Cava is a fast-casual chain from the D.C. area, and this is the first location in New York. At lunchtime, people line up here for bowls of fresh Mediterranean food that they order at counter, Chipotle-style. Start with some greens, or some grains (or both), and move on to toppings and sauces. Additional veggies are free of charge, and you can essentially be as healthy as you want here. Go for some lentils and super greens or do double portions of meat and have them lather on Sriracha dressing if you want to fall asleep at your desk.
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El Rinconcito is a Dominican restaurant in the East Village that’s been around for over 20 years and makes some fantastic mofongo.
Sushi By M
Sushi By M is a no-frills spot in the East Village where you sit at a counter and eat an excellent 10-piece sushi omakase for $50.
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Ultimately, we are sure that Boulud Sud is some kind of Mediterranean culinary stroke of genius, just like the critics say that it is. But this is the kind of restaurant best suited for people who still keep an actual Zagat guide in their house.
Barbounia is definitely not our jam. It’s way too expensive for what they’re serving, and the grandiose and gaudy decor makes it feel like some sort of vaguely Mediterranean performance hall. Like at any moment one of the bus boys might start juggling.
Suggested by our writers
Glaze Teriyaki Grill
Glaze Teriyaki is a reliable and seemingly somewhat healthy option for cheap Midtown lunch. Midtown could use more of those.
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