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East Midtown lunch options near 44th and 3rd Ave

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So sick of the Cosi/Pret/Hale generic places that seem to cluster in this area. Am willing to walk up to 15 minutes for something good. Any suggestions?

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  1. Byblos, on 39th, just east of 3rd, is a Lebanese restaurant with very good food. They have lunch specials for around $12. My favorite is the cold combo plate. Eat in or take out.

    http://www.byblosnyc.com

    Wu Liang Ye, on Lex, b/t 39th & 40th Sts., serves very good Szechuan cuisine. Lunch specials are around $6.

    AQ Cafe, in the Scandinavia House, on Park Av., b/t 37th & 38th Sts., is a cafeteria-style set-up. It's a satellite of Aquavit, so Chef Marcus Samuelsson is in charge of the cafe's menu of sandwiches, salads, hot dishes, etc. (Love the Swedish meatballs!) Plenty of tables in a large, very pleasant lobby space.

    http://www.aquavit.org

    Sarge's Deli is on 3rd, b/t 36th & 37th. Lots to choose from on a menu, and the food's pretty good.

    www.sargesdeli.com

    Carl's Cheesesteaks is on 3rd, b/t 34th & 35th Sts. Delicious! It's pretty much a take-out situation because there are only two tables in the back.

    http://www.carlsteaks.com

    Pampano Tacqueria is on 3rd, b/t 49th & 50th Sts. I've never been but have read some good things about it. Take-out only.

    http://www.modernmexican.com/pampano/...

    Hope this helps to widen your lunch horizons. :-)

    1. Pampano Taqueria may only be take away but there is a restaurant attached, with roof garden. I've eaten there only once. It was ok and I might try it again under the right circumstances. You might also consider Seo on 49th between 2d & 3d, Donburiya on 47th between 3d & Lex, Brasserie on 50th bet. Park & Lex, Oyster Bar at Grand Central (oysters only), Sophie's Cuban on Lex bet 41 and 40, Avra Estiatorio at 48th & Lex. Chikubu, Aburiya Kinnosuke, the Palms & Smith & Wollensky--lots of places and more if you do a search you will find more as there are often questions about this area.

      1 Reply
      1. re: dbird

        Thanks for the info - I have been to Pampano Tacqueria and it's great, but the wait is so long (and you can never get through on the phone to place a pre-order) that I usually end up running over my lunch time and not making it back to work in time.

      2. How far West do you think 15 minutes would get you?

        There are some great places on 48th between 5th and 6th, or 46 between 6th and 7th.

        Hing Won for Chinese
        Kati Roll if an Indian Burrito would interest you
        Maragon for Cuban

        And a ton more...

        You can read about them all at: http://www.midtownlunch.com

        2 Replies
        1. re: zGustibus

          I'm a fast walker! Thanks for the tip on Kati Roll - sounds fantastic.

          1. re: selizara

            Just be sure to call and order in advance if you're walking that far and need to get back. Because the paratha is made fresh, they tend to get backed up with orders during peak lunch times.

            http://www.midtownlunch.com

        2. Comfort Diner on East 45th Street, between 2nd & 3rd Avenue, makes a delicious meat loaf.