Juices headline the menu at Manhattan Juice Bar & Cafe, but these aren't just any juices. These raw varieties are created mostly from organic wheat grass, healthy vegetables such as kale and carrots, and though fresh apples and citrus fruits lend a tinge of sweetness. Fresh fruits also show up in the juice bar's smoothies, which are blended with protein powder and non-dairy milk, such as coconut milk, almond milk, and organic flax milk.
But Manhattan is so much more than a juice bar. The cafe's lunchtime menu includes healthy wraps and paninis, many of which feature vegan toppings such as house-made hummus. The desserts are just as tantalizing and healthy, with options such as gluten-free vegan energy balls and bars.
When Midtown Lunch’s Rachel Goldner stopped by Simon Sips, she was heartened not only by the foam art on her drink, but by staffers she described as “just the kind of people you want to interact with in the morning: calm, extremely nice, and helpful.” Perhaps this amiability stems from the fact that the shop’s baristas aren’t frazzled by overly complicated drink orders—Simon’s puritanical espresso menu includes only lattes, cappuccinos, and mochas. The New York Times' Oliver Strand called Simon Sips "worth seeking out" on its city guide app, The Scoop, and Midtown Lunch's readers even voted Simon Sips "Best Coffee 2012." The smell of drip coffee also fills the newly renovated space, where patrons can nibble on a daily rotating selection of muffins or especially fresh-smelling drink sleeves.
Viand Restaurant pulls from only the classiest pages of American history to create a Zagat-rated, classic New York–style luncheonette open 24 hours a day. There, wafting around key-lime booths and stools, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee mingles with that of juicy burgers during lunchtime, bowing to the heady scent of broiled lamb chops and traditional Italian specialties for dinner. Like the ambassadors of Candy Land, servers cross over the checkered black-and-white floors with an entourage of sweets, from fried cheesecake to german chocolate cake to lemon meringue. For early risers, three-egg omelets and stacks of pancakes jump-start the day, pairing nicely with a freshly baked blueberry muffin.
Guy & Gallard doesn't mind where people choose to savor its menu of more than 70 breakfast items, sandwiches, soups, and pastas. Diners also get to design their own sandwiches out of diverse ingredients that range from albacore-tuna salad and grilled vegetables to tandoori chicken and prosciutto. To sate health-minded stomachs and hungry treadmills, the menu uses a green leaf to denote the meals that have less fat and fewer calories.
Though cafés often conjure images of a modest menu scrawled on a chalkboard, Cafe Fresco boasts an unexpectedly extensive selection of breakfast and lunch items. The menu begins with custom omelets, then goes on to include griddle items (challah french toast, buttermilk pancakes), and homemade granola. A large portion of the list is reserved for bagel sandwiches, which can be stuffed with everything from peanut butter to veggies and tofu. Like the omelets, patrons can create their own sandwiches or head to the deli counter to order feasts to take home to a gourmand goldfish. Available by the quarter-pound, the takeout items include strawberry cream cheese and other spreads, as well as sandwich stuffers such as gourmet deli meat and chicken salad. Of course it wouldn’t be a café without coffee: baristas can brew mochaccinos, lattes, and chai tea.