Good lunch spots in downtown Albany?

downtown albany lower state streetPerhaps feeling left out during last week's discussion about good lunch spots in Troy, Rebecca asked in the comments:

[B]eing that this isn't "All Over Troy" I think it's only fair and right that AOA rebuts with "good places for lunch in downtown ALBANY"!!

Our lunch time experiences in downtown Albany have included an unfortunate number of misses. But we're guessing people who work there all the time have the scoop.

So, what are the good lunch spots in downtown Albany? Please share!


Food Trucks!

I am a huge fan and my favorite is the Healthy Cafe. Delicious food with fun names and you can't miss that big ol' neon green truck!

I haven't worked in Albany for a few years, but whenever I am in town at lunchtime, I make it point to grab one of favorite sandwiches (turkey and bacon or chicken salad on rye, depending on my mood) from Sandwiches to Go on Maiden Lane.

Come to Troy for lunch. See the good lunch spots in Troy post.

Iron Gate Cafe, hands down. Some of the best soups and sandwiches in town and great daily specials.

That truck called me FAT! Healthy Truck... more like Unhealthy Self Esteem Truck!

I both work and live downtown-downtown (below the capitol), so here's my top ten:

1. Iron Gate Cafe, best sandwiches/wraps around.
2. Victory Cafe, the Victory salad is huge and full of veggies, and they offer a creative menu consisting largely of daily specials.
3. Melville's Mug, a tad overpriced, but I still go because both the food and staff are so great. Good specials if in their "Mug Club."
4. Soho Pita Co., if you're in the market for healthy and vegetarian, their homemade hummus is good and you can control what goes in your wrap.
5. DP's, excellent food for a nicer sit-down lunch (with cocktails).
6. Miranda's Deli - straight-up but solid, no frills deli. Cops love it, that usually says something.
7. Franklin's Tower - Excellent food, great homemade fries, slightly pricier. Nice sidewalk dining, too.
8. Lunch - this place is the tops.
9. Pump Station - for those lunches where a Kick-Ass Brown is imperative.
10. Shalimar Express - $8 Indian buffet. Enough said.

iron gate cafe all the way...great food, great staff...also for their weekend brunches...for great indian buffet food, try the jewel of india on lark street.

Better Bites in One Commerce Plaza is a great lunch place.

IRONGATE. hands down =D

I vote for the Hamilton Street Cafe - they have THE BEST sandwiches and their butternut squash soup is absolutely fantastic.

I have to say, that Daves (100 State St) is one of the best deals in lunch, tasty soups and spicy food for relatively cheap. :) That said, I will walk up to sukothai from that area, or go just around the corner to SoHo Wraps (or whatever it's called) to get a hummus wrap too. I almost always make it a point to stop at crisan though. =D

My personal favorite is the Olde English Pub & Pantry.

Some co-workers and I have been trying new places and writing reviews. And taking pictures.

It begins and ends with Iron Gate. They're the absolute best!

Lombardo's has lunch special's.
My favorites are the Shrimp Francese, and Veal Parm.
Their sausage,and sauce are the best!
Adore their garlic bread, and on Thursday you can get four meals to go for $20 !

I love the Irongate!

Mugshots - I get my salad there almost every day. They're hidden away behind Tricentennial Park. Not only are super reasonable but their salads are giant and delicious!

When I worked downtown, I really liked Pizzeria 54. Service was really friendly, pizza was good, and I really like their salads full of huge chunks of veggies and super-vinegary salad dressing.

Lunch is absolutely delicious, and I love that their entire family owns and runs the place. Really great food, awesome service and delicious specials everyday.

A few blocks from what you probably mean by "downtown," but two great places for takeout lunch are-
Stella del Mare: amazing Italian food, a bunch of different selections cooked every day. The portions are big, saucy, and delicious. Most come with spaghetti and bread.
New Image Deli: on South Pearl (on the block south of Madison) looks on the outside like a normal little bodega, but they have really good hot Spanish and Caribbean food. Mostly saucy meats, 2 kinds of rice, and sometimes fried plantains. It's an offshoot of Frank and Giovanni's on Morton which has similar food but a much larger selection.

The lunch spots aren't quite as sublime as Troy, but I do enjoy me some Melville's Mug -- food's good, coffee's good, and it's a quiet spot amidst all the hustle and bustle. Also: bike rack.

Also fond of Franklin's Tower.

If you're doing takeout, the best place to eat your lunch is the secret little park behind City Hall. Paradise in spring and summer. Sometimes it's paradise with bells.

