By Gillian Burdett

If you’re like most people, you don’t have the luxury of a two-hour siesta midway through the workday. Lunch often means gulping down a cup of yogurt or a bag of fast food at your desk. While you can save a few minutes by short-changing yourself on a lunch break, your net productivity may actually decline without a change in environment and healthy meal to separate morning from afternoon.

Here is our list of the best place in each of Connecticut’s major city centers where you can grab a quick lunch without sacrificing nutrition or ambiance, just what you need to clear your head and fuel up for whatever the afternoon at work brings.

The Greenway Market
71 Asylum St.
Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 263-7823

This little market and deli is a gem right in Downtown Hartford. The sandwich menu features flavorful combinations of fresh-cut deli meats and cheeses, condiments and vegetables on freshly baked breads and rolls. The staff is friendly and happy to create custom orders. The Market also features a salad bar and juice bar. You can place your order online for a quick pickup, or, during the warmer months, enjoy your lunch at one of their outdoor tables.

Leisha’s Bakeria
7 Lafayette Circle
Bridgeport, CT 06604
(203) 557-8652

Leisha’s is more than a bakery. The lunch menu features hearty, not fussy, soups, salads and sandwiches that will fuel you through the rest of the workday. You’ll find the standards — BLTs, grilled cheese and chicken salad — along with more complex sandwiches such as Monte Cristos and club sandwiches. The atmosphere is casual and friendly. The service is quick and the prices reasonable. While there, you can pick up a tasty treat from the bakery to bring back for your mid-afternoon coffee break

Atticus Bookstore & Café
1082 Chapel St.
New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 776-4040

Atticus Bookstore has been a New Haven institution since opening in 1976 across from the Yale Art Gallery. The European-style café serves homemade soups, artisan sandwiches on crusty bread and sweet baked goods while sharing its space with stacks of books. Eat in the cozy café or bring your lunch outside and enjoy at one of the sidewalk tables. Take out is available.

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Lucky’s Classic Burger & Malt Shop
209 Bedford St.
Stamford, CT 06901
(203) 242-8837

This retro diner will take you back with its chrome and Naugahyde stools, checkerboard floor and table-top jukeboxes. Grab a fat burger, order of fries and frosty shake or choose from a selection healthier entrees and salads. Lucky’s has outdoor seating during the warmer months on their street-side patio. Online ordering is available, and they do deliver.

Two Steps Downtown Grille
5 Ives St.
Danbury, CT 06810
(203) 794-0032

Two Steps is housed in a historic firehouse, and the fun atmosphere includes a fire engine split in half and hung on the walls. Expect hearty portions of their American cuisine. The lunch menu has a variety of loaded salads, sandwiches, wraps, quesadillas, chicken, pork and seafood entrees. The Two Steps Lunch Club offers members a 25 percent discount on lunches and a free lunch after the purchase of five lunches. Takeout and delivery service is available.

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