New York City’s 12 Best Lunch Deals
We know, you’d rather be on a beach on the Amalfi Coast slurping sea urchin and gorging on handmade pasta (or maybe that’s just our fantasy). But even if you’re stuck in the city this month, you can make the most of it. In fact, August can be the best time of year to be here—the city empties out as people head out of town, leaving the streets less crowded and making it easier to secure reservations at tough-to-get-into hotspots. Restaurant Week only lasts until August 14, but we rounded up the city’s best prix fixe lunch deals that will last long after—and all of them are a steal compared to dinner.
Gotham Bar & Grill
This Union Square mainstay has racked up numerous accolades since it opened over thirty years ago. Alfred Portale’s three-course lunch menu features crowd-pleasing classics like the New York steak and chocolate cake. It’s $25 during Restaurant Week and $35 after that.
Michael White’s Relais & Châteaux restaurant on Central Park South should be on any seafood-lover’s bucket list and lunch is the perfect time to go. You can spend less than half as much as you would on dinner by opting for Marea’s business lunch and still get the pasta with red wine–braised octopus and bone marrow from the dinner menu. $47 gets you two courses.
The sophisticated seafood on Eric Ripert’s legendary dinner menus will run you anywhere from $140 to $205—and that’s not including the wine. But go to Le Bernardin at lunch and you can get similar preparations for only $80. Pro tip: save even more by opting for the City Harvest menu in the lounge. $49 gets you three courses and $5 of each meal is donated to City Harvest.
Michelin-starred chef Gabriel Kreuther’s new eponymous restaurant overlooking Bryant Park has quickly become one of the city’s most sought-after reservations. Not up for the $98 dinner menu? For $52, you can get two courses, with choices like the langoustine tartare and baked Dorade Royale with green tomato marmalade.
With no prix fixe dinner menu and entrées ranging from $23 to $84, you can rack up quite a tab at the NoMad. But go at lunch and you can still get a taste of Daniel Humm’s masterful plates like the chicken burger with foie gras on a brioche bun. Two courses will leave you satiated and only put a $29 dent in your wallet.
English star chef Jason Atherton’s U.S. debut opened in May in the New York EDITION, giving guests the chance to dine in the former office of the Met Life chairman. The Clocktower’s food is as remarkable as the setting, from the big-eye tuna tataki to the garden vegetable tartine that resembles a Flemish still life on toast. $39 gets you three courses.
Not prepared to shell out $225 for the tasting menu at Daniel? You can still try the superstar French chef’s standout cuisine at Boulud Sud, his Mediterranean-inspired restaurant near Lincoln Center. Dishes take cues from locales beyond France, including Italy, Morocco, Spain, and Greece. Choose two courses for $26 or three courses for $34.
At his ground-floor restaurant at the Viceroy, Chopped judge Marc Murphy dishes up food inspired by his childhood and love of travel. You’ll save a chunk of change by going at lunch, when $29 gets you two courses of contemporary American dishes such as tuna crudo and skirt steak with chimichurri (at dinner, the steak alone costs $33).
Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria
Donna Lennard’s rustic Italian trattoria draws crowds for dinner, so it’s a great idea to go at lunch. Il Buco offers a $35 three-course greenmarket prix fixe on weekdays. The menu changes daily, but you can expect dishes like the housemade pappardelle, asparagus with a fried egg, and salted caramel gelato.
Chef Michael Anthony’s daily-changing menu evolves with the seasons and what’s fresh at the Union Square greenmarket, where he sources ingredients. Dinner in Gramercy Tavern’s main dining room is a splurge with tasting menus at $120, but you can eat many of the same dishes for lunch at a cost of only $58 for five courses. Or sit in the more informal tavern and order a la carte—get the daily soup and sandwich combo or the off-menu burger.
For an indulgent afternoon, treat yourself to lunch at Del Posto, the award-winning Italian restaurant by Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, Lidia Bastianich, and Mark Ladner. For $49 you can choose an antipasto, secondo, and dolce. Options include truffled beef carne crudo, slow roasted lamb, and roasted sweet corn panna cotta.
This historic spot in Midtown was one of the original power-lunch restaurants, and if you dine in the barroom, you can fancy yourself among the execs and sports players who gifted the toys that hang from the ceiling. Try the updated classics, like the ‘21’ Caesar salad and Faroe Islands salmon. You can choose two courses for $34 or three courses for $42.