Eat and Drink The best lunch near Union Square By MELISSA KRAVITZ and GEORGIA KRAL Updated August 25, 2014 10:39 AM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email Picture this: It's midday. You've been working hard for hours at your job, and all you want is a delicious lunch to reward yourself (or to help you nurse off your hangover!) But there's a problem: deciding what to eat for lunch can be hard! There are either too many options, too few options or uncertainty about the quality and taste of what you're getting. But we're here to help. Here's our highly-curated list of lunch spots near Union Square. Breads Bakery Photo Credit: Breads Bakery Sandwiches, Baked Goods, 18 E. 16th St., 212-633-2253 Breads Bakery arrived in New York City triumphantly two years ago, and has been wowing customers with delicious chocolate babka, challah and other baked goods since day 1. But Breads is more than just bread: visitors can also treat themselves to breakfast and lunch items. Sandwiches are delicious, and as this is a bakery, the bread is basically the best part. Range: $5-14 Dos Toros Photo Credit: flickr/premshree Tacos, 137 Fourth Ave., 212-677-7300 There are so many days when Chipotle just won’t cut it. Luckily, Dos Toros gives you some different taco and burrito options to soothe your tortilla craving. Organic beans, hot sauce and guac all help top off the loaded and meaty creations. Range: $5-9 Souen Photo Credit: Facebook/Souen-Noodle Macrobiotic, 28 East 13th St, 212-627-7150 Japanese and Western cuisines both make up the menu at Souen, where the focus is healthy, natural eating. The lunch menu is full of healthy salads, topped with homemade dressings. The lunch set, from which you can pick fish or vegetable options, offers the best deal, with a choice of preparation and healthy sides. Range: $8-14 Rainbow Falafel Photo Credit: flickr/mesohungry Middle Eastern, 26 E 17th St., 212-691-8641 Consistently delicious and almost unbelievably cheap, you can’t go wrong with a lunch from Rainbow Falafel. Lentil soup, stuffed grape leaves and fried cauliflower are all great supplements to your crispy falafel sandwich, topped to the edge of the pita with hummus and veggies. La Maison du Croque Monsieur Photo Credit: LaMaisonDuCroqueMonsieur Sandwiches, 17 E 13th St., 212-675-2227 A croque monsieur, or a grilled cheese with ham, is a pretty standard meal in France, but not as common in NYC. La Maison riffs on the classic croque with Cuban, Italian and several New York versions with ingredients like smoked salmon. In colder months, their rich Belgian hot chocolate is the perfect pick me up. Range: $7-9 Murray's Bagels Photo Credit: Murray's Bagels Bagels, 500 6th Ave., 212-462-2830 Voted some of the best bagels in NYC, Murray's serves massive sandwiches perfect for lunch. Meats are sliced fresh from the deli case, along with cheeses and veggies. Get a homemade soup on a cold day or opt for a creation from the salad bar. Of course, a bagel and cream cheese is never a bad meal either. Range: $7-11 Taboonette Photo Credit: flickr/garrettziegler Middle Eastern, 30 E 13th St, (212) 510-7881 Known for “pocket food” Taboonette is the place to go to fill your pita with salmon, steak, zucchini cakes, calamari, pulled pork and brisket! You can also opt for a Middle Eastern Laffa wrap or a rice or salad plate. Whatever you choose, enjoy a generous portions of labane, tzatziki and tahina sauces. Range: $5-12 Glaze Teriyaki Photo Credit: Facebook/GlazeTeriyaki Japanese, 139 4th Ave., 212-940-4200 Glaze is all about teriyaki! Choose from proteins including all-natural chicken breasts, hanger steak, fresh salmon, pork loin or marinated vegetables. Salad plates and rice plates as well as combo plates are all options. Sides include dumplings, cold soba noodle salad and steamed edamame. Beyond Sushi Photo Credit: Facebook/BeyondSushi Vegetarian, 229 E 14th St., 646--861-2889 There’s no fish served at Beyond Sushi , but there are plenty of Japanese inspired vegetable options! The restaurants creates rolls from seasonal vegetables and various rices that pack in the flavor with their homemade sauces. Noodle bowls and other seasonal specialties are a highlight for regulars at this vegan hotspot. Range: $6-10 Cevich Photo Credit: Facebook/CevichNY Ceviche, 21 E 15th St., 212-242-4976 This grab-and-go ceviche eatery is totally unique to New York. Various seafood options as well as mushroom for vegetarians are available in global styles like Caribbean, Ecuadorian and Greek. You can enjoy your ceviche solo, in a bowl, or as a burrito or taco. Slow roasted pulled chicken is also on the menu, for those who prefer their proteins cooked. Range: $9-14 Taste of Persia Photo Credit: Facebook/TasteofPersiaNYC Persian, 12 W 18th St., 917-592-3467 This vegetarian Middle Eastern restaurant offers tons of flavor at a low price. Taste of Persia's menu includes unique items like Ash Reshteh, a vegetable and noodle stew-like dish that’s enjoyable even on hot days. Vegetarian chilli, salads, and sauteed eggplant are also great options along with seasonal specialties. Paradis to Go Photo Credit: Facebook/ParadistoGo Cafe, 114 Fourth Ave, 646-416-6709 Simple, fresh food is what Paradis' quick-service restaurant is all about. Try the pea shoots and avocado sandwich with arugula pesto or do the $8 soup and half sandwich special for the best of both worlds. And don’t forget a warm cookie on your way out! Range: $7-9 The City Bakery Photo Credit: flickr/cfox74 Cafeteria, 2 W 18th St., 212-366-1414 In addition to being home to some of New Yorkers’ favorite hot chocolate, The City Bakery serves lunch cafeteria-style that keeps people returning each day for their rotating options. A salad station, sandwiches, flatbreads, fried chicken and mac and cheese all keep regulars on their feet, and it’s hard to not indulge in the giant cookies surreptitiously placed by the register. Meatball Obsession Photo Credit: Facebook/MeatballObsession Meatball Window, 510 6th Avenue, 212.260.8646 This “home of the original meatball in a cup” serves flavorful Italian grandma-style meatballs made with your choice of turkey, beef or pork and in a cup or on a sandwich. Top your Meatball Obsession with cheese, veggies or extra meat and carry your creation back to work or to Union Square park. Ennju Photo Credit: flickr/hamburger_helper Self Service Japanese, 20 E 17th St., 646-336-7004 Dine in or out at Ennju, where you create your own meal of sushi, noodles, donburi and soup. The sushi combinations offer the best deal, with 9 rolls of various flavors at about $8. Because you’re not ordering with table service-- it’s easy to get more if you’re still hungry! Range $5-10 BaoHaus Photo Credit: Facebook/BaohausNYC Taiwanese, 238 E 14th St, (646) 669-8889 This neighborhood hot spot specializes in Asian buns and rice bowls from Chef Eddie Huang’s family kitchen. Creative options feature hormone-free meats and include the Birdhaus Bao with fried chicken and lemon-garlic aioli and the Uncle Jesse Bao with fried tofu. crushed peanuts, and Taiwanese red sugar. A side of taro fries completes the meal! Range: $6-10 By MELISSA KRAVITZ and GEORGIA KRAL Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.