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Lunch ideas for around 44th Street and 2nd Ave?

Hey Everyone
Long time lurker, first time poster. I just started working at the United Nations building on 1st Ave at 44th and need somewhere close by-ish for lunch. I have about an hour (including walking time), probably eating alone (woe is me!!) and price doesn't matter. So far I've tried Oms rice ball cafe (nice), the cupcake place on 3rd Ave, Zip Burgers, East Sushi (which sucks), 'The original NY milkshake company' (suck), Sip Sak (Sip Suck ehh wonk wonk).
I've been meaning to try: Ben & Jack's Steakhouse, Dean's pizzeria, that swedish place whose name I can't recall, Good burger, and the Grand Central Oyster Bar.
Any recommendations would be very appreciated, muchas gracias.


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  1. Sakagura, 211 East 43rd street, hidden two floors down. A great sake bar/izakaya type place that makes you feel like you're in Tokyo. Lunch prices are much more reasonable than dinner.
    OR Menchenko-Tei at 131 East 45th Street. Much more of a regular kind of restaurant. Noodle oriented, also Japanese. For Chinese try Mee Noodle Shop at 49th and 2nd. But the Japanese are the better restaurants hands down.

    1 Reply
    1. re: olivethegreat

      Walk to Royal on 39th and 3rd for the best Sicilian slices in the city. Right next door the Chicken Kitchen has great gyros and chicken wraps.
      Wollensky grill has a great burger but even better roast beef hash with a fried egg on top for lunch special.

    2. I haven't been to Aquavit (which I'm pretty sure is the Swedish place you're referring to) but I have eaten lunch at their AQ Cafe in the Scandinavian House - think it's at 38th and Park. The cafe is basically in the lobby area which makes for an interesting setting. It's cafeteria style. The food is good - sandwiches, salads and soups, plus of course swedish meatballs that are great.

      I just had lunch today at Better Burger on 3rd and 37th. I hadn't tried their burgers before and wasn't quite sure what to expect but I was pretty happy. The burger was tasty and the fries - they are baked - were good too. They also make a great lemonade.

      1. For a decent reasonably priced lunch, try Comfort Diner @ 45th Street between 2nd & 3rd Ave. The atmosphere is that of a retro '50's diner' but the food is pretty good. Not like your generic diners.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Beau711

          Oh I always walk past Comfort Diner and it looks pretty good, I just know if I go there I'm gonna gorge on flapjacks and burgers and ice cream and my calorie count will cry for mercy. So I might go today.
          Tried Grand Central Oyster Bar, it's fantastic!
          And kudos pellegrino for figuring out I meant Aquavit! Mmmm meatballs...
          I also thought about that pizza van on 47th between madison and Park, I think I read about it on Eater or somesuch. Anyone tried it?

        2. Heylo Agent Poster,

          There are some great delis that you can go for lunch, granted you can't sit in them but they make scrumptious sandwiches. There is a deli that makes incredible sandwiches on 44th street and 2nd ave, on the street opposite UNICEF and the Church Center. Then there is a great Mexican restaurant as you continue down from Good burger, down 2nd ave, and I believe it's called Border Cafe but am not sure. How funny that you work at the United Nations because I came there all the time for meetings, working at the Church Center and I can introduce you to my friends working at the UN who have a host of places to recommend. And hey, you should join us so you don't have to eat alone!

          Happy Holidays!


          1. Check out Cibo on the NW corner of of 41st and 2nd Ave. They've got a nice lunch prix fixe at just under $30. You'll find the menu on menupages.com. It's a really nice place to take a guest too . . .

            1. Boi to Go on second ave btw 44 & 43 (or maybe its 43& 42) has very good vietnamese banh mi sandwiches and is a nice clean place to eat and sit by the window people watching. Also Overlook Bar on 44th btw 2nd and 3rd has surprsingly good sandwiches / salads. KushiQ on third ave has simple japanese grill yakatori style salads. Also walk along west side of second ave from 49th to 53rd or so and lots of restraunts with kinds of lunch specials. And yes stay away from East, but the shochu bar next door is great and a good way to relax after work. Enjoy, its a great neighborhood!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Kameli

                I like the banh mi sandwiches at Boi-to-Go.

              2. Sushi Yasuda is probably one of the best sushi bars in nyc (43 between 2nd and 3rd). Great sushi bar if you are by yourself too.

                1. Hey Agent Poster,

                  A group of us from the UN crowd are meeting for dinner this Wednesday, Dec. 26th. We'll be standing by the Bryant Park Metro subway sign on 42nd street at exactly 7 pm. for dinner. You're more than welcome to join us. And no, this is not a hoax, it should be more like a blind food group outing for you!

                  Best wishes,

                  1. I second the suggestion for Boi To Go—not as tasty as banh mi in other parts of NYC, but a find for east midtown. Also, I love the Chinese place—Oriental Noodle—I believe it is on 45th or 44th between Lex and 3rd. They have great dumplings and steamed buns.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: sherrinyc

                      Hey Agent Red,

                      I am wondering if you tried any of these places and would recommend them? I just starting an internship at the UN today and am living on 43rd and 2nd. :)