13 Affordable Downtown Lunch Spots We Can’t Stop Thinking About
With workers returning to the office at long last, the debate over bringing versus buying lunch is beginning to reignite. On the one hand, bringing lunch from home saves you some money. On the other hand, no one wants to suffer through a slapdash turkey sandwich that’s wilted from your commute. A conundrum, indeed.
The good news is, in Lower Manhattan, it’s a false choice. Here, we have lots of cost-effective lunchtime food options that run the gamut from hearty pasta dishes to sushi to bowls of bone broth. Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered.
1. Kuu (20 John Street)
If you’re looking for a steamy dish, Kuu (20 John Street) has piping hot ramen bowls available for takeout, delivery and outdoor dining. They’ve also got sake on sale if you want to keep the party going at home. just added cold noodles for their summer menu
2. Pisillo (97 Nassau Street)
Pisillo serves delectable Italian meat-stuffed sandwiches the size of a human torso, which is really all you need to know. A $14-$15 sandwich will probably last you two meals, and have we mentioned how delicious they are? Even Robert De Niro thinks so.
3. Indian King Biryani House (130 Broadway)
This celebrated halal cart serves up some of the best biryani in the city, with hearty, flavorful rice and tasty vegetables topped with tender meat and a collection of green, white and red sauces. You can get a classic chicken or lamb biryani or opt for a kati roll or other dish; massive portions usually clock in at under $10.
4. Sweetgreen (67 Wall Street)
We probably don’t even need to explain Sweetgreen, the now-omnipresent fast-casual salad spot founded by three recent college graduates in 2007. Opt for one of their tasty signature salads or bowls or mix up your own preferred list of ingredients; the salads come with a slice of whole wheat sourdough bread, too.
5. Takahachi Bakery (25 Murray Street)
Yes, Lower Manhattan offers wedge salads and prime ribs eaten in vaulted rooms, but what about yuzu tarts, orange wasabi mousse and almond-miso cookies? Thanks to Takahachi Bakery, you can find these lunchtime treats, too. The bakery offers colorful desserts, fresh salads, flavorful curry-filled rolls and house-made gelato, among other delights.
6. Aroi Dee Thai (20 John Street)
For affordable drunken noodles, in addition to vermicelli, rice and egg noodles paired with a variety of curries and peanut sauces, hit up Aroy Dee Thai,
7. Leo’s Bagels (3 Hanover Square)
A bagel sandwich is always the best lunch, and Leo’s Bagels will be quick to whip up one for you. They’ve got an impressive collection of hand-rolled bagels, spreads and sandwich fillings, and most meals come in at under $10.
8. Vietspot (99 Nassau Street)
Casual Vietnamese eatery Vietspot is back open for indoor dining, and offers Vietnamese classics including big bowls of pho, hearty banh mi sandwiches, vermicelli, dumplings, air fried vegetable rolls and more.
9. Maestro Pasta (45 John Street)
Beloved Downtown spaghetti joint Maestro Pasta’s mix-and-match menu is full of choices from comforting, cold-weather classics (think bolognese or butter-and-sage) to slightly lighter fare (puttanesca, shrimp ragu, and fresh veggie sides), all made with the restaurant’s organic, fresh pasta that’s made from scratch each day.
10. Sushi & Co. (67 Nassau Street)
For classic Japanese cuisine, Sushi & Co. offers fresh and affordable rolls, ramen, teriyaki dishes and more. Opt for a roll box or bento box for a real deal, with an assortment of mains and sides.
11. Neapolitan Express (40 Wall Street)
Eco-friendly pie spot Neapolitan Express is the perfect spot for organic, authentic pizza that’s good for you and the environment. It’s also light on your wallet. Points all around!
12. Cava (63 Wall Street)
Fast-casual chain Cava is renowned for its cost-effective, filling Mediterranean-inspired bowls, pita sandwiches and more.
13. Springbone Kitchen (74 Pearl Street)
If you like a liquid lunch (no, not that kind), stay healthy all year with Springbone’s nutrient-rich, affordable bone broth, as well as other organic dishes.