When Moynihan Train Hall first opened to the public on New Year's Day 2021, New Yorkers were in their first pandemic winter and eager for something to do, so they came out in droves just to check out the new space. And it was a stunner! Especially that swoon-worthy main concourse, with the soaring skylights, gleaming Tennessee marble, and eye-catching art deco clock dangling right in the center.
In the years since then, Moynihan has settled nicely into its utilitarian role as a train station, serving as an adjunct to Penn Station for both LIRR and Amtrak customers. But a funny thing happened along the way as well: the place has become something of a NYC dining and drinking destination, even if you're not catching a train.
In fact, last fall the New York Times called The Bar at Moynihan, "New York's hottest club." The bar is the centerpiece of the now-nearly-complete food hall, and is operated by the same folks who own the acclaimed Dead Rabbit downtown.
It's obviously a perfect spot to meet before and/or after a game or concert at Madison Square Garden, or for an easy breakfast, lunch, or dinner when you're in the area for whatever reason. There are more than 20 restaurants, bakeries, and coffee shops from which to choose in the massive, airy space, so here's a guide to help you explore. And note, there are still a couple of key players opening soon.
The Food Hall
The Moynihan Food Hall is located right off the main concourse, a ring of restaurants around an expansive seating area and the previously mentioned, clearly very hip and happening Bar.
The excellent Pastrami Queen has opened a new outpost of the iconic kosher Jewish delicatessen that first began serving their jaw-stretching sandwiches back in 1956. In addition to the namesake smoked meat, Pastrami Queen also offers a whole array of deli classics such as brisket, corned beef, knishes, and matzoh ball soup. This is very good stuff.
Also very good — and even more generously portioned — is everything from Jacob's Pickles, the Upper West Side sensation that specializes in comfort foods like mac n' cheese (with or without Buffalo chicken), loaded fries, and Nashville hot chicken biscuit sandwiches. Or get a cheeseburger and fries at the legendary Burger Joint, the mini-chain that began its life as a secret, divey spot located off a Midtown hotel lobby.
Noodleheads will want to tuck into a bowl of E.A.K. Ramen, a cult favorite in Japan that first came to NYC about five years ago and specializes in IEKEI style broth, a mixture of pork and chicken. The dense Shoyu, the bright Shio, and the fiery Miso are all winners here. There's first-rate pizza too, from Sauce, where they're slinging both thin (but not too crackery) classic slices as well as thick, puffy square slices.
Just steps from the bar you'll find Italian sandwich pros at Alidoro (you may recall them from the MTA's 1904 Sandwich). Nearby, there's the Lebanese build-your-own wraps and bowls spot called Naya (one food hall regular told us this was her favorite spot because "it gives the biggest bang for the buck"), and an outpost of the excellent French bakery chain Maman, home to, among other delights, some of the best cookies in town.
The Main Concourse
There are also plenty of other, more grab-and-go options right nearby the food hall area, operating separate little stands or storefronts around the Moynihan main concourse, including an H&H Bagels, a Magnolia Bakery, and several coffee kiosks from the likes of Birch and Blue Bottle.
You can enjoy a double scoop cone at Davey's Ice Cream, a bag of pignoli cookies at Vesuvio (speaking of best cookies in town, this is another contender!), and a pretty box of fancy macarons at the luxe Ladurée. There's also bottles of fresh-squeezed juice from Pressed and a whole shop selling nothing but beer from the Brooklyn-based Threes Brewing.
Getting to the Moynihan Train Hall
You can enter the Moynihan Train Hall at street level, at the corner of Eighth Avenue and 31st Street, or midblock between Eighth and Ninth Avenues on both 31st and 33rd Streets, or on Ninth Avenue. You can also get here via the underground tunnels from Penn Station across the street. If you enter
Several subway lines, the A/C/E and the 1/2/3, deliver you directly into the complex, as does the LIRR.
These subway lines and the LIRR will deliver you straight to Penn Station - Moynihan Train Hall