Where New Yorkers grab their sandwich

Tasty grub on the go? We are all running around. But we also need to eat. As a visitor you don’t always want to sit down for lunch, there’s so much to do, so many things to see and so little time!! You want something quick, but you want something good, and definitely not fall a tourist trap. Here are a couple of my favorite quick meal spots. They are small chains, but nothing to do with Au bon Pain or BBQ’s, godforbid. Consider those gourmet chains. (What else did you expect from Insiders…)

Shake Shack

This Madison Square Park metal hut is a fancy burger joint. Conceived by mega-restaurant entrepreneur Danny Mayer, the Shake Shack was voted best NYC burger in 2005 by New York Magazine. Don’t get discouraged by the lines in the summer, they move quickly. In any case, you can also check the length of the line on their live webcam online (pictured above). Grab a table under the trees, and just for good measure a shake as well. Unforgettable NY experience. Just in: besides the existing two locations, three are bound to pen this year!


You can challenge me on this one, but I think at Whichcraft you will find the best turkey sandwich on the island. Enough said. You simply must try. The granola is great too and they can package it to go. There are twelve locations around Manhattan. The one in Bryant Park is fabulous, you feel you are truly taking a break from the bustle while chomping a scrumptious sandwich.

The Pump

Traditionally a hang out for the gym rats and health food junkies, this NY staple satisfies anybody who is into creative wraps, fresh ingredients and squeezed juices. Yes, about everybody. Good thing is the tourists don’t really know about it. In compensation, their walls are covered with celebrity photographs and autographs of famous fans who are into The Pump’s healthy food. Skinny Paris Hilton, hunky John Stamos, and hottie Pink are amongst the stars who approve. It’s written on the wall.

Le Pain Quotidien

This Belgian quietly arrived on the Upper east Side over 15 years ago. After a couple of years they opened a second branch in SoHo. All of a sudden they have expanded their charming bakery, antique looking dining area into twenty restaurants all over Manhattan. Their tartines (open sandwiches) are delicacies, and the apple tart for dessert is my favorite. Hard to believe they are a chain. Better that way.

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