PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Emily”

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 Emily, an office admin who has graciously agreed to brave the ML commenters to help out fellow vegan Midtown Lunchers.

Name: Emily

Age: 29

Occupation: Office Admin and vegan blogger

Where in Midtown do you work? Grand Central Terminal area

Favorite Kind of Food: Any Asian cuisine, bonus points if it’s spicy.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: A mushy veggie burger

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Being vegan, it can be pretty difficult to find quality vegan meals in Midtown. My ultimate favorite is when The Cinnamon Snail vegan food truck is in the neighborhood… I can’t resist their food and pastries. My favorite thing from there is their General Tso’s Seitan sandwich, but that’s only on special every now and again. I love Franchia’s (vegan Korean) vegetarian Stone Bowl (on Park btw. 34+35th) with their spicy chilli sauce as well as their assorted dumpling platter. I’m also big fan of the raw pizza from the FreeFoodsNYC (on 45th btw. 5+6th) lunch bar, the edemame salad from Dishes in Grand Central Marketplace, the super protein plate from NatureWorks the food bar at Health Nuts. The food court in Grand Central also has a couple places with good vegan options — Two Boots V is for Vegan pizza, the green curry from Thai Toon (on 42nd btw. Park+Vanderbilt) and cucumber avocado rolls from the sushi joint (the name is always changing so I’m not sure what its called now).

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? For me, by far its the Cinnamon Snail (I’ll go every time its here!) but I’ve totally turned my co-workers on to ordering from NatureWorks.

Places you have discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? DeeDaa Thai although I don’t go there anymore.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? San Francisco, for sure… its a vegan Mecca. I was just there a few weeks ago and ate fantastic vegan food the entire time I was there. If I had to get more specific, I’d choose the Castro District if only to be close to Dinosaurs for their vegan banh-mi. Or the East Village here in NYC for vegan ice cream at Stogo.

Anything you’d like to ask the midtown lunch readers? I’d love to know where I can get really good vegetarian sushi… most of the fast places are fine, but I’m always relegated to avocado and/or cucumber rolls. And vegan options anywhere in Midtown, of course!

Got an answer for Emily? Put it in the comments. Want to be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate)? Email


  • My mom tries to pull that ‘Veggie’ Sushi crap. It does not exist. Tough.

    Viva Herbal Pizza on 2nd Ave and 11th street is a really good option for vegan ‘pizza’.

  • Vegan sushi??? Why bother. Just eat some damn vegetables and white rice…

    Fred, call this one out extra loud and proud.

    NVA! NVA!

  • I immediately stopped reading at ‘vegan blogger’.


    The “the clash of vegan vs iconic MTL lifestyles aside, this is the very first instance ever of FotW being the first overall blog entry of the week” edition

    In celebration of this milestone event, I think Subway should immediately issue millions of coupons for a buck off any sub when you buy a drink.

    Unless they already have.

    • It would be the first blog entry of the week, had the Plaza Food Hall entry not been written.

      • Oddly, at the time I posted, it was indeed the only posted page for Tuesday

        Maybe it was on editing hold or something, and despite the earlier datetime, was actually posted later?

        Or I’m just an idiot. Yeah, we can probably all agree on that.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Hi Emily! I worked with a vegan non-profit as their videographer and editor. They are called Our Hen House. Amazing ladies. Anyway, we did a video called vegan weekend on a budget. You should check it out. We went to some amazing places in the city. I don’t know about stogo but lulu’s sweet apothecary was amazing.

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    Wow, I didn’t know there was so much hate directed toward vegans here at MTL. For those carnivores who haven’t tried it, Cinnamon Snail is awesome. I believe Blondie and Brownie have raved about their donuts. The close-minded can continue to miss out…

    • I also am astonished at how people turn into complete assholes because they hear that someone wants to eat differently than they do. But that’s just life on the anonymous internet for ya.

    • Hate? No, we don’t hate. Discriminate, yes, we do that. Anyone who is a vegan as part of a fad (hipster) or any other misplaced ideology cannot be taken seriously in the greater discussion that encompasses food. Hence the relegation to their own smug corners of the internet.

      Please leave us to our pâté, buffalo wings, cured deli meats, and cheese and you can go back to calling foods ‘pizza’ and ‘pasta’ while containing none of the requisite parts.

      • User has not uploaded an avatar

        Explain yourself please.
        How is it that you do not ‘hate’?
        And what is this ‘greater discussion that encompasses food’ that you talk about?

        All I see is a girl asking for a couple of tips for places to eat. What is it that you read in this blog post?

      • I haven’t had the urge to spit roast a vegan as of yet.

  • Ugh. While I don’t hate on Vegans, it’s just not for me. Only unless someone’s health requires such a strict diet, I don’t see the moral point.
    That said, veggie sushi is ridiculous. not necessarily the concept, but that fact that she asked. rice is rice. the quality of the “stuffing” will correlate to the overall quality of the establishment. You’re not going have a spot thats got great, organic veggies and sh*tty tuna. With exception the highest quality places, the quality of veggies are ALWAYS and afterthought.

    @Evan – if you use amazing to describe everything, it becomes ordinary. Just sayin….

    • User has not uploaded an avatar

      Lol. Wow didn’t realize I used it in practically every sentence. I’ll try to curb that. I was mostly just excited to see a vegan profile on the site. Anyway, lulu’s was great. Everyone should check it out.

