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Beat The Heat: NYC’s 7 Best Cold Lunches

June 21, 2012 11:00 AM

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(credit: Chop't/Facebook)

(credit: Chop’t/Facebook)

In hot, sticky weather like this, who wants to eat a big, heavy meal? Try to cool down with these cold lunches or refreshing desserts. By Yvo Sin.

Pho Bang

pho bang Beat The Heat: NYCs 7 Best Cold Lunches

(credit: feistyfoodie.com)

8290 Broadway
Elmhurst, NY 11373
(718) 205-1500

Sure, in cold weather, Vietnamese pho can’t be beat. But in this humidity and heat, the Vietnamese have another solution: bun, or a cold noodle salad bowl. Each bowl is layered with shredded lettuce and assorted vegetables, then topped with a cold pile of vermicelli noodles. On top of the vermicelli is your choice of protein – grilled chicken, pork, rolled beef, spring rolls, and more, and on top of everything, you pour a small bowl of dressing comprised mostly of fish sauce. Mix everything together, and take a bite – making sure your spoon has some vegetable matter, some noodles, and some protein – and enjoy what has to be the perfect summertime meal. As you eat, the vinaigrette slowly starts to break down the vegetables, almost pickling them, and each bite tastes like heaven. Cold, refreshing heaven.

Banh Mi Saigon

banh mi saigon Beat The Heat: NYCs 7 Best Cold Lunches

(credit: feistyfoodie.com)

198 Grand St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 941-1541
banhmisaigonnyc.com

See Also: Best NYC Banh Mi

If bun is the perfect summer noodle dish, then banh mi is the perfect summer sandwich. The Vietnamese sandwich starts with the perfect bread: French baguette with a crisp crust and tender crumb, slathered with Vietnamese mayo, then pate, topped with various cold cuts, cucumber, pickled veggies, sprigs of cilantro, fresh jalapenos if that’s how you roll, a dash of Maggi and a bit of Sriracha (a spicy garlic sauce). Each bite of a properly balanced banh mi reveals just a bit of everything: the savory meats and pate, the creamy sweetness of the mayo and fresh veggies, and the sour tang of the pickled veggies. It’s hard to put a sandwich down until you’ve eaten every last delicious bite; Banh Mi Saigon makes it easy, and with sandwiches starting at $3.50, not only will you have a delicious, filling lunch, but you’ll still have a full wallet afterwards.

Lure Fishbar

lure fishbar Beat The Heat: NYCs 7 Best Cold Lunches

(credit: Lure Fish Bar)

142 Mercer Street
New York, NY
(212) 431-7676
lurefishbar.com

More: NYC’s 8 Best Oyster Bars

Lure Fishbar’s lunch menu has, as one might expect, the usual suspects: a raw bar section, oysters, clams, platters of delicious chilled seafood; sushi, sashimi, handrolls; seafood-centered soups, salads, appetizers and entrees. But the surprise standout on the menu is actually the Lure Burger (not the regular cheeseburger!): a juicy burger with ketchup, mustard, pickles, lettuce, tomato and special sauce, served on buttery brioche. Thin-cut fries complete the platter, and make visiting the seafood restaurant worth it for any land lovers. If you’re not so inclined, check out the fish & chips section of the menu for lobster tail tempura served with chips… guaranteed to make you smile.

Koto Sushi

sushi Beat The Heat: NYCs 7 Best Cold Lunches

(credit:YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

67 6th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 230-3881

More: NYC’s 5 Best Sushi Restaurants

Eating sushi in steamy weather may seem counter-intuitive to some, but it’s one of the few foods served cold that everyone seems to enjoy. Koto Sushi is your neighborhood sushi joint, bumped up a few notches by superb service and excellent lunch specials. Two or three rolls will run you $6.95 and $9.95 respectively, with miso soup and salad. But perhaps most impressive is that on the same lunch menu, twelve pieces of sashimi costs a mere $9.25 (also served with miso soup & salad); and the eel don (broiled eel over rice)? That sets you back $8.50.

Chop’t

chopt Beat The Heat: NYCs 7 Best Cold Lunches

(credit: Chop’t/Facebook)

Six locations around NYC, check website
choptsalad.com

See Also: NYC’s 6 Best Salads

Salad is the obvious choice for such weather; it is swimsuit season, afterall. Light, waist-friendly, and cold, a crisp salad might be just the thing. At Chop’t, they certainly put a new spin on it: after you pick out your toppings and mix-ins, they take the time to chop the salad up into smaller, bite-sized pieces to make it easier to eat. How often have you eaten a salad, forking a slightly larger leaf, only to have it suddenly flip and fling an oily dollop of dressing right onto your shirt before a big meeting? Not an issue here. The ingredients are fresh, the dressings are light, and it won’t drastically raise your body temperature. Win.

Koi Restaurant

koi Beat The Heat: NYCs 7 Best Cold Lunches

(credit: LFB Media Group)

Bryant Park Hotel
40 W 40th St
New York, NY 10018
(212) 921-3330
koirestaurant.com

More: NYC’s 5 Best Sushi Restaurants

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’, enjoying the new Skinny Menu. What’s that? The Skinny Menu boasts all dishes that weigh in under 300 calories, including the steamed Chilean sea bass with fresh ginger, Shiitake mushrooms and grape tomatoes (pictured), a luscious dish that only has 245 calories. You’ll have enough calories to also have a cocktail – which they’ve also pared down to have slightly more than a soda. Why not?

Eddie’s Sweet Shop

eddies Beat The Heat: NYCs 7 Best Cold Lunches

(credit: feistyfoodie.com)

105-29 Metropolitan Ave
Queens, NY 11367
(718) 520-8514

More: NYC’s 5 Best Hot Fudge Sundaes

When you enter Eddie’s, on your right is a display case of candy; many of them the kind you got when you were a kid. Flood your senses with nostalgia as you pore over the selection; turn to your left and the original bar with original barstools and even the original cash register are all still there. Though the shop is mostly staffed by young kids, the service is still with a smile, and if you’re nice enough, they might even offer to share their egg cream with you. Every flavor of ice cream is homemade, as is the whipped cream and all of the syrups and toppings. A cup of ice cream will set you back $2.50, but you’ll want to add fudge; it will flow over the sides of your cup, making your sweet treat even better.

For the latest on where to eat in the Tri-State, follow us on Twitter!Yvo Sin is the founder and head writer of The Feisty Foodie.
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