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Lunch Options near 18th & Pk Ave. South

Hello lovely CHers,

I am starting a new job next week on Pk Ave South btwn 17th & 18th and I need some lunch tips. Being a fairly regular CHer, I know of a lot of the serious dinner restaurants that are near my new employment spot, but I'm a bit less in-the-know when it comes to reasonably priced workday lunches.

I am coming from employment in a relative food wasteland, so am very excited about all that my new hood has to offer. I love just about every type of food, but tend to try to stick to relatively healthy things at lunch, so I can splurge more at dinner, though this is not a requisite. Things on my list already: Maoz, Tossed, Whole Foods, the U.Square farmers market, Bonobo, Le Pain Quotidien, Pure Take Away. What else should I add to my list? What about good local sushi? And which of the more serious good restaurants have reasonably priced lunch specials?

Also taking suggestions for good happy hour spots for post-work drinks in the hood.

As always, thanks for the tips and insight.

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  1. I really like Organique on 23rd bet. Park and Madison, right near Bonobo. Really fresh salads, with gourmet toppings. Also offer sandwiches and a hot food bar. Always like anything I order from there. There is a banh mi spot on lex and 24th that is posted about on this site called Baoguette that is pretty good and very inexpenisve. And of course, there is shake shack in Madison Square Park....

    2 Replies
    1. re: eameyer

      Second the Baoguette recommendation a couple of blocks up (27th/Lex) is Roomali for Chicken Tikka Wraps.

      1. re: eameyer

        yesterday was first day in the hood - went with organique and was not disappointed. they had every ingredient i wanted and everything looked genuinely appetizing. i'm sure a part of that is the space, much more attractively tricked out than most of the madetoorder salad counterparts.

        walked by azuki sushi on my way back to the office and grabbed a menu, but saw that they were closed around 130 yesterday. does anyone know if this was because of the inauguration, or are they done? i assume lunch is or was a normal thing for them, since their menu includes lunch specials...

      2. another vote for Organique. and for sushi, i'm not really a fan of Haru, but they do have a location at Park & 18th.


        1 Reply
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          yes - new office is in the building directly facing haru. they are definitely serviceable i agree, and i'm sure i will end up there at lunch and after from time to time, but am hoping for additional sushi delivery/takeout recs.
          do people like azuki?

        2. Organique is great...super fresh made-to-order sandwiches and salads.


          1. Not sure if you feel like walking up to 25th street, but Baoguette on Lex has some decent banh mi.

            2 Replies
            1. re: egit

              Is the bahn mi better at Baoguette or Bao Noodles?

              1. re: KiwiGirl625

                Personally I prefer the banh mi at Baoguette by a wide margin. Bao uses too much mayo and not enough of the other fillings. Plus the bread at Baoguette is better, in my opinion.

            2. As mentioned above, Haru is pretty decent, but I think I prefer Mizu Sushi. They will definitely deliver to your building. If you are willing to go for a bit of a splurge, 15 East is amazing, and they have a lower priced lunch omakase that I did once. Yum. Not a delivery type place though.

              You know the Pain Quotidien on 5th closed, right? There may be another nearby. If you like Tossed you might also like Chop't on 17th. There is also Eisenbergs on 5th if that's your bag, and Fifth Ave Epicure has great soups (if it's still there). The folks in my office also like Spice (which should deliver to you) and Republic (which is ok). PongSri on 23rd and Bao Noodles on 2nd might deliver to you, not sure. I'm a brown bagger myself.

              Don't forget you are a very short walk from Shake Shack.

              Oh and happy hour around here is lame. The only thing I can think of is Bar Jamon.

              3 Replies
              1. re: _emilie_

                i was thinking of the pain quot. under or attached to abc carpet & home. is it gone?! quel disasteur.

                and oh i had not forgotten about shake shack... just hoping i can keep my trips there to once every couple weeks or so. too often, and i fear i would strip it of some of its magic.

                i'd forgotten about mizu also! i've been before and think i recall liking their sushi better than haru's.
                and have been wanting to try 15 east for a while...now that i'm close, i have a much better excuse.

                thanks for all the tips!

                1. re: vatl619

                  Also: Petite Abeille, on 17th btw 5th and 6th.
                  Bar Stuzzichini
                  Rickshaw Dumpling Bar
                  Berrywild (fro yo)


              2. Grey Dog at University around 12th . Sandwiches, soups, coffee, very friendly.

                1. We always went to dewey's flatiron and rodeo bar for happy hour

                  1. oh and you must get a special sicilar slice at rosa's pizzeria!!!!
                    37 E 28th St
                    Moster is a good sushi spot...23rd btwn 6th and 7th
                    There's also Vezzo - 178 lexington ave (@ 31st )

                    1. In case you ever want to get away from the healthy lunches, may I suggest:
                      Shake Shack

                      Saravaanas has a killer lunch buffet if you like Veg Indian.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Spends Rent on Food

                        Eisenberg's makes a classic grilled cheese. Good call, SROF.


                        1. re: Spends Rent on Food

                          Saravaanas is great. Also try Copper Chimney lunch buffet or Tiffin Wallah lunch buffet, both on 28th St.

                        2. Rohm is terrific for Thai (Bwy @ 20th)
                          Maxie's makes a GREAT burger (next to Angelo and Maxies Steakhouse)! A great place to go when it's too cold for Shake Shack.

                          1. Devi has a $14 boxed lunch special that is *only* available on SeamlessWeb between noon and 3pm. Fellow CHer ballulah tipped me off.

                            It's a choice of appetizer, entree, side (dal or spinach paneer), and your choice of rice/naan. The box lunch is merely smaller portions of items from their regular lunch meal. The bread roll fritter was delicious and served in a sweet tomato sauce. The spicy chicken curry was OK. The meat was standard chicken breast, but the sauce had a good amount of heat. The warm naan was a nice touch. I really enjoyed the spinach paneer as well. It was not as heavy or creamy, and the paneer was nice and toothsome. Not the cheapest but not really heavy or greasy at all, and you can tell they are using higher quality ingredients than other places.

                            1. i don't know if this fits your healthy stipulation or not (everyone's concept of healthy is different), but gramercy tavern has a lunch deal that's not on the menu. a soup and a sandwich (i think there are a few choices) for $14. and that's a STEAL for the quality of food. you'll love it. and gramercy tavern is on 20th between park avenue south and broadway.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: j.jessica.lee

                                This is only in the Tavern Room (front, casual room) BTW.

                              2. I know everyone loves Maoz but I still love Rainbow Falafel best. It's the bodega sized takeout place on East 17 between Broadway and 5th closer to Broadway. I've been going there for almost 10 years!

                                1. I like Pita Joe, 14th, just west of 5th Ave. Try the red lentil soup, it is outstanding. If you join their frequent buyer club, you'll get a free item after 10 purchases. Also, for soup/sandwiches, try Sunburst Cafe, corner of 18th/3rd Ave. They also make a fine Eggs Benedict, yummy desserts and coffee.