Your First Look at the New Plaza Food Hall

When Todd English opened a food court inside the former Plaza Hotel two years ago, our interest was piqued but the fancy setting and high end food proved to be a lunch that had to be splurged on. Last week, we learned that more kiosks would be opening and some were actually from ML favorites. I was hoping I’d be able to leave with an affordable and delicious lunch. I admit that it was possible, but the pickings were slim indeed.

The food court looks like a boutique shopping mall meets Eataly with a handful of tables and chairs. I felt like I had racked up an expensive bill just by looking around.

The Sushi of Gari section looked delectable, but was way out of our price range. The small little sushi cups were fancy and tempting, but each one cost roughly $6 and I can’t say that it would have been more filling than an amuse bouche.

Most of the sandwich options at stands like Tartinery and Pain d’Avignon were pre-made and if they were under $10 they looked more like tea sandwiches than anything that would hold us through the post-lunch work day.

I naturally drifted to the No. 7 Sub Shop booth. I’m a huge fan of their subs and I know that they’re generally tasty and filling. Most of the options are right at the $10 mark, which is a bit frustrating because the sandwiches at the original spot are just $9. I guess the rent at the Plaza is higher than at the Ace Hotel.

The woman behind the counter told me the sandwiches would change regularly here too. While the Cheese with Fried Chickpeas and Broccoli Sauce sounded awesome, I stuck with the Tilapia Melt since I thought I’d get more for my money with the inclusion of fish. It was another winner of a sandwich. The tilapia had a mild flavor that combined with the nutty havarti cheese, crunchy and brown fried garlic, and crisp and fresh cabbage made for a very refined version of a tuna melt.

There was also a whole slew of fancy desserts from just about every single vendor. There were cupcakes (from Billy’s Bakery), macarons (from FP Patisserie), black and white cookies (from William Greenberg Desserts), and rich, decadent (and expensive) chocolate cakes (from Lady M).

But I was desperate to try the exclusive dessert from Luke’s Lobster. In addition to their usual crustacean rolls, they were advertising a PB&J whoopie pie for $3. I think that’s a bit steep since the dessert was rather small and all the other nearby sweet options were ten times as pretty. Wild Maine blueberry cream was sandwiched between two peanut butter cake patties. I love a good whoopie pie, but this was a slight disappointment. The textures were all right on, but I think the blueberry cream got overwhelmed by the peanut butter. It was hard for me to taste the cream at all which truth be told is my favorite part of a whoopie pie.

The beautiful Plaza Food Hall is definitely worth a look around – and maybe things will change when some new vendors open in the coming weeks (like David Burke and Creperie NY) – but as it stands now the food is a bit too pricey to warrant a consistent lunch visit. Not much of a surprise there.

Plaza Food Hall, 1 West 59th Street (at Fifth Avenue), (212) 986-9260


  • When will the macaron craze be over? It’s stupider than the cupcake frenzy.

  • That sandwich doesn’t look ‘gourmet’ at all. It doesn’t look any different than $6-7 sandwich I get from a local deli.

  • Tourist food at tourist prices! Hooray!

  • This is a lunch available in Midtown, not a Midtown Lunch.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    @mkim1206 I doubt your local deli will serve the same combos with the same fresh ingredients. And paying an extra $3 for that is worth it to me.

    • Actually i should mention, any sandwich place doesn’t use good bread means they are not serious about making good sandwich..but that’s just me.

  • I stopped by No.7 Sub again for a few subs to share with the S.O. on the way home from the office yesterday. Had the Turkey (Turkey, Bok Choy, Hoisin Vinaigrette, Queso Fresco) and the Cheese (Cana de Cabra cheese, Broccoli Sauce, Fried Chickpeas, Pickled Red Onions). Both $10 (so a little over ML standards with tax). Both were good but not as crazy good as the Broccoli sub I mentioned in my forum post.

    Yes, the sandwiches are expensive, but they are quite filling (Bigger than that photo makes them look) and the ingredients are fancier/fresher than the standard deli sandwich (and worlds above Cafe Metro et al.) I’m willing to pay $2-3 more for that.

    Overall, I think the plaza Food Court will find its place for us more as a dessert stop than a lunch stop…but the addition of a few quality splurges nearby for when I want them make the changes a huge net gain in my book.

  • Aw man… That Whoopie pie sounded so good on paper. Now I’m reluctant to try it.

  • My friend and I ate at No 7 Sub yesterday. There really isn’t anything under $10, but there is plenty of good stuff there. I had the “Cheesesteak.” It had cheesesteak type beef, wiz, and jalapeƱos, and funyons in it. The sandwich was outstanding. My friend got some sort of cold cut sub and she loved it as well.

    The sandwich costs more than $10, but it’s worth it.

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.