How to Take a Mid-Day Break in Westchester

There’s no better feeling than being able to leave all of your work behind you at the end of the day. For a lot of people, however, that might mean remaining tied to the desk right through lunch.

Here’s the irony: Most experts say that taking a mid-day break is downright rejuvenating. Workers get the second wind they need to be more productive in the afternoon and generally feel healthier over the long haul.

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The question, then, becomes, “How do I maximize my lunchtime?” For some people, the answer is to grab their personal computer and find a quaint eatery with Wi-Fi connectivity. Then, they can respond to personal emails and tie up loose ends in order to lighten their to-do list.

Others like to turn off all of that distracting technology and just disappear for a while.

Whichever path you prefer to take—making lunchtime connections or finding some quiet downtime—here are suggestions for making the most of a mid-day break. 

Lunchtime Connections

It’s getting easier all the time to find dining establishments that provide free Wi-Fi. The key is to locate a place that mixes Internet connectivity with fabulous food and a little “atmosphere” to boot.

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When you’re looking to make the best of a multi-tasking lunch, consider these convenient spots that let you connect in comfort:

Step into any one of Bonnie Saran’s three Mount Kisco operations and it’s like you’re taking a trip to exotic lands. At Little Kabab Station in particular, you get great prices and the modern convenience of Wi-Fi, while at the same time, the authenticity of the food and décor makes the shop seem like a hidden gem of India. Since opening in 2011, Little Kabab Station has been serving many traditional Indian offerings but often with modern spins. Try one of the many unique naan preparations that vary in flavor and seasonings—a personal favorite is the basil pesto naan paired with the chicken tikka masala. The basil pesto is fresh and herby in contrast with any of the indulgently rich curries. Also be sure to check out Little Kabab Station’s next-door neighbors—Little Crêpe Street and Little Spice Bazaar. All three of Saran’s establishments have gotten raves on Martha Stewart’s blog.

Its name alone lets you know that this establishment puts a premium on convenience for anybody on the go: On the Way Café serves up delicious accompaniments for a working (or playing) lunch in Rye. Head Chef Joseph Mortelliti brings a gourmet twist to classic American foods, offering an artisan sandwich on house-made bread or, if you’re lucky enough to catch it on the specials menu, truffle mac and cheese. Mortelliti also has an indulgent beef carpaccio dish, for those days when you need an extra treat to help you through your mid-day break.

A bit further down-county, terrific wireless lunches are served in a comfortable atmosphere at Emma’s Ale House in White Plains. Known for its upscale tavern atmosphere, Emma’s serves delicious American comfort food with a bit o’ Irish influence. Be sure to try the house-fried chips. And if you can’t get completely away from workday commitments, this is also a great place for a laidback business meeting.

We also recommend:

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  • The Iron Tomato (White Plains)
  • Le Jardin du Roi (Chappaqua)
  • Lilli Pilli Health Bar (White Plains)
  • Melt Sandwich Shop (White Plains)
  • Station Café (Hastings)

Quiet Downtime

If there is one thing that I am diligent about during the workday, it’s taking a few moments of “me time” by stepping outside to clear my head—even if this just means strolling around the block.

When the weather’s nice, longer treks can be even more refreshing. Think about these three options when you want to find quiet places to chill out:

Right off of Route 128 in Armonk, Wampus Pond Park is a beautiful setting for a relaxing lunch, scenic views, and a casual walk. Boaters and fisherman take advantage of the sprawling pond in warmer months, while ice skaters welcome winter weather. The park is only three minutes from the center of Armonk, so you might not even need to worry about jumping in the car. The serene environment makes for the perfect place to re-center yourself for the rest of the day. 

If you are part of the busy White Plains workforce, take a quick trip north to the Kensico Dam Plaza County Park, adjacent to the roundabout where the Taconic and Bronx River parkways meet in Valhalla. Only a seven-minute drive from the White Plains train station, the large, grassy field at the foot of the historic dam is just right for a warm-weather picnic. Of course, the park is also well known for hosting fireworks displays and weekend cultural festivals. But during the week, the area is much less crowded—and great for catching some rays.

For those who spend their days in the Sleepy Hollow or Tarrytown area, hop on over to Kingsland Point County Park off of Riverside Drive. Located roughly six minutes from the center of Tarrytown and half that from Sleepy Hollow, the park is part of the Westchester RiverWalk, with its nearly 33 miles of publicly accessible pathways linking village centers, historic sites, parks, and water access points. At Kingsland Park, there’s no reason not to spend your mid-day break overlooking the spectacular Hudson River. You also get a view of the Tarrytown Lighthouse and the Tappan Zee Bridge.

We also recommend:

  • Bronx River Parkway Reservation (one-mile loop in Mount Vernon; two longer trail sections from Bronxville to Scarsdale and Hartsdale to the aforementioned Kensico Dam Plaza)
  • J. Harvey Turnure Memorial Park (White Plains)

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