5. Buena Vista Bistro
The Buena Vista name rarely disappoints, and this bistro is no exception. Its lunch menu, available from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, is one of midtown’s best deals. It includes a soup of the day or salad with a choice of a hearty entrée – pork tenderloin, chicken paillar, porccini risotto, or crabmeat with avocado sauce aurore – plus homemade rice pudding, all for just $11.95. Buena Vista Bistro also has daily lunch specials and elegant French plates such as steak tartare ($14) and onglet aux échalotes, a steak dish served with a choice of homemade mashed potatoes or fries ($14).
4. Proof Pizza & Pasta
For those days when a leafy salad just won’t cut it, head to Proof Pizza & Pasta in Wynwood for a hearty midday pick-me-up. This casual neighborhood spot takes advantage of seasonal and local ingredients to create solid versions of Neapolitan classics such as white and margherita pizzas. Signature pies, including the Proper Sausages lamb sausage with shallot purée and tomato jam ($15), are even better. If a cheesy pizza is too heavy, Proof offers a wide selection of alternative lunch options, such as a pork sandwich served with a side salad ($12). Lunch is served from noon to 3 p.m., and nothing on the regular menu costs more than $20.