We’re often busy with back-to-back appointments throughout the day. There’s no time for a leisurely lunch, but our jobs are so physical we have to be sure to eat well. After 25 years in SoHo, we’ve sussed out the best spots for inexpensive, healthy and tasty picks. Try our favorites for a well balanced midday meal. We’d love to hear about your go-to places. Send us a note and we’ll share them.
1. Dig Inn
Why: Who doesn’t want local, seasonal ingredients simply prepared for under ten bucks? We’re fans of the huge sides that keep us satisfied whether it’s an 8- or 12-hour workday.
Must Try: The harissa chile spiced meatballs, roasted sweet potatoes and the cup of fresh avocado.
2. Muscle Maker Grill
Why: First, let’s just agree to hate the name, but love the food. This protein-centric fast dine offers a guilt-free menu. No longer do you need to special order to fit your diet, this is your diet whether your carb free or a carb lover. You’ll find your pick here.
Must Try: We’re fans of the Rocky Balboa wrap with grilled chicken, turkey meatballs with reduced-fat mozzarella smothered with marinara and the Santa Fe wrap with grilled chicken, turkey bacon, red beans, brown rice and reduced fat cheddar cheese.
Why: This neighborhood mainstay – since 1992 – offers seasonal fresh fare long before those were tired buzzwords. The menu changes daily, so even though we’ve been having breakfast here for at least a decade, we’ve experienced zero flavor fatigue. Plus, it’s named after an adorable Portuguese water dog. (Have you met our Portuguese water dog, Riptide?)
Must Try: We swear our days go better when they start with the egg sandwich of the day. Today we chowed on scrambled eggs, avocado, Vermont sharp cheddar and bacon on a Pizza Bianco roll. Hungry yet? Ordering online is easy.
Why: Sometimes you really can’t leave your desk even for take-out. Maple delivers fresh, non-greasy but delicious fare right to your seat. The price is all-inclusive – tips, delivery and taxes so no surprise charges. Be warned before you drool over the menu: delivery is limited to everywhere below 14th Street and a sliver of Midtown south of 42nd Street.
Must Try: While the menu changes daily (we mentioned it’s super fresh food), the salads with inventive mixes of quinoa and herb roasted meats are our favorite meals. They pack all of the flavor and satisfaction of high-end restaurant meals without the calories, cost or schlepping.
5. The Mill
Why: There’s secretly a picky eater in all of us or even more likely, one that wants to order with us. In that case, this SoHo staple has everything, and we mean everything. You can customize your salad or wrap so specifically that dark chicken meat or a parsley sprig will never touch your lips.
Must Try: That day you simply want the grilled chicken with Swiss on wheat bread without the house-made pickle, Brooklyn invented sauce or the newly discovered farmer’s market heirloom green. Admit it, sometimes you need an old-fashioned 1980s-style lunch.