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Aug 19, 2006 05:44 PM

Diamond District lunch places

I just started a new job around 46th/5th and am in search of reasonably priced and solid lunch places with vegetarian options. So far I've tried and liked: Bread & Olive, the falafel cart on 46th/6th, 'wichcraft (too pricey for everyday), and Dishes (ditto).

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  1. I probably have no business posting this, as I haven't actually visited any of the places I'm going to mention...however, in doing some research for an upcoming trip to NYC, I have run across these place:

    Berger's Deli - 47th Street between 5th and 6th. The concesus seems to be that its no Katz's or 2nd Avenue Deli, but its pretty good.

    Margon - 46th between 6th and 7th. A Cuban "hole in the wall" type place that seems to get pretty good reviews on here.

    Kosher Delight - 46th between 5th and 6th. I've only seen it mentioned in passing...haven't seen any detailed posts on it.

    If you do a search on Chowhound for thses places you'll find lots of posts. Maybe some others can say more about them, based on personal knowledge?

    8 Replies
    1. re: carolinadawg

      Berger's, unfortunately, closed its doors a couple of months ago after a 50-year run. it'll be missed.

      Kosher Delight is mediocre at best -- Lenny's on 48th is a better bet for a quick, decent sandwich. i like the fact that they use real turkey on their sandwiches and have a flair for good (not outstanding) corned beef. the pastrami, not so much.

      Margon is a great, great option. the cuban sandwiches are the big fave, but just about all their plates -- chicken, pork -- with rice and beans are the ticket for me.

      for carryout, options include:
      House of Pita, on 48th between 5/6: their salads (baba, hummus, tabouleh, etc) are great. felafel sometimes a bit heavy and mushy. you can choose 4 items frmo an array of about two dozen for a $6.50 platter. can't eat there, though, since it's a stall in an arcade, not a restaurant as such.

      hing won on the same block. looks like a mediocre chinese takeaway, but the second line -- further back -- allows you to order from a menu with some unusual items (wide variety of noodle soups, roast meats over rice, fish done several ways) at good prices. they also do congee and chinese breakfast until 10 or so.

      1. re: david sprague

        Are the cuban sandwiches at Margon really the big fave, as you say? I really don't find them that appealing and think the other stuff is more praiseworthy.

        1. re: Peter Cuce

          I second the Cuban Sandwich thing. If you like authentic Cuban Sandwiches, Margon makes a totally authentic and delicious Cuban (with the pickles mustard pork and everything).

          My blog might be helpful to you as well:

          1. re: zGustibus

            Another vote for Margon - but I'm afraid not too many vegetarian options there. Minar next door has good Indian food cheap.

          2. re: Peter Cuce

            in saying the sandwiches are "the big fave," i was referring to them as the draw for most visitors. i tend to get one of the platters -- or even just an order of rice and beans -- when i go.

          3. re: david sprague

            The chicken sandwich at Margon is better than the cubanos there. I think I remember saying this about 1974 days ago, and 1704 days ago too, come to think of it.

            1. re: david sprague

              Actually, Berger's has just moved. It is now located on 39th between 5th and Madison.

          4. The original comment has been removed
            1. some other options:

              cafe zaiya
              18 3. 41st st btwn 5th and madison
              it's a japanese cafe/bakery that has bento boxes to go, rice bowls, baked goods, sandwiches, seaweed wraps, sushi, etc.

              minamoto kitchoan
              608 5th ave at 49th st
              it's not a restaurant, but you can get some great red bean paste buns which would make a great lunch. there are so many wagashi (japanese pastries) to choose from, not all sweet. so it'd be a nice spot for a light lunch.

              4 Replies
              1. re: calypsogirl

                I checked out that Minamoto Kitchoan the other day, and found it totally frightening. The people didn't seem to want me in there either, nor did they ask me if i needed help. If you are novice to Japanese pastry, it helps to know exactly what you are looking for before you go in... didn't seem like anything there would constitute a "lunch" either.

                Cafe Zaiya on the other hand is the greatest place ever! :-)


                1. re: zGustibus

                  wow, that's so strange! sorry you had a frightening experience there. i've always encountered friendly staff who explain things. hopefully yours was just a random experience.

                  the buns are delicious! maybe they don't have them every day.

                  1. re: zGustibus

                    I also find it very strange. I found the staff rather too eager to help. Everything they have to offer has detailed descriptions - you just need to take your time to look around and figure out which description goes with what (some items are double displayed as a single item or in a box). They also have a royalty card.

                    1. re: welle

                      Maybe I'm just really strange looking! :-)

                2. Back when I worked in the area I loved the Halal Food cart on 43rd & 6th (now on the SE corner, I think.)

                  1. halal food carts are the staple for quality/price ratio in that area. However, check out Rangole on 46th bet 5th and 6th for what I find to be the best Indian buffet I've ever had outside of London. Around 10 dollars w/ a make your own Chaat bar!