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New Job in Flatiron, need lunch and coffee suggestions

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I just started a job across the street from Madison Square Park. Possibly embarassing to admit on Chowhound, but my old midtown go-to for many lunches and morning coffee was Pret a Manger. There are apparently no Prets in the vicinity (WTF? by the way...)

Any quick and borderline healthy and/or not gross or grossly expensive lunch suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, where can I get a decent cup of coffee? I drink it black, like a smooth but substantive roast (think stumptown or Pret's Guatemala roast.)

Thanks in advance!!

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  1. stumptown just opened their first store in the Ace Hotel on 29th & Broadway.

    check out midtownlunch.com they have a twitter tracker of all of the new gourmet food trucks. a lot of them spend some time around MSP.

    1. Stumptown Coffee is good, and it's on 29th & Bwy. Note that it's cash only.

      There is a Pret: http://www.pret.com/us/find_a_pret/sh...


      1. I'd, at some point, hit up the Schnitzel and things truck...

        1. oh and hit up rosa's for a slice of the grandma square.
          28th btwn mad and park

          1. Shake Shack in the park (get their early)
            Eisenbergs (see chowhound thread)
            Deli Marche (decent roast turkey sandwich)
            Curry Hill restaurants (a whole slew on Lexington with lunch takeout/buffets)
            Latin Thing (great burritos on lex)
            Popeyes (love their fried chicken...)
            Baoguette (Bahn Mi craze fueled lunch spot, next to Latin Thing)
            Rickshaw Dumpling Bar
            Mangia (I guess closest thing to Pret in area?)
            Mizu Sushi on (?22nd?)
            Blue Smoke for burger-to-go (27/lex).. same meat blend as Shake Shack...
            Negril has OK jamaican (jerked chicken etc.) somewhere on 23rd? (8th ave?)

            5 Replies
            1. re: shanshan

              great list shanshan. if you have some time walk down to 14th & 5th, hit up pita joes.

              1. re: mch

                rickshaw doesnt have quality dumplings, in my opinion.

                1. re: smokeandapancake

                  I have to totally agree. Shanshan, thanks for such a great, all encompassing post. i will definitely check out some of the places you mentioned, but I must admit the Rickshaw suggestion gave me slight pause. We have a Rickshaw truck in park Slope and honestly, they are not just mediocre, they are downright bad dumplings. Perhaps the one in Manhattan is better...

                  1. re: vvv03

                    I think rickshaw dumpling truck is one of most overhyped trucks out there with bad value for $. at the dumpling store, you get the same dumplings but in a soup which I think makes for a better experience (at nearly the same cost?) with I believe more variety available. This isn't a daily go-to by any means, but just a quick lunch option in the area that I think is is better than some other options in the area.

              2. re: shanshan

                2nd Blue Smoke, Baoguette, Latin Thing.

                Would add on Roomali for kati rolls, Lamazou for sandwiches, Defonte's for sandwiches, and Pamplona lunch special.

                See also:

              3. The Taiwanese "Cravings" truck parks nearby on Tuesdays. The Schnitzel Truck is nearby, today, dunno if that's going to be a regular thing.

                For coffee, Stumptown in the Ace Hotel is great. I also like Fika. And the Van Leeuwen espresso/ice cream truck just started parking around here during the day -- it's not always in the same spot. Usually around 23rd and 5th though.

                There's not a lot of great coffee around so my go to used to be Fika, but having the VL truck and Stumptown as options really helps.

                2 Replies
                1. re: kathryn

                  ooh yeah I just heard that VL makes affogatos w/stumptown espresso! can't wait to try that

                  1. re: okaygo

                    FYI they park there and often leave without posting to Twitter or any warning -- I've tried to go there twice and found them gone. Today, I watched them drive away around 4pm just as I was crossing the street towards them.

                    They don't use Stumptown espresso, BTW, the sign says it's Black Cat.

                2. I get lunch once a week or so from Sirtaj - a little indian place on 26th (I think?) between 6th and broadway. cheap (I think everything is under $8) and the portions are huge (enough for 2 lunches). there's an Energy Kitchen that's supposed to open soon on 23rd between 5th and 6th, but I've never been to one of those places so I don't know if it's any good. A cute sandwich/soup/salad place is Ashby's on 22nd right near 6th ave. If you feel like walking and are on the south end of the park, I think a Pret opened up recently at Broadway and Union Sq North. Finally, there's a Mangia and a Lenny's on 23rd near 5th ave.

                  1. Tiffin Wallah has a great lunch buffet for longer lunches. I ditto Baoguette, Latin Thing, Lamazou and Defonte's. Although for about or slightly more than the price of a Lamazou sandwich, you can get a Defonte's that is twice as large, bulging with meat.

                    1. No reason to be defensive about Pret. I think it's an excellent lunch option. (I just polished off a delicious Pret salad of greens, chicken, gorgonzola, green apple, walnuts, and cranberries!)

                      Another not-too-far option from MadSqPark is Blue Dog, on W. 25th just west of 6th Avenue, for excellent sandwiches and salads.

                      1. I find the options in the area get old, so it's great that you're getting this list.
                        Other choices:
                        Home's Kitchen does decent noodle soups
                        Spoon on 20th does ok soups, sometimes great "side" salads, and good desserts
                        Num Pang is kind of a walk south, but worth it.
                        Great Burrito for tacos (beware: a little divey)
                        We sometimes go to Pongsri for Thai
                        Bonobo for salads (I like the sweet basil dressing)