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The Best New York Lunch Spots

Posted on May 21 2017

I’m a great believer in lunch. Nothing makes my day like reconnecting with the people who inspire me most and lunch is the perfect way to spend time together and really talk. Over the years I’ve eaten lunch all over New York, especially in midtown and on the Upper East Side. These are the neighborhoods you’ll most often find yourself in for business, shopping and theater but they can be challenging for lunch. Over the years, I’ve found places that are charming and also have delicious food. The next time you find yourself in New York, find a friend or make a new one and have lunch at one of these five restaurants.

BG Restaurant

This beautiful restaurant on the seventh floor of Bergdorf Goodman is my favorite place for a girl’s lunch (and couldn’t be more convenient if you might want to do a bit of shopping too.) It has the best view in town: Central Park is spread out at your feet. Kelly Werstler designed the interior and it’s full of chic details to inspire you. I almost always order the Gotham Salad, which is a classic. Reserve ahead and be sure to request a seat by the windows!

BG Restaurant
754 Fifth Avenue, 7th floor
212-872-8977

Vaucluse

This stylish French brasserie off Park Avenue on the Upper East Side has sophisticated Provençal food. It’s a beautifully designed space that makes you feel like you are far away from the crowds and the noise of the city. You can have a serious conversation here and it’s the perfect place to close a deal. Order the Thon Cru Mariné á la Niçoise which is a modern version of salade nicoise without the lettuce, or the Epaulettes, ravioli filled with rabbit and reblouchon in black truffle sauce (which are as delicious as they sound.) Either way you’ll enjoy this serene, calming oasis.

Vaucluse
100 East 63rd Street
646-869-2300

The Whitby Bar & Restaurant

This restaurant at the new Whitby Hotel is decorated by Kit Kemp so it’s as charming and cozy as you might expect. The menu is always changing and always inspiring. The room is rich with color, pattern and clutter but still airy with high ceilings and a skylight. It’s bright even on cloudy days and there’s a garden in the summer. In addition to lunch, it’s also open for breakfast and tea, so it’s a good option for off hours.

The Whitby Bar & Restaurant
18 W 56th Street
212-586-5656

Cafe Sabarsky

The Neue Galerie on Fifth Avenue is one of the overlooked treasures of New York. The museum of German and Austrian art has wonderful paintings by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele.Café Sabarsky is inspired by Viennese cafes from the turn of the century, with lighting fixtures by Josef Hoffmann, furniture by Adolf Loos, and banquettes that are upholstered with Otto Wagner fabric. It’s basically Vienna on Fifth Avenue. It’s Perfect on a rainy day. The smoked trout crepes are wonderful and the pastries are as delicious as you might expect.

Café Sabarsky
1048 Fifth Avenue
212-288-0665

Via Quadronno

This tiny and adorable place is a neighborhood favorite for paninis and salads. On Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side, it’s the perfect stop before or after shopping or museums. There is a delicious vegetable soup in the winter and gelato in the summer. Like a proper Milanese paninoteca, they offer wine, pasta, and cappuccino too.

Via Quadronno
1228 Madison Avenue
212-369-9000