The Best Restaurants and Bars Near Herald Square

March 20, 2018
by Zagat Staff

34th Street may not be the best place to eat around in New York, but you don’t have to resort to one of the many tourist-filled chain spots. Try one of these places instead.

The Pennsy Food Hall
Italian · West 30s · $
Food 3.9 · Decor 3.4 · Service 3.5

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.
Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong
Korean · Murray Hill · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.4 · Service 4.0

You can “taste the difference” in the “top-notch” meats at this K-town “winner” from a South Korea–based chain, where the “elevated” BBQ is grilled tableside by “efficient” servers; since it’s “so crazy popular” , be ready for “crowded” conditions and a “wait time.”
Ai Fiori
Italian · West 30s · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

A “Michael White triumph” on the second floor of the Langham Place Fifth Avenue Hotel, this “classy” Italian delivers Riviera-inspired dishes, including “sublime” pastas, via a “polished, unobtrusive” crew; the “glamorous” setting feels “so magical” , you almost don’t mind the “astronomical” tab, especially if it’s a “special occasion.”
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.”
Salumeria Biellese Delicatessen
Chelsea · $$

This circa-1925 Chelsea salumeria (also offering prepared foods and a full line of sandwiches) is prized for its "terrific Italian-style cured meats" and "outstanding fresh sausage" , housemade "with care" from "farm-raised" stock in 40-plus variations spanning "the usual" to the unique; the products turn up at "forbidding" upscale restaurants like Daniel Boulud's and Jean-Georges Vongerichten's, but those coming straight to the source note the price tag "isn't haute" .
Her Name is Han
Korean · Murray Hill · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.0

A “refreshing addition” to Murray Hill, this “fantastic” Korean kitchen delivers “excellent” , “homestyle” cooking with “modern” touches in a warm setting overseen by the “nicest” staff; economical lunch specials and “on-point” house-infused soju add to the draw.
Italian · Chelsea · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.0 · 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.
The John Dory Oyster Bar
Seafood · NoMad · $$$
Food 4.1 · Decor 3.9 · Service 3.7

“A must for oyster lovers” , this “boisterous” seafood spot rolls out “fabulous” bivalves and “tasty” small plates in a bright, “hip” space in the NoMad’s happening Ace Hotel; yes, it can be a “splurge” , but fans affirm it’s always a “treat.”
Hill Country Barbecue Market
Barbecue · Flatiron · $$
Food 4.1 · Decor 3.5 · Service 3.5

“Hip BBQ” is yours at these “cafeteria-style” joints where patrons order the “messy” , “smoky” ’cue from a counter, then find a communal table and dig in; “toe-tapping” live music, a “good bourbon selection” and “friendly” vibrations make it the “next best thing to being in Austin.”
Made Nice
NoMad · $$

This quick-serve NoMad American, by vets of Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad, focuses on vibrant salads and plates (with ingredients such as confit pork shoulder or quinoa tabbouleh) as well as roasted chicken with fries and a few wines on tap. Splashed with bright graphics, the room has a simple layout with tables along one side and a few counter seats facing the window.