Eating well on a budget can often feel like a challenge in this city. I don’t know about you, but every time I step out of Whole Foods there’s a bit of a “whoa, I could have just gotten a really cute outfit at J.Crew with the amount I spent on that organic fruit/imported cheeses/craft beer!” moment. Recently, I’ve begun to explore other budget friendly lunch options in Midtown that don’t involve the same old, same old salad bar or sammies from home every day, but still provide a solid amount of super healthy food for a budget-friendly (read: under $10) price. And of course, they’re all vegetarian friendly. Here’s 5 of my favorites:
Dig Inn: For The Best Veggie Sides
Love, love, LOVE this place. It’s always bustling with a line down the sidewalk, but it moves quickly and is busy for good reason: so cheap, so good, and so good FOR you. The concept is farm to counter, and they prepare fresh, seasonal, locally sourced food every single day. A small vegetable platter includes a grain and 3 veggies, and will only set you back $5.51. Options change fairly frequently, so there’s always something new to put in the mix.
Naya Express: For The Best Middle Eastern
Middle Eastern grilled goodies on a budget? Yes please! Pictured here is the Naya Bowl at 8.72, including falafel, rice, hummus, pita–and any veggie add-ins you like, drizzled with tahini sauce. Yum!
LYFE Kitchen: For The Best Flatbreads + Soups
This chain focuses on healthy, quality food using local and sustainable ingredients. Their message is one we can all get behind: “Eat Good. Feel Good. Do Good.” Along with having plenty of vegetarian options (margherita flatbread pictured below, $8.99), it’s also a wonderful place to bring a mixed group of eaters because they have something for everyone–a vegan menu, a GF menu, and an “Everything” menu for the meat eaters. Another perk: they have tons of room to be seated, and a free selection of still, sparkling, and lemon infused water.
Petit Blue Dog Cafe: For The Best Sammies + Juices
A small cafe on 56th Street that is nestled in the Le Parker Meridien Hotel has a very busy kitchen–whipping up everything from vegan smoothies and detox juices to peanut butter, caramelized pear and honey or nutella and banana sammies in the morning to huge gourmet salads (warm wild rice kale, anyone?) and savory sammies in the afternoon. This avocado/hummus/veggie on 7-grain bread will set you back $8.50, but keeps you fueled up til dinnertime.
Indikitch: For The Best Indian
Okay–think of this place as the Chipotle for Indian food. Excited? I thought so. Indikitch fires up dishes from New Delhi on demand, letting you choose from a few different styles: Biryani Bowl (pictured below), Dosa (rice and lentil crepes stuffed with your choice of Indian goodness), Live Fire Salads (the below, but lettuce in place of rice), or the Feast (a main dish sautéed in your choice of sauce). All for under $10. Always one to pick favorites, I’d have to say this place wins for #1 on my list!
Would love to know…do you have any veggie favorites in town we should check out? Share below!
p.s. my 5 favorite veggie pastas in NYC!
||Feature Photo Credit: 1||