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A sandwich with chicken, pickled grapes, and cheese is presented open-face on a white plate on top of a gray marble counter.
The Ritzy Titzy at Agi’s Counter.
Adam Friedlander

The 15 Hottest Lunch Spots in NYC Right Now

Burmese noodles, lamb tortas, and more new daytime spots

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The Ritzy Titzy at Agi’s Counter.
| Adam Friedlander

As late-night dining started making a comeback in the past year and more New Yorkers come back to the workplace, the city’s second favorite off-hours meal — lunch — is making a triumphant comeback of its own, whether enjoyed from an open office in Midtown or hidden inside a Queens mall. Included in this guide of newly opened restaurants are venues serving Burmese noodle dishes, a fast casual spot that fuses Middle Eastern and Latin American flavors in its sandwiches, as well as a new Midtown cafe from the team behind some of the city’s top fine dining destinations.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Claudy's Kitchen

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5981 Broadway
Bronx, NY 10471
(718) 884-7378
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After selling their flan at Zabar’s, Union Market, and elsewhere in the city for years, chef Claudia Berroa and husband Richard Berroa have opened this brick-and-mortar business in the Bronx. The menu showcases Peruvian specialties like lomo saltado and pollo a la brasa, but best of all are the empanadas. Made to order, and packed with chorizo, chicharon, and other fillings ($3 to $3.50 each), critic Ryan Sutton found their golden crust to be “as light as a wonton wrapper.”

A customer holds a chorizo empanada upright; it’s filled with orange potatoes and red cubes of sausage
Chorizo empanada at Claudy’s Kitchen.
Ryan Sutton/Eater

2. Native Noodles

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2129 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10032
(646) 370-6290
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First launched as a food stall at the Queens Night Market in 2019, chef Amy Pryke is now serving her popular Singaporean noodle dishes from a small restaurant in Washington Heights. New to the brick-and-mortar storefront is the roti john sandwich, a toasted baguette sandwich made from from cumin-spiced beef, caramelized onion, and egg. In Singapore, the dish is often eaten as breakfast, but here it makes for a comforting midday meal.

A beef and egg sandwiched placed on a wooden tray
The roti john sandwich, made with beef, caramelized onion, and egg.
Native Noodles

3. Chick Chick

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618 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024
(212) 799-1026
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At Chick Chick, chef Jun Park is putting an East Asian spin on Nashville hot chicken, resulting in tenders and wings that are not to be missed. Park batters and fries his chicken to-order, before tossing it in a blend of cayenne, paprika, gochugaru, onion powder, and garlic powder. Some might wish the chicken here had more heat — as is the case in Tennessee — but its “shatteringly crisp” skin makes for one of the best lunches in the neighborhood right now.

Gochujang Korean fried chicken sits on a white plate surrounded by a spread of fare including a kale Caesar salad, chicken sandwiches, and wings
Korean fried chicken and hot chicken sandwiches at Chick Chick.
Alex Staniloff/Eater

4. Bilao

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1437 1st Ave Store 1
New York, NY 10021
(212) 650-0010
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First-rate Filipino fare arrived on the Upper East Side during the pandemic in the form of Bilao, a restaurant from three nurses working at nearby Mount Sinai Hospital. They were reportedly looking for a place to enjoy the food of their native Philippines after their shifts and, unable to find one, ended up opening their own. The restaurant’s breakfast platters — composed of rice, egg, and sausage or fried fish — are especially good, and thankfully can be ordered for lunch, as well.

A big bowl of peanut butter stew with green beans visible and a dark red relish poised overhead.
A bowl of kare kare at Bilao.
Robert Sietsema/Eater

5. The Migrant Kitchen

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1433 1st Ave.
New York, NY 10021
(917) 409-1417
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Arab-Latin flavors combine at the Migrant Kitchen’s first uptown location. Eater NY critic Robert Sietsema recommends chefs Dan Dorado and Nasser Jaber’s lamb torta: a Mexican-style sandwich served with a lamb roast seasoned with sumac and Oaxacan cheese. Elsewhere on the menu, there are bowls, salads, and more that make for a perfect fast causal daytime option.

A sandwich on French bread with a thick slice of lamb inside.
The lamb torta.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

6. Three Roosters

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792 9th Ave
New York, NY 10019
(917) 261-4055
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In a stretch of Hell’s Kitchen known for its Thai food, Three Roosters has managed to find its own lane. The restaurant specializes in chicken over rice, served three ways: grilled and fatty with lemongrass, fried and coated in zab seasoning, and prepared in the style of Hainanese chicken. Skip the Hainanese version for now, and opt instead for the fried chicken, whose interior critic Ryan Sutton found to be delightfully “fatty and chewy, almost like pork belly.”

