PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Lia”

Every Tuesday I turn over Midtown Lunch to a random worker, for their favorite places to eat lunch in Midtown.  I never imagined Midtown Lunch had any Vegetarian readers… but leave it todays profile to prove me wrong.  Meet Lia- the first Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er who doesn’t eat anything that comes from an animal.

Name: Lia



Where in Midtown do you Work?:
 50th & 6th Ave.

Favorite Kind of Food:
I’m vegan so that means I don’t eat any meat or dairy products. My favorite kinds of food are Thai, Indian, and since I’m Italian I think my blood might actually be marinara, so I also eat a lot of Italian food to keep homeostasis.

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
I’m kinda over sushi, but everyone I know is obsessed with it, so unless I want to eat alone, I am forced to go to Haru at least once a week. I usually order the house salad and an avocado roll. But a light lunch like that requires a mid afternoon snack.

Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
I really like going to Zest on 41st and Broadway. They have a tofu scramble in the morning and a vegan whole wheat salad pizza by the pound for lunch. It’s just really overpriced for what you’re getting. You could easily spend $15.00 on lunch and a tea and still be hungry. So if any of you readers have deep pockets I’m not above someone treating me. My favorite lunch spot when I’m paying for it is probably the $3.00 tofu cream cheese bagel at Cafe Metro on 6th ave. Who doesn’t like carbs right?.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Bocca on 50th btw. 6+7th. They are quick and it’s right across the street from my building. They have a cheese-less fresh tomato slice for under $4.00. Even though that’s expensive for one piece of pizza, it’s a pretty big slice and it’s more than enough. Also, they have pasta plates for $7.00 and they make it in front of you, so for a vegan it’s perfect b/c you can monitor the cheese-less status of your meal as they cook it.

Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch: Minar (good tip, always call ahead to save a lottttt of time as the lines can get really really long), Yum Thai, & Kosher Deluxe.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? East village, just b/c there are a lot of affordable veg options. Atlas on 2nd ave has a vegan chicken, avocado, and artichoke sandwich which is amazing and pretty big. With a soda, everything comes to $7.00. Also the desserts they have there are really insane, cheesecakes, brownies, and shakes that are all non-dairy. Don’t knock the soy chicken until you’ve tried it. Seriously!

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Besides Zen Palate on 9th Ave. & 47th, does anyone know of other vegan-friendly places around here? I have been to Zenith (48th btw. 8+9th) but I wasn’t that impressed. Has anyone tried Green Symphony on 43rd btw. 7+8th? I’ve read about it but I’ve never gone.


I gotta say, for all my talk of pork, street meat, fried chicken, burgers, and more pork- I can’t imagine how any Vegan could read most of what I write, without being totally grossed out.  Seriously.  How do you do it?  A picture of me eating Rack of Lamb alone, could literally be used on a poster to disgust people into never eating meat again. 

I guess what I’m saying is, I’m probably not the best person to recommend any Vegan or Vegetarian options in Midtown.  Nothing against it… I’ve actually eaten at Zen Palate before, and enjoyed it.  Although I did unintentionally wear my Cochon shirt, which features a picture of a pig with exposed ribs.  I’m sorry.  I just love pork too much.

Anybody have a recommendation for Lia?  Feel free to post it as a comment below.  And as always, if you have any news, suggestions, or you want to be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er- email me at


  • Good looks AND marinara for blood? Me thinks I’m in love.

  • Zach,

    I thought your ISP set your page to block vegans from viewing?

  • Green Symphony is very vegan friendly. It has a 2 section salad bar – one section seems entirely vegetarian, the other has a few meat items. Like any salad bar, the plate can add up, but totally worth it for the amount of food you can get – we usually spend $10. They have some vegan snacks and baked items. There are 4 or 5 tiny tables, so it’s best for take out. I believe they also have sandwiches and a larger menu.

