The Plaza Food Hall - NYC

The thought of sitting down to a meal in a food court is dreadful.  They can be dark. They can be dingy.  They can be packed table to table with fellow citizens less inclined towards personal hygiene, and the menu, well, let's just not go there.  But when it comes to food court dining, the times are a changing.

A short escalator ride down into the basement of New York's Plaza Hotel and you'll find fast food a level above.  The Plaza Food Hall (not court) has marble tables, leatherback bar stools and chocolate wood from wall to wall.  But more importantly, the menus.

Starting with the Maine course (see what we did there?) Luke's puts out small but generously stuffed lobster ($15), crab ($13) and shrimp ($8) rolls.  Pay a few extra dollars to upgrade to a combo and get a soda, chips and pickle. There's No. 7 Sub where $13 will buy you a braised shortrib sandwich with roasted green peppers, grape jelly, mayo and red onions.  Order a side of their red cabbage and fried garlic cole slaw for the cost of a subway ride.  And in case of a line, you'll find more sandwiches and salads at Tartinery and a slew of other stalls.

When it comes to dessert though things can get dangerous, especially with Billy's Bakery banana cupcakes in plain sight.  There's also Lady M's sophisticated cakes and macaroons, William Greenberg Desserts with their version of the ubiquitous black and white cookie (in not-so-namesake hues too), La Maison du Chocolat, Three Tarts and frozen yogurt at YoArt.

The hall is open Monday through Saturday from 8am to 9:30pm and Sunday 11am to 6pm making it the perfect place to eat away buyer's remorse with dignity post-Bergdorfs and pre-Barneys.


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