Sliced golden fried chicken sits next to cucumbers and over a pile of rice; springs of verdant cilantro are scattered about
The fried chicken over ginger rice at Three Roosters.
Ryan Sutton/Eater

7. Nneji

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32-20 34th Ave
Queens, NY 11106
(917) 832-7338
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From this tiny, takeout-only storefront in Astoria, owner Beatrice Ajaero tends to steaming trays of West African soups and stews. The shop excels in its egusi, a vibrant soup made from crushed melon seeds, spinach, and red pepper, though New York Times critic Pete Wells warmed up to Ajaero’s “smoldering” spicy goat stew, enriched by ginger, cayenne, and Scotch bonnet peppers.

8. Followsoshi

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135-24 40th Rd
Queens, NY 11354
(347) 654-6466
Visit Website

Jianbing, a street food staple in China, is the focus at this takeout counter in Downtown Flushing. Order the crepe-like dish with a variety of fillings — spicy ramen, Peking duck, and chopped crawfish, among a half-dozen others — and wait a few minutes for it to come off the grill. The restaurant also specializes in roasted cold noodles, which are neither cold nor resemblant of most noodle dishes in the city, but are preferred over the jianbing by New York Times critic Pete Wells.

A round pancake on a grill with all sorts of toppings.
Jian bing, a crepe-like dish that’s a street food staple in China.
Robert Sietsema/Eater

9. Lodi

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1 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020
(212) 597-2735
Visit Website

Some of the items on the menu at this Rockefeller Center hotspot from Ignacio Mattos come with eye-popping prices. But with some careful navigation of the menu, Lodi may well be on its way to becoming one of Midtown’s best lunch spots. Items like the porchetta sandwich, a kale-and-egg tart, and a Dune-like ribbed croissant had Eater NY critic Ryan Sutton coming back for more.

A golden porchetta sandwich sits on a white plate, next to a plate of anchovies and red peppers and a kale tart
A selection of daytime options at Lodi.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

10. Burmese Bites

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90-15 Queens Blvd
Queens, NY 11373

Queens Night Market favorite Burmese Bites now has its own standalone brick-and-mortar located inside the Queens Center Mall food court. Owner Myo Lin Thway is cooking up chicken curry with flaky palata bread (there’s also a vegan version), shan kaukswe (rice noodles with chicken curry and pickled mustard greens), and nan gyi thoke (a rice noodle salad), as well as daily-changing specials — all available for dine-in or takeout.

11. Mott Street Eatery

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98 Mott St
New York, NY 10013

At this new Chinatown food court there at least 10 stalls, all under one roof, to choose from during lunch hours. Vendors like 89 Eatery serve up items like congee or roast duck, while Kwan’s Burger highlights unusual pie flavors like lobster pizza. With 100 seats in the venue, you’ll have no problem finding a seat during peak hours.

A food court filled with white tables, about half occupied.
Inside the new food court.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

12. Sobak

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51b Canal St
New York, NY 10002

At this one-man show, dishes come out thoughtfully-prepared from a small kitchen that packs in a ton of flavor. Sobak has a slender-but-filling menu of offerings to eat at one of just a few counter seats or pick-up for takeout. Here, protein-packed lunch bowls like a standout bibimbap with yukhoe (a Korean-style raw meat dish akin to tartare), unagi, or an option with wagyu help fuel diners throughout the day.

13. Chinah

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100 Maiden Ln
New York, NY 10038

After a successful debut in Jersey City, Chinese takeout spot Chinah has expanded with this second location in the Financial District. Rice bowls are the star of the show here and, when topped with fist-sized meatballs or crisp pork belly, they offer a compelling alternative to the fast-casual chains that populate the neighborhood. Pro tip: All of the bowls can, and should, be ordered with forbidden rice.

An overhead shot of a spread of colorful dishes laid out on a sunny yellow table
A spread of dishes, including Sichuan pork and forbidden rice, from Chinah.
Chinah

14. Agi's Counter

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818 Franklin Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11225
(718) 822-7833
Visit Website

Though Agi’s also has a standout breakfast program filled with pastries and egg sandwiches, lunch may well be where this Crown Heights newcomer really thrives. The hearty durans, Austrian-style open-faced sandwiches, such as the Ritzy Titzy (poached chicken sandwich, blue cheese, pickled grapes, and herbs) can also be ordered as a salad, depending on your mood. The stunning jammy egg mousse duran is also a showstopper.

A trio of sanfwiches on white plates sit on a marble table next to a marigold flower in a vase.
A trio of sandwiches at Agi’s Counter.
Adam Friedlander/Eater NY

15. Ayat

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8504 3rd Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11209
(718) 831-2585
Visit Website

Restaurateur Abdul Elenani opened this Bay Ridge restaurant last year, where chicken and beef shawarma are shaved from towers of spinning meat all day long. The restaurant caught the attention of New York Times critic Pete Wells shortly after opening, who found that its best dishes weren’t its shawarma or kebabs, but its Palestinian staples, including “improbably delicate” lamb kefta.

