In Manhattan, we are always on the go, and even though it is nice to slow down sometimes and relax at a nice restaurant, other times that isn’t the case and need to get something on the go. That is where fast casual comes into play, and you have to go beyond the regular types that you see populating the city to really get a sense of how delicious this concept can really be!
Fast casual can actually be a very fulfilling way to eat in Manhattan, especially if you want to grab a quick lunch during your break or get together with a group of friends after work for a delicious snack. We have found a couple of great options for this that we think you should try in the upcoming weeks! Take a look at these amazing fast casual options, and stop by one of their locations for all the tastiness they provide!
fresh & co
Founded in 2010 by NYC-based ST Management, fresh&co is a destination for chef-inspired, organic, seasonal food that is both nutritious and delicious. With multiple locations throughout Manhattan, fresh&co prides itself on offering an array of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menu options that are packed with flavor. From signature chopped salads and homemade soups, to fresh-made sandwiches, quinoa bowls and cold-pressed juices,fresh&co is the go-to spot for hungry New Yorkers who want a healthy meal—fast. fresh&co sources the majority of its ingredients from local farms in the Hudson Valley and Long Island, creating a unique from-farm-to-desk connection. I go to this spot a lot (the one on 7th Avenue by Penn Station), and the flavors are off the chain! Their new Mexican Caesar Salad is definitely one you should try ASAP! Check out their new seasonal menu here.
Two Forks is the latest in an amazing line of fast-casual type restaurants right here in Manhattan. Their mission is simple: pairing slow cooked meats with seasonal sauces and globally inspired sauces. They source from the best farms out there who believe in their philosophies and prepare their meats and slaws fresh each day. What could be better than that? One dish to recommend: The Hot Chick Bowl, which came with Pulled Chicken, Harissa Buffalo Sauce, Carrot, Celery Root, Parsnip & Blue Cheese Slaw. So many flavors, so much deliciousness I can’t even describe. More here.
Now with its second location officially opened in Union Square, Pokeworks is primed to be your next favorite fast casual restaurant in Manhattan. Pokéworks prides itself on Poké (a traditional Hawaiian dish where chunks of tuna are marinated in soy and sesame) being the base for most of their dishes, with other tasty items building off of the Hawaiian based dish. You have the option of either choosing from one of their pre-determined options in a bowl, salad or burrito form (the burrito being rolled sushi style, OMG), or going rogue and making it “your way”. If you are looking for something fresh and want to keep the calorie count at a minimum, then Pokeworks is for you! More here.
City Kitchen, attached to Row NYC, is a great lunch spot because it has every different type of cuisine inside of it and reads like an upscale food market with great and affordable prices that anyone can enjoy. Stop by and start your day with Gabriela’s Taqueria to sample one of their breakfast tacos. If your the type to keep it light for breakfast and want to get out of the typical lunch routine then the options are endless. Try a Mediterranean option like Falafel Beiruti or Duck Shawarma from ilili Box. From the buttery toasted crab rolls made specially from Luke’s Lobsters to the delectable ramen bowls that are devised to stand up to transportation from Kuro Obi, lunch time is more like an adventure than a meal. More here.
Hummus Pita & Co
Hummus Pita & Co’s menu is a mixture of some of the best dishes of the Mediterranean as well the Middle East. From Turkish, Greek, Moroccan , Israeli etc, they pride themselves on their amazing flavors and dishes which are made fresh each and every day! Absolute heaven and another great choice for something unique and fresh for the warmer weather. My favorite dish is Chicken Shawarma on a laffa with hummus and harissa and lots of tahina and tabouleh! I want it now! More here.