big tip

Where Should I Grab Lunch Near Madison Square Park?

There’s more to eating lunch near Madison Square Park than Shake Shack. (Though, that’s still a very good option.) Take it from Danu Kennedy and Jeremy Levitt of Parts and Labor Design, the Flatiron-based firm behind the gorgeous interiors at the Grey in Savannah and Scampi and Leonelli Taberna here in New York. If you find yourself in that particular area and are looking for a quick but satisfying bite, here are the Madison Square Park–adjacent restaurants they love to dine at time and again.

Union Square Cafe
101 E. 19th St., nr. Union Sq. W.; 212-243-4020

“Think thoughtful design in a spacious room with great food and wine … what more could you ask for! A favored spot to enjoy an evening out with friends (that you’ve planned in advance, as we would recommend a reservation). The mezzanine level and tables located by the bar are our favorite places to grab a seat. Having a cocktail at the bar is a great way to go, we love the Market Smash.”

Simon & the Whale
23 Lexington Ave., at 23rd St.; 212-475-1920

“This spot has a nice street presence and plenty of cool areas to hang while you wait for your table (due to the fact that the Freehand has plenty of cozy spots to grab a drink in). It’s a social vibe that’s enjoyable with both a larger crew or smaller group. A fun place to hang and enjoy the company you’re keeping, the warm aesthetic makes it easy to stay for an entire afternoon. The menu here is really fresh, the arctic char ceviche is a good example of this, always a fan of fennel.”

Daily Provisions
103 E. 19th St., nr. Park Ave. S.; 212-243-4020

“The food. It’s delicious and an easy spot to grab lunch or coffee. It’s often packed, so getting a seat at one of the communal tables or perching on a bench outside isn’t always an option, but it works just as well to pick up from. It’s such a great neighborhood staple. You can’t pass up the chicken sandwich and a side of the corn or broccoli. ”

38 E. 19th St., nr. Broadway; 212-475-5829

“The layout is casual, with a café at the front and seated dining outside and toward the back of the space. The bright and airy aesthetic works well with the vegetarian menu that’s great for lunch or an early dinner. It’s also a nice spot to grab an afternoon wine. The marinated kale and avocado pita on the take out menu or the dosa on the lunch menu are our go-tos.”

Where Should I Grab Lunch Near Madison Square Park?