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Downtown Lunch

JWR Jan 25, 2007 08:37 AM

So, I have worked downtown for three plus years. Sometime I get tired of the places I go for lunch and I am wondering if I am missing anything. Ideally I am looking for take out/to-go and fairly quick.

The regulars-
-Al's State Street Cafe
-Sam Lagrassa's
-Sultan's Kitchen
-Andale Mexican Grill
-Wendy's (sometime I just have a craving for a Junior Cheesburger Delux for $.99)

Other than sitdown/restaurants (Silvertone, etc.) are there any other places that come to mind in the Downtown area?


  1. hiddenboston Jan 25, 2007 09:01 AM

    I rarely get downtown for lunch, but my a few people I know who work in the Financial District like to go to Pressed Sandwiches.

    1. f
      foodfun Jan 25, 2007 09:10 AM

      Bean & Leaf Cafe - 20 Custom House Street off Broad Street. Great sandwiches, soups, and salads. They also have a hot special every day.

      1. hollybee Jan 25, 2007 09:15 AM

        I frequent most of the spots you mentioned. Ever tried Sebastians? There are a couple of locations in the downtown area (Summer st and Devonshire are two that I know of). You can order some items ahead of time online for take-out which is very convenient. I usually opt for a salad, but many of my coworkers are pleased with their sandwiches.

        1. finlero Jan 25, 2007 09:29 AM

          Italian Cafe - good alternative to Al's to change it up a little. Similarly great, crusty bread.

          Temptations - salads, sandwiches, etc. Not exactly a Chow Destination, but quick and reasonably healthy salads and sandwiches.

          Stix - faux Mongolian BBQ. Not exactly my bag, baby, but again an acceptable change of pace.

          Rock Sugar - adequate Thai from the Chili Duck people.

          Samurai - pretty good Japanese, good combos. Sakurabana is better for sit-down, but this place does good take-out.

          A bit of a long walk in this delightfully balmy weather, but there's also the new Flour by the Children's Museum.

          1 Reply
          1. re: finlero
            Fort Point Jan 25, 2007 09:55 AM

            Flour is already insanely busy at lunch. Tried to go there today but the line was almost out the door. Went to the nearby Metro instead .

          2. m
            mwk Jan 25, 2007 09:44 AM


            Sebastians is excellent. They have a made-to-order salad bar which is fantastic, and a great deal for a HUGE salad for $6.75 Their sandwiches and hot food is also quite good.

            Falafel King is a hole in the wall, on Winter St. Excellent falafel and kebabs. Also, very good veggie options like hummos and baba ghanoush and grape leaves. The little Chinese takeout stall in that same building is also quite tasty and really cheap for a huge mound of food.

            For excellent mexican, there's Tequila's Mexican grill, which is next door to Silvertone, on Bromfield. Everything there is fresh, tasty and prices are cheap.

            The food court at the Corner mall also has decent options. The Greek, Indian, and Thai places are good and fast.

            1. b
              Bostonbob3 Jan 25, 2007 09:57 AM

              Andale is pretty good for fast Mexican.

              1. Alcachofa Jan 26, 2007 09:56 AM

                I prefer Burritos Express. Good tortas, choriso tacos and other tacos, Cali-style burritos.

                Pressed Sandwiches is OK, but I always got the feeling the sandwiches were "missing something". The pressed sandwiches are much much better at Pizza Oggi.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Alcachofa
                  DotDiner Jan 26, 2007 10:16 AM

                  Are their burritos Cali-style? I know they're not steamed so the tortillas are kinda crunchy, but I just can't stand that there are peas, carrots and lettuce in their burritos. It's just so wrong.

                  Sorry to get off-topic. I love Sabrosa tacqueria next to the Chacarero stand for burritos. Never a long wait, and scrumptious carnitas burritos.

                  1. re: DotDiner
                    Alcachofa Jan 26, 2007 11:39 AM

                    peas and carrots?! They certainly do not do that at Burritos Express. Are you thinking of the right place? On Bedford St, around the corner from Good Life?

                    1. re: Alcachofa
                      DotDiner Jan 26, 2007 12:07 PM

                      um, yeah, they certainly did!!! i went there a couple of weeks ago, paid almost $7 for a chicken burrito, and there were most definitely peas in that burrito. i used to go there all the time because i like the pico de gallo they serve on the side (though i prefer it IN the burrito), but after the pea and carrot incident i don't plan to go back ever!

                      sabrosa is cheaper AND tastier.

