Where to Get a Quick Bite in NYC

For when you have to stuff your face on the go.

Chris Klemens

Having lived in New York City for five years, I would say my biggest hobby is still eating.

There is SO much to offer, but sometimes, I don't have time to sit down and have a full meal, causing me to get my food for the road. If you've ever found yourself in a similar situation in NYC where you don't have time to sit down to eat or don't want to spend your time sitting at a table, fear not because I have you covered.

Of course, there are a ton of markets, bodegas, and Chipotles to eat at, but these are places that have both seating and to-go options.

I will be updating this frequently as I try new places, so always check it if you're coming to town!

I probably go to Sweetgreen 3-5 times a week, which is healthily disgusting. I love Sweetgreen over any other salad place in the city because it really does feel the healthiest, and they make salads delicious. The ingredients they use are delivered that morning since it's sourced organically and locally. The staff is always so friendly and energized, but beware of what time you are going because lines can be quite long around lunch and dinner time during the weekday. They do have a mobile app with a reward program, and you can schedule a time from your phone to pick up your salad. There are quite a few locations throughout the city.

I came across their SoHo location with friends because my friends said they always have really amazing samples of chorizo, olive oil, and sometimes something similar to Nutella. As I discovered after walking in, it's not only a market; they also have a little cafe area where they serve their authentic Spanish cuisine. My favorite thing to get there is the Picante Bocadillo (sandwhich), which is Chorizo picante, Mahon cheese (I get it without cheese), Basque guindilla peppers, tomatoes and aioli all toasted on the most delicious bread ever. My mouth truly just started salivating thinking about it.

There is a lot of Italian in the city, but there's something about Pepe Rosso To Go that keeps me coming back. It is authentic Italian food without really breaking the bank, and that's really great. I will say it does sometimes feel like forever until you get your food, but that might also be the case because I feel like the only times I go there are when I am hangry. Seating is extremely limited (5 or 6 two-person tables), so take-out is recommended. 

If you are a healthy eater or are vegan, you have probably heard about by CHLOE. I have mixed feelings about by CHLOE., mostly because the name is super annoying to write over and over in a blog post. With that said, the food is really great, and I can get a burger without feeling like I'm ruining my body. Their avocado toast and kale Caesar salad are quite divine. Like Sweetgreen, there are a growing amount of locations, and the line can get quite long because of how popular this spot it. However, the line is very worth the wait.

Where do I even start with Breakroom? I am truly overwhelmed by how delicious the food is to even talk about it. They have tacos, burgers, sandwiches, and as I learned by finding the menu online, salads too. Their tacos and burgers/sandwiches are to die for, as is their Breakroom fries (seasoned fries, tater tots, sunny side egg, bacon, onions, cheese, jalapenos and pork belly). At this point, you've probably realized that Breakroom is in a whole other nutritional category compared to Sweetgreen and by CHLOE. Seating here can be a little tricky since it's so small, but it is so worth it.

Hampton Chutney features South Indian dosas (crispy crepe made from rice) with a variety of delicious fresh fillings. I was hesitant to try this because my stomach is a little bitch and sometimes can't handle Indian food, but this is amazing. I get the #5 dosa (avocado, fresh tomato, arugula, and chicken) with tomato chutney, and not only is it the best, but it is so filling as well. It does feel a little expensive, though, as the #5 with chicken is fourteen dollars and some change, but then again, they are filling. There is also room to eat in the restaurant.

Xian is an incredible place to go if you are wanting authentic Asian cuisine. They are known for their signature hand-ripped noodles, secret spice mixes, and Xi’an “burgers” with homemade flatbread. There are a few locations scattered across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. I find it pretty inexpensive for the quality and taste of the food. Everything tastes so fresh and flavorful. If you are sensitive to spicy food, make sure you make it clear you do not want spice because it is fiery and wonderful. My personal favorite is the spicy and tingly beef hand-ripped noodles. 

The Butcher’s Daughter is a plant-based restaurant, cafe, juice bar and “vegetable slaughterhouse". There are three locations that serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, and this is a major hotspot. If you are looking for a trendy Instagram of your beautiful looking food, this is the place for you. In more favorable weather, there is outdoor seating available, but since it is a hotspot, getting a seat may not always be easy. I think it is a little overpriced, but at the same time, it is a beautiful, delicious, and healthy meal.

Dean & Deluca is a famous grocery store in New York City. With that being said, they also serve food like sandwiches, soups, entrees, etc. that you can either sit down and eat or take on the go. I had to include Dean & Deluca on my list because of their tomato cheddar soup, which might be one of my favorite soups to this day. Their food can be relatively expensive, but if you're having a bad day or want something of pretty good quality, this is a good place to start.

This Taiwanese hotspot in the East Village is home to savory steamed buns, rice bowls, and fries, all of which are an excellent choice. I remember the first time I went here with a friend, I was freaked out at one of the fries because it had neon green sauce, but it was truly out of this world. I am a huge fan of their Birdhaus Bao and the Taro fries. It is pretty reasonably priced, but seating is very limited, so taking your meal to-go might be the move to do. If the weather is nice, you can walk 2 blocks to Union Square and eat your meal on a bench.