We've already talked about the phenomenal vegetarian sandwich ($9.50) at Olive's, a seemingly simple harmony of chipotle mayo, sprouts, tomatoes, red onions, ripe avocado, and Vermont sharp cheddar on 7-grain. It sounds so ordinary, but is one of the few sandwiches I go out of my way for when a craving hits. If you're after something meatier, their smoked turkey and bacon with avocado mayo is an excellent bet, as is the classic mozzarella with roasted red peppers and basil oil. For anyone working in Soho, this tiny sandwich shop is a gem, offering not just great sandwiches but equally delicious soups and salads.
For the summer months, there's a rotating menu of cold soups, the best of which is a creamy, chilled yellow tomato puree finished with avocado salsa. The salsa is really just a big spoonful of diced avocados, but it's a perfect pairing for the tomato, and very summer- and vegetarian-appropriate. If you're not a cold soup person, keep an eye out for their white bean and chorizo soup with a chicken stock base. There's plenty of escarole in each and a finish of parmesan. Soups are $5.50 each, but the best way to get a taste of both is to do the 1/2 sandwich and soup combination for $10.75. It's not a big lunch, but enough to tide you over till the afternoon. And that's why you can't leave without their signature red velvet cupcake—or at the very least, a spicy ginger cookie.
About the author: Originally from Honolulu, Kathy YL Chan writes A Passion For Food, where she chronicles her eats and travels adventures between Hawai'i, New York and beyond. She firmly believes that there is always room for dessert.