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Lunch Spots Around Park + East 33rd

Started a new job on Park Avenue and 33rd Street. Any good lunch spots suggestions?

Things like
Good Deli

and anything else that's good.


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  1. I'd pop into Pamplona for a hamburger and churros if I were in the area - didn't have good luck with other dishes there, but those are worth returning for.

    37 East 28th Street, New York, NY 10016

    10 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Their "secret" take out and delivery menu is amazing. Everything is made to order. They have salad, four sandwiches (I tried steak and avocado, and the chicken and avocado), and two or three daily soups (gazpacho, blue cheese, tomato-water sorbet when I went). The most expensive thing on the menu is $5.95 (the sandwiches)! That's insane. A nice 12" baguette, about 2" wide, with good shredded lettuce (not iceberg), four slices of tomato, aioli, and a medium skirt steak cut into four chunks. Served warm. Takes about 10 minutes to make them. There must have bee at least 4 oz of meat (still pink on the inside) on my sandwich! What a great deal.

      The secret menu isn't listed on their web site or on Menupages or even in the windows of the restaurant.

      1. re: kathryn

        Is that pamplona you're referring to?

        1. re: brooklynsavory

          Yes, Pamplona! It's great. I've been telling every one in my office about their great deal...

          1. re: kathryn

            How does one get their "secret" take-out and delivery menu? Do you just ask for it?

            1. re: Miss Needle

              You need to walk in the door and ask for it from the maitre'd or at the bar. It is not on Menupages. It is not on their web site. It is not posted in their window. It exists apparently only in physical form at the restaurant itself.

        2. re: kathryn

          I just had the bistec sandwich from Pamplona--really delicious and such a good deal! The takeout menu is now posted in the window and also out on the bar where it was immediately offered to us--what do you wanna bet that's a direct result of this thread? (But it's not as "secret" anymore...)

          1. re: kathryn

            Their chicken and avocado sandwich is still delicious, and a bargain at < $7.

            The takeout menu is now online, which I just noticed:

          2. re: MMRuth

            On the Pamplona tip, I'd also like to mention the amazing take-out-only lunch specials for under $6. The Grilled Chicken or Steak with Avocado Hero is truly delicious.


            1. re: FuDee

              See my post May 31, 2008 04:58PM from above :)

          3. Definitely Pamlona! I'm a huge fan of Chef/owner Alex Urena's Spanish cuisine. Thus, while I agree totally with MMRuth about the hamburguesa and the churros -- just thinking about the is making me drool -- we've been extremely pleased with everything we've had there. So, I suggest you give some other items on the lunch menu a try as well.


            You are a block away from the new incarnation of the 2nd Ave. Deli, which is on 33rd, b/t Lex & 3rd. I have not been yet. It has gotten decidedly mixed review on this board. Also, I am on the e-mail list of Arthur Schwartz, "The Food Maven," and he recently sent out a message in which he wrote an absolutely *scathing* review of the 2nd Av. Deli. He said he couldn't believe how bad the food was. So, caveat emptor!

            AQ Cafe, in the Scandinavian House, on Park Av., b/t 37th & 38th Sts., is a satellite of Aquavit, which means that Chef Marcus Samuelsson is reponsible for the Cafe's menu of hot dishes (Love those Swedish meatballs!), soups, sandwiches, salads, etc. It's a cafeteria set-up with lots of tables in the large, attractive lobby.

            Sarge's Deli is on 3rd, b/t 36th & 37th. Excellent pastrami sandwiches, plus a menu that is diner-like in scope. If you don't feel like shlepping there, they deliver.

            Ethos, on 3rd, b/t 33rd & 34th Sts., serves very good Greek food.


            Ali Baba, on 34th, b/t 2nd & 3rd, serves very tasty Turkish food.

            Carl's Cheesesteaks is on 3rd, b/t 34th & 35th Sts. It's mainly take-out. They deliver.


            Note: For those places without a website, you can find menus on menupages.com.

            1. Ali Baba on 34th & 3rd is very good Turkish food. I believe they have lunch specials too.

              1. I work in the area, too, and often go to Roomali (chicken tikka rolls--yum!), Tasty's (unlimited toppings for your salad), ThaiNY (love their noodles in spicy basil and chili sauce), Umi Sushi (not a fan of raw fish, but I like their Vitamin C and Ocean rolls) and Rice (their vegetarian meatballs are great).

