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A collection of dishes on a round tabled booth.
Raf’s, a new restaurant in Noho, serves lunch.
Melanie Landsman/Raf’s

13 of the Hottest Lunch Spots in NYC Right Now

A pasta shop with seats, a bakery cafe, a biryani spot, a Hainan chicken option — and more

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Raf’s, a new restaurant in Noho, serves lunch.
| Melanie Landsman/Raf’s

As late-night dining kicks back into high gear and more New Yorkers return to their workplaces, the city’s second favorite off-hours meal, lunch, is making a triumphant comeback, whether enjoyed from an open office in Midtown or a takeout counter in Ridgewood. This lunchtime update includes a cafe sibling from a Michelin-starred restaurant, a pasta cafe, a Hainan chicken spot, and a great biryani option with generous portions that can probably feed two.

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Hyderabadi Zaiqa

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This Midtown walk-down space shows off its specialty in the decor, with a map showing the nearly 30 regional biryanis of India. There are plenty of biryanis to choose from including shrimp, eggs, lamb, paneer, and various vegetables — even a bright orange one that features Andhra mango pickles called avakaya. Goat dum biryani is one of the most popular options and it’s around $20.

A pile of white and yellow rices in a metal container.
Goat biryani at Hyderabadi Zaiqa.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Le Rock

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Le Rock is our pick for lunch at the revamped Rockefeller Center, where millions of dollars were poured into turning the tired Midtown development into a citywide dining destination. Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson, of Tribeca’s famed French bistro Frenchette, opened at the center last summer in a high-ceilinged space that makes it easy to forget you’re sitting less than a hundred yards from an ice skating rink. A la carte lunch is served Tuesday to Saturday, with prix-fixe menus. The terrace has recently opened with its own abbreviated menu. Open for lunch starting at noon Tuesday through Saturday.

Bison au poivre sits on a plate, slathered in orange cream peppercorn sauce; a plate of fries sit on the side.
Bison au poivre at Le Rock.
Le Rock

There may be no better daytime restaurant than S&P, a Flatiron lunch counter that opened in the former home of Eisenberg’s last year. Pull up a seat at the 40-foot counter and order from a menu of sandwiches topped with chopped olives and cream cheese; tuna salad and cranberry sauce; and peanut butter and bacon. (This is a restaurant from Court Street Grocers, after all.) More standard lunch fare, including burgers and matzoh ball soup, is also on offer.

Ham, cheese, lettuce, and mayonnaise are arranged on white sandwich triangles.
A ham and cheese sandwich from S&P.
Melanie Landsman/Eater NY

Burmese Bites

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Amid a Burmese restaurant boom in the city, Queens Night Market favorite Burmese Bites now has its own standalone venue 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.

A rectangular takeout container filled with cut-up pieces of keema palata and a small container of dip nearby.
Burmese Bites is located in the Queens Center Mall.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Lou Yau Kee Chicken Rice

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Hainan chicken is the specialty at Lou Yau Kee. The stall, which opened in the Urbanspace food hall near Union Square, sells tender poached chicken over rice for under $20. The restaurant comes from a former chef at Hainan Jones, a popular stall in the Urban Hawker food hall.

An overhead photograph of a white tray of poached chicken with greens and cucumber.
Hainan chicken from Lou Yau Kee.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Revelie Luncheonette

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Revelie Luncheonette is from the team behind Raoul’s, a neighborhood stalwart known for its burgers served in short supply per night. Revelie serves an easier-to-get burger, with the option to add green chile. There’s also a terrific wedge salad, po’boy, patty melt, or crispy chicken sandwich. Bypass fries for the haystack zucchini. And in true luncheonette fashion, wash it down with a pistachio float.

A chocolate milkshake.
A chocolate milkshake.
Molly Tavoletti/Revelie Luncheonette

Lunch service has begun at Raf’s, the newish cafe in the former Parisi Bakery space that’s a sibling to the Michelin-starred Musket Room. Consider the eggs in Purgatory Amatriciana (with guanciale and chiles), the Iberico collar Milanese, or the dry-aged beef burger, only on the menu at lunch, Tuesday to Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Prices run from $20 to $32 per dish.

An egg baked in tomato sauce.
Eggs in Purgatory at Raf’s.
Melanie Landsman/Raf’s

Misipasta

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Misipasta is the new restaurant from Missy Robbins and Sean Feeney, the owners of Brooklyn’s popular Italian spots Lilia and Misi. It’s really a pasta shop — fresh noodles, sauces, and cheeses are displayed on shelves to take home — but there are seats at two counters and more tables in the backyard. The short menu has grilled artichoke sandwiches and spaghetti with breadcrumbs, plus cocktails and wine, starting at 11 a.m. daily.

