Best Restaurants Near Penn Station

The best restaurants and bars near the major transit hub
November 7, 2017
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by Zagat Staff

For the thousands of people who commute through Penn Station every day, finding quality spots for food and drink (in a part of town considered by many to be a dining desert) can be a challenge. Here are our top picks for a pre- or post-commute tipple or bite.

The Pennsy Food Hall
Food Court · West 30s · $
Food 3.9 · Decor 3.4 · Service 3.6

In the “historically abysmal” dining zone around Penn Station, this “upscale food hall” offers “something for everyone” , from “vegan to carnivore” (vendors include Pat LaFrieda, Taco Dumbo, the Little Beet and Cinnamon Snail); there’s “plenty of space to sit and linger” , indoors and out, plus a bar for pre-train or post-MSG drinks.
Keens Steakhouse
Steakhouse · West 30s · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.4

The “granddaddy of all NYC steakhouses” , this circa-1885 Midtown “temple to meat” remains “rock solid” , with “sinful” “Flintstones-size” mutton chops and other “succulent” slabs of beef in “masculine” “museum” -like surrounds with “lines upon lines” of antique pipes on the ceiling; it’s “not for the weak of wallet” , but “welcoming” service and an “endless” scotch selection are other reasons you “won't regret splurging.”
Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge
Bar · West 30s · $$$

At the Moxy Times Square, this year-round rooftop bar from the Tao Group has an amusement park theme, including carousel seating and a cheeky take on mini-golf. Along with cocktails, carnival-style bites and DJ sets, there’s the option to reserve one of the hotel’s ‘Crashpads’ and stay for the night.
Gaonnuri
Korean · West 30s · $$
Food 4.1 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.2

Its “biggest appeal” is the “stellar” panoramic Midtown vistas from its “chic” , 39th-floor space, but this “upmarket” player on the K-town scene also “holds its own” with “stylishly prepared” Korean fare, including “traditional” tabletop BBQ; service is variable and you “pay for the view” , but that “sunset over the Hudson” is more than “worth it.”
Barn Joo
Korean · West 30s
Food 4.1 · Decor 4.0 · Service 3.9

Korean fare takes an “interesting twist” at these “barn-esque” gastropubs, which match “inventive fusion” plates with “legit” cocktails in sprawling, wood-lined surrounds; while “not exactly authentic” , they’re “reasonably priced” and can be a “lively” scene.
Tavola
Italian · West 30s · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.1

A “great Hell’s Kitchen find” , this “casual” Italian offers “delicious” Neapolitan pizzas, alongside “well-prepared” pastas and wood-fired specialties; yep, the “small” space can get “loud” , but given the reasonable prices, there’s “no wonder it’s always so busy.”
Larb Ubol
Thai · West 30s · $
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.0 · Service 3.8

It’s the “real deal” say supporters of this “tasty” Hell’s Kitchen Thai supplying Isan specialties from the country’s northeast region that pack an “incendiary punch” ; the bare-bones space jibes with the wallet-friendly tabs, while “friendly” servers add to the overall “pleasant” vibe.
Maison Kayser
French · Flatiron · $
Food 4.2 · Decor 3.7 · Service 3.7

You’ll “feel transported to the Left Bank” at these Paris-based cafes where the “just-right” baguettes, “flaky” croissants and “high-end” pastries are a “highlight” , though the French “bistro-style” fare is “tasty” too; “uneven” service and “deafening” noise levels are reasons to go at off-hours.
L'Amico
Italian · Chelsea · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.1 · Service 3.9

The pastas and wood-oven pizzas are “off-the-charts” at this “buzzy” eatery in Chelsea's Eventi Hotel where chef Laurent Tourondel offers a “solid” Italian-influenced American menu; since the “rustic” space is often “packed” , be prepared for “loud” acoustics and a “slow” pace.