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My Top 5 Healthy Midtown Lunches

After a fun weekend at the Healthy Living Summit, it’s time to get refocused on actually being healthy again, not just talking about it. But, of course, my fridge is empty after a weekend away, so I will be grabbing lunch today. (Likely at Pump.)

There’s this site called Midtown Lunch, and while it’s sort of awesome, there’s no focus on healthy, locally-sourced or any of those other food words that make my dorky heart go all aflutter.

Let’s ignore the fact that it’s usually healthier and cheaper to bring your own lunch. Sometimes you just gotta grab lunch.

Here’s my top 5 healthy Midtown lunch spots for New Yorkers and those of you who may visit one day. (Apologies to non-NY readers who have no intention of ever coming here. Although, I don’t really understand you…)

Criteria: You’re all smart enough to find yourself a salad or other healthy food in unhealthy places, yeah? These are my favorite health/fresh food-focused places close to Midtown office-land. Most of them range from $10-12.


My Pump obsession is fairly well-documented on this blog. In fact, I pretty much credit Pump and Starbucks and the spinach feta wrap with my weight loss. (I’m only sort of kidding.)

Pump’s shtick is “food without the crap.” They’re set up Chipotle-style: you pick your base (from wrap, salad or brown rice), your veggies, your protein and your sauce, and nothing’s fried.

I usually go with: brown rice, sweet potato, spinach, tomatoes, guacamole and a touch of the sweet red sauce. I’m sort of spice-wimpy, and the sweet red definitely has a kick.

They have multiple locations, in Midtown East/West, Flatiron and Financial District.

Energy Kitchen:

This was the first healthy lunch place I discovered in Manhattan, and I ate here A TON. I’d usually go with an entree + two sides. Their menu is pretty extensive: wraps, sandwiches, burgers, entrees and sides.

They’re pretty light on the sauces, which is definitely healthy, but means that their food is a bit more bland. However, every item is guaranteed to be under 500 calories, which is pretty nice.

They have multiple locations, including in Midtown East and West.


Otarian is more locally-sourced than healthy, though most of its food is pretty healthy, too. This vegetarian eatery’s thing is tracking all their food to keep its carbon footprint as low as possible. Each menu item has info about its carbon footprint right on the packaging.

Otarian is located in Midtown West.

City Chow Cafe:

Located inside several Equinox locations, City Chow Cafe has the standard salad bar, but what I like about this place is its entree + sides option, since I’m not really a salad girl. They also have a burrito bar, which is one of their cheaper options. (Most meals run $9-$11 here; the burritos are usually around $7.)

I typically get their turkey burgers with either brown rice or sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts (when they have them!) or broccoli.

B bap:

I love this Korean rice bar on 9th and 55th (do you notice a theme? I love brown rice) because it helps me put together a completely nutritionally balanced meal: brown rice + protein + veggies. Boom. I also love the location’s floor-to-ceiling windows that let the light stream in. When I worked closer to here, I’d often take a book and sit here and read while I ate.

What’s your favorite NYC lunch–healthy or unhealthy? If you don’t live in NYC (I’m sorry to hear that), what’s your favorite healthy grab-and-go lunch that’s not salad?