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Please tell me about Pret a Manger for lunch

I'm headed to Radio City for the Christmas show on Saturday. It will be two adults and two teenagers. We're taking the bus from PA into NYC, will arrive about 10:30 a.m. at RCMH, have tickets for the show at 1:00, then we get right back on the bus to come back home. So we will not have a lot of time for eating :( Since this trip is all about the teens (a birthday present for one of them), I wanted to find somewhere that we can have a different but relatively quick lunch experience and thought of Pret a Manger. Would this be a good choice? What can you tell me about the atmosphere, etc.? And which one would be best to go to? We will have about two hours of free time, and the kids do want to walk around the city a little before the show. I would appreciate your advice. Thanks!

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  1. Pret is basically a fast food sandwich shop that uses all natural ingredients. Everything is pre made fresh through the day so you can't order anything. You just pick it up from the cooler area. It isn't bad but probably not where you want to be going.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mch

      Actually, if the food is good, it sounds like it would work pretty well. Like I said, we have such a small window of opportunity to walk around, I want to find something clean and quick, and the teens aren't interested in getting great food - they will just want to eat and get going. But I want something that is at least good food where I can sit to eat b/c I won't be dressed to eat street food. Can you tell me anything more about it, and are there any significant differences among the different locations?

      1. re: lisavf

        No, they are all the same - pretty standard soups, salads, sandwiches, etc.

      2. re: mch

        Pret is good if you work in the area and need something quick ,,

      3. they make a really good banan bread there....

        1. pret is absolutley fine if you're stuck in midtown or in a hurry, etc but i would certainly not seek it out or look forward to it. again, pret is fine but a far far far cry from being anything extraordinary...
          that being said, when i do get food from pret i usually get the roast beef with manchego & arugula

          1. I think the warming bins (one for baked goods, one for warm wraps) are excellent. The cold sandwiches are very good. But the prices are very high.

            1. As everyone else says, it's just pre-made fast food sandwiches with fresh ingredients, but if you're looking to sit down, I'd go to the one right on sixth avenue, just a few blocks south of radio city. It has more seating and is larger than many of the others.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ABT

                Thanks. This is the kind of info I need to know.

                1. re: ABT

                  In terms of quick, healthy, pre-made fast food in NYC, Pret is at the top of my list. Their salads are good, I LOVE their ham and swiss baguette (not sure what the magic ingredient is in there, but it's GOOD), and their carrot cake is pretty darn good for the little package. I like their sodas and yogurt parfaits, too. Oh, cookies...and muffins...



                2. Atmosphere? There is no atmosphere. It is a slightly more upscale/organic deli that is geared mostly to take out for office workers. There are a few tables but nothing in the way of atmosphere.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ESNY

                    Yeah, I guess what I'm looking for is, are there tables to eat at, is it clean, is it noisy, is it jammed tight. I wasn't really expecting atmosphere. Bad choice of word on my part.

                    1. re: lisavf

                      Since you are going on a Saturday, I wouldn't expect it to be busy, especially if you are going to be at the theatre by 1pm. Generally speaking, they are clean and only have a few tables.

                  2. It's just a premade sandwich shop like everyone said, of which there are dozens along 6th Ave there where radio city is. But, it's the best one of the bunch. Never get soggy bread there. The other places make the sandwiches way too far in advance.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: keejam

                      I much prefer COSI, fresh to order sandwiches and salads on terrific hot baked bread.

                      1. re: Will4Food

                        I'll second that. I would go to Cosi anytime over Pret. There is a Cosi on W48 Street, in a Rock Ctr building just east of 6th Ave. That puts it two short blocks from Radio City. Pret reminded me of the sandwich I had years ago from a machine at a gas station off an Interstate at about 2am one morning, only a little fresher. Maybe that's too harsh - it's more like the sandwiches you get in a hospital room.

                        If you aren't familiar with Cosi, you get on line and order your sandwich from someone who makes it in front of you on hot Roman flat bread. They do salads also. Skip the weird pizzas. Look at the board first so you know what you want when it's time to order. I like the Buffalo blue sandwich, my wife gets a salad. You can order any combination so you're not stuck with the listed sandwiches.

                    2. I would suggest you head to the Rockefeller Centre nearby - there are several good options in there. Hale & Hearty do great soups, salads and sandwiches. We have also had decent grub from Cucina & Dean and Deluca there.

                      1. I guess unfortunately my focus this time is on the quick rather than the great, not by my choice but by circumstance. My concern is how busy restaurants will be on a Saturday in that neighborhood at lunchtime. And I don't want to wander aimlessly from one place to the next because there are long waits, which can happen when you don't plan ahead at least a little. I think I'll offer this up as one idea, but I welcome hearing other options. I'll also offer up Cosi, and any other ideas anyone might care to suggest. I know it's not the most exciting topic, but being armed with good info will certainly make the day even better. Many thanks to all!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: lisavf

                          one place in the area that i would recommend that has tasty food, reasonable prices, and good beer is BXL Cafe on 43rd btwn 6th and Broadway. they have great burgers and great moules

                          BXL Cafe
                          125 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036

                        2. Perfect place to go for what you are looking for - and at that time on Saturday, tables shouldn't be a problem. I agree with the poster who said to go to the one on 6th - it's two blocks from Radio City and large. And I think the sandwiches are quite tasty. Enjoy!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: out_to_lunch

                            Pret is perfect. It's very clean, fresh, and quick. The soups are great for a fast food joint and the sandwiches are really delcious. They bake their own baguettes and the warm muffins and croissants are wonderful. Is it going to be a culinary experience? No, but I work in midtown and eat there numerous times a week out of convenience and I enjoy it quite a bit!

                          2. Don't forget to make sure you take into account which Prets are opened on Saturdays/weekends.