The colorful mezze platter of hummus, baba ganoush, muhammarah, tahini, tabouleh, labne dusted with sumac is presented in a clay bowl ontop of a colorful tablecloth.
The colorful mezze platter.
Emma Orlow/Eater NY

1. Claudy's Kitchen

5981 Broadway, Bronx, NY 10471
A customer holds a chorizo empanada upright; it’s filled with orange potatoes and red cubes of sausage
Chorizo empanada at Claudy’s Kitchen.
Ryan Sutton/Eater

After selling their flan at Zabar’s, Union Market, and elsewhere in the city for years, chef Claudia Berroa and husband Richard Berroa have opened this brick-and-mortar business in the Bronx. The menu showcases Peruvian specialties like lomo saltado and pollo a la brasa, but best of all are the empanadas. Made to order, and packed with chorizo, chicharon, and other fillings ($3 to $3.50 each), critic Ryan Sutton found their golden crust to be “as light as a wonton wrapper.”

5981 Broadway
Bronx, NY 10471

2. Native Noodles

2129 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10032
A beef and egg sandwiched placed on a wooden tray
The roti john sandwich, made with beef, caramelized onion, and egg.
Native Noodles

First launched as a food stall at the Queens Night Market in 2019, chef Amy Pryke is now serving her popular Singaporean noodle dishes from a small restaurant in Washington Heights. New to the brick-and-mortar storefront is the roti john sandwich, a toasted baguette sandwich made from from cumin-spiced beef, caramelized onion, and egg. In Singapore, the dish is often eaten as breakfast, but here it makes for a comforting midday meal.

2129 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10032

3. Chick Chick

618 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024
Gochujang Korean fried chicken sits on a white plate surrounded by a spread of fare including a kale Caesar salad, chicken sandwiches, and wings
Korean fried chicken and hot chicken sandwiches at Chick Chick.
Alex Staniloff/Eater

At Chick Chick, chef Jun Park is putting an East Asian spin on Nashville hot chicken, resulting in tenders and wings that are not to be missed. Park batters and fries his chicken to-order, before tossing it in a blend of cayenne, paprika, gochugaru, onion powder, and garlic powder. Some might wish the chicken here had more heat — as is the case in Tennessee — but its “shatteringly crisp” skin makes for one of the best lunches in the neighborhood right now.

618 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024

4. Bilao

1437 1st Ave Store 1, New York, NY 10021
A big bowl of peanut butter stew with green beans visible and a dark red relish poised overhead.
A bowl of kare kare at Bilao.
Robert Sietsema/Eater

First-rate Filipino fare arrived on the Upper East Side during the pandemic in the form of Bilao, a restaurant from three nurses working at nearby Mount Sinai Hospital. They were reportedly looking for a place to enjoy the food of their native Philippines after their shifts and, unable to find one, ended up opening their own. The restaurant’s breakfast platters — composed of rice, egg, and sausage or fried fish — are especially good, and thankfully can be ordered for lunch, as well.

1437 1st Ave Store 1
New York, NY 10021

5. The Migrant Kitchen

1433 1st Ave., New York, NY 10021
A sandwich on French bread with a thick slice of lamb inside.
The lamb torta.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Arab-Latin flavors combine at the Migrant Kitchen’s first uptown location. Eater NY critic Robert Sietsema recommends chefs Dan Dorado and Nasser Jaber’s lamb torta: a Mexican-style sandwich served with a lamb roast seasoned with sumac and Oaxacan cheese. Elsewhere on the menu, there are bowls, salads, and more that make for a perfect fast causal daytime option.

1433 1st Ave.
New York, NY 10021

6. Three Roosters

792 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Sliced golden fried chicken sits next to cucumbers and over a pile of rice; springs of verdant cilantro are scattered about
The fried chicken over ginger rice at Three Roosters.
Ryan Sutton/Eater

In a stretch of Hell’s Kitchen known for its Thai food, Three Roosters has managed to find its own lane. The restaurant specializes in chicken over rice, served three ways: grilled and fatty with lemongrass, fried and coated in zab seasoning, and prepared in the style of Hainanese chicken. Skip the Hainanese version for now, and opt instead for the fried chicken, whose interior critic Ryan Sutton found to be delightfully “fatty and chewy, almost like pork belly.”

792 9th Ave
New York, NY 10019

7. Nneji

32-20 34th Ave, Queens, NY 11106

From this tiny, takeout-only storefront in Astoria, owner Beatrice Ajaero tends to steaming trays of West African soups and stews. The shop excels in its egusi, a vibrant soup made from crushed melon seeds, spinach, and red pepper, though New York Times critic Pete Wells warmed up to Ajaero’s “smoldering” spicy goat stew, enriched by ginger, cayenne, and Scotch bonnet peppers.

