While New York City is one of the culinary capitals of the world, Midtown dining options are dismal. Finding an easy, quick, and delicious lunch between meetings can feel like rocket science. However, there are some hidden gems tucked into the overwhelming blocks of Midtown, and with this guide to great eats in the area, you can check the lunch search off the list. So leave the Lean Cuisine at home, and pay a visit to one of these five delicious and affordable spots in Midtown.
Xi’an Famous Foods
Spice up your lunch break! Xi’an Famous Foods is a chain of fast-casual restaurants based in New York City that serves authentic Western Chinese dishes. Xi’an originally opened in Flushing and has since expanded to ten Manhattan locations. Three are conveniently placed in Midtown, so there’s no excuse to miss out on trying this popular spot. The chain is known for its fresh and hand-pulled noodles made on-site that are covered in a sauce of your choosing. Not feeling a bowl full of noodles? No worries. Xi’an has an extensive menu that includes soups, burgers, and salads.
Who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese for lunch? This savory restaurant has several NYC locations, with a spot on West 50th Street. Melt shop prides itself on serving classic comfort food – everything from grilled cheeses to signature melts like their vegan bacon burger. Add some of Melt Shop’s famous tater tots and you’ve got yourself a tasty lunch to beat the Monday blues.
The Little Beet
If you’re planning on hitting a Soul Cycle class after work, grilled cheese may not be a wise idea. But meal-prepping veggies for the week is not exactly fun either. The solution? The Little Beet! This chain offers wholesome and healthy food and likes to call itself “delicious, but not pretentious.” The restaurant has west and east Midtown locations and is a build-your-own-bowl style, with an array of farm-fresh options to keep you feeling full yet light on your feet. Choose a base, two veggies, protein, and a decadent sauce and you’ve got yourself a well-balanced and flavorful meal.
Sweetcatch Poke Bar
So long to the days where you had to visit an expensive seafood restaurant to try the catch of the day. At Sweetcatch, fresh tuna and salmon marinated to perfection are essential ingredients to creating that mouth-watering poke bowl. The chain’s Midtown east location on Lexington will have you craving the authentic Hawaiian flavor of poke on the regular, and its classic bowl creations like the Blazing Tuna make choosing as simple as ever. Add a specialty soda to your order for beachy lunch to get you through those hot summer days stuck at the office.
It would be unethical to not include at least one food truck option when talking about quick and inviting cuisine in Midtown. Uncle Gussy’s has three NYC locations but originated in Midtown on Park Avenue. The business has been serving hungry customers for eleven years and offers traditional Greek food as well as unique specials that vary weekly. Most gyro fanatics wouldn’t even think of ordering the dish without some signature Tzatziki sauce drizzled on top, and thankfully Uncle Gussy’s calls the addicting white sauce their specialty. While Greek cuisine street carts reside on almost every NYC block, not all pork souvlaki is created equal! The extra five-minute walk to Uncle Gussy’s is totally worth it.