We've already shown you the best cheap lunches in Midtown East, but we didn't want to leave our readers on the other side of 5th Avenue hungry. To that end, check out some of our favorite lunch spots in Midtown West.
'midtown' on Serious Eats
If you're tired of the same sad delis and fast food chains in Midtown East, we have you covered with the neighborhood's best, most reliable fast and cheap lunches, from deli sandwiches to falafel to Indian street food.
Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery debuts their MallowMore. See if it lives up to the standard of the original.
What if you could access some of New York's best baked goods without ever leaving Midtown East? That's essentially what newcomer coffee bar and lounge Ground Central is doing.
I found El Sabroso after helping a friend move things into a Midtown showroom. We took turns bringing boxes into the freight entrance of 265 37th Street. In the loading dock, where there should have been freight elevators, there was a lunch counter instead, with six stools, one table, and a glossy red menu with the words "El Sabroso Restaurant" at the top.
Nothing works up an appetite like traveling or long commutes, and Grand Central Terminal's cornucopia of quick-service eateries means you're never at a loss for choice. But where should you go for an actually good cup of coffee or a lunch more satisfying than a limp $12 sandwich?
Blue Olive is a neat place to have near Grand Central for some specialty groceries and a quick lunch. But be sure to check your order before you leave.
Hunan Manor specializes in the spicy cooking of east-central China with a focus on all manner of smoked, dried, and pickled meats and vegetables. Less than a five minute walk from Grand Central Terminal, it's a restaurant worth missing your Metro North connection for.
Untamed Sandwiches recently opened near Bryant Park, where they're specializing in hefty braised meat sandwiches with a selection of beer and wine.
When you see Bouchon Bakery's Peanut Butter Cream Puff ($6) in the pastry case and read the descriptive name tag, you might assume, as I did, that it's just a basic cream puff. Pâte à choux, pastry cream, you know the drill. But it turns out there's much more to it—four distinct layers that may surprise you.
Coffee and Danish lovers rejoice. Paris Baguette has you covered with their new all-in-one Coffee-Danish ($2.50). The lightly sweetened pastry combines an almond flour dough and a thick coffee coating.
Finding a good deli in Midtown is notoriously difficult. Could Park Italian Gourmet, with its Little Italy charm and no-frills decor, make sandwiches better than the ubiquitous steam table joint competition?
Ayvalık Tost is a popular Turkish sandwich, named for the Aegean resort town, containing some variation of sausage, more sausage, cheese, tomato, pickle, and Ayvalık bread. Luckily, if you ever feel such a craving locally, there's a place in Midtown that can help you out.
Technical skills combined with a light-hearted design from this three Michelin-starred Le Bernardin dessert.
For your money, it would seem that the best way to navigate Soba Totto at lunch is to head straight for its specialty, its exceptional soba noodles.
Is this a hard-boiled egg cut in half? Is it two shots of egg custard? Is a holiday drink? Read on to find out.
If a good barometer of a French bakery is the quality of their viennoiserie, then Eclair Bakery, a new outfit in Midtown East, has a bright future.
The real determining factor of whether or not a cookie establishment is worth a visit is if they can bake up an impressive chocolate chip cookie. Schmackary's succeeds and then some.
While a ribeye or New York strip fit well on more delicate menu's, the new midtown location of Butter, chef Alex Guarnaschelli's restaurant, needed something greater—a much larger steak with almost the entire rib bone attached.