PROFILED: Midtown Lunch’er “Kayoko”

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown. Today’s Lunch’er is the contributor/moderator of one of my favorite blogs- , and it just so happens she also works in Midtown East.  Actually that’s an understatement.  She works in Midtown Waaaaaay East, and since that is out of bounds for me, I figured I’d let her recommend a few places for those of you stuck in the eastern most part of our wasteland… 

Name: Kayoko


Film marketer and programmer by day, food blogger by night ( Professional eater all day, everyday

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
Japan Society, Midtown way east (UN area)

Favorite Kind of Food:
Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Italian, Vietnamese

Least Favorite Kind of Food:

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Hands down Shih Lee (on 45th btw. 1+2nd). It’s a little casual Taiwanese/Chinese place– you get in line and “pick & choose your meal” for $7. Two young brothers run it, and there are lots of regulars from the UN. It’s the best! Their pork and pickled cabbage noodle soup is the best I’ve had in midtown, and their sauteed green beans are addictive.  Also, there is a deli on the corner of 1st and 49th that makes the best BLT with avocado.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Oms/B for rice balls (45th btw. Lex+3rd) and Amish Market salad bar in a hurry (45th btw. 2+3rd), Ise for comfort food (49th btw. Lex+3rd), Pampano Taqueria for a long lunch (3rd Ave. btw. 49+50th). Aburiya Kinnosuke (45th btw. 2+3rd) or Sakagura on payday (43rd btw. 2+3rd).

Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch (if any)? Bulgogi cart all the way!!! Better that I work too far to go often- I would seriously get lunch there everyday. Marinated beef in a hotdog bun? Only in New York- BRILLIANT!  (You should know that they’ve replaced the buns with croissants now -zach)

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Tokyo, no doubt. I could pay at a machine, get ramen ticket, slurp, chew and be out in 5 minutes. How is NY not in on this? If we’re talking NY, I wish I worked near Chinatown. Banh mi and Great NY Noodle Town everyday!

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers?: Where can I get a good burrito in Midtown East on the cheap (besides Chipotle)?

Uh… where can you get a good burrito anywhere in NYC?  Good luck with that…  anybody got a rec, feel free to post it in the comments.  And as always, if you want to be the next Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er, or you’d like to nominate somebody in your office, email me at


  • endless summer taco truck in williamsburg has kick ass tacos and burritos. fresh and cheap. also another truck that has it’s own website! it’s not a lunching destination…but damn good.

  • Is it just me or is that bulgogi cart on 49th not always there?

  • Before ya’ll get all excited about SMDNY recs above. Taqueria in PS, is decent but not a destination spot. But it you are in the area, go for it. The chile verde is pretty good. I’ll need to check out the Great Burrito though.

    Hey SMDNY, do you live in the Slope?

  • I agree with Mamacita. Taqueria in PS does the trick in a pinch, but is certainly not the greatest burrito joint. I wouldn’t recommend anyone trekking to Park Slope for one.

  • I like Food World (46th between 5th & Madison) – they make it fresh, you choose your ingredients. I think it’s around $6.95

  • My dearesy Kayoko:

    As you know, I am a “big” fan of UmamiMart (when I am allowed to post there). Now that I see your lovely face, I am an even bigger fan!

    I’d never consider dining from a pathogen-laden food cart, so I cannot join you for bulgogi on a hot dog bun, though that does intrigue me, if you must know.

    I would, however, enjoy burritos with you if you ever find a decent one in this town.

  • Not in ML boundaries (though it is pretty close to the W4th St. subway stop, if you get out at the northern end…might have to take an mid-day excursion soon), but Pio Maya on 8th St. makes a tasty, inexpensive, decently California-ish burrito.

  • i ask for Pete Meehan, and i get DocChuck. story of my life.

  • finally, someone mentions shih lee

  • Mamacita & Just Nancy – yeah, I agree – i wouldn’t go out of my way to PS for a burrito at La Taqueria. Thanks for noting that! I don’t actually live in PS – I live further out in Ditmas Park and I eat in PS fairly often.

  • SMDNY, hey there’s a new place called Barrio that just opened up in PS on 7th, they have 15% off the bill till April 30th is you get a chance to check it out. Mex food, of course.

  • Dear ole DocChucky.

    He really did hit EVERY branch when he fellouta the fuckwit tree.

  • I have a PhD and am a retired “educator.”

    What are YOUR credentials?

  • Honey, now don’t get them worked up merely on the basis of how much better we are then all of them. The little people have a right to post here as well, even the cockroaches that live in and around NYC

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