Finding an affordable NYC lunch can be difficult. As someone who had a summer internship near Times Square, it was a struggle to find food without breaking the bank. I did succeed, however, and have decided to share my wisdom with others.

1. Los Tacos No.1

If you haven't heard of Los Tacos yet then you're living under a rock. This authentic Mexican restaurant breeds flavor. With the most expensive thing on the menu only costing $4.50, it's a must have. My personal favorite is the nopal plate with chicken.

2. Sweetgreen

Sweetgreen is the revolution of salad. This is where I go to live out my arugula loving dreams. The company is known for being environmentally conscious, with the mission to serve the community. With the options of a salad bowl, warm bowl, or making-your-own bowl, Sweetgreen appeals to everyone alike.

3. Whole Foods

Some may see Whole Foods as only a semi-expensive grocery store, however if you look in the right places you will find a deal. Whole Foods has a hot food bar, salad bar, pizza bar, dessert bar and so much more. Their food is always fresh and they carry a wild assortment of drinks to pair with your meal. Amazon Prime users are also susceptible to further discounts. Find the closest one near you!

4. Panera

In my eyes, Panera is an obvious lunch choice. They offer sandwiches, salads, pastas, soups, and delicious pastries. Their chocolate chip cookies are also to die for. Their “You Pick Two” deal allows customers to pick two things off the menu at a reduced price. 

Quick Tip: If you order ahead online and pick it up, you can skip through rush hour lines!

5. Bareburger

A hub for amazing burgers and great salads, Bareburger is not to be slept on. They have vegan and vegetarian options (even vegan milkshakes!) and all of their produce is locally and sustainably sourced. Check out their $9.90 make-your-own-burger deal! You will not be disappointed. 

Now that you have all of this lunch knowledge, go forth and enjoy yourself! Lunch always tastes better when it's affordable, especially if you're chowing down in NYC.