      Also, I don’t quite understand what you mean by saying “not for you.” I am not vegan but I do eat vegan occasionally or even make an effort to eat much less meat in my diet. I will admit that I do love my occasional pork or a hamburger. However, to say you don’t understand the moral implication though doesn’t make one bit of sense. I implore you. Go kill a live cow or pig or chop a chicken’s head off. Look them in the eye as you hold the giant knife and tell me you feel nothing. I’m not saying I’m perfect but there IS a moral implication and I don’t deny it. It’s the abstaction of buying it post slaughter that attempts to remove the moral implication.

      • Why do meat-averse people harp on that point? For the most part, the past several generations of Americans haven’t had to do the work of raising their own meat. It’s just how our society exists today, and to say we need to kill our own food to understand the “moral implications” makes no sense. Only hunters can eat meat, then, because they’re willing to kill it themselves?

        It would be like telling vegetarians that they have to watch the migrant workers who do the real work of growing what they eat, and ponder the moral implications of that. Or deal with the agricultural giants that dominate our food supply, vegetarian or not.

      • The funny thing about vegans, and their choice to not use animal products rests solely on the back of humans (Animals in their own rite), mainly migrant workers. Aint’ that a crock?

      • @Evan, you’re right, you’re NOT a vegan. Vegan is a lifestyle, not a food course. Sure, I cut back on meat sometimes too. Will even have an all vegan meal if I’m trying to “detox” from a cholestrol overload, etc. I would never say that I’m sometimes a vegan. Am I indian for everytime I eat curry?

        There are various levels of vegetarian, one being vegan. “I Don’t Understand” the vegan choice. It’s extreme and provides very little choice of protein (beans beans or beans). So again, I don’t see why someone would choose that lifestyle. It’s beyond the moral implications of slaughtering animals. (and to that point I think Cheese & Dave covered well).

      • User has not uploaded an avatar

        @Dave I’m not harping or meat averse. I just think that this is the argument of most vegans and it is a valid one.

        Also, I like your point about the migrant workers. We should treat all animals better including humans.

      • User has not uploaded an avatar

        Just wanted to chime in here and reply to Username303…

        Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of ways to get protein on a vegan diet besides beans. Every single vegetable under the sun has protein in it, and that protein is a much higher quality than that found in aninmal flesh and secretions. Plus, dietary needs for protein are not as high as people believe them to be. This is one of the most common misunderstandings so I had to clear the air on that.

        I don’t believe it to be strict or extreme at all. What I do find to be extreme is the billions of farm animals a year that are killed just for the sake of taste. Plus, animal products as food are some of the highest contributers to the number one killer in America – heart disease.

        Now, just give me a minute to put on my flame retardant outfit…

      • Your username cant possibly mean your beliefs have one iota of bias. *eye roll*

      • User has not uploaded an avatar

        Nope, not at all.

    • “Only unless someone’s health requires such a strict diet, I don’t see the moral point.”
      - Who says there’s always a moral point? What if someone simply chooses to be vegan? Why is that a problem for anyone?

  • You know what I’ve always considered the best sushi for vegetarians? Korean kimbap. Have you ever had that, Emily?

    • Although it’s more than forgivable, I think just the way she asked is what pokes people (myself included). But I stand corrected after re-reading. To her defense, she points out that most places have only a few options. So (I think) she’s looking for a wider array on the menu – as opposed to simply high quality veggies. It’s like asking for any burger joints that make a good lamb burger.

      Zach is thinking outside the box. If you like veggies and rice, you don’t need to go for “sushi”.

    • User has not uploaded an avatar

      Thanks for the suggestion and I will totally check that out!

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Zach, I was thinking the same thing – kim bap can have various stuffings and is often vegetarian/vegan. Also, near Grand Central is Oms/b, the Japanese rice ball place. They have triangular rice balls wrapped in nori and some have tuna, but the one I like has the sour plum in it. I haven’t been there in a while, but I think they probably have some options that are veggie/vegan-friendly.

    In the Flatiron area, Terri’s has a strong veggie/vegan lunch menu and might deliver to your area. I’ve only heard good things about them. The Loving Hut is also far from Grand Central, but they might deliver to you.

  • I just point to this:

    I don’t openly hate. Ridicule? Perhaps.

  • I hope to never begin a sentence w/ “Being a vegan…”

  • Sigh… Welcome to ML, Emily, where the only food worth talking about is Bacon.

    Loving Hut is a bit far from you, but fyi they don’t skimp on that most-wonderful substance in all the land: Avocado.

    • I have heard from a vegetarian (Indian) that Loving Hut is indeed very good. Go there if you can.

      My crazy raw-food mother likes it too if that means anything.

  • meats and cheeses!!!!!!!!!

  • Is there Vegan Bacon? I will try that and live to talk about it.

    Carnivore? Omnivores!! I eat veggies but it will not be my base of consumption.

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    I love the vegetable sushi at Ruby Foo’s in midtown. They have one with cucumber,asparagus and avocado and it rocks. and they give you tons of extra wasabi if you ask for it.

    • Not trying to harp, but didnt Emily say she’s looking for somethign beyond cucumber & avocado? I’m sure asparagus is a norm as well…
      ANY place will give extra wasabi if asked. It’s like asking for more ketchup.

      Emily, if you want vegan sushi, try any sushi place that is highly recommended in general. Even if you don’t see many options on the menu, just ask the waiter/waitress if the chef will make you some special veggie rolls. You’ll be happy.

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