Don’t Mess With the Panini Tozt


I’ve walked by the strangeness that is Panini Tozt (on 50th btw. Mad+Park) so many times, but have never quite been interested enough to pull the trigger. After this email from Lunch’er Emily, I’m thinking that might have been a mistake.

I’ve been a longtime reader of Midtown Lunch, so I feel pretty confident you haven’t written about this newsstand that serves lunch well within ML’s price parameters, on 50th between Madison and Park. It’s called Panna Tozt, “European-style sandwiches,” or something like that. And yes, it’s in a real-deal newsstand. I went for the first time today and not only am I writing you mere seconds after I finished wolfing down my Cuban sandwich…but I don’t even have a picture to show you, because I ate it so fast. Yeah, it was that good.

They have a standard menu of combos to choose from – which they throw on the panini press for you, and THEN they take it off and ask you what you want to add. (I like this – my lettuce doesn’t get weird and wilted and hot from being grilled.) And you can add anything – even fries!

Also, there’s a separate menu of some Indian favorites (chicken tikka masala, etc.), which I didn’t see but am willing to bet they’re delicious, since we all know how good Indian from a newsstand can be. I could go on about the bread, or how nice the people were, but really one thing sticks out in my mind: the lunch was a whopping $5.85. Including tax. You can add whatever you want to your sandwich, and they don’t tack on extra charges at the end. Need I say more?

The place was pretty empty when I was there just before 1pm today – I’d hate to see them go the way of lesser establishments in this recession. We’ve got to get the word out!


I can’t imagine the cuban sandwiches are better than Margon or Sophie’s Cuban, but fries on the sandwich? Indian food from a newsstand? You know I’m down with that! Any other MLers out there fans of the Tozt? Let us know what you think in the comments…

Panini Tozt, 44 East 50th St. (btw. Mad+Park), 212-688-3213


  • I’ve been eating there for 10 years, and it is really pretty good. However, it’s NOT a newsstand. I would call it a deli with an identity crisis. They sell a lot of different things, but it’s certainly not a “newsstand”.

    This part of town (Park and 50th) really sucks for lunch choices (although much better in recent years with all the trucks and carts appearing). Tozt in an oasis of food sanity, and I agree, there are some damn fine people working there.

    The sandwiches are very good, but it’s not artisinaly made stuff like Sophie’s or Margon. Most of their ingredients are supermarket-quality cold cuts and cheese. I do love the fries inside the sandwich. A nice unintentional not to Pittsburgh.

    Now, I will watch out my window as a line forms for lunch at a store that has never before seen a line.

  • that place has it all! Even a wine and liquor section.
    I might be in love.

  • “that place has it all! Even a wine and liquor section. I might be in love.”

    The liquor store is next door and unaffiliated with Tozt.

  • still worth a look minus the booze

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    The connection with Zams (notice the sign underneath the ATM sign in the pic) is what got me in there. Can’t remember if its exactly the same menu/ingredients, but at worst very similar. Still good, just like the Zams in mall food courts and downtown on Broadway by the bull.

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    Should add…the fries are pretty thin, so don’t look at it like a Grease Truck sandwich. But still a nice complement.

  • pigiron=pigiron from Roadfood?

  • @Fred: Yeah, that’s me. What’s your handle on Roadfood?

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    Just had the Cuban sandwich and it was delicious! Better than Sophie’s! (For realz) The ingredients were just better and the way he put it together was just perfect. Good find!

  • Yep, this has been a long time location in my ml rotation. Always good and plentiful.

  • on the forums a few weeks ago i asked for a rec in this area. it was down to this place or rosen’s. we ended up at redstone pizzeria. :X i guess i was too quick to judge?

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    I believe those two buildings will be closing down soon. Giambellis next door (which i never knew there was an italian restaurant there) is closed due to the building being bought by the MTA. I think that includes TOZT and that liquor store. I’ve eaten there and its pretty good their sandwiches. Definetly an identiy crisis going on – newstand/grocery/deli/etc. But I guess get it while its still open!

  • @ Georgia: That row of buildings is indeed slated for demolition to make way for exhaust towers for the new LIRR/Grand Central connection. However, the MTA has been warning those of us on 50th street for over 5 years that construction was “about to begin”, and there’s never been any sign that it was imminent. But you’re correct, those store will be closing eventually, but who knows how long that will be?

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