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Penn Station is NYC’s busiest transportation hub.
Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Where to Eat and Drink Near Penn Station

Escape for a drink and some dinner nearby NYC’s most notorious transportation hub

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Penn Station is NYC’s busiest transportation hub.
| Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Penn Station doesn’t exactly have the most glowing reputation amongst New Yorkers. While that may be changing with last year’s opening of Moynihan Train Hall, it still often feels like a necessary evil to pass through this transportation hub. And when it comes to food, the meeting point for the subway, Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, and Long Island Rail Road was never seen as a food destination. But for commuters finding themselves looking for a meal right outside of what has been dubbed “America’s worst train station,” there are options for full-on dinners, from a creative Thai diner to one of the city’s most respected steakhouses. If just drinks are in order, a hip hotel lobby bar or late-night Korean fried chicken with karaoke are all within walking distance.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Keens Steakhouse

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72 W 36th St
New York, NY
(212) 947-3636
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Keens is the quintessential New York City steakhouse with its retro environs, top-notch martinis, iconic mutton chop, and standout dry-aged burger. There may be no better place to take a visitor or stop on the way out of town than this institution that has been in the same spot since 1885.

A mutton chop on a white plate with salad, surrounded by a knife and fork on a white tableclothed table.
Keens’ mutton chop.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

2. Salumeria Biellese Delicatessen

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378 8th Ave
New York, NY
(212) 737-7376
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Biellese supplies meats to restaurants around the city, but this location is for casual sandwiches. It’s ideal train food, so pop in for high-quality Italian subs for takeaway rather than be subjected to the pre-made offerings mid-travel.

Delish panino paired with a Sangiovese wine #SalumeriaBiellese

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3. Friedman's

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132 W 31st St
New York, NY
(212) 971-9400
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Big salads, burgers, and all-day breakfasts are on the menu here, with tons of customizable options at affordable prices. Do beware that it can get packed pre-concerts at Madison Square Garden, and it does not take reservations.

4. Ichiran

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132 W 31st St
New York, NY 10001
(212) 465-0701
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Japanese tonkotsu ramen sensation Ichiran has brought its solo dining booths to Midtown, and there’s no better place to zen out than alone in one of those receptacles with a bowl of noodles soup done to exact specifications. Choose broth richness, noodle texture, and add-ons as desired.

A man hands off a bowl of ramen to the camera.
Ramen at Ichiran.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

5. Turntable LP Bar & Karaoke

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36 W 32nd St Fl 5
New York, NY
(212) 594-4344
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Penn Station has a reputation for inspiring anyone passing through it to have a drink. If that happens, Turntable is the place to really let loose. Head over to Koreatown for fried chicken and beer set to bumping beats — with the option for karaoke, too.

6. L'Amico

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849 6th Ave
New York, NY
(212) 201-4065
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Renowned French chef Laurent Tourondel serves pleasant pizzas, pastas, and gelato in a buzzy, airy space. This is an ideal place for meeting friends for brunch in the area.

A high-ceilinged dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows
L’Amico’s dining room overlooks Sixth Avenue.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

7. Ace Hotel New York

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20 W 29th St
New York, NY 10001
(212) 679-2222
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The Ace Hotel lobby bar serves many functions, from a refuge for writers to Saturday night drinks with friends. It’s convenient to pop in for a drink, snack, or just to use the wifi in a trendy hangout.

8. Random Access

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138 W 32nd St
New York, NY 10001
(646) 692-4180
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The powerhouse restaurant team behind Koreatown hits including Her Name is Han and Take 31 beelined west to open their first Thai-leaning restaurant, Random Access, in November. Assemble a takeout feast for the train with make-your-own papaya salads, creamy mussel chowder, and fried bananas with fruit jam.

A white square shallow bowl filled with a colorful salad.
A papaya salad from Random Access.
Clay Williams/Eater NY

9. Piggyback by Pig & Khao

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140 W 30th St
New York, NY 10001
(212) 239-0570
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Piggyback opened in early 2020, just before Midtown emptied out, but it has managed to hang on in the years since. Chef Leah Cohen, who’s also behind Lower East Side Southeast Asian hit Pig & Khao, uses Piggyback as her place to play with a variety of pan-Southeast Asian fare — fried pho, a turmeric lemongrass branzino, and a centerpiece lamb rendang — that doesn’t always make an appearance on the downtown menu.

10. Zou Zou's

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385 9th Ave Suite 85
New York, NY 10001
(212) 380-8585
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Unlike the equally glitzy Hudson Yards development next door, Manhattan West has found more success with its restaurant offerings. Zou Zou’s, which comes from the restaurant group behind favorites like Don Angie and Quality Italian, has established itself as a convivial dining room with live-fire cooking on full display. Chef Madeline Sperling’s Mediterranean menu — including a spread of mezze, a duck bourek, and a number of other wood-fired dishes — is great for sharing.

