Congratulations, you’ve found yourself at Penn Station. Whether you’re catching the Amtrak, a Knicks game, or the New Year’s Eve Phish show at Madison Square Garden, immersing yourself in the Penn Station complex can be a painful experience.
And a doubly bad one if you’re looking for a meal. We’re here to help with that. We should point out that this area’s a bit of a food desert, so some of these suggestions are slightly outside of the five-block or so radius we’d normally try to keep you in.
Just around the corner from Penn Station, there’s an outpost of Mooncake Foods, our favorite go-to Asian-inspired diner-ish spot. We always forget this location is here – don’t do the same. Get a miso salmon platter or a whitefish salad banh mi.
You just got off the LIRR. The guy next to you was drinking Four Loko (yes, they still exist). What are you going to do now? Get in the soul-crushing taxi line? Wander around and maybe see what’s happening at the Port Authority? No, you’re going to grab a friend, walk over to Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong and have Koreatown’s best BBQ experience.
252 W. 30th St.
Want to do K-Town, but faster, lighter, and cheaper? Hit Kunjip for soups, stews, rice cakes, and bimimbop. You’ll be in and out in 45 minutes.
A full-on steakhouse dinner may not be the first thing you think of as you emerge from the armpit of New York City. But if you want to impress out of towners by pretending you’re a member of a 1920s supper club, take them to Keens.
72 W. 36th St.
Lupulo is like the Snapchat of restaurants – great for a quick succession of little things, if not the most memorable. This place is great for meeting a friend or a date for drinks and some small bites of Portuguese-influenced seafood.
835 6th Ave.
If there’s any time to try Danny Meyer’s hotel lobby pizza place, let a trip to Penn Station/MSG be the time. Your best move is to hit it for brunch.
29 E. 29th St.
A new spot that lets you build your own arepa. The fillings are quality, and perhaps most importantly, they’re served in a box that’s ideal for train transport.
30 W. 35th St.
Of the various hanging out establishments in the Ace Hotel on 29th, the John Dory is our favorite. There’s great food, and it’s generally less of a madhouse compared to The Breslin and the lobby bar.
We’ve considered starting a lobbying group to bring more Sweetgreens to salad-deprived neighborhoods (please come to the East Village, thank you). Nomad/Flatiron area, BE GRATEFUL. It may be a bit of a walk from Penn Station, but you need that kale bowl.