, is Portuguese and Italian ingredients showing up in the form of combos like the LGBT (linguica spread, bacon, tomato, and onions) and the Franco (prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, and roasted peppers).
Cup & Cup (address and info)
What you’re getting: Bibimbap
One of the cheaper K-Town options, this tucked-away cafe delivers modern Korean fare like a tortilla-less kimchi taco and bulgogi rice (which, true to its name, are all served in cups), all for under 10 bucks.
Genuine Superette (address and info)
What you’re getting: Spicy bacon cheeseburger
A Downtown offshoot of the popular vendor inside Gotham West, the sunny cafe doles out California-inspired eats like ahi tuna tacos, a spicy bacon cheeseburger, and ice cream sandwiches from OddFellows Ice Cream Co.
Patacon Pisao (address and info)
What you’re getting: Carne mechada patacones
What’s better than meat between two slices of bread? Juicy shredded beef and roasted pork placed inside a crispy, double-fried plantain bun.
Lower East Side
Ivan Ramen (address and info)
What you’re getting: Herbie’s International
There’s so much more than noodles to be had at Ivan Orkin’s NYC flagship, especially at lunch when fusion sandwiches like the Herbie’s International (Chinese-style roast pork and Tokyo duck sauce on a toasted miso garlic hero) and St. Paul Sandwich (pork and egg foo young with togarashi mayo) make appearances.
El Colmado Butchery (address and info)
What you’re getting: Bocata Española
Enjoy a leisurely meal of traditional tapas like smoky deviled eggs and Iberico ham croquettes, or take hearty Spanish-accented sandos to-go.
Certé (address and info)
What you’re getting: Sandwich of the month
The first of the month is a magical time for fans of this beloved joint, which conjures up a monthly special that goes way beyond your typical fillings; former highlights include an ale-battered soft-shell crab sandwich and lobster French toast. LOBSTER. FRENCH. TOAST. GUYS.
Flat Top (address and info)
What you’re getting: Bánh mì
The Jin Ramen team is behind this laid-back bistro, which’s doing dishes that span the globe: bangers and mash, bánh mì, a New England lobster roll, and more.
Mile End Delicatessen (address and info)
What you’re getting: Smoked meat sandwich
Smoked meat sandwiches with a side of poutine are just two very delicious reasons to tear yourself away from your desk.
Ruby’s Cafe (address and info)
What you’re getting: Whaleys burger
Don’t be deterred by the tiny space. Once you squeeze into the pint-sized spot, you’ll be rewarded with avo toast, a beet-topped Aussie burger, and flat whites.
Go! Go! Curry! (address and info)
What you’re getting: Katsu curry
As the name suggests, the specialty at this baseball-themed import is things Warriors guard Steph Cur... wait, no... platters of pork katsu smothered in Japanese curry (there we go).
Arcade Bakery (address and info)
What you’re getting: Pizza
Tucked inside an office building, this hidden bakery owned by Bouley and Bouchon alum Roger Gural isn’t just turning out superior croissants and babkas -- come lunchtime, it’s also home to bubbly, freshly-baked pizzas and French sandwiches that make most deli orders look downright depressing.
Upper East Side
Mei-Jin Ramen (address and info)
What you’re getting: Mei-Jin ramen
It’s all about the beef at this noodle joint, which has honed a luscious, marrow-infused broth for bowls brimming with wavy noodles, fermented bamboo shoots, garlic chips, and green onions.
Upper West Side
Parm (address and info)
What you’re getting: Chicken Parm hero
This long-anticipated outpost finally brings the Torrisi team’s Italian-American canon Uptown. Here’s to baked ziti, chicken Parm heros, and spumoni ice cream cake for all.
Las Palmas (address and info)
What you’re getting: Barbacoa tacos
What started as a bodega has turned into a full-blown restaurant slinging superb Mexican street food like tacos al pastor and cemitas stacked high with meats and cheeses.
Mary’s Fish Camp (address and info)
What you’re getting: Lobster roll
Loaded lobster rolls, fish tacos, and a fun, chill vibe. Lunch here is always a win.
