Favorite midtown east lunch spots?
I work in the Culinary Wasteland that is midtown east (specifically, 42nd between 2nd and 3rd). Any suggestions for good, affordable lunches around here?
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I just started working here, too (42nd and Park), and I haven't figured out anything! Pershing Square Cafe was okay but expensive, and beyond that, I'm stumped.
If you can walk down to 34th, Ali Baba. If you can walk up to 49th between 3rd & Lex., both Ise and Caffe Linda. For takeout, I find the salad or noodle bowls at Boi to Go better than the banh mi. Blarney Stone on 3rd between 44th & 45th. Fagiolini is OK. I work on 55th & 3rd, so I'm more familiar with north of 50th. 53rd between 2nd & 3rd has a number of good choices: Ariyoshi, Marrakesh & Tadka. Wu Liang Ye on Lexington & 39th isn't as good as their other branches, but might be worth a try. Juan Valdez Cafe at 480 Lexington if you want great coffee and either sweet arepas or pan de bono (cheese bread).
Thanks for the recommendations!
A couple of other places I've found around the area: Crisp, which makes good falafel with homemade pita (corner of 3rd and 43rd), and Sophie's Cuban (Lex between 41st and 42nd) - love the goat stew, chicken soup, baccala, and plantains. Both are reasonably priced.
I will definitely try the coffee at Juan Valdez Cafe - I've passed by a few times but didn't know what to make of the place.