Fay Da Bakery Elevates the Lunch Box Buffet

Lunch Box Buffet/Fay Da Bakery, Midtown NYC

One of my favorite (in theory) lunch places, that I don’t get to nearly enough, is the Lunch Box Buffet on 34th St. btw. 7+8th.  It’s been mentioned a few times in the comments, and I just never have gotten around to writing about it.  A fairly simple concept, it combines two of my favorite things- value and cheap chinese food.  5 items for $5.  How does it get any better than that?  Well, I’ll tell you how:  they’ve added a Fay Da Bakery to the front of the location.

Lunch Box Buffet/Fay Da Bakery, Midtown NYC

Lunch Box Buffet isn’t necessarily the best cheap chinese food in the area, but it has got the largest selection, the best pricing concept (especially for variety), and it’s much less intimidating than the far more adventurous Ying Du (on 38th btw. 7+8th.)  All the food is labeled, and the’ve got plenty of non-chinese items, like the very popular fried chicken.  Now with the addition of Fay Da it becomes much easier to ignore the cheapness of the Chinese food… you can always follow it up with a delicious custard bun.  

Lunch Box Buffet/Fay Da Bakery, Midtown NYC

Fay Da is pretty well known; with 4 locations in and around Chinatown and another 6 in Queens they are a welcome addition to the Midtown Lunch landscape.  There’s a great selection of cakes, buns, cookies and of course- bubble tea, and if you’re not into Asian sweets, they’ve also got a selection of “regular” desserts behind a glass case.  Something for everyone!

Lunch Box Buffet/Fay Da Bakery, Midtown NYC

As for the chinese food, if you’ve been to the Lunch Box Buffets in Chinatown (I think there are two), this one is a little different.  Just as many hits as misses, it does a good job of adapting to the clientele around Penn Station, while still retaining its Chinese identity.  The steam table has got about everything you could want, and some things that only crazy people like me want (i.e. pig’s feet).  And it’s not everyday where you find a steam table with just as many versions of tofu, as they have sauced up chinese chicken dishes.  Like I said, it’s something for everyone.  At $5 for 5 items, there is clearly no guarantee of quality- but if variety is your thing, you can’t beat the Lunch Box Buffet. 

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Still don’t want to take the cheap chinese food risk?  You’ll be perfectly safe sticking to an after lunch dessert at Fay Da…

THE +

  • I love cheap chinese food!
  • I love Chinese bakeries!
  • I love variety! (5 items for $5. Is there a better deal in Midtown?)

THE -

  • You get what you pay for (for $5 you’re not getting filet mignon, that’s for sure)
  • It’s a little too “clean” for me. I prefer the excitement of a place like Ying Du
  • $1 for buns is ridiculous! Take me back to Chinatown…

Lunch Box Buffet/Fay Da Bakery, 257 W. 34th St. (btw. 7+8th), 212-868-8881

21 Comments

  • That looks like a find albeit a bit out of my walking range, I’m on 56th (actually getting there wouldn’t be a problem but I’d have to map out public/dept store restroom facilities… ahem for the return trip beforehand).

    What are the portions doled out like size wise? Will a “husky” guy be satisfied with say the fiver and a snack from the bakery? Any seafood? Is the chicken worth doing five of in lieu of the chinkstink?

  • @Bossman: yes, you will be satisifed, and at 3pm, you should probably refrain from operating heavy machinery.

    the chicken is on the same level as chicken house, maybe alittle better. In my opinion take out is better than sitting in, portion wise.

    On a hot day, get the coffee+tea mix, cold from the bakery.

  • Bossman,

    While your inquiries regarding Lunchbox are fine, it would be appreciated if you refrained from using your below the Mason-Dixon colloquialisms such as “chinkstink”. While I understand that the internet is a place where the First Amendment reigns, your lack of consideration and decorum is both shocking and classless.

  • I take it wopslop, Korea diarrhea, jewspew and japcrap offend your sensibilities as well? Sheesh….. I’ll try not to wipe my mouth with the doilies.

    Okay, I lied. If you aren’t offended you’re not paying attention.

  • What the hell is “chinkstink”?

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who was taken aback by that. It takes a lot to offend me, but seriously, what is that?

  • No mention of Britshit,phew!

  • Dang! Filed (although it’s not often one sees Britain and cuisine in the same sentence).

    “below the Mason Dixon colloquialisms”

    ????

    Hmmmmmmm

    Pot/kettle at least it’s on topic.

  • there’s nothing pot kettle about that statement – pretty apt (though dated) characterization. Korea diarrhea is a stretch, it doesn’t rhyme as well as the others.

  • Sheesh……everyone’s a critic.

    @Yvo – if we can’t laugh at ourselves what’s the point? I’m honorary Chinese myself, after all I have relatives that are short, yellow and smell like garlic in the morning too. We’re all brothers on the inside (and if anyone spots mine drop me a line the bastard owes me 8K).

  • @Bossman – I can laugh at myself, and I don’t believe in honorary Chinese, it just means you have yellow fever.

    Hah, so there =P

    PS Short and smell like garlic in the morning… Italian?

  • No, that’s robert duval.

  • @Yvo – Bingo….. hey the one thing one doesn’t have control of is their relatives/heritage. I’m a greaseball and although I can make a mean meatball I can’t lay brick for shit…. oh well.

  • “No, that’s robert duval.”

    Smells like aglio e olio…….,the horror….the horror

    For the record, I love that stuff (w/anchovies and liberal dosing of red pepper) it’s goomba crack….. it works like a systemic skin moisturizer.

  • Woah, Bossman,
    Chinkstink is not cool to me, either. That term, along with all the others you mentioned, definitely offends.
    BTW, I’m not sure I know what an “honorary Chinese” is and why that makes it okay for you to use yuck terms like that. Gross.

  • Methinks I’m going to have to augment the straight pins and sledgehammer in my sphincter penetrating arsenal with something a bit more high tech (sigh).

  • is there a seating area in this place?

  • They have a whole second floor available for seating.
    The alright, although everything seems to be DRENCHED in sauce, from the meats to the veggies.

  • I went here over the weekend for a quick bubble tea and pastry fix. I got a bubble tea and a green tea “mochi” cake. Good Lord, I have NO idea what kinds of flavorings they use, but I haven’t had that much of a chemical aftertaste in a long while. The worst fake strawberry ever. Plus, the “mochi” had a horrible texture and was covered in coconut, as if the red pean paste in the center wasn’t sweet enough. I couldn’t eat it.

    The actual food looked really good, though– just be careful of those desserts!

  • ITS THE WORST PLACE YA DON’T WANT TO GO EAT IN MANHATTAN, AND THE ONE IN CHINATOWN. WOW, SUCKS!!!! I DON’T LIKE NUTTIN AT ALL.
    IN THE SUMMER TIME. THERE IS NO FREAKING A/C,( DAMN, 4 SEASONS WITOUT HEAT AND AIR. WAT THE HECK) KILLING PEOPLE, FOOD IS NOT THAT TASTY, TRUST ME!!!!!!

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