Downtown Lunch Manhattan - NYC
New York City's Downtown best popular lunch restaurants. Lower Manhattan abounds in endless lunch and breakfast hour options.
Whether you are seeking a quick meal on the go, a convivial get-together with friends from the office or a power lunch or breakfast, you want tasty, healthy options along with the best value for your money. No matter what part of Manhattan you work in, get out of the office, walk around and scope out the neighborhood. There are a lot of culinary gems out there just waiting to be discovered and hopefully be the highlight of your day. Lunch hour doesn't have to be bland and boring. Here are a few suggestions that are sure to enhance your experience and make it memorable.
GRK Fresh Greek - Financial District, NY
In Lower Manhattan, making an immediate impact is GRK Fresh Greek. If you want to eat like the Athenians do on their lunch break or dinner, then GRK Fresh Greek is the place to be. No matter how busy you are, GRK is an establishment where food is meant to be savored.
At GRK, it's all about fresh flavors and ingredients. The owners of GRK say it best: "From the people who brought you drama, democracy and alarm clocks, we now present the simple perfection of GRK." Here, classic Greek dishes are brought to life with GRK's distinctive culinary style.
Outside, atop the entrance, the GRK logo serves as a beacon to hungry New Yorkers that great food is being served here. It's always busy at GRK, with lines stretching from the counter all the way to the front door. And it's a large, airy place. When a cafe is that crowded, you know the food will not disappoint. The friendly, professional counter staff keeps the line moving so you will be in and out in no time. Or, you can sit a spell at one of their tables and inhale the air (and aromas) of Greece.
Gyro is a traditional meat that has been carefully roasted and marinated. Whether you choose chicken, pork, lamb or beef, all meats served at GRK are locally sourced. You can get your protein wrapped in a fresh-baked pita or on a plate and please don't forget the tzatziki sauce. It makes the meal. Tzatziki choices include Prassino (a simple blend of basil, shredded cucumber, garlic and lemon zest) and the Kaftero (a combo of spicy, fire-roasted habanero peppers, herbs and spices that will definitely add some kick to your pita).
Every side of GRK deserves the spotlight on your plate. But the most popular sides are the seasoned house-made fries, the small Greek and lentil salads and the herb-dressed brown rice. GRK's Aegean slaw puts any coleslaw you've ever had to shame. Their indescribably good slaw consists of red and green cabbage, carrots, onions and fresh herbs with a lemon vinaigrette.
To top off your meal or as a snack, try GRK's frozen or fresh yogurt. It's Greek yogurt that is imported from the motherland, not the pale imitation Greek-style yogurt that some cafes pass off as the real deal. Yes, the folks at GRK have all the fruit, granola and healthy toppings you could want. Try GRK's fresh yogurt specialties such as the Corfu, a good-for-you feast of apples, figs, lentils, basil and sea salt, along with a touch of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. GRK has a variety of choices to help wash down your meal. It's one of the few places outside Astoria where you can indulge in authentic Greek soda.
There is also a selection of beer, wine, sparkling water and coffee drinks. GRK opened its first store along Washington, D.C.'s corridors of power. GRK Fresh Greek quickly became a favorite of senators, White House staff and the 9 to 5 workers who are the backbone of our society. The delightfully fresh and different tastes of Greece now call Manhattan home.
Location & Hours
Located at 111 Fulton Street, New York, NY 10038. Delivery and catering available. Give them a call at (212) 385-2010. Open Mon-Fri 11 AM- 10 PM, Sat-Sun 12 PM-10 PM. Get the party started. Opa!
S'MAC East Village - Manhattan, NYC
From Greek comfort food to that all-American classic, mac and cheese, Manhattan's lunchtime choices are endlessly intriguing. For the macaroni and cheese lovers, you have got to check out what's going on in the kitchen at S'MAC, located at 345 East 12th Streeet. The husband and wife team of Sarita and Caesar Ekya are bringing comfort food nostalgia back to your lunch hour... one savory pan of mac and cheese at a time. Be advised; as great as your mom and grandma's mac and cheese may be, Sarita's take on this traditional favorite elevates the dish to new heights.
