For a fast, reliable lunch in the Herald Square area, Woorijip has been my go-to spot for years. The food here may not be excellent, but it's always dependable. A Korean buffet table for $6.99 a pound with grilled fish, platters of jap chae replenished at a rate of what seems like every five minutes, and always a wide variety of stewed, steamed and stir-fried vegetables—how could that be bad?
At peak lunch hours, the line for the buffet table is long, but it's efficient, and moves remarkably fast thanks to no-nonsense cashiers; you can be in and out in no time. Like any by-the-pound buffet, go during peak lunch hours of 11:30am-1:30pm when the food has the highest turnover rate. (I've had a great spicy fried chicken one day, and then a stale, chewy version the next day when I visited in the late afternoon.)
My rule of thumb at Woorijip is simple: get the grilled mackerel with garlic, and keep your eyes peeled for the newest dishes to come out of the kitchen. Can't go wrong with what's hot and fresh.
12 West 32nd Street, New York NY 10001 (map) 212-244-1115
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