A cross-section of a sandwich with grilled artichoke, hot peppers, and provolone.
The grilled artichoke sandwich at Misipasta.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Scarr's Pizza

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Scarr’s is owned by Scarr Pimentel, one of the city’s few Black pizza makers, churning out what has routinely been described as the standard bearer for the perfect slice — now in a new location across from the original. The New York Times recently named the establishment one of 100 top restaurants in New York. It first opened in 2016, known for its New York-style slices, and “low-key milling its own grains.” Even though the new location is bigger than its humble beginnings at 750-square feet, customers can still snake down the block; lunch might be a faster option than dinner.

Scarr’s Pizza is now open in its new home.
The new location for Scarr’s Pizza
Emma Orlow/Eater NY

Super Burrito

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Electric Burrito, a popular burrito shop, has a new location in Williamsburg. Its Mission-style burritos name-check the Bay Area and come stuffed with al pastor, carne asada, french fries, and more. Make one “super” by adding avocado and sour cream for two more dollars, or order a side cup of queso for dunking.

Two hands hold unwrapped burritos.
Boardwalk burritos recently arrived in Williamsburg.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

AbcV in the Tin Building by Jean-Georges

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Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s food hall in the former Fulton Fish Market offers breakfast and lunch options to go or to stay, with stellar views from inside seating or outside facing the water. There’s lots to choose from, though consider the newly opened branch of vegetable-focused Abc-V upstairs.

The interior of a vegan restaurant on the second floor of the Tin Building features a lot of blonde wood and mid-century light fixtures.
The interior of AbcV.
Nicole Franzen

Mama Yoshi Mini Mart

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Whether you’d prefer katsu made of cauliflower or chicken, spicy or regular, presented in squishy potato buns, or in a rice bowl, Mama Yoshi Mini Mart has it. This counter-service spot in Ridgewood has a few seats indoors, but most people pop in for takeout karaage, served in Greek coffee cups, or onigiri wrapped in plastic. There are drinks, chips, and candies, too.

Red tray with a chicken sandwich.
Mama Yoshi Mini Mart has katsu sandwiches and bowls.
Evan Angelastro/Eater NY

Bobbi’s Italian Beef

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This Cobble Hill sandwich shop is the latest in a string of spots to focus on foods from Chicago. The Chicago dogs are good and true to form — loaded with neon green relish, sport peppers, a pickle spear, and other required toppings — as is the Italian beef, a sandwich that’s dunked in meat juices prior to serving. Sandwiches are available in half or whole portions.

A hot dog in a bun almost eclipsed by its lush toppings.
A proper Chicago dog at Bobbi’s Italian Beef.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Hyderabadi Zaiqa

This Midtown walk-down space shows off its specialty in the decor, with a map showing the nearly 30 regional biryanis of India. There are plenty of biryanis to choose from including shrimp, eggs, lamb, paneer, and various vegetables — even a bright orange one that features Andhra mango pickles called avakaya. Goat dum biryani is one of the most popular options and it’s around $20.

A pile of white and yellow rices in a metal container.
Goat biryani at Hyderabadi Zaiqa.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Le Rock

Le Rock is our pick for lunch at the revamped Rockefeller Center, where millions of dollars were poured into turning the tired Midtown development into a citywide dining destination. Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson, of Tribeca’s famed French bistro Frenchette, opened at the center last summer in a high-ceilinged space that makes it easy to forget you’re sitting less than a hundred yards from an ice skating rink. A la carte lunch is served Tuesday to Saturday, with prix-fixe menus. The terrace has recently opened with its own abbreviated menu. Open for lunch starting at noon Tuesday through Saturday.

Bison au poivre sits on a plate, slathered in orange cream peppercorn sauce; a plate of fries sit on the side.
Bison au poivre at Le Rock.
Le Rock

S&P

There may be no better daytime restaurant than S&P, a Flatiron lunch counter that opened in the former home of Eisenberg’s last year. Pull up a seat at the 40-foot counter and order from a menu of sandwiches topped with chopped olives and cream cheese; tuna salad and cranberry sauce; and peanut butter and bacon. (This is a restaurant from Court Street Grocers, after all.) More standard lunch fare, including burgers and matzoh ball soup, is also on offer.

Ham, cheese, lettuce, and mayonnaise are arranged on white sandwich triangles.
A ham and cheese sandwich from S&P.
Melanie Landsman/Eater NY

Burmese Bites

Amid a Burmese restaurant boom in the city, Queens Night Market favorite Burmese Bites now has its own standalone venue 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.

