A definitive guide to lunch in NYC

Corned beef sandwich at 2nd Ave Deli

Corned beef sandwich at 2nd Ave Deli Photograph: Ilenia Martini

"A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an optimistic believer in the will's freedom after it," wrote Aldous Huxley of the third most-important meal of the day. It's just before noon in NYC, so by that measure we imagine you're being a bit of a drag right now. Thankfully, your pals at Time Out New York have rounded up more than 250 reasons to step away from the keyboard and enjoy every last second of your lunch break.

We've broken down the best options for a quick bite, delivery and a business lunch in 15 neighborhoods, and tracked down the best sandwiches, substantial salads, lunch-only dishes and hot daytime deals at expensive restaurants. We also asked 45 chefs, restaurant owners and notable food writers—including Gail Simmons, Michael White, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Anita Lo—where they take lunch. And for BYO types: stylish lunch gear that will make you the envy of every brown-bagger in the office.

All this and more awaits you here. Just remember to save some room for dinner.