Our 10 Best and Cheapest Penn Station Eats
Looking very much like a prison entrance, the door to Penn Station beckons.
Let's face it, Penn Station is never going to be a foodie destination. The hallways are too thronged, the smells too rancid, the eateries too narrow, with tables too filthy. Yet in this great dung heap of a railway terminal there are jewels to be found. We focused on things that are small, cheap, and easy to eat while walking rapidly.
What about this place? Doesn't look too promising ...
Some of these things might be classified as snacks, while others constitute full meals. All cost less than you'd expect to pay in a place where the consumer is squeezed -- quite literally, in fact -- as throngs that might double as football hooligans press forward trying to figure out what track their train is going to land on. Who invented this crazy system anyway?
The sheer number of restaurants, bars, and cafés astonishes: 20 on the Amtrak level, one in the New Jersey Transit quadrant, and a whopping 38 opportunities to dine on the Long Island Rail Road level. Below is our ranked list of the very best stuff we found to eat. A surprising proportion of the victuals are vegetarian or even vegan, and these have been marked as such -- though healthfulness was not really a primary consideration.
10. Pretzel Dog at Aunt Annie's -- Occupying stalls and kiosks, there must be five of these places on both main levels of the station, specializing in pretzel dough repurposed in strange ways. The pretzel dog (which looks kinda like a mutant pig foot) is classy -- smeared with mustard, it could compete with any corn dog in town. Amtrak & LIRR levels
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