If you're in the Lower East Side during lunchtime, you'll definitely want to stop into one of these five restaurants for a bite. By Carly Petrone.
Hooray! New York Sushi Ko has reopened its doors for lunch and we couldn't be more excited. This 11-seat sushi bar feels like it belongs in the heart of Japan, with Chef/Owner John Daley at the helm. The highly trained sushi chef has traveled extensively and studied the art of Omakase style dining, bringing a creative energy to the restaurant that can only be matched by the bold flavors of sushi that he prepares just inches away from his customers. Don't be surprised to see him pull out a blowtorch from behind the counter to coat a beautiful piece of fish or enlighten his customers with stories about training with renowned sushi chefs Masato Shimizu and Rikio Kugo. Bite into perfectly marinated fish from around the world while sipping on traditional sake and admiring Chef Daley's masterful skills. Lunch specials are $25, Chef's Lunch Special is $40, and Sushi Lunch is $50/$100. Make your reservation now and discover a little piece of traditional Japanese cuisine in the heart of the city.
Step into The Fat Radish on Orchard Street and enjoy not only their beautiful décor but a fresh farm-to-table meal. This adorably rustic restaurant works with local purveyors to bring only the best fruits and vegetables, poultry and meat, and seafood into their kitchen. Nibble on a Scotch Egg with seeded mustard and cornichons or Deviled Brussels Sprouts with bacon and Thai chili before moving onto your main course. It's hard to go wrong with their Bacon Cheeseburger, Duck Fat Chips, and Pickles or The Fat Radish Bowl (filled with seasonal vegetables, brown rice, adzuki beans, tahini, carrot-ginger, and pickled cabbage). This simple lunch menu may only have a few options per course but each one is packed with flavor and worth the higher price tag.
Shopsins is the go-to lunch spot in the Lower East Side because it has everything you could ever want. From sandwiches and soups to TexMex and Blue Plate specials, whatever you're craving for lunch is most likely on their gigantic menu. Vegetarians can also enjoy their wide array of items like a hearty Fried Mozzarella Sandwich or build-your-own Yin/Yang Bowl. Go old school and enjoy a fountain soda, malt, or traditional egg cream. Their list of desserts is also impressive, offering fun options like Ebelskivers (plain, banana, apple, butterscotch, caramel, or peanut butter chips), Mini-Donuts, as well as different flavors of Bread Pudding. You can even have breakfast for lunch if that's what you're craving. Basically, stop in here and you'll probably leave with more than one lunch bag to go. Open Wednesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Would you like a side of Chinese food to go with your burrito? You can do just that over at Danny Bowien's LES hotspot Mission Cantina. This half Mexican/half Chinese restaurant has everything from super tortas and tacos to hot & sour soup and Kung Pao chicken available on their menu. But if you'd like to enjoy a fusion of the two, definitely try the Chinese Special Burrito, California Krab Tostada, or Mushu Chicken Taco. If you can afford to have a cocktail at lunch, try the sangria or prickly pear margarita. If you really want to go big, order the Fireball Old Fashioned with rye whiskey, guajillo, cinnamon, and angostura. If you're in the area you're in luck – they deliver for free!
Warm up this winter with a nice hot bowl of ramen. Ivan Ramen is known for its variety of noodle options, including add-ons like Pork Chashu, Roast Tomato, and Bamboo Shoots. Start out basic with the Tokyo Shoyu Ramen with soy sauce, dashi and chicken broth, pork chashu, egg, and rye noodle or try something different like Tonkotsu Tsukemen – tonkotsu broth, chilled whole wheat noodles, egg, fried pork belly, burned garlic chili oil. Take advantage of their Express lunch option – your choice of any draft beer along with ramen and one side for just $21. If you're hungry enough for some appetizers, may we suggest the Furikake Ribs with yuzu ketchup or Roasted Beets with miso honey vinaigrette, shiso, sesame, and nori? Happy slurping!
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