Hamilton Street Cafe! I also like their broccoli/cheddar soup and their sandwiches!

The carts are also great for the summer especially the healthy cart.

That little park is awesome. The small one next to (I think it's) St. Mary's on N. Pearl and Tricentennial Square, between Columbia and Steuben on Broadway, are great for people watching in warm weather. It's also easy to get to the Corning Preserve via the footbridge, and very soon the barge should anchor up there if you want to eat on the water.

Notably there's a lot of outdoor seating downtown: McGeary's, Melville's, Victory, Bayou, Jillians, Pearl St. Pub, Johnathan's, Olde English. And that's just sticking to east of Eagle.

There is this great little sub shop on the corner of South Pearl and State. It is based out of Connecticut (which makes it kind of local) and there are only 36000 of them world wide.

Subway, Eat Fresh!

(This post is not sponsored at all, and comes from my genuine enthusiasm for Subway, much like the genuine enthusiasm that others have from certain bakeries in Troy or cafes in Albany.)

Pastanini on Maiden Lane is a favorite of mine! Love the caprese panini and the Eggplant parm specials. Lots of salad/panini/pasta options with a rotating special of the day.

I almost never get the chance to eat lunch downtown, but the one time I did, I went to the Greenhouse Salad/Wrap place on Pearl and it was amazing.

Hubby just tried the new place, Johny's Diner on Central Ave. and pronounced it "excellent". I heard about it on Steve Barne's TU blog, and I'm hoping to get up there later this week to test run for myself.

If you want something RIGHT in the heart of downtown, then I would suggest Cooks Deli, the Pump Station or Franklin's Tower if you just want a sandwich or salad. For something more fancy, LaSerre, Lombardo's and Jack's Oyster House all do reasonably priced lunches.

Shalimar on State & Broadway. No one seems to know it's there and it rocks! Great for us river folk who don't have time to walk to Central Ave India buffetland.

Dave's Snack Bar - 100 State St
You can enjoy your freshly prepared delicious food while seated in a bank vault. Food prices are extremely reasonable. I have eaten here for many years and never been disappointed. Say hi to Bea - she remembers most customers names and is very pleasant. This is small "hole-in-the-wall" place - the actual food prep area is smaller than most household kitchens. They do a great lunch business and are not open for dinner. Please note, when you first enter 100 State St. you will not see Dave's, you have to walk in a short distance, take a quick left then another quick left - Dave's will then be on your left. The seating in the vault is just past Dave's - up a small ramp then on your right. If you think of it, bring your camera (or cell w/camera) and get a pic while dining in the vault - otherwise your friends may not believe it!

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

A new February record

Yeah, so February, just when it was looking like you'd be typically wintry... you, too, have gone all weird on us. Thursday's high temperature at... (more)

Progressive, warm, vibrant Jewish congregations?

AH writes that her family is looking ahead to a move to Albany: So I'd love to hear any suggestions of progressive, warm, and vibrant... (more)

Fair Share 4 Albany

The push for the city of Albany to get that additional $12.5 million from the state continues... The Sheehan administration, backed by the city's state... (more)

"Let's just throw up some cones and see what happens for a week"

Some food for thought as the Capital Region continues to look toward expanding bus rapid transit: A city adjacent to Boston lacked a rapid transit... (more)

Brew goes Pint Sized, plans second location (and a tiny bar)

Changes are coming to Brew, the popular beer/coffee shop on Lark Street. Owner August Rosa says he's changing the name to Pint Sized. And he's... (more)

Recent Comments

If you've never checked out a Friends meeting (Quakers), I recommend giving it a go. I'm Jewish, but have been sporadically attending Friends meetings for several years. We sit in silence. There's no pastor. The idea is that G-d is within all of us, and if someone's truly and deeply compelled to speak, they share their message. Sometimes it's a full hour of silence and then at the end of the meeting we share joys and sorrows and community updates and you realize that the people sitting silently beside you are some of the most engaged, empathetic, and fair-minded activists around.

How we all ended up talking about a gondola between downtown Albany and the train station

...has 15 comments, most recently from Sandy Johnston

A progressive, friendly, diverse church?

...has 12 comments, most recently from JayK

Examining the forces and maps that redlined the city of Albany

...has 19 comments, most recently from JayK

Brew goes Pint Sized, plans second location (and a tiny bar)

...has 1 comment, most recently from JayK

The untaxed city within the city

...has 36 comments, most recently from JayK