Milant Gourmet Deli

Some places you just know are going to be good.  It may be rare, but it happens.  I trekked over to Milant, a tiny deli on 39th St. btw. 3rd & Lex. after getting a tip from a Midtown Lunch’er named Corey.  I’m not usually a big sandwich guy, and I almost never write about “delis”, but when I walked into this tiny take-out only place, something said to me “This is going to be good.”  Don’t let the name fool you though.  Milant is tiny, and sort of dumpy, but I think that’s part of its charm.  Take the same place and dress it up in fancy Midtown duds, and it probably wouldn’t be as good.

I don’t know if it was the crowd (there were about 5 or 6 people cramped in there waiting for their sandwiches), the price ($5 to $6.50 for some pretty sweet sounding sandwiches), the free soup (you get a free cup of soup) or the fridges full of nice cheeses and assorted pates- but I was not leaving this place empty handed.  Corey had told me to get the #13.  No explanation, or description… just an ”Order the #13.  It rocks.”  When I saw it on the menu, I knew I had found a winner. 

The #13, more food porn and a +/-, after the jump…

The #13.  Chicken Cutlet, fresh mozzarella, pesto sauce and sun dried tomato on French bread.  How could it be bad!  Can you get the same sandwich at a million places in Midtown?  Probably.  But is it only $6.25?  Doubtful.  Do they give you free soup?  Probably not.  Do you walk into the place and think “This is going to be good?”.  Definitely not.  You only get all that at a place like Milant. 

Milant is a strange little place.  Your initial thought is that it is Italian (all good delis are, right?), but it is definitely not Italian.  The cheeses and pates in the fridge, combined with the fancy looking chocolates in the window mean it could be French- but the guys running the place don’t seem French to me.  There are vegetarian sandwiches with hummus, baba ganouj and falafel.  That’s not French or Italian.  What a strange little place.  I guess that is part of its charm. 

There were 15 other combination sandwiches on the menu, and not a single one looked bad.  My friend ordered the #15- crabmeat cake with fresh tomato, lettuce, & mayo on french bread ($6.50).  The crabmeat cake was not your typical crabcake (it was almost like a crab, vegetable and potato pancake) but the sandwich was really good.  Some of the other menu highlights…  #3.  Country style pate with roasted red pepper, cornichons and Dijon mustard on fresh baked bread.  #5.  Genoa salami with fresh mozzarella and roasted red peppers on sourdough.  #8.  Tuna with apple and fresh dill on rye with lettuce and tomato.

They also have gourmet cold salads, garden salads, vegetarian sandwiches, appetizers and a few gourmet entrees like Eggplant Parm and Lasagna.  And then of course there is the free soup!  Every sandwich comes with a small cup of soup.  There is always Chicken and Vegetable, and the second choice changes every day.  Monday is Lentil, Tuesday is Chicken Wild Rice, Wednesday is Split Pea, Thursday is Three Bean & Friday is Chicken Noodle.  Naturally the chicken and vegetable is a little watery- but the flavor is good, and it’s hard to complain about something you get for free.  In the summer months they serve a Gazpacho (which I am very excited to try!)

Sandwiches are not rare in Midtown-  but sandwiches with ingredients like these, that cost between $5 and $6.50 are.  If you read the blog regularly, you know that sandwiches and salads are not really my thing.  I have always felt that the generic, one on every block, Midtown delis/salad bars are in existence because Midtown eaters are lazy, and aren’t willing to walk the extra block for something good.  (Every once in awhile you find a good or interesting one, but they are few and far between)  It’s nice to have a place like Milant, where I can get a sandwich, and not feel like a Midtown Lunch sell out.


  • Delicious sandwich combinations for $5 to $6.50
  • You get free soup!
  • The sandwiches on french bread are surprisingly big for the price
  • The intangible plus.  You walk in, look at the menu and just know that it is going to be good.  It’s one of the few Midtown cases where you feel like you get more than what you paid for.


