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Good places for lunch in the west 50's?


I will be attending a conference at a hotel on 7th and 53rd this week and would like some recommendations on places to eat lunch in that area. I'm particularly interested in ethnic food, eg. chinese, sushi, etc. Thanks!

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  1. Wu Liang Ye, on 48th, b/t 5th & 6th, serves very good Szechuan cuisine.

    Joe's Shanghai is on 56th, b/t 5th & 6th. They're known for their steamed buns (aka soup dumplings), but I've only had them at the Chinatown branch.

    Uncle Nick's, on 9th, b/t 50th & 51st, serves tasty Greek food.

    1 Reply
    1. re: RGR

      joe's midtown and joe's chinatown are very different experiences -- stay away from midtown imho!

    2. This is a really tough area for good ethnic food. About the only places I can recommend are Indian joints like Minar (47th btw 6th and 7th) and Sukhadia's (45th btw 5th and 6th). There's also Wu Liang Yi, as RGR suggested, but I've never liked their lunch specials and had an awful experience there recently for dinner:


      If you want ethnic, my advice is to take the subway one or two stops south to the Garment District. Between 42nd and 34th streets, there are a bunch of really good ethnic choices, including Szechuan Gourmet, perhaps the best sichuan cuisine in the city, and falafel joints like Olympic Pita and Pick-A-Pita.

      1. There are a bunch of pretty good Thai places on 9th Ave in the 40s and 50s. You really can't go wrong with any of them.

        1. this part of town regularly wins 'best cheap eats' awards (see time out new york a couple weeks ago for an example) -- local faves include:

          azuri - middle eastern
          wondee siam - thai
          tulcino - mexican
          queen of sheba - ethiopian

          Azuri Cafe
          465 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019

          Tulcingo del Valle
          665 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

          Wondee Siam
          792 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

          Queen of Sheba
          650 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

          1 Reply
          1. re: holland_oats

            These are all excellent suggestions.

          2. I like a lot of a_and_w's and holland oats' suggestions (in particular sukhadia's and tulcingo del valle). i'd also add indus express (esp. for chaat and made-to-order naan), kyotofu (good set lunches with well made tsukemono; it's a nicer sit-down location if you don't mind the japanese schoolgirl theme), the jamaican dutchy cart for jerk chicken; fika for swedish. I don't really know of any good Chinese food in the area, unfortunately.

            Jamaican Dutchy
            W 51st St and 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019

            705 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

            41 W 58th St, New York, NY 10019

            17 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036

            Tulcingo del Valle
            665 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

            Indus Express
            48 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036

            1. There is a famous halal cart that apparently has a sister cart on that very corner:

              Make sure that they give your food to you in a circular container in a bright yellow bag. The bag's logo should be circular say HALAL GYRO AND CHICKEN with the tag line "we are different." That's how you know it's the right cart.

              Dittoing RGR's recommendations of Wu Liang Ye and Uncle Nick's. As well as Wondee and Kyotofu. I have also heard very good things about the burger at Island, which is not too far.

              Also if you feel like the stroll, you can get some croissants at Petrossian, or some pastries/desserts at Bouchon Bakery. La Maison du Chocolat is also nearby, if you are a macaron fan. I know, not ethnic, but sometimes you need some sugar!

              Island Burgers & Shakes
              766 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

              1 Reply
              1. re: kathryn

                Burger at Island is good, but you can do better at both Prime Burger and Burger Joint, which are closer. Personally, I think the blackened chicken sandwiches are the way to go at Island.

              2. I like Onigashima on West 55th between 5th/6th for Japanese food (sushi plus cooked food). They offer very reasonably priced sushi lunch specials. Menchanko-tei has a following for ramen noodles. They're tasty but I am always so thirsty afterwards that I have steered clear of the place for a while. They get crowded at lunch time so arrive early (no reservations, I believe, although Onigashima does accept them).


                1 Reply
                1. re: uwsgrazer

                  the last few times at uncle nick's has been very disappointing. i think the quality and freshness is not what it used to be. the portions are big. stick to the mezze platter with a bottle of wine.