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

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