32-20 34th Ave
Queens, NY 11106

8. Followsoshi

135-24 40th Rd, Queens, NY 11354
A round pancake on a grill with all sorts of toppings.
Jian bing, a crepe-like dish that’s a street food staple in China.
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Jianbing, a street food staple in China, is the focus at this takeout counter in Downtown Flushing. Order the crepe-like dish with a variety of fillings — spicy ramen, Peking duck, and chopped crawfish, among a half-dozen others — and wait a few minutes for it to come off the grill. The restaurant also specializes in roasted cold noodles, which are neither cold nor resemblant of most noodle dishes in the city, but are preferred over the jianbing by New York Times critic Pete Wells.

135-24 40th Rd
Queens, NY 11354

9. Lodi

1 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020
A golden porchetta sandwich sits on a white plate, next to a plate of anchovies and red peppers and a kale tart
A selection of daytime options at Lodi.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Some of the items on the menu at this Rockefeller Center hotspot from Ignacio Mattos come with eye-popping prices. But with some careful navigation of the menu, Lodi may well be on its way to becoming one of Midtown’s best lunch spots. Items like the porchetta sandwich, a kale-and-egg tart, and a Dune-like ribbed croissant had Eater NY critic Ryan Sutton coming back for more.

1 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020

10. Burmese Bites

90-15 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11373

Queens Night Market favorite Burmese Bites now has its own standalone brick-and-mortar located inside the Queens Center Mall food court. Owner Myo Lin Thway is cooking up chicken curry with flaky palata bread (there’s also a vegan version), shan kaukswe (rice noodles with chicken curry and pickled mustard greens), and nan gyi thoke (a rice noodle salad), as well as daily-changing specials — all available for dine-in or takeout.

90-15 Queens Blvd
Queens, NY 11373

11. Mott Street Eatery

98 Mott St, New York, NY 10013
A food court filled with white tables, about half occupied.
Inside the new food court.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

At this new Chinatown food court there at least 10 stalls, all under one roof, to choose from during lunch hours. Vendors like 89 Eatery serve up items like congee or roast duck, while Kwan’s Burger highlights unusual pie flavors like lobster pizza. With 100 seats in the venue, you’ll have no problem finding a seat during peak hours.

98 Mott St
New York, NY 10013

12. Sobak

51b Canal St, New York, NY 10002

At this one-man show, dishes come out thoughtfully-prepared from a small kitchen that packs in a ton of flavor. Sobak has a slender-but-filling menu of offerings to eat at one of just a few counter seats or pick-up for takeout. Here, protein-packed lunch bowls like a standout bibimbap with yukhoe (a Korean-style raw meat dish akin to tartare), unagi, or an option with wagyu help fuel diners throughout the day.

51b Canal St
New York, NY 10002

13. Chinah

100 Maiden Ln, New York, NY 10038
An overhead shot of a spread of colorful dishes laid out on a sunny yellow table
A spread of dishes, including Sichuan pork and forbidden rice, from Chinah.
Chinah

After a successful debut in Jersey City, Chinese takeout spot Chinah has expanded with this second location in the Financial District. Rice bowls are the star of the show here and, when topped with fist-sized meatballs or crisp pork belly, they offer a compelling alternative to the fast-casual chains that populate the neighborhood. Pro tip: All of the bowls can, and should, be ordered with forbidden rice.

100 Maiden Ln
New York, NY 10038

14. Agi's Counter

818 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225
A trio of sanfwiches on white plates sit on a marble table next to a marigold flower in a vase.
A trio of sandwiches at Agi’s Counter.
Adam Friedlander/Eater NY

Though Agi’s also has a standout breakfast program filled with pastries and egg sandwiches, lunch may well be where this Crown Heights newcomer really thrives. The hearty durans, Austrian-style open-faced sandwiches, such as the Ritzy Titzy (poached chicken sandwich, blue cheese, pickled grapes, and herbs) can also be ordered as a salad, depending on your mood. The stunning jammy egg mousse duran is also a showstopper.

818 Franklin Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11225

15. Ayat

8504 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209
The colorful mezze platter of hummus, baba ganoush, muhammarah, tahini, tabouleh, labne dusted with sumac is presented in a clay bowl ontop of a colorful tablecloth.
The colorful mezze platter.
Emma Orlow/Eater NY

Restaurateur Abdul Elenani opened this Bay Ridge restaurant last year, where chicken and beef shawarma are shaved from towers of spinning meat all day long. The restaurant caught the attention of New York Times critic Pete Wells shortly after opening, who found that its best dishes weren’t its shawarma or kebabs, but its Palestinian staples, including “improbably delicate” lamb kefta.

8504 3rd Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11209

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