A rectangular takeout container filled with cut-up pieces of keema palata and a small container of dip nearby.
Burmese Bites is located in the Queens Center Mall.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Lou Yau Kee Chicken Rice

Hainan chicken is the specialty at Lou Yau Kee. The stall, which opened in the Urbanspace food hall near Union Square, sells tender poached chicken over rice for under $20. The restaurant comes from a former chef at Hainan Jones, a popular stall in the Urban Hawker food hall.

An overhead photograph of a white tray of poached chicken with greens and cucumber.
Hainan chicken from Lou Yau Kee.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Revelie Luncheonette

Revelie Luncheonette is from the team behind Raoul’s, a neighborhood stalwart known for its burgers served in short supply per night. Revelie serves an easier-to-get burger, with the option to add green chile. There’s also a terrific wedge salad, po’boy, patty melt, or crispy chicken sandwich. Bypass fries for the haystack zucchini. And in true luncheonette fashion, wash it down with a pistachio float.

A chocolate milkshake.
A chocolate milkshake.
Molly Tavoletti/Revelie Luncheonette

Raf's

Lunch service has begun at Raf’s, the newish cafe in the former Parisi Bakery space that’s a sibling to the Michelin-starred Musket Room. Consider the eggs in Purgatory Amatriciana (with guanciale and chiles), the Iberico collar Milanese, or the dry-aged beef burger, only on the menu at lunch, Tuesday to Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Prices run from $20 to $32 per dish.

An egg baked in tomato sauce.
Eggs in Purgatory at Raf’s.
Melanie Landsman/Raf’s

Misipasta

Misipasta is the new restaurant from Missy Robbins and Sean Feeney, the owners of Brooklyn’s popular Italian spots Lilia and Misi. It’s really a pasta shop — fresh noodles, sauces, and cheeses are displayed on shelves to take home — but there are seats at two counters and more tables in the backyard. The short menu has grilled artichoke sandwiches and spaghetti with breadcrumbs, plus cocktails and wine, starting at 11 a.m. daily.

A cross-section of a sandwich with grilled artichoke, hot peppers, and provolone.
The grilled artichoke sandwich at Misipasta.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Scarr's Pizza

Scarr’s is owned by Scarr Pimentel, one of the city’s few Black pizza makers, churning out what has routinely been described as the standard bearer for the perfect slice — now in a new location across from the original. The New York Times recently named the establishment one of 100 top restaurants in New York. It first opened in 2016, known for its New York-style slices, and “low-key milling its own grains.” Even though the new location is bigger than its humble beginnings at 750-square feet, customers can still snake down the block; lunch might be a faster option than dinner.

Scarr’s Pizza is now open in its new home.
The new location for Scarr’s Pizza
Emma Orlow/Eater NY

Super Burrito

Electric Burrito, a popular burrito shop, has a new location in Williamsburg. Its Mission-style burritos name-check the Bay Area and come stuffed with al pastor, carne asada, french fries, and more. Make one “super” by adding avocado and sour cream for two more dollars, or order a side cup of queso for dunking.

Two hands hold unwrapped burritos.
Boardwalk burritos recently arrived in Williamsburg.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

AbcV in the Tin Building by Jean-Georges

Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s food hall in the former Fulton Fish Market offers breakfast and lunch options to go or to stay, with stellar views from inside seating or outside facing the water. There’s lots to choose from, though consider the newly opened branch of vegetable-focused Abc-V upstairs.

The interior of a vegan restaurant on the second floor of the Tin Building features a lot of blonde wood and mid-century light fixtures.
The interior of AbcV.
Nicole Franzen

Mama Yoshi Mini Mart

Whether you’d prefer katsu made of cauliflower or chicken, spicy or regular, presented in squishy potato buns, or in a rice bowl, Mama Yoshi Mini Mart has it. This counter-service spot in Ridgewood has a few seats indoors, but most people pop in for takeout karaage, served in Greek coffee cups, or onigiri wrapped in plastic. There are drinks, chips, and candies, too.

Red tray with a chicken sandwich.
Mama Yoshi Mini Mart has katsu sandwiches and bowls.
Evan Angelastro/Eater NY

Bobbi’s Italian Beef

This Cobble Hill sandwich shop is the latest in a string of spots to focus on foods from Chicago. The Chicago dogs are good and true to form — loaded with neon green relish, sport peppers, a pickle spear, and other required toppings — as is the Italian beef, a sandwich that’s dunked in meat juices prior to serving. Sandwiches are available in half or whole portions.

A hot dog in a bun almost eclipsed by its lush toppings.
A proper Chicago dog at Bobbi’s Italian Beef.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

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