Soup & Sandwich
Upper West Side
Fast, cheap, and in control: Zabar's Café can steer you through a deli meal for under $10 in less than 15 minutes. The window-wrapped corner space is in the same building as Zabar’s, but there's no direct access between the two. It's half self-service, half counter-service. The sandwiches are simple: Chicken salad on health bread is just that, no toppings. Choices from the Zabar across town, Eli's, include a vinegery lentil salad on ciabatta bread. At the counter, you can order something not encased in plastic, like a plump cheese blintz. Matzoh ball soup is always on hand, but the chilly centers of the matzoh balls make this a less-than-successful comfort food. Sullivan Street Bakery's pizza may be a worse for wear from its trip uptown—the crust gets tough—but the rosemary-sprinkled potato-and-onion squares are still satisfying. You can sit at the communal table or the counter facing the street. There's a quick seat-turnover rate among parents-with-toddlers and tourists comparison-tasting cheesecakes.