Finding meals that are healthy, hearty and affordable is the eternal struggle in New York. Upper Yorkville has a wealth of tasty food, however the restaurants here primarily include special occasion restaurants, bars, and places where you pick up a giant slice of pizza after spending hours at a bar. Fortunately, with a little digging, you can definitely find budget-friendly lunches that are as good for your health as they are for your appetite.
Carnivores rejoice: Au Jus is here to satisfy all of your roast meat cravings in the tastiest possible way. This 1st Avenue spot brings high-quality roasting methods and prime meat cuts to the world of sandwiches. Instead of Subway, upgrade your lunch hour with a warm, toasted, fresh baguette filled with juicy, mouthwatering porchetta, roasted beef, or roasted lamb. Au Jus also has family dinners, roast chicken dinners, and a variety of sandwiches. The Lunch Special includes a medium-sized roasted meat or portobello sandwich with potatoes and a drink for $7.95.
Le Viet Cafe
Vietnamese cuisine is celebrated in a number of spots on the UES, however for a casual and quality lunch special, Le Viet Cafe is the obvious choice. This cozy Yorkville cafe serves Vietnamese and Asian dishes, including vermicelli, banh mi, curry dishes, and Thai noodles. At $10- $12, the lunch special includes your choice of banh mi with kimchi fries and/or meatball soup, and Vietnamese Iced Coffee.
Pio Pio is a New York favorite, bringing traditional Peruvian cuisine to multiple locations throughout the city. If you live in upper Yorkville, you are lucky to be near an outpost of this delicious restaurant. The Peruvian rotisserie chicken is of course the highlight of the menu, and customer’s continue to rave about its juicy, full flavor, especially when paired with the spicy and addictive green sauce. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try equally worthy dishes such as the ceviches, seafood platter, or spiced steak over rice.
The Ottomanelli Brothers chain is a genuine New York institution harking back to the early 20th century. Not only are they a go-to source for those in search of a great butcher; they also happen to be a source of mouthwatering affordable meals. The location at York and 86th serves up all the casual Italian classics you can possibly crave for lunch at a great price, as well as American offerings like their famous Steakburger, which is only $9.95 despite being massive.