By AnaMaria Glavan
The struggles of working in NYC mag offices extend way beyond just editing and writing. Edsters have a common problem that almost every human being on the planet shares: Where am I going to get lunch? While it’s assumed that taking awesome food pictures is embedded in your editorial DNA, you may need a nudge toward the best (and closest) work lunch spots. Here is Ed’s ultimate guide to the best food places by your office. You’re welcome.
If you work at… Wenner Media
1290 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
Located right by Rockefeller Center, there’s an endless array of food options right outside your office door. But what would the NYC experience be without eating from the best food trucks around? “When I’m trying to be a bit more economical about lunch, I’ll usually hit up the food truck alley on 50th St. in between 6th Ave. and Broadway,” says Shawn McCreesh, editorial assistant at Men’s Journal. Pro tip: Bring cash. Most food truck vendors don’t accept cards.
McCreesh adds, “When it’s time to treat yourself, I like to go to the hidden burger joint spot inside the Parker Meridien Hotel on 56th St. for a cheeseburger, french fries, a Coke, and a brownie. Sometimes I throw in a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery on 6th Ave. on my way back to the office too.” If you haven’t gone to a Magnolia Bakery yet — AKA the land of the most incredible red velvet cupcakes and banana bread pudding — you must. It’s life changing.
If you work at… Nylon Media, Inc.
110 Greene St, New York, NY 10012
With an office right in the heart of Manhattan’s trendy SoHo area, the amount of food options is endless. But food trucks, how Ed loves you so. “Calexico’s SoHo Cart is right around the corner from us, on Prince and Wooster,” says Keryce Henry, editorial assistant at Nylon. “It’s fast and cheap, but most of all delicious. I’m a stickler for seasoning and the food is always packed with flavor. The carne asada bowl is my go-to (especially when we’re closing an issue and I need comfort food to get me through!).” If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, the Chobani Bar (152 Prince St.) is delicious and relatively cheap — only one dollar sign on Yelp!
If you work at… Meredith Corporation
805 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022
Meredith is located right near Smith & Wollensky, the pricey restaurant where Andie Sachs gets Miranda Priestley’s steak in the Devil Wears Prada. Needless to say, your bank account may not have an allotted steak budget. (Mine certainly doesn’t.) But not to fear: Devon & Blakely, which sells awesome salads and sandwiches generally for under $10, is located right across the street. Another grab n’ go lunch option is Dig Inn (150 E. 52nd St.). “Dig Inn is perfect for a day when you had a light breakfast, or you’re just extra hungry come lunchtime!” says Caitlyn St. Jon, editorial assistant at Parents. “For under $10 you get a variety of farm-to-table style food.” There’s also a Chipotle and a Chop’t right around the corner on 52nd St.
“Draught 55 (245 E 55th St.) has a must-try $10 lunch special,” adds St. John. “From grilled chicken sandwiches with avocado to Guinness beef stew, their food does not disappoint — and the lunch menu always rotates! (The special also includes one beer, if you’d like a mid-day treat.) Bonus: You’ll never wait to be seated and service is fast enough that you don’t have to worry about exceeding your allotted hour.”
If you work at… Hearst
300 West 57th Street, New York, NY
Hearst is notorious for its beautiful cafeteria. “I love the versatility of the Hearst Cafe 57’s daily meals,” says Nanor Hartounian, former intern at Cosmopolitan and Elle. “From custom-made pizza to Korean barbecue, there’s always a ton of options. Even the pickiest eaters love it.” Looking to escape the office for a bit and go out for lunch? “Although gourmet and on-the-go don’t typically go hand in hand, Balducci’s Gourmet on the Go (301 W 56th St.) continues to be the exception,” says Hartounian “I always end up at this spot when I’m craving both delicious food and convenience.” (It’s right under the building.)
There’s also a Whole Foods (10 Columbus Cir.) and Juice Generation (979 8th Ave.), which is perfect for when you’re craving a smoothie. Another grab n’ go lunch place, often frequented by Fordham University students, is Alan’s Marketplace on 27 Columbus Ave. While it’s a five minute walk from the Hearst Tower, the salads and sandwiches are well worth the walk: You get your choice of a salad with five toppings for only $6.
If you work at… Rodale Inc.
733 3rd Ave, New York, NY
Rodale Inc. is located a short walk from Grand Central Station and has a variety of food joints to discover. “The tacos at La Palapa in Urban Space are legit!” says Cathryne Keller, associate editor at Women’s Health. “They have super fresh, lighter ingredients that won’t give you ‘Chipotle belly,'” she jokes.
Another popular choice is Fuel Grill & Juice Bar. “They have lots of healthy options all in one place and they deliver!” adds Jenn Pena, video producer at WomensHealth.com. But if you just can’t decide what you’re craving, hit up the grocery store, Amish Market. “It’s crazy cheap, so good, and they have everything there,” adds Jenn, so you can’t go wrong.
If you work at… Conde Nast
1 World Trade Center, New York, NY
Conde Nast’s offices are in the heart of downtown’s Financial District — in one of the city’s most iconic buildings — so there are plenty of food options to choose from (and finance dudes galore, if you’re into that). “When editors get tired of their Conde Nast desk salads, we’ll head over to Dig Inn in Brookfield Plaza for a menu of healthy, ever-changing options that doesn’t leave you feeling disgustingly full after chowing down,” says Chloe Metzger, associate editor at Allure. There’s also Blue Smoke, a down home-style barbecue joint with a casual atmosphere, if you’re craving comfort food (think: mac and cheese, homemade chips, and fried chicken).
For a more leisurely lunch, PJ Clarke’s is the way to go. “This slightly upscale restaurant has a gorgeous outdoor patio overlooking the Hudson,” Chloe tells Ed. And if you want to feel like you’re miles away from the office, get on over to Le District. “This gorgeous French market serving homemade crepes and fancy salads makes you feel like you’re strolling through Paris — or, at least, a cozier version of Eataly!” Chloe adds.