All macs are served up in old-school skillet pans. You can choose your size: Nosh, Major Munch, Mongo or "Partay" tray. The dishes are made using elbow macaroni and options include regular, multigrain or gluten-free pasta. Sarita has also come up with a few macs that are reduced lactose and vegan dairy free. With a strong background in the food industry, Sarita and Caesar absolutely know what they're doing.
Sarita's passion for good food and, especially, mac and cheese comes through when you taste her dishes. Upon entering S'MAC you get a good feeling. The store is brightly lit, clean and modern with an eye-catching color scheme. The brick wall and comfy, soft yellow stool-type-seats and raised tables have a hip lounge or cafe aura going for them. There are also larger polished wood tables with red chairs.
On your first visit to S'MAC, start with her all-American mac and cheese. It's classic, but there is nothing basic or plain about the dish. And don't be shy about asking for extra breadcrumbs. When you're in the mood to change things up, then go with the Mediterranean. There is goat cheese, sauteed spinach, Kalamata olives and a touch of garlic in every bite. Sarita's culinary ingenuity shines brightly with the Parisienne, a cosmopolitan blend of brie cheese, roasted figs, shiitake mushrooms and fresh rosemary. The flavorful and surprisingly hearty Garden Lite consists of roasted cauliflower, portabello mushrooms, broccoli and scallions in a creamy cheddar parmesan sauce.
Guys, listen up. Sarita has a chopped meat-packed mac that you will order again and again. You will never, ever look at hamburger helper the same way. If this won't get your attention, all you have to do is taste Sarita's four-cheese mac, an addicting blend of cheddar, muenster, gruyere and pecorino.
S'MAC is about taste, quality and convenience. When you are in for a long day at the office, take advantage of their take and bake option. Just call ahead, order your mac dish and they will have it ready. Then, bring it home, place the tray in the oven for around 15 minutes and dinner is done. You can indulge in your favorite mac and cheese, anytime, at your convenience.
S'MAC claims to have "New York's best mac and cheese." Judging from the yumminess and overall quality of their ingredients, they may even be understating just how good their mac is.
Now you can start feeling good when you crave the creamalicious satisfaction that is macaroni and cheese. And, with all the creative tastes, veggies and healthy options that S'MAC offers, you don't have to feel guilty about those cravings. It's been a long journey for this hard working husband and wife, but they have put down roots in the city and built their brand. Now Sarita, Caesar and S'MAC are part of the neighborhood fabric.
Location & Hours
Located at 345 East 12th Street, their number is (212) 358-7912 and their hours of operation are 7 days a week from 11 AM to 11 PM ( 1 AM Fri & Sat nights)
Dine-in, Delivery, Catering and Takeout.
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Stamina Grill and Juice Bar - Financial District, NYC
Your lunch hour just got a whole lot healthier and more delicious at Stamina - the power juice bar and grill where you will "lose the fat, not the flavor." Maybe you're used to hitting the gym on your lunch break and grabbing a juice or smoothie on the way out for a healthy, proper meal...
The food and beverage choices that you'll find at Stamina top anything that your local gym's juice and snack bar has to offer. Though the service at Stamian is swift and efficient, it's anything but fast food. All of their food is made fresh to order. The chefs never fry anything or cook in oil. Only the best ingredients are used and the emphasis is on serving food with high nutritional content.
Stamina, located at 80 Nassau Street, between Fulton and John Streets, has a wide range of choices. The pizza delivery menus that you keep in your desk drawer will end up in the circular file after you taste Stamina's guilt-free pizza, crafted with care. These pizzas are made with low-fat mozzarella, low-sodium tomato sauce and a whole wheat, high-fiber crust. If you're an early riser who goes to the gym at the crack of dawn, then reward yourself by sampling Stamina's "All Day Power Breakfast." The Stamina omelette (six baked egg whites served with sweet potato) or Power Pancakes (two large protein wheat pancakes topped with strawberries and banana) have what it takes to get you through a day of endless phone calls and meetings.
