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The area around Penn Station is generally regarded as a bit of a wasteland. But sequestered from the hectic rush of 34th Street is Oktoberfest NYC, attached to the back of Local West (localcafenyc.com). The space certainly has all the trappings of Bavarian tradition—waitresses in dirndls, steins, an oompah band. It's also got some of the modern frat-tastic innovations that usually have us giving these celebrations a wide berth, namely a Jägermeister Shot Ski (check out the slide show—it'll make sense). However, while the weather's still nice, it makes for a fine after-work or day-drinking spot, thanks to a solid lineup of pours (pints $6–$7, steins $11–$13), including Saranac White IPA; a pleasant green canopy; and the aforementioned band, a trio that is big on wisecracks (after a number ended: "You're just applauding because it's over"). One Penn Plaza at 34th St (oktnyc.com). Mon–Fri 5pm–midnight; Sat–Sun 11am–midnight. Free. Through Oct 7.
RECOMMENDED: Oktoberfest guide