The easiest way to describe Woorijip would be to say it is like a 7-Eleven with a Korean slant to it. Along the right-hand side is a help-yourself buffet area full of Korean goodies, and along the left-hand side is a refrigerated case of all sorts of lovely pre-packed tasty delights. No matter what you choose, you’re sure to fill up cheaply – and conveniently.
Tri Tip Grill
An extra boost of high-quality protein (in the form of tri-tip steak) for a reasonable price, served on a soft roll alongside a cup of jus is just the thing to help you get through another day of work (if you don’t pass out afterwards from food coma!). Despite Tri Tip Grill’s location among plenty of tourist traps, real New Yorkers know the deal; for around $10 you get a great sandwich with all the fixings — or you can ‘make it a meal’ with a soda (or bottle of water) and your choice of side for a few dollars more. The only trouble you might encounter is wading through all the tourists to get there – but don’t worry if there’s a line, because it moves pretty fast.
Burger Joint at The Parker Meridien
Hidden in a corner of the lobby at the Parker Meridien is a neon sign in the shape of a burger, with an arrow beneath it. Follow the arrow to what could arguably be called New York’s worst-kept secret; the lines are long and articles about this burger can be found on all corners of the Internet. On a good day, the burgers are cooked perfectly to order and arrive juicy, hot, and delicious, but you could wait in line for an hour or more. Worth it? That’s up to the eater.
Zaiya offers various bento and donburi, or set lunches and rice bowls, with proper portion sizes in mind as they’re created. Bentos will typically include a portion of rice, the protein of your choice (chicken, tofu, salmon, beef) in various iterations: fried, teriyaki, grilled, along with vegetables, occasionally Japanese potato salad, and are designed to fill you up with a properly balanced meal – so eat those veggies! Donburi are just as they sound: a bowl filled with rice, then topped with protein, such as chicken and egg cooked together, or beef (pictured) cooked in a light sweet soy sauce. Aside from being healthy, balanced meals, they won’t break the bank.
Hyo Dong Gak
Sitting on the stretch of Manhattan known as North Koreatown (32nd Street is known as simply Koreatown), Hyo Dong Gak boasts Korean-Chinese food – a cuisine that most Korean-Americans are extremely familiar with. Hyo Dong Gak also bears the distinction of being one of only a few restaurants in the area that serve jajangmyeon — a Chinese-Korean noodle dish topped with a chunjang diced pork sauce.
Pizza, the classic New York quick fix lunch, gets a facelift at Pizza by CerTe. This is not your $1 slice place; this is roasted wild mushrooms, porcini, bechamel, and thyme for their mushroom pizza. This is roasted cauliflower with spicy Harissa, sweet pepper, fennel, pomodoro and mozzarella. This is roasted artichoke with farmers’ blue cheese and celery hearts. This is… awesome gourmet pizza, with interesting and flavorful topping combinations that will leave you wondering where this pizza has been all your life.
Go Go Curry
The garishly colored awning may make you think twice, but don’t hesitate to go into this Japanese imported chain. The draw here is, of course, the curry dishes, all served over rice with your choice of ‘topping’: boiled egg, cheese, pork sausages or katsu. Feeling hungry? Order the Grand Slam (pictured) which, for $12.50, gives you a huge mound of rice and curry sauce, along with both pork and chicken katsu, hard boiled egg, fried shrimp, and pork sausages.
Boasting a view of Bryant Park while you dine, Koi caters to an incredibly varied crowd each day for lunch. Guests of the hotel may be dining there, while another table may be suits having a business lunch, and still another table may be ‘ladies who lunch.’ The restaurant also boasts and impressive cocktail menu featuring their signature ‘Koi-Tini,’ made with sparkling Rose, Cointreau, pomegranate and orange.
