Although considered by some to be a culinary wasteland, the area near Penn Station and Madison Square Garden has its own share of mouthwatering dining options. Within a 10-minute walk lie loads of restaurants near Penn Station including Midtown restaurants offering diverse cuisines ranging from Italian to Korean BBQ. Whether you're waiting for a train or looking for a pre-concert dinner, here are the best restaurants near Penn Station.
RECOMMENDED: Find more of the best restaurants in NYC
Top restaurants near Penn Station
The ceiling and walls are hung with pipes, some from such long-ago Keens regulars as Babe Ruth, J.P. Morgan and Teddy Roosevelt. Even in these nonsmoking days, you can catch a whiff of the restaurant’s 120-plus years of history. Beveled-glass doors, two working fireplaces and a forest’s worth of dark wood suggest a time when “Diamond Jim” Brady piled his table with bushels of oysters, slabs of seared beef and troughs of ale. The menu still lists a three-inch-thick mutton chop (imagine a saddle of lamb but with more punch) and desserts such as key lime pie. Sirloin and porterhouse (for two or three) hold their own against any steak in the city.
With L’Amico, Laurent Tourondel's Italian-inflected American restaurant in the right wing of the Eventi Hotel lobby, the French-born chef taps into one of the most democratic yet dissentious of eats: pizza. But before pitchfork-wielding purists come harping on the virtues of New York versus Neapolitan, it’s worth noting that Tourondel’s pies are neither. Pulled from one of two copper wood-burning ovens—the second is dedicated to firing tendrils of octopus and Calabrian-chili–smacked orata—the small-scale rounds sport the blister and blackening of much mightier pies. Like any French chef worth his toque, Tourondel clearly knows his way around a carbohydrate, and house-made pastas are further proof.
At this low-key Hell's Kitchen eatery, chef Ratchanee Sumpatboon (Zabb Elee) turns out specialties from northeastern Thailand such as kao moo dang (roast pork, sweet sausage and half-boiled egg) and yen ta fo (sour and spicy noodle soup with fish balls, squid and tofu).
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Garrett Ziegler
Former Tao executive chef Sam Hazen oversees a SoCal-infused menu at this Baja-style Mexican restaurant and bar offering 80 types of tequila catering to the after-work crowd. Sip your margarita at the surf-inspired communal tables or relax on the cantina-style rooftop.
This dressed-down follow-up to Michelin-starred Iberian stunner Aldea is George Mendes’s cavernous ode to his ancestral cuisine and the beer-taverncervejarias of Lisbon (lupulo means “hops” in Portuguese). Mendes serves a paella-like pot of octopus rice christened with gorgeously tender nubs of mollusk lustily adorned with olive, coriander and lime. Grilled asparagus spears punctuated with dried sea urchin and walnuts are as sparely sophisticated as anything you’d find at Aldea.
Venue says: “All day specials- Mon: Seafood Combo, Tues: Bulgogi, Wed: Pork Belly, Thu: Spicy Pork. Family Sun:Meat Combo/Seafood Combo 10% off.”
Just three blocks north of Koreatown’s central 32nd Street stretch, this restaurant serves excellent barbecue and other traditional dishes. Servers help set the pace for the meal here by tending to the tabletop grilling. The food comes almost instantly though, so finish your dumplings and appetizers before asking them to fire up those decadent chunks of rib eye and fatty slices of pork belly.
Since 1925, this Italian food purveyor has been making and selling an impressive selection of sausages and cured meats. We especially like their domestic take on Italian lardo, made by seasoning Berkshire pork fatback with rosemary, pepper and spices, then burying it in salt for at least 30 days
It's a little slice of Italy in America's department store—as part of a $400 million, four-year renovation, Macy's historic flagship has transformed its sixth floor into a grand 267-seat Neapolitan trattoria. The retail giant tapped haute toque Jonathan Benno (Lincoln Ristorante, Per Se) to oversee the Italian menu. After browsing racks of Burberry and Louis Vuitton, head to the marble bar for seasonal Bellinis (white peach, dark berry) or an Italian soda cocktail (Limonata, Luxardo cherry), while taking in expansive views of the Empire State Building via floor-to-ceiling windows.