The NYC Work From Home Lunch GuideReclaim your lunch hour.
This content is produced by The Infatuation in partnership with Dropbox Business.
For more WFH lunch ideas, including a one-week only Lunch Dropbox with exclusive items from Kopitiam, click here.
These days, a lot of people are working from home. Which, depending on how you look at it, is a lot like “living at work.” That’s why now more than ever it’s important to take time for lunch - a real one, where you actually close your laptop, and maybe (just maybe) even leave the house. Dropbox wants to help fuel you up for inspired work by taking a break with lunch from one of these 9 great spots.
When You Want an Exciting Lunch at Home
It’s noon and you hear a grumble. You wish it were a coworker, but you haven’t seen any of those in months. That’s your stomach talking, and it’s telling you it’s lunchtime. If you don’t have enough time to physically leave your office (also known as your apartment), open up a new browser tab to order some exciting delivery for your lunch break.
Have small rituals to help you take a real break. Close your laptop and have a screenless lunch in another room. Maybe do a sudoku puzzle. Remember sudoku?.
If you did a side-by-side blind taste test between U-Gu in Clinton Hill and a place that charges $100 for an omakase menu, you’d have a hard time telling the difference. Which is remarkable, because U-Gu serves a sushi set with four different pieces and a roll for $30 (and there are a la carte options as well). While you’re at it, you may as well add miso soup for $3.
El Castillo De Jagua II
It’s possible you’ve spent far too much of your life not ordering from El Castillo De Jagua 2. It’s time to change that. There are two locations of this Caribbean restaurant (hence the number 2), but the spot on Grand Street has more lunch options. Get a big pile of mofongo, or a platter with pernil, rice, and red beans. Sure, after consuming heaps of pork and fried green plantains, you may not want to work for the rest of the day. But you never wanted to in the first place.
The mole poblano chicken enchiladas from La Flor frankly don’t care about your work drama or the 346 emails you allowed to pile up. We know this because we’ve asked. So take 30 minutes away from the ergonomic mouse pad to appreciate the Pueblan-style Mexican food from this Woodside spot, and forget about everything that’s happening in your inbox.
When You Want to Get a Snack With a Coworker
No offense to your WFH companions, but you miss spending time with coworkers who don’t bark at construction workers outside or require assistance to urinate. After you read this guide, log off your computer, give your dog a pat on her fluffy head, and b-line to the nearest park to meet someone you haven’t seen in months.
Tip: Walk and eat at the same time. Then you can say you exercised today, and you’ll feel more alert for the rest of the workday.
Not only does The Barn in Astoria sell coffee and pastries, but it’s located a lot closer to Astoria Park than most cafes in the neighborhood. If you want something more exciting than a coffee, try one of their smoothies or croissant sandwiches. Also, The Barn has a ton of vegan pastries, in case you exclude dairy from your regular snack-time programming.
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The Senegalese food at Pikine on 116th Street, like fried red snapper or dibi lamb, is all good enough to make your toes wiggle a little. But if you’re just looking for a snack to take with you on your walk, get the nems or fataya (pastry triangles stuffed ground meat or fish). Although Pikine doesn’t deliver, you can call ahead for pick-up and then take your meal to either Marcus Garvey Park, Morningside Park, or the north side of Central Park.
The Best Senegalese Restaurants In Harlem
This bakery that opened up in April 2020 is just two blocks away from Prospect Park in Park Slope. The menu has everything from peanut butter cookies and ham-flavored potato chips to soup and katsu sandwiches. Alternatively, you could get a loaf of whatever bread just came out of the oven, which rotates according to a specific schedule listed on their website. Whether or not you tell your coworker about the hot loaf in your tote is up to you.
When You Want a Quick Lunch Out
Maybe it’s Friday. Maybe your boss is, in a shocking turn of events, out of office once again. Instead of looking at the coniferous trees in your boss’ Instagram story, take advantage of the fact that you can slip away from your desk for over an hour.
Call a friend on your way to the grab lunch. Talk about anything other than work (like the dog for adoption you’ve been looking at seven times a day) and you’ll feel refreshed by the time you’re back at your desk.
Could it be your moment to hack the Via Carota line during daylight hours? If you’re anywhere near the West Village, we think you should attempt it. The wait for this Italian spot is normally long enough to knit something from scratch. But if you come at 11:30am on a Wednesday, it’ll be a different story entirely. Between the tonarelli and insalata verde here, your week just got a whole lot more exciting. Also, if you’re nervous about there possibly being a wait, you could always make a lunch reservation ahead of time.
Right now, 32nd Street is lined with lights, turf carpets, and little tents like it’s one big block party. If you’re looking for an exciting outdoor lunch in the area that won’t take too long, try Woorijip. They serve Korean dishes like crispy squid pancakes, bulgogi kimbap, and about 100 other options set up ready-to-serve in a cafeteria-style kitchen. Nearly everything on the menu costs less than $10, in case you aren’t looking to drop a casual $50 on lunch at the moment.
This Middle Eastern restaurant serves a short menu of shawarma, dips, and falafel in a few different formats. It’s a great option if you’re looking for something vegetarian. Especially since our favorite dish is the falafel platter, which comes with a big portion of hummus, salad, and yellow rice topped with very crunchy falafel. There are a few outdoor tables set up in front of their spot in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, but you could always take your lunch to-go and eat on a bench in Prospect Park a block away.