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Lunchtime Alternative to Whole Foods (Union Square/E. Village area)

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I love Whole Foods' salad bar and prepared food section, but I'm finding it difficult to stay within my lunchtime allowance at the $7.99 per pound rate. Anyone have any similar, but less costly lunchtime alrernatives? A place with self-serve, prepared foods, in the Union Square/East Village area would be preferred.

If only Trader Joe's had a salad bar...(that place would be even more of a zoo, though)

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  1. tisserie
    857 broadway at 17th st
    -gret bakery that can get expensive, but you can find something for less than $8. they have amazing quiches and great croissant turkey sandwiches as well as spanish tortas

    the adore
    17 e. 13th st btwn 5th ave and universiy
    -sandwiches (about $7-8) on a baguette are amazing; soups, tarts, quiches, pastry

    rainbow falafel
    26 e. 17th st btwn broadway and 5th ave

    marquet
    15 e. 12th St btwn 5t ave and university
    -you can order to go: salads, sandwiches, soups. a lot of their bigger salads like the chicken orange cranberry one is pricey, but it's huge!

    garden of eden
    14th street at 5th ave
    -it's a great grocery store, but they have a hot food section and a salad bar that's good

    1 Reply
    1. re: calypsogirl

      The Adore is smashing; their soups, salads, and sandwiches got me through design school, kidney infections, and bad dates. Brunch is equally divine. The upstairs seating is remarkably serene.

    2. I second Garden of Eden, although I go to the 23rd St. branch. Walk a bit and go to Cafe Beyond, in the Bed, Bath and Beyond on 6th and 19th -- great salads, burritos, and fabulous gazpacho when they have it.

      1. Go to Ennju on 17th. You selection is limited to Japanese prepared food, but it is more affordable.

        1. try the food emporium on 14th and park. It has a decent salad bar with seating. You should also try the deli's on University and 13th street. the deli's have salad bars and make good wraps/sandwiches that are very affordable.

          1. Ditto to the Food Emporium, especially if cost is important. It's cheaper and less crowded than Whole Foods and you get a free bottle of water or soft drink on salad bar purchases of $5 or more.