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


  • Haha, now I know you’re just a poser… “would of” is never, ever okay, no matter what “uni” you went to. ;D

  • Considering where you head is im suprised you can type.

  • LOL!

  • Impressive display of vegetarian lurkers.

    Nice midtown lunch reference in NY mag. This blog is clearly hitting the big time.

  • Raise your hand if you don’t like Rudy

  • man you guys are harsh. making fun of my glasses and pointy ears.

    sorry boys, i’m not looking for a dates though.

  • Zach, have you ever had a midtownlunchers readers meet?

    Better still a midtown Roadtrip!!

    Bet all the guys will wanna sit next to Ria.

    I’ll be with Yvo.

  • *Ria = Lia , srry Lia

  • I’m a veggie with a fear of anything buffet-style (read: germaphobe) so I have a hard time with Green Symphony, although it is one of the few very clean-enough-to-try buffets I’ve seen and I have eaten there once or twice in a pinch. Zest is good, but SO overpriced. I agree re: Organic Harvest. Their tofu BLT is super good! Can’t wait to try the veggie wrap at sugo e basilica… hold the oil (eek)…

  • interesting idea, rudy… i say take it one step further, and have a full on Midtown Lunch food festival in bryant park. get all the awesome carts down there for a week, with a $10 all you can eat sampling menu!

    (and get GoMobo to pick up the tab for the permits and security!)

  • Kosher Delight’s falafel might be a good option…lots of nice veggies.

    In any case, veganism just rubs me the wrong way, G*d made animals taste GREAT! When I get hungry, stuff DIES.

  • I love animals.

    They’re Delicious.

  • Hey, got alot of comments about the Vegan Girl. Pretty Interesting!

  • Rudy McBagel & Nate, I think a ML meeting was proposed before but I gather Zach is not that down on a Midtown lunch group meet-up. We’ll have to subsist on only reading one of the funniest (and least-governed) Comments section in the foodblog world…

  • Y’all could arrange a lunch independently of Zach…

  • “Kinda over sushi?” Who says that? Also, how is that possible?

  • a vegan foodie says that. you know, because sushi is so 2005. :)

  • I’m kinda over Myspace style photos. Ever since I turned 18, anyway.

  • Lia claims she’s not looking for dates but she wants a “deep pocketed” Midtown Luncher to treat her to a meal at Zest! Methinks there’s a word for that…

  • Isn’t pasta dough made with eggs?

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