                      1. re: DotDiner
                        Alcachofa Jan 26, 2007 12:46 PM

                        I go there frequently and have never seen that. However, it has been a while since I've had a *chicken* burrito, so I'll get that on Monday and see what happens.

                        I do like Sabrosa as well, for the tacos. I just can't picture standing at the window when the temp is <40.

                        1. re: DotDiner
                          Alcachofa Jan 29, 2007 08:53 AM

                          Chicken burrito today. No peas and/or carrots. That must have been a bizarre mistake you encountered.

                  2. chowciao Jan 26, 2007 10:23 AM

                    Sebastians opened up another branch on High Street. Also I know a number of people I work with love Al Capones...subs are enough for 2-3 people. I also love Viga in the FInancial District (I think there's one closer to downtown area as well), great pasta and pretty good pizza. If you're not too far from High Street, try the Rebecca's in 125 High for a good slice of pizza. Don't know why but it's much better there then at the other Rebecca's.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: chowciao
                      Alcachofa Jan 26, 2007 11:57 AM

                      Al Capone's is cheap, but it is gross. Disgusting meats, low-grade pizza, just plain bad.

                      Viga's pasta is OK, I mean the sauces and meats they top their pastas with are OK. They just ALWAYS overcook the pasta to a ridiculous degree. I still eat there, but I can't understand why they can't fix that. Their pizza is good enough.

                      1. re: Alcachofa
                        jdoherty Jan 26, 2007 12:49 PM

                        Kara's Kabobs food car between Macy's and Filene's. Fresh, hot and cheap chicken kabob.

                    2. t
                      taxi Jan 27, 2007 05:39 PM

                      Not sure exactly what you mean by downtown, but walk down Tremont to Stuart and make it a point to go to Jacob Wirth's! Also, try the Parker House.

                      1. v
                        veggiegirl Jan 28, 2007 05:58 AM

                        When downtown, I sometimes head to Chinatown for a bahn mi at Mei Sum on Beach Street. You can't beat it for $2.50.

                        1. m
                          melodyrose Jan 28, 2007 06:31 AM

                          Where is Stix? What is faux Mongolian BBQ? Is it vegetarian? For a great lunch, I love having a falafel wrap at Falafel King on Winter St.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: melodyrose
                            finlero Jan 28, 2007 05:27 PM

                            Stix Grille is at 99 High Street.

                            Faux Mongolian BBQ - you fill a small bowl with raw veggies and one of a few Asian-themed sauces, then hand it to one of the chefs who grills it on a large, circular griddle, mixing in noodles or rice and, if you wish, a protein (beef, chicken, shrimp). It is certainly possible to go veggie-only, although stricter vegetarians should avoid due to no dedicated veggie-only grill. Faux because the ingredients are all straight-up American, plus the sauces are on the bland side. See also: Fire and Ice.

                            Again, I really don't mind going here for a quick lunch. The ingredients are fresh, and it's a good change of pace for Financial District take-out. My biggest gripes are that it's a bit too expensive (just south of $10), and the portions are a bit too small.

                            1. re: finlero
                              DowntownHound Jan 31, 2007 05:05 PM

                              Sadly Stix is history. A month or two ago they lost their lease when other occupants in the building complained to the management company about the odor of the food being wafted into the buildings air vents.

                          2. l
                            lasiciliana Jan 29, 2007 10:47 AM

                            Jane's Sushi Buffet is great to...all kinds of great stuff

                            also, on a decent day you can walk over to the North End and hit up Galleria Umberto for a delicious italian rice ball, pizza or calzone..but get there before noon or the wait could take up your whole lunch hour. There are also some great sandwich shops and Il Pannino Express.

                            Sakurabana (sp?) on broad street is great sushi lunch specials!

                            And for course...JOSE MAC's.... cheap eats at it's best!

                            My company use to be located on Broad Street but we moved to the Back Bay this summer... the prices here for lunch are outrageous..the only saving grace is there is a shaws and a trader joe's a block away from eachother.

                            1. w
                              wontonton Jan 29, 2007 01:13 PM

                              J. Pace makes pretty decent sandwiches. I like the italian or roast beef. There's also a hot food section, but haven't tried it really. There's usually a chicken and brocolli, stuffed shells, or ziti, basic chafing dish stuff. The line can be long at peak lunch hours.

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