If you work in an office in New York City, there’s a good chance that when noon strikes, determining “where should we get lunch” ends up being one of the most trying parts of the day. Increasingly, there’s a good chance that office is located around Flatiron. Or Silicon Alley, if you enjoy such naming conventions!
Here’s a list of some of the best places to eat a midday meal in the area. We’re (mostly) leaving off major chains, because we don’t need to tell you to go eat at Chopt.
Stop staring at the office ping pong table and get going.
This little sandwich shop in the Ace Hotel sells sandwiches with names like “Dan Smith Will Teach You Guitar” and “The Fabulous, Most Groovy Bellbottoms.” The sandwiches themselves lean in the direction of “food a very stoned person would think up” (Fritos are featured in two of them) but they’re also quite delicious when you want to shake up your routine.
For Southeast Asian food that doesn’t come out too fast (plan to call ahead, and then to wait), and which can get pretty spicy, there’s this to-go outpost of Thai restaurant Rhong Tiam. The specialty is Thai roti wraps, but you also can get summer rolls, pad thai, and the like.
The Cambodian banh mi-like sandwiches here come out fast, and have enough spice to keep things interesting without entirely destroying your productivity for the day. We’re fans of the catfish, but pulled pork is an option if you do want to destroy your productivity somewhat.
People of Flatiron, it’s worth the walk up to the Sweetgreen on Broadway, and you probably don’t need us to tell you that. Be grateful for what you have.
You know how cold supermarket sushi is actually kind of good sometimes? Ennju is good in that way. You’ll find everything from udon soups to rice bowls to yes, cold prepackaged sushi that’s actually kind of good in this Japanese spot on 17th. It’s an order at the counter kind of situation, but there’s usually somewhere to sit.
Rolling with vegans? Direct yourself to Terri, home to vegan and vegetarian sandwiches and wraps.
There’s not much in the way of secret spots in the area, but if you want to be THAT person in the office who knows about secret spots, you need to know about Kofoo. Located in the back of a nondescript deli called Four Seasons, you’ll find not New York’s hottest nightclub, but... a legit Korean takeout place with very good spicy ramen and tofu stews.
Want to basically eat Chipotle, but have not it actually be Chipotle? Now you have Oxido. Everything’s natural and free range (and food poisoning-free) and you can build bowls, burritos, or tacos.
Want to basically eat Chipotle, but have it actually be Indian food? Now you have indikitch.
Flatiron is surprisingly well-served in the not incredibly common sector of fast casual Indian places, and the newest one is Inday. The focus here is on healthy bowls with some Indian flair that you can top with various proteins. They also serve something called a “dosa waffle,” and it’s all located in a very attractive space.
Yes, Eataly IS overrun with tourists in the middle of the day, but there are two quick lunch options you should know about: the panini stand, and the rotisserie stand, where you can get a prime rib sandwich as well as a sandwich of the day. Plan to nap after lunch if you go for the prime rib.
City Bakery is possibly best known for its ridiculously good chocolate chip cookies, but they also do a pretty impressive salad bar in the back. A salad bar that includes a mac and cheese station. Think of it more like a fancy buffet. And get a chocolate chip cookie on your way out.
This place sells “kale bowls,” known to some as “salad.” They also sell juices that are cheaper than the big name cold-pressed juices around town, and those kale bowls are pretty good.
Veer into Chelsea territory for fresh salads and sandwiches. Order ahead.
So, a fancy Lebanese restaurant decides to drop a shipping container right next to Madison Square Park and serve things like Korean falafel wraps. Good idea.
Eisenberg’s is probably the best still-standing old diner luncheonette place. There are people who’ve eaten at the counter here every week for decades, and you should become one of them.
The people behind Nolita’s Tacombi opened this great taco spot. The big, lively, vibe-y space is also an A+ antidote to an office. In this area, your office probably has beer and quite possibly tacos, but still, it’s an office.
The OG Shake Shack is back after some renovations – and better than ever. You know what to do.
Is Shake Shack better? Yes. But chances are you don’t have 90 minutes for lunch. Schnipper’s, right around the corner, is a pretty good alternative.
It’s definitely not the BEST fried chicken in town, but, it’s here (and competition is tough), and the space is nice. The well-decorated downstairs makes a solid spot for a team outing.
Before you laugh, hear us out. This is the city’s, and possibly the word’s, best Le Pain Quotidien, and that’s thanks to a special area we like to call the LPQ Party Roof. This is the outdoor garden you wish someone you knew owned.
The Birreria on the rooftop of Eataly is really more of a restaurant than it is a beer garden, particularly during the day. Lunchtime is the ideal time to go, and you can even hook into the Wifi.
ilili236 5th Ave
The kind of high-ceilinged, big tables, plush chairs kind of place you don’t really find outside of Midtown. When you need that, head here. The Lebanese food is excellent.