The area around Manhattan’s Penn Station is hardly known for its gourmet eats. (Unless “gourmet” to you means settling for an overly salted bag of almonds at while en route to grandma’s and feeling grateful you were able to even score that.) No one knows this to be true more than the neighborhood’s culinary-starved office workers, who aren’t just passing through the neighborhood on holidays. But all of this is about to change, thanks to The Pennsy.
The Pennsy, at the corner of 33rd Street and 7th Avenue, is high-quality healthy takeout heaven. It has the first stand-alone location of Cinnamon Snail (formerly a vegan food truck), and Top Chef Masters star Franklin Becker’s veggie-heavy and gluten-free establishment, The Little Beet, whose 50th Street West location is crazy packed on weekdays.
And a few more decadent options: At Lobster Press, chef Marc Forgione introduces a whole new meaning to the lobster sandwich by pressing it into a panini and serving it hot. Mario by Mary brings together Mario Batali and caterer to the stars/The Pennsy mastermind Mary Giuliani for this soup and sandwich shop. And renowned butcher Pat LaFrieda offers high-quality meat sandwiches.
There’s plenty of indoor seating in the 8,000-square-foot space and, when the weather warms up, an outdoor patio. If you don’t have to dash right back to your desk… Plus, there’s full bar serving cocktails, beer, and wine for after work.
“This area for me is one of the last New York City neighborhoods that has been untouched. It’s rich in history and heavily trafficked by commuters, tourists, workers—all the people that give New York City its heart and energy,” says Giuliani, whose project begs the question, “So why not feed them well?!”
To that end we’ve scoped out the menus (and salivated a bit in the process) to set you up with healthy recommendations for every meal at The Pennsy. With dining choices like this, you might even want to miss your train on purpose. —Christine Yu
Click through for lunch, dinner, and snack inspiration…
The Pennsy, 2 Pennsylvania Plaza (the corner of 33rd Street and 7th Avenue). Open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m.–11 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
(Photos: The Pennsy)
If you work in the area, The Pennsy just made your lunch decision harder. Try Cinnamon Snail’s Thai BBQ tempeh (pictured) with pickled red onions, Thai basil, arugula, smoked chili roasted peanuts, and sriracha mayonnaise on grilled spelt bread. You can also opt to make it a bowl, served over greens and red quinoa pilaf in place of bread.
Grabbing a bite before a concert or game at Madison Square Garden? Try the chili lobster salad from Lobster Press, based on Marc Forgione’s signature chili lobster dish at his Tribeca restaurant. Lobster is paired with arugula, local vegetables, and sorghum, a gluten-free grain.
Celebrating a coworker’s birthday? Snag a box of Cinnamon Snail’s vegan doughnuts and pastries—like the Hulk Hogan Fudgie Wudgie (pictured), with chocolate filling and chocolate cookie crumbles on top. You’ll be implicitly crowned employee of the month.
Catching a train? Take Little Beet’s signature bowl to go (pictured), with beets, quinoa, arugula, goat cheese and chicken, and sherry-shallot dressing. Or try the Beet Box: A veggie patty (made with lentils, quinoa, chickpeas, herbs, and cucumber mint raita) with either quinoa with beets and arugula, or cabbage and soba noodle salad. Beware of jealous, ravenous commuters around you.