  • The place is tiny, and it is take out only
  • The free soup is not the greatest ever (but it’s home-made, and free- so you can’t argue about that)

Milant Gourmet Deli, 158 E. 39th St. (btw. Lex & 3rd), 212-682-0111


  • Heh, your +/- is so on target here, even though I’ve never been here. And yum, your sandwich looks particularly delish.

    PS It’s probably an Asian-owned place then- it seems Asian business owners know to mix things up because a little bit of everything is the best? I don’t know, that’s my guess.

  • I was thinking they were Middle Eastern–I went there for lunch today, and as I wasn’t very hungry I ordered a hummus sandwich. Tasty and very inexpensive. You don’t get free soup w/ the vegetarian sandwiches, though.

  • I pass that place on the way to work every day and have been afraid to go in since the window display never, ever changes. Thanks for testing the waters. Now I may have to give it a try!

  • I know a little bit about the history of this place. I used to work across the street, back in the early to mid 1990s. At that time, it was called Melange, and it was primarily middle eastern, but it still had a lot of the same food you describe. They opened a branch on the upper east side in the mid to late 90s, and closed this one not too long after, reopening it with a slightly different name. (Not Milant, I don’t think.) But the awning and the sign are exactly the same as they were when it was Melange, and its successor, except for the name change. And from the looks of it (I was by there not too long ago), the interior is pretty similar.

  • It is Middle Eastern. The men who work there have been there for at least a decade. The 3 salads (plus soup) is a fantastic deal. Sometimes it’s just too much food!

  • This is a great little place. I used to go there often when I worked nearby. The kind of quirky non-chain place that grows organically and not based on a corporate plan. It’s kind of vaguely gourmet, but without any pretensions. You can get sandwiches, or you can get salads (including the 3 (or even 4) salad combo). If you’re having a little cocktail party, you can get cheeses and breads and little nibbles and put out a nice spread. Some of the recipes are a little quirky (like the crabcake), but that is part of the charm.

  • I just ate here for dinner had the #13 and my friend had the #4 combo sandwiches. The sandwiches remind me of Europe its very fresh and all the ingredients go well on crusty french baguettes …the sandwiches arent over the top huge but a perfect size but once I started eating the soup I knew this was a big amount of food for the price. I ate the whole sandwich and 1/4 of the soup. Very fresh very good and I am now comtipliating eating their everyday. The guy was super nice. I went after 6pm since we were working late but I would imagine this is the best tasting sandwich shop hands down in Midtown, if not NYC. You have to go if your thinking about it ….trust me you will not be let down.

  • Just ate here today, was dismayed to find the Gazpacho was an extra dollar with my combo. Also the Vegetarian combos do include soup, at least the number one (grilled eggplant, zucchini and provalone) did.

  • Awesome. A really great find. I am glad to Gawker highlighted this in their video, or I would have missed it completely. I am going back often. The #13 is a star.


  • Just started working in Midtown. Tried Milant Gourmet Deli today based on this entry. Solid food at a more than reasonable price. Cheese selection is pretty impressive, as is selection of sweets. Folks behind the counter are incredibly nice.

  • Got #4 – the smoked turkey with emmenthaler, honey mustard and red pepper, and the lentil soup. Totally satisfying and worth it. Thanks for making lunch in Midtown all the more enjoyable!

  • My god, what an amazing place. I ordered the #10 and got gazpacho soup… It was the perfect remedy to this hot day. I can see myself going back twice a week to this place.

  • Arrgh! I had been going to Milant every week, then took a couple of months off. The mention of gazpacho in the June 10 comment inspired me to go back today, but it is closed for renovations. Signage does not indicate when it will re-open.

  • I work right by there. It’s officially back up and running, but the soup is no longer free with a sandwich. I’ll run you an extra $1.

  • Two of my co-workers found this place on midtownlunch and suggested I try it out. Got the #13 and it was tasty!

  • got the baba ghanoush and had them add feta to it ($4.50). very good, but a bit messy.

    also got grape leaves which were pretty tasty–$3 for a half pound (typical size deli container)

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    Hello everyone, Millant is comming back with a new look in January 2010.

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