Where to get lunch in Union Square

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  • Photograph: Donald Yip

    Barbounia

    Barbounia

  • Photograph: Donald Yip

    Nanoosh

    Nanoosh

Photograph: Donald Yip

Barbounia

Barbounia

Quick bite: Pita Joe
Topped with brightly flavored extras like organic-chickpea hummus, chopped Israeli salad and pickles, the mild, crisp chickpea patties (whole $4.95, half $3.25) at Joe are easy on the palate: They're not so garlicky or spicy that you won't be able to handle that afternoon meeting, and they won't feel like a rock in your stomach come 4 o'clock. Grab a sweet-and-tart homemade lemonade, too; with varying flavors such as mango and mint, each glass (16oz $3.25) is a refreshing pick-me-up. 2 W 14th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-627-7877, pitajoe.com)—Billie Cohen

Business lunch: Barbounia
This Mediterranean restaurant offers opulent but easygoing midday dining. The immense earth-toned room, rife with sky-high arches and pillow-laden banquettes, bustles with a crowd that includes tie-clad business lunchers, along with neighborhood locals and tourists. Israeli chef Efraim Nohan draws from Greek, Moroccan, French, Italian and his own native cuisines to build the menu, whipping up a kebab pita ($15) piled high with butter-soft, cumin- and nutmeg-spiced lamb. The steaming complimentary flatbread (brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with rosemary and sage) is flavorful enough to eat alone and ideal as a vehicle for bringing Nahon's creamy, rich hummus ($7) from dish to mouth. 250 Park Ave South at 20th St (212-995-0242, barbounia.com)—Claire Zahm

Delivery: Nanoosh
Nanoosh delivers mostly organic Mediterranean meals that show up intact and won't put you in an afternoon coma. The hummus, soups and salads make this place an easy sell for vegetarians, but the meat options are appealing too. The poultry in the chicken wrap ($8.95) is crusted with cumin and paprika, surrounded by field greens and onions, and slathered with hummus and tahini. We recommend pairing it with the quinoa salad ($3.75), which is combined with a refreshing mix of dried cranberries, sweet raisins and zesty bell peppers, spiked with flecks of cilantro and parsley. 111 University Pl between 12th and 13th Sts (212-387-0744, nanoosh.com)—CZ

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