Eating at (or very near) Penn Station

This used to be a perennial question on Chowhound. Let me start with the food court at Moynihan Hall:

Starting at bottom left (ignoring Chopt, Pressed and Cha Cha Matcha):
Naya: The food is unappetizingly laid out in containers, the spreads with thin crusts on them, the meats limp and cold. I’ve not been tempted.
Jacob’s Pickles: Things look good here, but I’ve not tried anything. The pickle soft-serve is tempting, though.
EAK Ramen: Since my goal is to eat on the train, I’ve concentrated here on the fried rice, adding toppings from the ramen menu. It’s worked for me. A particular favorite of mine is to get the straight fried rice and a side of shrimp (comes with broccoli) then mix everything together. The shrimp is a bit salty and greasy, but it works with the fried rice. Does double+ the price of the fried rice, though.
La Esquina: Not open yet.
Sauce Pizza: Not tried.
Yono Sushi: Their pre-made sushi from the grab&run case is so-so, but the made-to-order chirashi was worse. They’ve recently started offering omakase at the counter, but I have’t had either the heart or $75–115 in loose change rattling around to try it.
Burger Joint: Not tried it here, but I’ve been a fan of their original, curtained-off location.
Pastrami Queen: Decent.
Alidoro: Now we’re eating. This has become my go-to place, especially for food to eat on the run. All their meats are silky, soft and superb (and I’ve had them all), on par with, say, Il Buco A&V. Even their humble smoked turkey is terrific. If I may offer one quibble: their spreads are not just tasty, but sometimes too tasty for the good of their meats which they can sometimes overwhelm.
Maman: Decent, but not outstanding, pastries and sandwiches.
H&H Bagels: I was not a fan of the original H&H, but I’m told the name has been bought by a new outfit. The bagels here are quite good.
Vesuvio (on the far right): Uneven and with variable offerings. Twice they had very good, chewy olive rolls, densely studded with olives. Then the rolls vanished.


Y’know what they say about eating sushi at a train station…

Maman is good. Expensive, but what isn’t these days.

What about the rest of the places? Zaro’s etc? Near the amtrak waiting areas at actual penn stn, not moynihan?

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I always get an egg salad sandwich at Shamas Deli (38th/7th)

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was pleasantly surprised by the burger joint’s cheeseburger i had in december. cooked to order, and given the location, the price didn’t seem out of line.

next time i’m there, i’ll have to stop by alidoro.

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I always meant to try Tir Na Nog on W 31st, but I still haven’t gotten around to it.

It used to be better in the old location. The food’s OK but the place is unbearably loud inside.

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What does it set you back, and is the egg salad “reliable”? As I age and my insides crack, I’ve become wary of egg/tuna/chicken salads in delis, getting them only if they look fresh.

I did get egg salad on a croissant at Maman a few weeks ago. Croissant sandwiches are usually a mistake, but I got to this one before the pastry had softened. My objection, however, was that it was a sandwich composed more for Insta than for eating, with egg salad artfully oozing out of the pastry. I had to shove it all back in before taking a bite. $12, if I recall, but I’ll check tomorrow.

What’s “actual” Penn, and what’s Moynihan isn’t totally clear these days. The main Amtrak waiting area now appears to be Moynihan, not the old hall – although people do congregate there.

In the past I’ve had a thing or four from Zaro’s and liked a thing or two. My favorite joint back then, if we can call it that, was Don Pepe’s deli. It was all Boar’s Head, but oddly tastier (theory below) than elsewhere. What attracted me, though, was the speed and efficiency of the operation. You ordered your roast beef sandwich (the only one worth ordering) at the sandwich counter, took your number, and in the minutes while you paid the cashier, the sandwich was there.

Theory: Why did Don P’s BH taste better? I think turnover (no hunks of meat sitting around), and good slicing. Also, possibly, BH has different types of roast beef. The Don P version was a bit garlickier than others, in my memory.

(On a more exalted plane one ponders the question – at least, I do – of why sable and various other smoked fish from R&D taste better than that at other places when it’s all sourced from Acme.)


Because of the slicers’ skills. Also, Acme (kind of like Pat LaFrieda) delivers different product to different clients.

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Around 10-11, if I recall correctly.

I’ve never had a “not fresh” egg salad sandwich there, and given the turnover they have, I doubt much of their prepared salads (egg or chicken) sits around very long.

I mean, don’t go out of your way to Shamas, it is only a deli counter bodega. But, whenever I have to go to Penn Station, I always find an excuse to swing by.


Yes, they are.

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not sure how you define “very near” but NY pizza suprema is very good, maybe the best grandma slice in NYC. I haven’t liked it quite as much since the guy who tried to eat at every pizza restaurant in NYC named it his favorite resulting in long lines, higher prices and, to my palate, some sloppy pizza-making techniques. But when I mention this to my NYC pizza cognoscenti friends, they tell me I’m crazy and it’s still one of the best slices in NYC. And I always stop for a slice if I’m traveling via penn station.


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Useful thread to those of us from NJ who may frequently use the NJ Transit train to travel into NYC via NY Penn Station. By the way, in the ‘neighborhood’ if not inside NYP/Moynihan proper, has anyone tried the current incarnation of Ben’s Deli relatively nearby [especially by NYC walking standards?]. I heard they merged/etc. with another deli nearby them. Thanks.

Where is the new incarnation? I was very dismayed on my last visit to see that Ben’s had closed.

The Moynihan bit might be of limited use to NJT travelers. There’s access only to tracks 5-16 from Moynihan. If you get onto the concourse below, you get access to tracks 17-21, useful only to the LIRR (Long Island RR) folk. To get to the NJT tracks 1–4 you have a long walk to the 7th Ave side.

Certainly, both on this exalted plain (to correct my previous spelling) and the level of Don Pepe’s. Freshness is also a factor.

Mamaleh’s Deli in Cambridge, otherwise excellent, offers mediocre Acme sable – dryish (old batch) and poorly cut. Still, mediocre sable is better than none. (If the stars align I can carry carefully cooled stuff to Boston from the LES, but those alignments are rare.)

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The new location of Rowdy Rooster is across from Penn Stn on 32 st

There’s are 2 locations of Bites of Xian within a few blocks — one on 6th, one on 8th

And in your quest for dapanji @fooddabbler you might want to check out Tengri Tagh Uyghur on w 37

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Looks good. Thanks.

Thanks for the topic. I have to disagree on Pastrami Queen. The pastrami and corned beef are excellent. Maybe next time I’m passing through I’ll try their brisket. I didn’t know “silky, soft” meat was a thing. I tried one of the H&H Bagels and was not impressed. (Speaking of the Moynihan Train Hall, the atrium is quite disappointing. Huge sterile space without a bench. You have to sit in a segregated waiting area or the food court. The concept works in Grand Central, but Grand Central has more of a human scale and innate character.)