Manhattan: The Soup Spot

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Now that the weather's cold, the Serious Eats staff has been eating a lot of soup from The Soup Spot.

And it's not just us. During lunchtime and well beyond, there's routinely a line for this tiny takeout place nestled within a parking garage on West 31st Street. The scene is somewhat reminiscent of the "Soup Nazi" on Seinfeld except that the people here are actually nice—with no discernible sacrifice in efficiency or quality.

The wide range of soups, stews, and chowders are made with good-quality vegetables and from chicken, pork, and beef that the joint advertises as free-range and antibiotic-free. As I type this, I'm eating a deliciously creamy chicken and dumpling soup, and our web developer, Raphael, is eating a split pea soup (though he says his favorite is the Maryland crab bisque, "but they haven't had it in a while.")

clam chowdah (by roboppy)Soups change daily but there seems to be a menagerie of regularly appearing soups. You'll just have to go and chance it. If they're not serving what you want, there's sure to be something among the menu of about 16 soups that you'd like.

Serving sizes are small ($3.50) and large ($4.50) and come with a small hunk of serviceable crusty bread and an apple that's utterly skippable unless you're desperate to ward off the doctor for the day.

Robyn's Favorite: Clam chowder (right)
Alaina's Favorite: "I don't have one."
Adam's Favorite: Right now, chicken and dumplings

The Soup Spot

Address: 220 West 31st Street, New York NY 10001 (b/n Seventh and Eighth; map)
Phone: 212-643-8623
Fax: 212-560-8970
Notes: They'll fax you a menu if you call them.