58 Park Avenue at 38th Street
Open M-Sat, 10-5
Located inside Scandinavia House and operated by parent restaurant Aquavit, this open, bright, and sparsely-designed cafe has become one of my favorite places for lunch. Specializing in Swedish cuisine, lunch options range from a Grilled Scandinavian Shrimp sandwich ($8.75) to Swedish Meatballs ($9.50) to several salmon-based options. The Smorgasbord plate ($9.00) offers an assortment of 6 to 8 Scandinavian dishes that includes herring, gravlax and meatballs. All entrees and grilled sandwiches are served with a side of salad, bread and/or potato chips with a pungently memorable mayonnaise-based dip. Working my way through the menu over the past few months, I have yet to hit on a bad dish.
Although the wait to get your food can sometimes be up to 15 minutes (plates are made to order) it's great place to sit for an hour, read the paper and enjoy a unique yet not-too-expensive lunch.