Num Pang (address and info)
What you’re getting: Coconut tiger shrimp
Named after Cambodia’s version of banh mi, this chainlet has no shortage of damn-good filings like five spice-glazed pork belly, coconut tiger shrimp, and hoisin meatballs.
Tanoshi Bento (address and info)
What you’re getting: Salmon teriyaki bento box
By day, this spinoff of lauded Tanoshi Sushi serves generously portioned bento boxes, donburi rice bowls, and noodle soups. By night, who cares, this is a lunch guide, guys.
1. Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter94 Ave C, New York
2. Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place225 Liberty St, New York
3. The Randolph at Broome343 Broome St, New York
4. Los Tacos No.175 9th Ave, New York
5. Spicy Village68B Forsyth St, New York
6. RAMEN.Co100 Maiden Ln, New York
7. Maharlika111 First Ave, New York
8. Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop174 5th Ave, New York
9. Upland345 Park Ave S, New York
10. Miss Lily's132 W Houston St, New York
11. The Handpulled Noodle3600 Broadway, New York
12. Streetbird Rotisserie2149 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York
13. City Sandwich649 9th Ave, New York
14. Cup & Cup15 E 31st St, New York
15. Genuine Superette191 Grand St, New York
16. Patacon Pisao139 Essex St, New York
17. Ivan Ramen25 Clinton St, New York
18. El Colmado Butchery53 Little West 12th St, New York
19. Certé20 W 55th St, New York
20. Flat Top1241 Amsterdam Ave, New York
21. Ruby's Café219 Mulberry St, New York
22. Go! Go! Curry!273 W 38th St, New York
23. Arcade Bakery220 Church St, New York
24. Mei-Jin Ramen1574 2nd Ave, New York
25. Parm235 Columbus Ave, New York
26. Las Palmas Restaurant3891 Broadway, New York
27. Mary's Fish Camp64 Charles St, New York
28. Num Pang Sandwich Shop28 E 12th St, New York
29. Tanoshi Bento1372 York Ave, New York
30. Mile End Delicatessen53 Bond St, New York
The East Village foodies behind the cozy delicatessen, Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter, serve up local-sustainable farmed fare with a down home twist. This friendly little spot is known for a wide variety of Southern style dishes like tasty fried chicken platters and boneless chicken sandwiches. The bone-in fried chicken supper comes with a flaky hot biscuit and your choice of side (think mac & cheese, fried okra, potato salad, and all the other hearty country staples that are like what your mom makes, only better).
This is an upscale food court in Brooklfield Place that's loaded with great eats. The vendors include Little Muenster, Umami Burger, Mighty Quinn’s, Dos Toros, Black Seed Bagel, and Num Pang. We suggest trying ad much as you can.
With homey and wood-heavy decor (think bricks walls with wood accents, wooden keg chairs, worn-wood counters, etc.), this laid-back Nolita spot's serving the best of both worlds: quality hand-brewed coffee and espresso by day, and innovative East Coast-style cocktails by night. Want your coffee IN your cocktail? They do that, too. One of the best beer bars in BYC, the Randolph at Broome features more than 30 well-curated taps that rotate seasonally, as well as a reserve beer menu built from specialty and hard-to-find beers, making this a great spot for serious hop-heads, or casual beer drinkers. The dinner menu is everything you want from a beer bar -- from small plates like pork sliders, hummus, or calimari, to burgers, BBQ ribs, and more than a few salads. The Randolph is also open for brunch and -- get this -- serves breakfast till 4 p.m.
Located in Chelsea Market, Los Tacos No.1 is the brainchild of three friends, collectively from Mexico and California, who wanted to bring authentic Mexican food to the East Coast. You can expect affordable prices, fresh ingredients, and family recipes.
This authentic Chinatown spot is perfect for groups, offering large portions and both hand-pulled and dry-hand pulled noodles. Dishes from China's Henan province -- such as the popular and aptly named "big tray of chicken" (noodles, bone-in chicken, and potatoes stewed in sauce spiked with chili oil and cumin) have allowed Spicy Village to shine.
