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vegan diets

Healthy Lunch Options in Midtown NYC

by Marissa on October 17, 2011

New Yorkers who work in Midtown never have a reason to have an  unhealthy lunch. Free Foods is the healthy, organic equivalent to the corner bodega. Yes, get excited!

In the business districts of Manhattan, it can be a struggle to find a healthy lunch. When I used to work in Midtown West, the “healthiest” (and I use that term loosely) of options consisted of deli salad (organic vegetables? Doubtful. enough variety? I think not. made with love and positive energy? Nope.) or farm raised salmon and soggy, overcooked, microwaved vegetables.  Needless to say, I resorted to bringing my lunch everyday – a habit I highly recommend. But sometimes, bringing lunch isn’t accessible or you’re just running too late. That’s no reason to have a lunch that leaves you tired and uninspired by 4 p.m.

I stumbled on Free Foods by accident when looking for a juice bar nearby a Midtown meeting this spring. I was delighted to find one on 45th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. Closer investigation revealed their food and juices were organic. I ventured to the restaurant – my expectations admittedly low – and found a delightful, bustling space with a variety of healthy lunch options – vegan, gluten-free, raw (all labeled accordingly) — and even fish and free-range egg and chicken options for the non-veggies among us. Fresh juices and smoothies in addition to typical lunch fare like soups, salads and sandwiches grace the menu. There is even a special Market Table of a la carte options. Some of today’s specials were:

The Local (raw and vegan) $11

Portobello Sliders with Vegetables, Macadamia Hummus, Preserved Lemon and Sprouts
Flax seed Herb Crust Pizza, Spinach Basil Pesto, Sun Dried Tomato Sauce, Portobello, Zucchini, Oregano
Aztec Quinoa with Tiger Shrimp, Sauteed Vegetables, Fresh Herbs 
Chimichurri Free Range Chicken Skewers with Grilled Vegetables and Parsley Avocado Salad
Tempeh Maki Rolls with Asparagus, Avocado, Cucumber, Spicy Vegannaise

Everything is seasonal and organic, prepared fresh daily and contains no additives or preservatives. The price tags are a little hefty but I don’t mind paying more for high quality food.

Stop in and get healthy! Oh, and did I mention the desserts? You’ll have to see for yourself.

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