PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Sarah”

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown. This week it’s Sarah, a part time Midtown Lunch’er who gets to eat in one of my favorite neighborhoods half of the week…

Name: Sarah


Full time student and part time assister of creativity

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
  I go to school at Parsons: Union Square campus (13th and 5th) and work part time at 59th and Madison.  But last year I worked full time at 59th and Madison, so I am familiar with the area

Favorite Kind of Food:
Mediterranean style (grilled meat, veggies, salad, olive oil and fresh bread), and Korean bbq

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Indian food, organ meats, olives, capers, mushrooms and flour tortillas (prefer corn)

Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
Mangia on 57th btw. 5+6th, for the pesto chicken salad with arugula, parm and fresh bread. I could eat that every day.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often:
When i worked full time in Midtown, it was Mangia. We would also occasionally go to this tiny Italian cheese shop at 62nd and Lexington, aptly named Cheese on 62nd. They sold cheese and Italian grocery items, but they also made these totally tasty sandwiches. Nowadays I bring my own, because I’m a student.  (For other lunch’ers, there is also a Mangia on 48th btw. Mad+5th -zach).

Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch: Hallo Berlin cart.  As a Chicago native and of German descent I love, love, love sausage, kraut and onions.  That and the Treats Truck, although I have only spotted her twice…  (The Treats Truck is on 38th & 5th Ave. today & Thursday- and Kim told me yesterday that she is hoping that there will be a spot open in the Northern part of Midtown over the winter, due to hibernating Ice Cream Trucks.  I’ll keep you up to date… or check -zach)

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why?  Probably Chicago.  I love the hot dog shops.  Give me a dog (Chicago style) with cheese fries and a diet coke and I’ll be happy.  Probably a good thing I dont live there, that can’t be good for you.  Union Square, fortunately, is a close second because it’s a short walk to the east or west and if I’m feeling lazy, I can get healthy and good food at the Whole Foods.

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Any suggestions for a great lunch around Union Square?  Anywhere, but prefer a cheap student budget lunch option…

I’m so jealous…  next to Chinatown, Union Square would probably be my number 2 dream job location for lunch’ing purposes in Manhattan.  Where I would eat every day, if I worked in Union Square- after the jump…

“Pork Buns” Posted to Flickr by Jane! Jane! Jane!

Momofuku Ssam Bar!  Sure, technically it’s the East Village, but only 3 avenues East from where you work (13th & 2nd), and well worth the walk.  And it’s not exactly “cheap”, but still under $10.  I’d probably alternate… Ssam Mondays & Fridays, Pork buns on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Maybe Vanessa’s Dumpling Bar (14th btw. 2+3rd) on Wednesdays just to mix it up a bit…  (and if you love sausages so much, there’s also Mandler’s, on 17th btw. 5th+B’way/Union Square West).

Anybody else have a Union Square recommendation for Sarah?  Post it as a comment below… And, as always, if you want to be the next Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er, email me at


  • “Any suggestions for a great lunch around Union Square?”

    I don’t even understand the question. It’s like being in the desert and asking where you can find sand.

  • true DDR.

    my go to place if i worked there would probably be city bakery

  • As a Parson’s student, hopefully you have been to Murray’s Bagels on 13th & 6th. Before Murray’s I had never seen a whole wheat everything bagel. I have also heard good things about their coffee.

  • OMG I totally had Sweet Breads Tikka Masala Putanesca the other day… she would hate me.

  • Single?

  • Inane, are you stealing my material?

  • Pork Buns caption on wrong pic?

  • Maoz Falafels on Park Ave South and 16th :-)

  • Rudy: Nope… those are the Pork Bums at Momofuku Ssam Bar (the Ssam is like a Korean Burrito)

  • Tisserie is an excellent bakery/sandwich shop right around Broadway/17th. Not too expensive either.

  • I totally agree with and love the desert comment.
    My suggestion: Cosmic Cantina for some awesome burritos at 13th and 3rd. Or a whole variety of cheap, good (and filling) Polish food at Little Poland – 2nd Ave. between 12th and 13th. I do miss working in that area!

  • I haven’t tried it yet, but Philly Slim’s on University Place b/w 12th & 13th sounds like a cheap and delicious option in your area — and I absolutely do recommend Maoz for falafel, especially if you’re into adding your own toppings to your falafel meal.

  • hey zach, i believe that rudy was referring to sarah . . . . think about rudy’s comments and the connotations of the caption . . . lightbulb going off.

    must be a “slow news day” in the reviewer box if this one slipped in.

  • Oo I took that picture!

    And seriously, I don’t understand people who live/work in the East Village and ask where to find good cheap food. The only place in the city that would beat that ‘hood is Chinatown, but at least in the EV there’s more variety. I was born and raised in the EV and still think it’s the best nabe in the city.

    Suggestions: Republic is cheap and fast (not terribly gourmet or great), lots of falafel, lots of Polish/Ukrainian diners, there’s Sunrise Mart and Panya for Japanese goodies, Grand Sichuan on St. Mark’s, etc.

    How on earth can people not like Indian food?! This person has the complete opposite taste – I love strange bits and organ meats, and am bored by Mediterranean fare.

  • Rainbow falafel on 17th between Broadway and Fifth! Get the eggplant/falafel combo- you wont be sorry!

    Also Cafe Medina (also on 17th) has a pumpkin corn soup that is out of this world. And they have to give you all the free samples you want.

  • Great breakfast burritos (all day long!) and other tasty hole-in-the-wall authentic Mexican at Big Enchilada, on 12th by University; Rainbow Falafel and tasty wurst at Mandler’s, both on 17th just west of Union Square;

  • 2nd best burger in the city (after Shake Shack — sorry, Burger Joint): Old Town Bar, one block north of Union Square. Great onion rings too. But yes, there are approximately 875 other outstanding cheap places within a ten block radius of you. Have you ever been to this place called outside?

  • hey everybody, thanks for your suggestions…. and in response to the assumption that i don’t know any cheap lunch places in union square (i am looking for sand in the desert/don’t go outside) : of course i know of great lunch places in the area, just looking to expand my options with suggestion from fellow midtown lunch reader. relax people.

  • “Pork Buns” – Rudy made a funny

  • Goodburger opened up on Broadway right by Union Square. Pretty decent, around $6 for a burger. University Place has a Grey Dog’s which I hear is prettyt good. There’s also Spice farther down on University and they do lunch specials around $8.

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