NYC Grab-and-Go Lunches

New York City: Best Low Key Lunches: Sweetgreen, The Plaza, Chelsea Market, Westville, Jivamukti

For those of us who need a good dose of greens and fresh air when travelling, or both of them at the same time, these places are for you. All great for grabbing and heading outdoors to marvel at the city parks and views. 



All ingredients at Sweetgreen are organic and locally sourced from farmers known by the owners. The menu changes seasonally but always offers nutritious salads that combine grains, greens, raw and cooked veggies, herbs, nuts and more – or less if you choose. Like a pick ’n’ mix but healthy. Best eaten overlooking the Hudson or jump on the A train to Central Park and lay out in the Sheep’s Meadow. Follow with an oatmeal and raison cookie from Levain Bakery on 167 W 74th Street.

Where: 151 Elizabeth Street, Nolita | 413 Greenwich Street, Tribeca | 1164 Broadway, Korea Town NYC

The Plaza Food Court

You hear food court and think yuck, right? Not this one. Think the deliciousness and range of Harrod’s or the posh one under Westfield in Sydney city. Salads, sushi, tea, juice – sure. Or make like a fancy local and have frozen yogurt, a gourmet hot dog or lobster roll. The best bit? It's all perfect picnic food to eat in Central Park which is just over the road.

Where: 1 West 59th Street, Central Park NYC

Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market is right by the water on the west side of Manhattan. The food hall has lots of gourmet stands and shops but my favourite is the SOHHA savoury yoghurt (which has sadly now closed) and vegan Beyond Sushi. Go sun your stems on the Highline after or, if the noise of the city is wearing you down, pop into the gorgeous Latin American Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and marvel at the artwork.

Where: 75 9th Avenue between 15-16th Streets, Meat Packing NYC

Where Else?

A cheap and delicious way to eat is at Westville (go the one in the West Village, not the East Village). Skip the regular menu and choose a selection of 4 market sides for $17. Servings are super generous and EVERYONE does it. The vegan dahl and salad bowls at Jivamukti Yoga or the MYO salad at Wholefoods in Union Square is ok too.