In the Financial District, finding lunch may seem like a daily struggle, but a flowering of counter-service and build-your-own spots means there’s creative and inexpensive options out there. Most dishes at places on this list hover between the $10 to $20 dollar mark, and diners have a large variety to choose from, including salad bowls, Indian food, and northern Chinese fare. From a bowl of spicy tingly noodle soup to a hearty serving of katsu curry, here are the top fast-casual spots in FiDi right now. For a broader selection of FiDi restaurants that includes full-service operations, check out this map.Read More
22 Go-To Fast-Casual Spots in FiDi
Quick and affordable meals downtown, for lunch inspiration
1. Shake Shack
New York, NY 10007
The popular burger chain has a location on the second floor of the Fulton transit hub. There’s also a Battery Park City outpost, where one can dine at a table on a patio, or get it to-go and head around the corner to the riverside, where there’s a view of the Statue of Liberty.
2. Eataly NYC Downtown
This iconic food hall has a plethora of pasta, bread, pizza, and dessert options, and the many restaurants, and counters within serve a variety of needs. For a quick but filling meal, grab a prime rib sandwich at the rotisserie counter, or a caprese sandwich on housemade piadina at I Panini. For a lighter lunch, Pronto offers pasta salad and a selection of naturally flavored sodas from a refrigerated section. Gelato or a cannoli is available at dessert counters.
3. Joe’s Pizza FiDi
Village slice icon Joe’s has a Fulton Street location. Classic New York pizza comes available by the slice, though pies are available too if doing a group order.
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4. Go! Go! Curry World Trade Center
The World Trade Center location of this affordable Japanese curry chain can get crowded, but its delicately fried katsu, served over nourishing gravy and measured portions of rice, is worth waiting for. There are also a number of toppings available, from a boiled egg to shrimp tempura.
5. Nish Nush
There are two outposts of this vegetarian Israeli kitchen, both in lower Manhattan. Stop in for hummus, chile falafel burger, cauliflower sabeh with homemade harissa, or creamy labneh with fresh pita.
6. Maestro Pasta
Pasta clocks in at under $10 a bowl at Maestro, a bright new fast-casual spot in the same vein as the late Pasta Flyer. The menu features fresh, springy pasta and build-your-own sauces with meat, seafood, and veggie add-ons, as well as daily sauce specials, such as curry or honey mustard with roast chicken. A new option allows diners who are looking for a lighter lunch to opt for half-servings.
7. 西安名吃 Xi'an Famous Foods
Popular Chinese noodle chain Xi’an Famous Foods has a location in FiDi, where there’s plenty of narrow communal seating to have a steaming plate of slippery, tongue-tingling spicy cumin lamb hand-ripped noodles and a cold soda. The dumplings here aren’t bad either, but the chile-studded cucumber salad is the side dish to get.
8. The Kati Roll Company
Nothing says a quick and easy meal like a crisp, hot kati roll, with a flaky, egg-lined paratha stuffed with spicy meat or vegetables. The mango lassi helps wash it all down on days when such indulgence is called for. The Maiden Lane location also serves coffee, tea, egg rolls, and Nutella parathas at breakfast.
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9. Bao Bao Café
The noodle soups at Bao Bao are spiced with Sichuan peppercorn, which means they are best washed down with a glug of sweet, iced Hong Kong milk tea, with a refreshing tea egg or marinated baby octopus on the side. There’s a second location in Gramercy.
Order the piping hot falafel in pita with as many toppings as can fit at this vegetarian Israeli spot, which has a number of locations in Manhattan. Many of their menu items are gluten-free as well.
11. Chubby Princess
The former counter-service Chinese spot Tomorrow has transformed into Chubby Princess, also from Amelie Kang, the woman behind dry pot hit MáLà Project. The restaurant still serves northern Chinese food, but with more dumpling and noodle dishes, many of them priced under $10. At lunch, takeout is still available.
12. Sons of Thunder
The brothers who run Sons of Thunder have roots in Hawaii and California, near the Mexican border. This is reflected both in the decor and on their menu, which offers hot dogs, tacos, and entrees like Huli Huli chicken if the mood strikes for something other than the exceptional poke.
13. Chenny's Kitchen
Also known as Chen’s Buffet Bar, Chenny’s Kitchen has a $6.99 per pound lunch buffet with a loyal following of FiDi lunchers, which means it can get crowded. From the buffet table, nab the peppery pork chop, curry chicken, and the beef mei fun. Head there after 1:45pm, when the price becomes $3.99 until the buffet ends at 3 p.m.
14. Black Fox Coffee
Black Fox Coffee opened in 2016 and has quickly become a FiDi go-to, serving carefully selected brews in elegant, high-ceilinged surrounds. There are a number of equally thoughtful eats, like the ginger soy chicken and avocado sandwich, which is served with spicy tomatillo relish.
15. Blue Park Kitchen
This fast-casual spot offers filling, healthy bowls with a number of gluten-free and meatless options, with an emphasis on partnering with local, small-batch farms and women-owned businesses. Seasonal highlights include the turkey meatballs with braised red cabbage and the gluten-free aloo tikki with mixed mushrooms
Cava, a chain from DC, lets diners build their own Mediterranean-inspired bowl, which ensures a balanced mix of carbs, protein, and fats, whether that’s through a harissa roasted chicken salad with Greek vinaigrette or a pita with spicy meatballs and hummus.
The New York power lunch is not dead, it just moved to Sweetgreen. The FiDi location of the popular salad chain has a snaking line for the entire lunch hour.
David Chang’s counter-serve spot specializes in a hot chicken sandwich designed to compete with the likes of Chik-fil-A and Popeye’s. The sandwich comes with either sweet and spicy garlic chicken or the 12-spice, with a choice in spice level, as well as a side and cheesy bread and pickles.
Disclosure: David Chang is producing shows for Hulu in partnership with Vox Media Studios, part of Eater’s parent company, Vox Media. No Eater staff member is involved in the production of those shows, and this does not impact coverage on Eater.
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Westville serves up casual American eats like hot dogs and sandwiches with a twist, including a cheddar and gouda grilled cheese or a crispy vegan burger made from artichoke and quinoa, topped with housemade coconut sriracha ranch sauce. It’s got lots of salads too, though expect to pay close to $20 when adding protein.
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20. Springbone Kitchen
The nourishing broths at Springbone Kitchen come with a number of optional add-ins, everything from lemon wedges to collagen protein. For hungrier diners, there’s also a selection of grain bowls with meat, fish, and veggies. It’s ideal for people on restricted diets, as it boasts that it doesn’t use refined sugars.
21. Essen Fast Slow Food
New York, NY 10004
The steam tables at Essen boast a cornucopia of options, but its Korean offerings are especially enticing, from a solid bibimbap to a number of spicy soups and stews.
Bombay’s is a classic Punjabi steam table spot, though it has a large number of a la carte options as well. The chicken, vegetable, and rice lunch special costs $10 and comes with a vegetable and choice of curry, such as korma, jalfrazie, or vindaloo. Portions are very generous.