There’s some controversy about what this place is actually called–Food Depot: Gourmet Deli, World Food, or some variant thereof–but it’s on the west side of Fifth, just south of 19th (next to 138 Fifth). It’s walk in, walk out, usually in less than five minutes, often for less than 10 bucks.
At Food Depot, as the song goes, you can get anything you want: from wheatgrass smoothies to brown-rice California rolls to turkey sandwiches to custom stir-fry mixes to 30-foot-long hot and cold buffets with health-department approved sneeze bars ($6.49 a pound). The sushi-roll refrigerator is a cool 10 feet wide, and at least a half-a-dozen cashiers compete for the opportunity to bag your selection. If you’re not in a hurry to get back to your cubicle and YouTube, you can linger upstairs, in a “Sitting Area.”
Self-serve is always a quick affair, but if you want something made to order, bring the Blackberry. Lunch rush usually subsides around 2pm.
Best For: Solo Lunch
Who Eats There: Kevin Ryan (Alleycorp CEO), Yahoo execs, sensitive NRDC enviro-types.
Cost: $5-$10 a person