Bryant Park Kiosks
Grab a bite to eat at one of the many kiosks inside Bryant Park. Choose from a variety of cold or hot sandwiches from ‘wichcraft, founded by Chef Tom Colicchio. Try their warm roasted turkey with avocado, bacon, and onion relish on a ciabatta roll or pole-caught tuna with fennel, black olives, and lemon on a baguette. Those looking for something grilled should head over to the kiosk near 40th St. on the south side. They’re offering three types of grilled cheese sandwiches – Vermont cheddar, roasted onion and gruyere on rye, or tomato and mozzarella on ciabatta – and don’t forget the tomato soup. Top off your lunch with some frozen yogurt from the 42nd St. and 6th Ave. kiosk. If you still have time, make sure to bask in the sun while it’s out.
Bali Nusa Indah
Intrigue your senses with an introduction to Indonesian food, a spice-tastic – but not spicy! – cuisine that originates in the Oceanic/Southeast Asian region. If you’re feeling super adventurous, order the ‘nasi rames’, a sampling of almost the entire menu that comes with white rice and an entire tray of food. Or you can try the lunch menu, which runs from $6.95 – 8.95, and allows you to choose from such treats as curries, stir-fries, satay, all with varying levels of heat.
Just blocks from Penn Station, Pad Thai could easily rely on location to get by. Instead, they offer a fantastic lunch menu with above average Thai food that will satisfy your craving. The pineapple cashew chicken fried rice (pictured) is a tasty treat, while the restaurant’s namesake dish also makes for a yummy, filling lunch. Add on a Thai iced tea and linger over your meal before going back outside to fight the tourists — you deserve it.
Bite into a crispy yet chewy Banh mi sandwich and you’ll be craving one the rest of the week. Choose from Coconut Tiger Shrimp, Roasted Cauliflower, Peppercorn Catfish, Spicy Organic Tofu, and many others. All come with cucumber, pickled carrots, cilantro, and chili mayo. The Raw Kale & Apple Salad with toasted sesame vinaigrette is the perfect complement to any sandwich with its sweet yet nutty flavor. Enjoy a Cambodian Iced Tea, Coconut Juice, or Hot Ginger Apple Cider before heading back to the office.
If you’re in a hurry grab a salad from Chopt. The line may be long but it moves quickly. Choose from one of their most popular items like the Santa Fe (avocado, grape tomatoes, corn, Vermont pepperjack, homemade fried onions, and romaine lettuce), Mexican Ceasar (Cojita cheese, jalapeno peppers, tortilla chips, and romaine lettuce), or the Chopt Po’Boy (FreeBird panko fried chicken, grape tomatoes, charred red onion, Wisconsin cheddar, and romaine lettuce) or create your own using one of their many toppings. In the mood for a grain salad? Try one of their quinoa-based salads with Dijon Vinaigrette, Sweet & Smokey Chipotle Vinaigrette, or Lemon Tahini dressings. Get your salad delivered or pick it up at your convenience.
Le Pain Quotidien
Enjoy a bit of Belgian fare at Le Pain Quotidien. Try an open-faced Tartine like the Paris Ham & Aged Gruyere with Mustard Trio or Prosciutto & Ricotta with apple, wild arugula, and organic extra virgin olive oil. If you’re in the mood for a hot dish try the Quiche Lorraine, Six-Vegetable Tart, or Organic Three Bean Chili. If you’re sharing your meal, order the Artisanal Cheese & Charcuterie Board with local goat cheese and Camembert, Fourme d’Ambert, Prosciutto and Sopressata. Satisfy your sweet tooth with one of their Belgian Chocolate Brownies, Banoffee Tart (dulce de leche, banana and whipped cream), or Coconut Macaroons.
Don Antonio Pizza
Stop into Don Antonio Pizza and enjoy one of their many lunch specials. From Quattro Formaggi to Prosciutto e Arugula, there’s a pie for everyone to enjoy. Add on a Pontinia or Fresca salad or stick with your PIzze Blanche or Pizze Rosse. Did we mention the dough is flash fried first? That’s what makes it perfectly crispy and also traditionally Neapolitan. At most, you’ll spend $9 for an 8-inch pizza that you’ll be dreaming about later. Restaurant opens at 11:30 a.m.