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Inexpensive lunch options around the Metropolitan Museum

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Can anyone recommend me some good, inexpensive places to have lunch around the Met Museum? I'm open to any cuisine, as long it's good and cheap (think college student budget). Thanks a lot!

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  1. On lexington there are lots of diners there are some more pricey diners on Madison. None of them are very good but they are close to the Met and it's a place to sit and eat. Seraphina is on Madison and 79th and not too pricey.

    1. I actually sort of like the cafeteria in the Met -- it's cleanly designed and the food is not bad at all. It's not CHEAP, but certainly not costly, so I'd go check that out before you head over to the diners. If you're determined to leave the Met, I like Annie's, a brunchy/breakfasty (though they have a full dinner menu) over on 3rd, I think between 78th and 79th.

      2 Replies
      1. re: sakana

        I agree - the cafeteria is surprising good - they have certain "food bars" by the pound - everything always looks fresh - I usually have salad and the salmon filet.

        1. re: sakana

          I used to live a few floors above Annie's -- one caveat is that on the weekends you should arrive before 10:30 AM or after 1:30 PM or else face a hefty wait.

          Candle Cafe on 75th and Lexington is a nice, informal vegan place that's not too expensive ($10-$15 lunch options, but I usually eke two meals out of that).

        2. Le Pain Quotidien (85th at Madison) has great salads and sandwiches at fairly reasonable prices. The soups are good too -- I especially like the white bean soup and the gazpacho (seasonal). Definitely no more expensive than the Met cafeteria. Also, I'm not a coffee drinker, but I've heard really good things about the coffee at Le Pain Quotidien.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bethnyc

            There's a great, inexpensive Vietnamese place called Miss Saigon - it's on 3rd Ave between 80th and 81st.

            Ariba Ariba is between 82nd and 83rd, also on 3rd Ave - Mexican, very good, not expensive.

          2. I also like the Met cafeteria and usually get a quick bit there too. I usually have something to eat in between exhibits (a good excuse to sit and rest) and walking to 3rd Ave and back to the Met is too much wasted time.

            1. Based on my trips to the Met cafeteria, it's certainly better than the usual institutional slop, and I think it's fine to go there so as to save time and spend more time at the museum, but it doesn't strike me as a particularly "chowish" place. I got some kind of fancy-sounding tortelloni, and they were just OK. The price was fair, but I might have done better sticking to salad bar items plus a sandwich. Some of their salad bar items were quite fresh and good. I remember liking fresh mozarella with egg tomatoes or something like that.

              1. Via Quadronno is my go to when on the UES, especially before or after the museum.. usually we'll go there for coffee beforehand at the bar and then sit down for a sandwich or soup after..