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Things to Do Near Penn Station: Penn Plaza and Emerging Culinary Hot Spots

  • Food Truck
Penn Station is Food Station

An unexpected foodie destination in NYC.

With Penn Station and Grand Central forming arteries to far-flung locales (or perhaps just to New Jersey), Midtown is the indisputable heart of transit to and from Manhattan. But few would purport that Midtown is a culinary epicenter — until now.

Innovative food spots like The Pennsy and UrbanSpace Vanderbilt are breathing life into midtown, making gourmet dining on-the-go accessible to weary travelers and corporate lunch breakers alike. Finally: a worthy reason to linger in Midtown, rather than rushing through it.

Penn Plaza

Penn Plaza, adjacent to the transit hub, is located between 31st and 34th streets and Seventh and Eighth Avenues. Its complex includes Madison Square Garden and its Theater, neighbors numerous retailers on 34th street, and contains the headquarters of the MSG Network and Cumulus Media New York. With all this work hustle and retail bustle surrounding the Plaza, it’s only natural that the area would play host to some choice dining outlets.

Fresh Eats for an Old Penn

UrbanSpace, known for its trendy food vending pop-up shops and more established institutions alike, has graced Midtown with two stellar options: UrbanSpace Vanderbilt and Broadway Bites.

UrbanSpace Vanderbilt is just a hop, skip, and a jump from Grand Central Terminal, and this year-round culinary destination offers over 20 rotating artisanal and chef-driven food concepts. Current vendors include Roberta’s, Liquiteria, Red Hook Lobster Pound, and Toby’s Estate.

Down the block at Greeley Square, UrbanSpace sponsors a seasonal pop-up called Broadway Bites — catch it during the summer and fall months! This spring, Broadway Bites will play host to a diverse array of vendors, including Arancini Bros., Dundu, and Bar Suzette.

Finally, The Pennsy is a gourmet food hall similar in conceit to UrbanSpace Vanderbilt, but located close enough to Penn Station that you can make a quick stop without missing your train.

The 8,000 square foot space features five distinct foodie rockstars: Pat LaFrieda, The Cinnamon Snail (a delicious, “didn’t know it was vegan” lunch spot), Mario Batali with Mary Giuliani, Lobster Press, and The Little Beet. If you’re looking for an afternoon pick-me-up (or slow-me-down), check out the La Colombe coffee counter and the craft cocktail bar.

Wherever you decide to settle down for your midtown meal, you won’t be disappointed. Any of these classy Penn-proximate eateries will be sure to sate your appetite and keep you coming back for more and conveniently located right by the Manhattan NYC.

(Image credit: Ricardo Zurita/Wikimedia; Carmina Gitana/flickr)