                For longer sit-down lunches, I've enjoyed Tabla Bread Bar, A Voce and Blue Smoke. Campanile also has good no-frills Italian, and the staff there is always friendly and attentive.

                And of course, there's Shake Shack!

                1. on 3rd & 33rd there is a blockheads and a caliente cab. both good options for mexican, especially a happy hr spot. i know we are talking lunch. iron sushi on 30th & 3rd is good and pita grill across the st is good as well. there is also a bagel place around 33rd which is really good. they are always so nice. pizza 33 is on the corner. the deli across from them is ok for a simple sandwich.

                  i second thainy. guy and gallard is a good option as well. there is one on 34th & lex and one on park in the upper 20's i believe.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mch

                    Sorry for the late reply, but Caliente Cab is horrible! One of the worst meals I had in the last few years was at that branch.

                  2. Thanks Guys... My mouth is watering just reading this... Can't wait to try.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: brooklynsavory

                      I'll add two more.

                      Pio Pio, where it's all about the chicken, recently opened a location on 34th, b/t 2nd & 3rd.


                      Lamazou, on 3rd, near 27th St., is a small cheese shop that has delicious gourmet sandwiches. Take-out only. They deliver, but I don't know if your location would be in their zone.


                      1. re: RGR

                        Ah RGR, you beat me to the Lamazou rec. I was probably writing while yours posted!

                        1. re: pellegrino31

                          Hey, pellegrino31,

                          Obviously, that "great minds" thingy! :-))

                    2. For sandwiches and soups, head to Lamazou on 3rd and 27th. Pretty inexpensive too. It's a tiny shop and they make the greatest sandwiches. Quite a few notches above what you'd get at a regular deli.

                      1. i just tried lamazou this weekend for the first time. My gym is on 33rd and park and I wanted to buy some brunch things and seriously the egg salad changed my life. Its delicious..made with roquefort cheese...great breads too...

                        1. you guys hit most of the good spots. there is a pita grill on 3rd around 30th. iron sushi is on 3rd as well. nothing fancy but always good.

                          1. Crooked Knife, Artisanal, Dos Caminos, Chipotle, Houston's, Ethos, Ali Baba Turkish Cuisine, Q'Doba


                            1. I just quit my job at 33rd and Park (for the sad unsavoryness of Mad & 48th), and miss it already. Best place anywhere: The deli on the 2nd floor of Kalyustians on Lex and 28th--try the mujaddara. Mishima sushi on Lex and 30th is pretty good, and there's a Rafiqui's truck in front of 1 Park (&32nd). Do not under any circumstances go to either Blockheads or Caliente Cab Co., for what should be obvious reasons.

                              1. Since this thread has been bumped, I'll add my lunch suggestions for anyone who is lurking or who lives/works in the area:

                                Barbes, 21 E 36th at Madison. French/Mediterranean. The brochettes under the Appetizer menu are perfect for lunch, plus they have reasonably-priced salads and sandwiches or more substantial (and pricey) mains.

                                Cafe Guy, Park at 31st. It's a trendy offshoot of the ubiquitous Guy and Gallard chain, but it's better than average compared to other sandwich/deli places in the neighborhood. My favorites are the Grilled Chicken sandwich with broccoli Rabe, fennel and parmesan cheese, and the House Roasted Beef with Swiss cheese, cornichons and horseradish mayonnaise on a toasted onion club roll. Table service is reminiscent of an airport restaurant--cramped, rushed, and noisy, so just do take out or order online.

                                Penelope at Lex and 30th is good, also a little twist on standard American fare.

                                Sushi Sen-Nin on 33rd between Park and Madison. Good quality, but way overpriced. I keep going back for the spicy mussels, I can't help myself.

                                AQ Cafe in Scandanavia House has closed, and in its place is the Smorgas Chef has opened. (Park between 37th and 38th) Sadly, I like IKEA's meatballs much better; however, the 1/2 ham and jarlsberg sandwich with seafood chowder is out of this world. Big chunks of ham (not slices) and very good jarlsberg. Seafood chowder also very good. Gravlaks = yum.

                                Lots of good Korean options on 32nd between 5th and 6th. Mandoo Bar is the office favorite.

                                Saravanaas at 26th and Lex is the best of Curry Hill, but that's not saying much.

                                Hill Country and Shake Shack are a bit of a hike but both are worth it when you have lots of time for lunch and no important meetings in the afternoon.

                                Vezzo at 31st and Lex is good thin crust pizza, but service is awful so get delivery.