There’s a certain special delight to sneaking—or strutting—out for a long, luxurious, full-on lunch… right in the middle of the week. For those ladies and lads who have the leisure to stretch out and enjoy a delightful midday repast, we recommend some of our favorite spots—some with lunch specials to make the feast even sweeter.
Chelsea: 198 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
UES: 1374 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10075
Have you ever seen a cake so light, so delicate, so smooth it’s like a work of art? Japanese baker and refreshment purveyor Harbs has such dedication to perfection that when they ceremoniously slice you off a piece of cake, you practically hold your breath as it slides onto your plate, the epitome of dedication to craft and flavor. With locations in both Chelsea and on the Upper East Side, you can sit and sip thoughtfully curated tea or coffee while you sink your teeth into a lovely salad, sandwich, or pasta dish, finishing up with a green tea-infused mille crepe or milk tea cake (to die for), among other offerings. From 11-3, get a lunch set including a pasta or sandwich and salad of your choice, plus cake and coffee or tea for around $20.
Gotham Bar & Grill
12 East 12th Street, New York, NY, 10003
Alfred Portale’s much-loved Gotham Bar & Grill has been serving up stylish New American cuisine for years, and diners love it for its lack of pretention as much as its excellent offerings. Whether you sit at the bar for a snack and a cocktail or spread out for a lunch that might include an elegant roasted red and yellow beet salad, a tender branzino with fennel and leeks, or the signature savory Gotham Burger that’s out of this world, you can’t go wrong at this West Village staple.
Park Avenue Summer
26th Street at Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010
If you’re looking for this restaurant in autumn, well, you won’t find it… or rather, Park Avenue (Spring/Summer/Winter/Fall) will have transformed itself to suit the season in both cuisine and décor. While it was conceived on the Upper East Side (Park Avenue, naturally), the restaurant has relocated to NoMad, bringing it conveniently close to Arlo! Always reinventing itself to celebrate the freshest flavors of the season, this spacious, design-conscious eatery offers lunches from strawberry and avocado infused gazpacho to swordfish with roasted corn and summer peppers, yellowfin tuna tartare, and scrumptious salads such as shrimp cobb with bacon and bleu cheese. The light and airy vibe will make you feel like you’re picnicking alfresco in an arbor, right in the middle of Manhattan.
400 5th Ave #2, New York, NY 10018
Ever dreamed of dining on the Italian Riviera? (Ok, really, who hasn’t?) Sashay on up to the second floor of the Langham Place Fifth Avenue Hotel and you’re there without even booking a flight. Tasting meals come in two and three-course options, while caviar and champagne tickle the taste buds. Of course there are pastas and salads, pesce e carne and dolce galore, all prepared to perfection in the best tradition of upscale Italian cuisine. Diners also rave about the excellent service, so you’ll feel pampered as well as full—just be prepared for a tab to match.
Sushi Yasaka (UWS)
251 W 72nd St, New York, NY 10023
When sushi is what you and your lunch companions crave, Sushi Yasaka on the Upper West Side satisfies. From Maki to Teriyaki and everything in between, the offerings here go beyond merely fresh to fantastic, with both beautiful cuts and pretty presentation. It’s not always easy to find a better-than-average sushi joint without dropping a bundle while you’re strolling the Upper West Side, but this is a solid option that diners return to again and again. Be prepared for a bit of a wait if you don’t have reservations, and be sure to save room for the green tea crepe dessert.
510 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024
349 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003
139 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211
You and your friends can fight endlessly over where to get the best pizza in NYC, but when you’re done arguing and ready for a slice, you can’t go wrong with Motorino. Offering brick oven pizza in three locations from Williamsburg to the East Village to the Upper West Side, the eats are convenient, filling, and creative. From soppressata to cherrystone clams to Brussels sprouts to prosciutto di parma, white and red pizzas, the toppings on these rich, cheesy pizzas offer something for everyone. Plus, it’s not easy to find a pizza place with seating in NY, so you can stay awhile until the carb coma wears off.
5 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010
When you fancy a clubby, English gastro-pub atmosphere, Michelin-starred Chef Jason Atherton provides the goods. Located in the Edition Hotel in the MetLife building, this homage to cutting-edge London cuisine has both elegant food and a chic vibe, so you’ll definitely have a memorable meal. Try the smoky and complex Hudson Valley Foie Gras and Chicken Liver Parfait, or go for a fresh take on the old comfort food staple of fish and chips. Slurp oysters or even slice into a 40-day dry aged prime côte de boeuf (be prepared to shell out beaucoup bucks on that one and share it with friends), amongst a myriad of other savory dishes. Lunch here is a long, sprawling affair with beer offerings from around the world, signature cocktails, and excellent service. Come hungry, leave with a British accent.