PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Christine”

Every Tuesday we 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 Christine, a food show assistant who wishes she worked in Seoul.

Name: Christine

Age: 22

Occupation: Edit Assistant for a food show, food blogger on the side

Where in Midtown do you Work?: Smack dab in the 30s–an area most lacking in awesome food trucks

Favorite Kind of Food: Dumplings, truffles (both the sweet and savory kinds), peanut butter and jellies, brunch food, anything Korean, bacon, shakeshack burgers, macarons, Ippudo ramen, roasted brussels sprouts, Momofuku pork buns. Any meal involving a combination of the above would make me exceedingly full and happy. It’s hard to believe that I was a vegetarian just a year ago.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Thanksgiving leftovers, Ethiopian injera, lackluster salads with far too little topping. Just say no.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Cafe Zaiya (on 41st btw. Mad+5th) for Japanese comfort food (I may or may not have inhaled a curry pan for breakfast), Nanoosh (on Mad btw. 33+34th) for organic hummus made in-house, Ktown’s Food Gallery 32, Mandoo Bar, E-mo Kimbap, and Woorijip for cheap and delicious eats, currently the Flex donuts pop-up at Zocalo in Grand Central (who says dessert isn’t lunch…), Num Pang (on 41st btw. Lex+3rd) for “Vietnamese” “Cambodian” sandwiches, also the awesome selection of food vendors at Bryant Park/Columbus Circle Xmas Market.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Unfortunately, my midtown hood is somewhat uninspired in the food department. So the I’ve become far too familiar with the usual suspects like Hale & Hearty, Pret, yet another convenient deli, and suspect Japanese joints with menus 2340920934 items too long.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Cafe Zaiya, and my life is forever changed! Also the insane takeout lunch special at Miss Korea which I’ve taken advantage of quite a few times. And E-mo kimbap! I’m always searching for another lunch spot that doesn’t require a serious trek, and I’ve read about Dig Inn, Kati Roll, Mai Sushi, and Cafe China on ML, and will be trying all of these in the upcoming weeks.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Probably Seoul. If it wasn’t obvious already, Korean food is kind of my favorite (there may be a slight bias here). Seoul’s a culinary heaven full of everything I love, from greasy and delicious street food, to traditional dishes full of bold and punchy flavors (bibimbap, pajeon, etc etc the list goes on).

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? It’s hard to find good places to eat in the upper 30′s; it seems like most places I read about are at least 10 blocks away! Anywhere I should definitely try around the area?

Go an answer for Christine? Put it in the comments. And, as always, if you want to be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate)? Email


  • you hate Thanksgiving leftovers? sounds like something a Commie would say.

    Num Pang has Cambodian style sandwiches, not Vietnamese. Bad Asian!

    Check out Piccolo Cafe on 37th & Madison. Good, fresh sandwiches.

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    steve–i stand corrected! thanks for the tip, i’ll have to try it out


  • dumplings…the love of my life. Where can one find good dumplings in midtown?

    • The Szechuan Pork Dumplings at Szechuan Gourmet are incredible. In fact, the whole menu is incredible.

      (either 39th street or 56th street)

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    I work in the upper 30s. It’s not that bad here.

    - Go Go Curry
    - Lazara’s Pizza (highly underrated)
    - Olympic Pita
    - Pit-O-pia (surprisingly good up-and-comer)
    - Kati Roll – you are blowing it by not having tried it yet
    - Szechuan Gourmet (lunch special #27 ftw)
    - Bonchon and all of the K-town spots you mentioned
    - Main Noodle House for dumpling soups

    and on, and on…

  • Don’t miss Tabata Ramen! 39th and 9th, but they deliver through most of the 30s.

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    We have the best street meet in the city, Comme Ci Comme Ca! They are on 36th and Broadway Tues, Thurs and Friday.

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  • Zaiya and Woorijip sounds like the solid ones in the area that you tackle.

    The only truck that is closest to consider would probably be Comme Ci Comme Ca. Chef Samir’s Truck. Just check their twitter to make sure they’re around.

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