RAMEN.Co was first opened after the extreme success following the Ramen Burger craze at Smorgasburg. Eventually, a shop dedicated to the culinary beast was opened here in FiDi, and it's serving up serious ramen bowls alongside non-Ramen Burger options. But fret not, it'll always be the home of the Ramen Burger, which you should get, immediately.
Named after an ancient Filipino warrior class, Maharlika takes diners on a modern crash course through Filipino street-food-inspired dining. A sibling of nearby -- and more casual -- Jeepney, the East Village restaurant emphasizes bold small plates like grilled chicken feet, battered Spam fries, and crispy chicken skins, the last of which is served as a complimentary starter. Having started as a brunch pop-up before going full-service brick-and-mortar, Maharlika maintains its weekend meal reputation with dishes like fried chicken and purple-tinted ube waffles, and mango-stuffed French toast.
Eisenberg's knows its role -- on its website it proclaims "Raising New York's Cholesterol Since 1929." What makes this one of the spots for go for pastrami? Well, the lack of tourists helps -- this is a local spot.
Stephen Starr, a Philly-based restaurateur who entered the New York scene with splashy hits like Morimoto and Buddakan, is behind this airy brasserie on Park Avenue South that takes its name from the California town where chef Justin Smillie grew up. The menu, which rallies around the seasonal themes of California cuisine, features oval-shaped pizzas topped with vegetables and flavorful cheeses; pasta dishes ranging from the traditional cacio e pepe to the entirely unique chicken liver estrella; grilled, smoked, and roasted meat and seafood plates; and a fairly affordable wine list.
A Caribbean oasis in Manhattan, the SoHo location of this popular New York City chain is as impressive as the rest. Island eats aplenty -- such as jerk chicken, curried lamb, and oxtail stew -- and organic juices from the adjacent Melvin's Juice Box make Miss Lily's perfect for (healthy!) afternoon indulging.
This Hamilton Heights ramen restaurant solves the problem of getting to Chinatown for good ramen: you don't have to. They make bowls to order with the house-made noodles, with toppings like stir-fry beef, cumin lamb, or spicy mutton.
Marcus Samuelsson's poultry-focused restaurant in Harlem revolves around chicken, both rotisserie and fried. The "Bird & Three" speciality is a full dinner that includes a whole roasted chicken with a side of mashed potatoes, collard greens, and cornbread. The menu includes flavors from all over the world, so expect dishes like chicken, rice noodles, and vegetables in coconut curry broth or wings tossed in a honey-citrus sauce. The space is decorated with a sensibility to Harlem street culture: a boom box art installation covers the walls and there are chairs made out of skateboards. When the weather is warm, the garage door windows open out onto the street.
City Sandwich specializes in meaty, cheesy, fully loaded sandwiches. The owner grew up in Naples and lived in Lisbon before coming to New York, and each of his creations has a hint of that Mediterranean flavor. For one, they’re made on crusty Portuguese rolls and stuffed with prosciutto, pancetta, and Portuguese sausage. And instead of mayo, the sandwiches are doused with condiments like yogurt sauce, olive oil, and balsamic mustard. The few tables in this tiny counter-serve Hell’s Kitchen shop get crowded at peak lunch hour, but you can always take your sandwich to-go or have it delivered.
Tucked away near Herald Square and Korea Town, Cup & Cup serves dishes (gasp!) in cups, like tortilla-less kimchi. Most of the dishes are under $10, and it makes a great lunch stop.
This Little Italy spots serves some great burgers, such as the much-loved Super Duper Stack burger, as well as things like fish 'n chips.
This food truck turned restaurant has been serving Queens the best of Venezuelan cuisine since 2005, including their plantains, which have been raved about by everyone from locals to the New York Times.
There’s so much more than noodles to be had at Ivan Orkin’s NYC flagship, especially at lunch when fusion sandwiches like the Herbie’s International (Chinese-style roast pork and Tokyo duck sauce on a toasted miso garlic hero) and pork meatballs make an appearance. But don’t get us wrong, there’s a reason “ramen” is the name of the game: noodle guru Ivan Orkin has fused his Long Island upbringing and Tokyo training with age-old ramen traditions to make original and delicious dishes right here at home. The weekend brunch features a combination of whole-wheat noodles, cheddar broth, crispy bacon and scallion omelet ramen.