An overhead photograph of several dishes at Zou Zou’s, a Mediterranean restaurant at Manhattan West.
A spread of dishes from Zou Zou’s.
Noah Fecks/Zou Zou’s

11. Legacy Records

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517 W 38th St
New York, NY 10018
(917) 748-3248
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The Art Deco design touches at Legacy Records makes it one of the most inviting restaurants in the area. Chef Ryan Hardy leads a menu that also stands on its own, from fresh plates of crudo to artful pasta dishes. While the restaurant is often overlooked with big name spots inside nearby Hudson Yards and Manhattan West, the spot has become somewhat of a neighborhood gem with its handsome bar.

Legacy Records
The bar at Legacy Records.
Gary He/Eater NY

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1. Keens Steakhouse

72 W 36th St, New York, NY
A mutton chop on a white plate with salad, surrounded by a knife and fork on a white tableclothed table.
Keens’ mutton chop.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

Keens is the quintessential New York City steakhouse with its retro environs, top-notch martinis, iconic mutton chop, and standout dry-aged burger. There may be no better place to take a visitor or stop on the way out of town than this institution that has been in the same spot since 1885.

72 W 36th St
New York, NY

2. Salumeria Biellese Delicatessen

378 8th Ave, New York, NY

Biellese supplies meats to restaurants around the city, but this location is for casual sandwiches. It’s ideal train food, so pop in for high-quality Italian subs for takeaway rather than be subjected to the pre-made offerings mid-travel.

378 8th Ave
New York, NY

3. Friedman's

132 W 31st St, New York, NY

Big salads, burgers, and all-day breakfasts are on the menu here, with tons of customizable options at affordable prices. Do beware that it can get packed pre-concerts at Madison Square Garden, and it does not take reservations.

132 W 31st St
New York, NY

4. Ichiran

132 W 31st St, New York, NY 10001
A man hands off a bowl of ramen to the camera.
Ramen at Ichiran.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Japanese tonkotsu ramen sensation Ichiran has brought its solo dining booths to Midtown, and there’s no better place to zen out than alone in one of those receptacles with a bowl of noodles soup done to exact specifications. Choose broth richness, noodle texture, and add-ons as desired.

132 W 31st St
New York, NY 10001

5. Turntable LP Bar & Karaoke

36 W 32nd St Fl 5, New York, NY

Penn Station has a reputation for inspiring anyone passing through it to have a drink. If that happens, Turntable is the place to really let loose. Head over to Koreatown for fried chicken and beer set to bumping beats — with the option for karaoke, too.

36 W 32nd St Fl 5
New York, NY

6. L'Amico

849 6th Ave, New York, NY
A high-ceilinged dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows
L’Amico’s dining room overlooks Sixth Avenue.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

Renowned French chef Laurent Tourondel serves pleasant pizzas, pastas, and gelato in a buzzy, airy space. This is an ideal place for meeting friends for brunch in the area.

849 6th Ave
New York, NY

7. Ace Hotel New York

20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

The Ace Hotel lobby bar serves many functions, from a refuge for writers to Saturday night drinks with friends. It’s convenient to pop in for a drink, snack, or just to use the wifi in a trendy hangout.

20 W 29th St
New York, NY 10001

8. Random Access

138 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001
A white square shallow bowl filled with a colorful salad.
A papaya salad from Random Access.
Clay Williams/Eater NY

The powerhouse restaurant team behind Koreatown hits including Her Name is Han and Take 31 beelined west to open their first Thai-leaning restaurant, Random Access, in November. Assemble a takeout feast for the train with make-your-own papaya salads, creamy mussel chowder, and fried bananas with fruit jam.

138 W 32nd St
New York, NY 10001

9. Piggyback by Pig & Khao

140 W 30th St, New York, NY 10001

Piggyback opened in early 2020, just before Midtown emptied out, but it has managed to hang on in the years since. Chef Leah Cohen, who’s also behind Lower East Side Southeast Asian hit Pig & Khao, uses Piggyback as her place to play with a variety of pan-Southeast Asian fare — fried pho, a turmeric lemongrass branzino, and a centerpiece lamb rendang — that doesn’t always make an appearance on the downtown menu.

140 W 30th St
New York, NY 10001

10. Zou Zou's

385 9th Ave Suite 85, New York, NY 10001
An overhead photograph of several dishes at Zou Zou’s, a Mediterranean restaurant at Manhattan West.
A spread of dishes from Zou Zou’s.
Noah Fecks/Zou Zou’s

Unlike the equally glitzy Hudson Yards development next door, Manhattan West has found more success with its restaurant offerings. Zou Zou’s, which comes from the restaurant group behind favorites like Don Angie and Quality Italian, has established itself as a convivial dining room with live-fire cooking on full display. Chef Madeline Sperling’s Mediterranean menu — including a spread of mezze, a duck bourek, and a number of other wood-fired dishes — is great for sharing.

385 9th Ave Suite 85
New York, NY 10001

11. Legacy Records

517 W 38th St, New York, NY 10018
Legacy Records
The bar at Legacy Records.
Gary He/Eater NY

The Art Deco design touches at Legacy Records makes it one of the most inviting restaurants in the area. Chef Ryan Hardy leads a menu that also stands on its own, from fresh plates of crudo to artful pasta dishes. While the restaurant is often overlooked with big name spots inside nearby Hudson Yards and Manhattan West, the spot has become somewhat of a neighborhood gem with its handsome bar.

517 W 38th St
New York, NY 10018

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