Stamina's wraps are low-carb and whole wheat. These wraps are stuffed with the good things in life. For example, the Mango Salmon will make your taste buds bloom with wild salmon, mango salsa, lettuce and tomato. Their Teriyaki Power Wrap is an eclectic mix of succulent, tender grilled chicken, sesame seeds, fresh veggies, brown rice and low-fat teriyaki sauce. The turkey wrap features a turkey burger with hummus, vegetables and low-fat mozzarella.
Stamina Side Orders are designed to complete your meal, without sacrificing flavor. Their fries are baked and well seasoned. Other options include black beans, whole wheat spinach pie, baked potato and guacamole. In New York, every chef seems to have his or her special secret sauce, a recipe that they guard with their life. After tasting these sauces, often one is left to wonder just what all the fuss is about. But not at Stamina. The special sauce is avocado based and is so, so good. Wraps were made for this sauce!
Even if you're full, order one of their shameless desserts. You can save it for later. From fresh-made fruit salads and low-fat chocolate, vanilla or banana pudding to low-fat protein brownies, there's something sweet going on at Stamina.
Reserve Cut - Financial District, NYC
At the age of 12, when most other boys are consumed with sports, music and just hanging out with their friends, Albert Allaham already had big plans for his future. Having only recently arrived in New York City, young Albert was determined to achieve the American Dream. Throughout high school Albert worked hard toward his goal of becoming a master butcher and, one day, owning a high-end butcher shop. After all, this noble calling was a family tradition. For almost 200 years, the Allaham family were well-respected master butchers in Damascus, Syria.
After years of apprenticeship, Albert opened the Prime Cut butcher shop in Brooklyn. This young entrepreneur had finally realized his dream. But he wasn't done yet. Albert's next goal was to own a restaurant that served only the choicest cuts of meats. And it would have to provide customers with an upscale, beautifully appointed decor and atmosphere. In short, the ambience would have to live up to the food being served. Now, that's a hard combination for even celebrity chefs to pull off. But Albert Allaham has managed to hit a home run with RC Reserve Cut.
Located at 40 Broadway 2nd Level, Reserve Cut is a modern steakhouse, one that defies expectations. Reserve Cut is appropriate for a business lunch, a romantic date night or a dinner with friends that won't soon be forgotten. Always smiling and naturally friendly Albert's charm is one of the reasons why RC's clientele keeps returning. But a great deal of credit for the restaurant's success has to go to Executive Chef Hok Chin. Chef Chin is a magician of the kitchen, who has a talent for turning even the simplest ingredients into something delicious. Chef Chin's culinary credentials are impeccable. Trained in classic French cuisine, Chef Chin made his mark on the restaurant scene with his innovative fusion of Asian and French cooking. Hok Chin joined the team at Reserve Cut after a successful run as Executive Chef Of Koi, the trendsetting modern Japanese restaurant at Trump Soho.
All the accolades and reviews, though, don't mean a thing if the food itself doesn't connect with the customers. Chef Chin and his trusted sous chefs maintain the same high standards day after day and share the same pleasure of "making their customers happy."
At RC, all steaks are 100% USDA prime beef, aged for at least 36 days inside their private dry aging room. The kitchen will expertly prepare whichever cut you desire, be it a tender filet mignon, a center-cut rib eye, hanger steak or a bone-in prime rib. All steaks come with a choice of one sauce: Bordelaise, Bearnaise or Green Peppercorn.
You can enjoy classic steakhouse sides such as hand-cut French fries and mashed potatoes. But there's no creamed spinach to be had here. Instead, expand your culinary horizons and discover new steakhouse sides, like chef's white asparagus with wild mushrooms. The Tamari-glazed green beans with Thai sauce, roasted garlic broccolini and melt-in-your-mouth sweet potato are all winners. The menu at Reserve Cut is literally a rainbow of different cuisines and flavors.
If beef is not for you, then the Tuscan Chicken Paillard may just become your new favorite "Thank God it's Friday" afterwork meal. It is a wonderful blend of roasted bell peppers, chicken, asparagus, baby aragula salad, fennels, capers, tarragon in chicken jus. The chefs at RC also have a full selection of freshly prepared sushi and sashimi designed to make your lunch hour escape from the office that much more enjoyable.