El Colmado Butchery pays tribute to Spain's small gourmet grocers and New York's old-school meat markets with it's Spanish influenced and meat heavy menu. They also offer prepared and fresh meats to take home, like rotisserie chickens, housemade sausages, and fresh cuts of pork, lamb, and beef.
This Midtown take-out spot started as a catering service but is popular with the 9-5 crowd for its grab-and-go sandwiches. The egg-centric breakfast options include bacon, egg, and cheese varieties while the lunch menu runs the gamut from bahn mi and BLTS to a stacked Italian combo and a five-cheese cheesesteak. The rotating sandwich of the month never fails to disappoint either.
When you can’t muster the motivation to trek to Brooklyn, but still want to feel like you're having a rustic meal at a wooden table set with Mason jars, Flat Top in Morningside Heights has you covered. This cozy corner bistro nestled above Columbia’s campus is like a Cobble Hill transplant, sporting stylish décor and a global menu that offers everything from grilled Branzino and an organic burger to Scottish salmon and a three-mushroom risotto. And that’s just dinner. Brunch is brimming with plates like blueberry/buttermilk/ricotta pancakes, Maine lobster roll, and shrimp & grits, all paired with Stumptown Coffee.
This tiny spot with an Aussie inspired menu is worth squeezing into. Avo-toast, awesome burgers topped with beets & pineapple, and even vegemite are included on the menu -- but you might want to skip the vegemite.
Located right by Times Square and the Garment District, this enthusiastically named spot serves real-deal-Japanese-style curries from behind the counter.
Seemingly hidden inside an office building in TriBeCa, this hidden gem of bakery churns out great croissants & coffee in the mornings -- but by lunch you can expect to find flatbread pizzas and sandwiches on homemade bread as well. It's only open on weekdays, so you'll have to get your fresh bread elsewhere on Sunday mornings.
This low-key Japanese restaurant serves ramen and izakaya-style small plates in an intimate setting on Second Avenue. Instead of the pork-based tonkotsu broth typical of many New York ramen joints, Mei-Jin specializes in a fatty, marrow-infused beef broth. The broth has a refreshing but rich taste, and is augmented in texture with wavy noodles, fermented bamboo shoots, garlic chips, and green onion. Nontraditional accouterments like arugula and meat chili round out the selection.
This Upper West Side location of the popular Italian kitchen brings the same meatball subs, spumoni, and baked ziti, plus some full-sized entrees like chicken limone or The Delmonico. Count on excellent cocktails as well, like the Osso Nice with rye, lime and spicy calabrian honey. There's a full sandwich menu available for takeout ordering if you can't land a reservation or prefer your Italian Combo in the comfort of your sweats while watching The Godfather.
It may have started as a bodega, but now this Washington Heights spot is serving Mexican street food as a full strength restaurant. We recommend the authentic barbacoa tacos or tacos al pastor.
Mary's Fish Camp is possibly the best place to be an adult in NYC. In the Summer, it's the only place to be for a deliciously succulent lobster roll and brew.
"Num pang" is the Cambodian version of a sandwich like a bahn mi, and this location of the local chain is serving 'wiches loaded with five spice glazed pork belly, coconut tiger shrimp, or hoisin meatballs. This dependable lunch spot is not only affordable, but a great deal more flavorful than most other sandwich spots on the block.
This sibling of the popular sushi-centric Tanoshi serves bento boxes, rice bowls, and noodle soups.
Mile End Deli doesn’t fit neatly into a single category, serving non-kosher Jewish French-Canadian comfort food with a hipster twist. And yet, ironically but un-ironically, this has solidified it in the hearts of New Yorkers. Well, that and the absurdly succulent smoked meat. The meat masterminds here have crafted a true tour de force de fries -- poutine with cheese curds, chicken gravy, and the option to add smoked brisket (do it).