I commute through Penn Station in New York City every day. For those of you who don’t live in the NY metro area, NY Penn Station is a hub for commuters from Long Island, New Jersey and Amtrak passengers passing through NY to get to their destination. Millions of people pass through here every year. Oh, and Madison Square Garden sits right on top. Lately, I have found myself spending more time in Penn Station to grab lunch since my new office is basically above the station. As a vegetarian/vegan, I thought I would share with you that it is really easy to find good quality fast food from this location. This way, if you find yourself traveling through NY Penn Station, you can know where to go to find something healthy and delicious.
Chickpea – Their tagline is: Always baked, never fried. You can get baked falafel and hummus can be done as a bowl or wrap. Just make sure to order the original falafel or the quinoa and vegetable one if you are vegan. They do have falafel with feta, so that works for the dairy eaters, but not the vegans. I recommend getting the hummus plate with falafel and toppings with bread on the side. You have to pay extra for the toppings, but it is worth it for the crunch of the cucumber or tomatoes against the smooth hummus and hearty falafel. There are two chickpea locations in Penn Station. One on the main level and one near the entrance toward the A,C,E subway line. The subway level chickpea has a red mango (for the fro-yo lovers), and a sandwich shop and soup bar that always has at least one vegan and one vegetarian soup option.
Speaking of subways, there is a Subway where you can get a veggie delight with no cheese. They also have veggie patty options – which are not vegan, but good for vegetarians. But it is another option for a healthier to go meal.
Next to Subway is a Moe’s Mexican Grill – they have tofu and veggie beans for vegan proteins that you can mix into your tacos, burritos, and bowls – made to order with toppings of your choosing.
Of course there are 2 Starbucks if you want a soy latte or chai. (Soy chai with additional hot water is my drink of choice)
There are a few make your own salad places where you choose the type of lettuce and different veggie toppings and dressing, I just don’t know the name of them of hand, but you can get a great selection.
This eatery is a new discovery for me. I have been commuting in and out of Penn Station for over three years now, and realize now that there is a food world one level down as you head to the subway lines. I would just b-line it to my train from the subway and not look up. I would grab some fattening carb when I was starving from Zaro’s because it was closer to my train track. Now that I am in a building close to the station, and going with co-workers for lunch to grab something, I have learned so much about what Penn Station has to offer. Definitely not as pretty as Grand Central, so I don’t recommend this as a destination stop on your travels to NY, unless you have to commute through. I thought sharing what is possible if you do happen to pass through and you want something on the go. Of course there are more options at the station than this, but thought I would point out the ones I have tried and seem to frequent often lately. Having no hassle finding vegan and vegetarian options when eating out are the best moments. Hope you can benefit from this info.