A great lunch hour meal suggestion would be to pair up the Porcini mushroom soup (with white truffle essence) with one of RC's signature salads. The romaine salad features a veritable medley of flavors like chick peas, hearts of palm, avocado, dried cranberries, cucumber and whole grain honey mustard dressing. Reserve Cut has a "wine cellar" with row upon row of wine bottles displayed in a long, uniquely designed rack. The private dining room has an upscale yet very relaxed, club-like feel to it. The private dining room area calls to mind the type of living room and dining room that you would find in a luxury condo or penthouse. Reserve Cut is a white linen dining establishment in every sense of the word. With Reserve Cut, Albert Allaham and his team have created a superior and unique fine dining experience.
You, your colleagues and family work hard all week. Treat yourself to a lunch where you'll be pampered from the moment that you walk through the door. Take a trip back in time when dining out actually meant something, and you won't have to sacrifice the modern amenities that you're used to. The old-school elegance, service and attention to detail that you see on shows like "Mad Men" comes to life at Reserve Cut.
Veselka - East Village - New York, NY
The definition of good food in Ukrainian or any language, located on the corner of 144 Second Avenue, Veselka has been a neighborhood institution since 1954.
Founded by Wolodymyr and Olha Darmochwal as a newsstand and candy store that also served hearty Ukrainian soups and sandwiches to hungry residents and workers on their lunch hour. Over the years, Veselka has evolved into a go-to eatery where East Villagers can enjoy both Ukrainian specialties and all-American dishes like burgers and grilled chicken, day and night, 24 hours a day.
Since undergoing major renovations, the coffee shop has more than doubled in size. In 2009, Veselka reached a milestone when the family published a cookbook of their favorite traditional and contemporary recipes. Several generations of the Darmochwal family have left their mark on Veselka. But they have all remained true to Wolodymyr and Olha's dedication to making the customer happy... and full.
The centerpiece of Veselka's menu is, of course, the handmade pierogies. The perfect lunch hour meal, the pierogies come in a variety of luscious fillings like mashed potato, sauerkraut and mushroom, meat, spinach, arugala and goat cheese as well as short rib. All pierogies are deliciously accompanied by sauteed onions, apple sauce and a dollop of sour cream.
Ukranian specialty platters can be enjoyed at their classic old-school counter or in the spacious dining room. Here you can people-watch while looking out of Veselka's picture windows or admire the large, colorful mural on the dining room wall. Above the lunch counter, a sign simply says that "Veselka is LOVE." That sentiment comes from the heart of both ownership and staff. You'll definitely feel the love when you taste their food. Ukranian specialty platters include stuffed cabbage in a savory sauce, grilled keilbasa, pork and beef meatballs in a rich mushroom gravy, potato pancakes as well as Ola's famous veal goulash.
Veselka, however, is not content to rest on its laurels. The kitchen offers you its own take on coffee shop classics such as burgers, macaroni and cheese and a BLT sandwich that has established itself as a new classic for bacon lovers everywhere. Want something totally different, but still scrumptious, for lunch? Look no further than the Madame Alexander. It's a "you can't get this anywhere" sandwich, comprised of organic smoked turkey, Vermont sharp white cheddar and chipotle cranberry sauce, piled high on Amy's raisin fennel bread.
In the mood for soup? A steaming hot bowl of Veselka's three-bean chili will fortify you for whatever the day's activities are. Other options available include the house chicken soup, vegetable, Matzo ball, Ukranian meat Borscht and split pea. When you walk up to the entrance, there is a huge mural, which is what Veselka is all about. Stop by and say hello to the team that makes Veselka the warm and friendly, whenever you're hungry go-to coffee shop that you thought no longer existed in New York.
Tom Birchard began working at Veselka back in the '60s while attending Rutgers University. He was introduced to Veselka by the original owner's daughter, Marta, who he went on to marry.
Now, Tom, together with his son Jason, is responsible for the smooth-as-silk running of Veselka. Jason was the catalyst behind the concept of opening Veselka 24/7. Lisa, the pastry chef, Irena, the stalwart GM, and Olesia, head chef, are some of the other talented professionals who are the "face" of Veselka.
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