    I have a vegan coworker, so we’ve dug up a few places where we can all co-exist:

    Veggie sushi- Monster on 46th.
    Vegan Burritos – Burritoville on 9th.
    Cuban – Havana Central on 46th has a few veggie options like veggie paella.

    Thanks for the tip on the vegan pizza!

  • first time poster, long time reader/vegetarian. Lia, I am not a vegan but I know Burritoville has some great options. I am in love with their vegan chorizo and they have soy cheese, tofu sour cream, etc.

  • Another vegetarian Midtown Lunch reader coming out of the closet here (ok, I’ve only been reading for about 3 weeks). I do eat fish, though (mmm delicious sushi). Bread & Olive is my favorite find so far, vegetarian/vegan friendly and a ridiculous amount of food if you get the $10 combo. I love me some Lebanese food. Oms/b also has some tasty vegan rice balls and miso soup.

  • A vegan banker…oxymoron?

  • I love Green Symphony! The South Asian Tempeh wrap is really good and only $4.95 — and it’s really filling. Green Symphony is pretty cheap, so long as you don’t hit up the salad bar.

  • I Thought Vegans had Pointy Ears?

  • I am about the farthest thing from a vegan. That said, the Manhattan Chili Co. in the food court at Grand Central has 2 vegan options. The lentil one is amazing. The fact that I would even order that over the meat ones (which are also very good) speaks volumes.

  • We’re all just coming out of the woodwrks here, now aren’t we? I’m a vegetarian who enjoys finding the occasional french fry mixed in with her order of mozzarella sticks, but would be annoyed to find a PIG IN HER ZEN PALATE (that was pretty funny). So, my question is how much cross-contamination is a person willing to tolerate? For instance, the vegetarian places in Curry Hill (i.e., Lex from 28th to 25th or so) are, by and large, vegan-friendly but there may be some cross-contamination with the butter.

    Cucina & Co. in the MetLife Building has some decent regular vegan options in their salad bar (assorted roasted veggies, including roasted cauliflower, cold veggie pastas, lentils & couscous) but, like any by-the-pound buffet, can get expensive in a hurry. There’s also the food councourse in Grand Central – Eata Pita and Cafe Spice both have good vegan options. Menchanko Tei’s veggie soup ROCKS, but it’s not exactly suitable for melt-in-your-bra weather.

    Though not quite in Midtown, Blossom (on 9th ave between 21st & 22nd) looks promising (marketed as “gourmet organic vegan”). I’ve never been – can anyone speak to their quality?

  • Marry me!!!

  • damn this vegan banker is FINE. with a capital F….

  • Been to Blossom once for dinner. It’s all vegan and I thought it had a nicely varied menu and we (meat eaters) enjoyed the food. It’s nice to find a veg restaurant that wasn’t all fake meat or tofu stir fry. It’s also a really pleasant space, had good service, and I think most of the wine list was organic. I would go back.

  • Did i Mention im in Banking too?

    And single :)……..sadly in London:(

  • Let’s mention how you misspelled your company name, too… or is that the “proper” British way to spell it? ;p

  • Aw, man, my status as the lone vegetarian (who cheats) profiled is ovah! It’s good to see non-pork lovers here, though.

    Anyway — Yummy Sushi in the Rock Center concourse now has fake meat dishes — stir-fried ginger “chicken” and the like. It looks a little weird (like, stringy) but tastes OK.

  • Organic Harvest Cafe (53rd between 2nd and 1st ave) has a killer vegan seitan cutlet. Best vegan food in midtown

  • Check out Soba Nippon on 52rd bet. 5th and 6th. They have very fresh soba options. The cold soba is the best — it includes dipping sauce, scallions, wasabi, which is turned into a soup at the end of yr meal. They’ll add the broth used to boil the soba to the dipping sauce.

  • miss-spelled

    it’s hyphonated, or it is if one went to a decent uni ;)

  • Not only but also, a collegue has pointed out that Misspelt would of been more apt.’

    Anyway Lia,nice pic……not too sure about the glasses:)

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