Does it seem like you have a cocktail party, celebratory dinner, or family function every day of the week? It must be the holidays. Before you overindulge in drinks and hors d'oeuvres—because no one has the willpower to have just one—fill up on a midday meal packed with healthy protein and hearty veggies. The following lunch options available around Manhattan will keep you comfortably full until the festivities begin.
Many soups hide their lack of flavor with excess salt, but you don't have to worry about that at Good Stock located just north of Grand Central in the Urbanspace Vanderbilt food hall. Each of the soup stand’s offerings is thoughtfully prepared with local ingredients. For those dreary, never-ending workdays, pick up a bowl of vegetarian red bean and chickpea chili spiced up with ancho chiles, New Mexico chiles, árbol chiles, jalapeños, and chipotles in adobo sauce—it’ll wake you right up. 230 Park Ave.; check daily menu here
First you discovered the world of sushi. Then you reluctantly got in on the poké trend. Now, find your next raw seafood fix at Uma Temakeria, where you can create your own chirashi bowl or pick the chef’s special: sakana chirashi with tuna, salmon, red pepper, carrot, cucumber, pickled carrot and daikon, avocado lime sauce, tobanjan mayo, and sesame seeds over rice. If you think you have what it takes to design a chirashi that good, pick your base—white rice, brown rice, or kale—and one or two proteins, like yellowfin tuna, Atlantic salmon, zesty tofu, or fresh crab. Pile on the veggies, select a sauce like ginger miso or balsamic miso, and top it off with tobiko, tempura crunch, sesame seeds, or scallions. 64 Seventh Ave., 646-360-3260; Gotham West Market, 600 11th Ave., 212-586-2074; order on UberEats
Flatiron lunch destination Latin Beet Kitchen gives off good vibes no matter what the weather's like outside. Described as “bright and robust,” the Amazonas bowl is just one example of its mood-lifting fare made with local and seasonal ingredients that’ll revive you after the longest morning meeting ever. Your nourishing base of choice—brown rice, organic quinoa, shredded kale, or zucchini noodles—supports a heap of broccoli, sweet potato, cherry tomatoes, organic chicken, crispy corn nuts, salsa criolla, and ají verde. 43 W. 24th St., 212-929-1200
Grand Central Terminal’s newest addition has Midtown Easters rejoicing over a lunch option that doesn’t disappoint. Tucked in Vanderbilt Hall West, Great Northern Food Hall is a hub for hearty Scandinavian food, coffee, and cocktails (if you’re a fan of liquid lunch). The Grain Bar is your saving grace for lunchtime—savory selections, like the mushroom and parsley porridge with seasonal mushrooms, pickled mushrooms, aged Havgus cheese, and garlic, combine fresh ingredients with traditional grainottos made with barley and spelt. And good news for commuters: Grain Bar serves breakfast porridge, too. 89 E. 42nd St., 646-568-4020
Need to impress clients who flew in to New York? Take them to everyone’s new favorite Korean restaurant, Atoboy. Though it might be tempting to order the Hansang lunch—multigrain rice, daily soup or stew, market fish or meat, salad, vegetable of the day, and kimchi—leave the calorie binging to the out-of-towners. You’ll be just as satisfied with a perfectly portioned rice bowl with wild barley, herb salad, yogurt, and goji berry. 43 E. 28th St., 646-476-7217
When the clock strikes noon and you’re craving something soupy and carby, head to West Village ramen joint Mew Men. But surprise—instead of afternoon nap-inducing ramen dishes, the eatery’s lunch menu features a selection of lighter lunch options that satiate your hunger. Order the Japanese Farm Bowl for some ingredients normally found in ramen; it features brown rice, mixed greens, mushrooms, tomatoes, bonito flakes, a soft-boiled egg, and chicken and pork chashu, and it’s served with soup and Japanese snacks. 7 Cornelia St., 212-727-1050
If you haven't caved and waited on line for lunch at sweetgreen yet, go NOW. The health-conscious takeout chain with locations in DC, Boston, LA, and, of course, New York launched its trio of warm bowls that incorporate its beloved ingredients and fresh, seasonal fixings just in time for the imminent drop in temperature. The flavorful choice we recommend is the Shroomami bowl; if the clever name doesn't get you, the ingredients will—wild rice, kale, beets, bean sprouts, basil, spicy sunflower seeds, warm portobello mushrooms, roasted sesame tofu, and miso sesame ginger dressing. Multiple locations