The 6 Best Bars & Restaurants Near Penn Station & Madison Square Garden

Whether you’re waiting for a game, a train, or the end of the workweek, these bright lights of Midtown west make the food-and-drink desert around Madison Square Garden a little more bearable. From pig’s trotters, to gorilla-suited waiters, to an honest beer – it’s all just a few blocks away. By Chris Kelly.

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Foursquare Favorite: Keens Steakhouse
72 W 36th St
New York, NY 10018
Read all the tips on Foursquare

Welcome to Keens, one of New York’s most beloved steakhouses, where the famous mutton chop, a filet, or one of the city’s best Manhattan cocktails awaits. Head to Foursquare to sort reviews by these tastes:

CBS_New York_Restaurants Near Penn Station_Keens

Be sure to save room for the creme brulee dessert! And take a walk through the restaurant – you’ll find some history that might interest you….

CBS_New York_Tip_Keens

credit: The Breslin

credit: The Breslin

The Breslin Bar and Dining Room

Ace Hotel
20 W 29th St. and Broadway
New York, NY 10001
(212) 679-1939

If the butcher-papered tables and stag-headed walls don’t clue you in, the Breslin focuses on meat, in quality and quantity. Crispy berkshire pork belly with carolina gold, pumpkin, fermented cabbage & mutsu apples shares menu space with the likes of head cheese, terrine boards, and blood sausage with fried duck’s eggs and vinaigrette. A full bar and excellent wine list complete the package.

Related: The 6 Best Bars To Watch A Knicks Game

Penn 6

(credit: Penn 6)

(credit: Penn 6)

132 West 31st Street
New York, NY
(212) 727-3666

This upscale gastropub pleases sports fans and foodies alike. Its proximity to the Garden, along with walls lined with flat screen televisions, make the dining destination a sports bar. But as Penn 6’s manager told the Wall Street Journal, “you can still have a nice, sophisticated meal with oysters and Champagne.” The ambiance and stepped-up menu (Braised Pork Collar, anyone?) take the atmosphere up a notch.

company The 6 Best Bars & Restaurants Near Penn Station & Madison Square Garden

Credit: Company Restaurant


230 9th Ave. at 24th St
New York, NY 10001
(212) 243-1105

More: The 5 Best Spots For Pizza And Drinks

Co. has been lauded as one of NYC’s top pizzerias, no mean feat for a designer pizzeria with communal tables, a dandy amongst hard-knuckled cousins like Grimaldi’s. Baker/owner Jim Lahey focuses on thin-crusted, Neapolitan style pizza topped with iconoclastic, borderline experimental toppings like roasted cauliflower, veal meatballs and roasted chestnuts. This adventurousness, along with a fastidious devotion to fresh, toothsome breads, sets Co. apart from the pack.

106669122 The 6 Best Bars & Restaurants Near Penn Station & Madison Square Garden

(File Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Blarney Rock Pub

137 W 33rd St
New York, NY 10001
(212) 947-0825

See Also: The 7 Best Dive Bars In NYC

This old-school Irish bar still has the requisite pinch of grit lacking in so many of its midtown neighbors. The Blarney Rock has grounded 33rd Street from 1969 on, with the accumulated sports memorabilia to prove it. The crowd is largely blue collar – New York Magazine notes that “the Blarney Rock is not the place to discuss your plans to build or renovate with nonunion labor,” and construction workers, elevator repairmen, and MTA employees still rub shoulders with commuters and, often as not, hordes of Rangers or Knicks fans yelling at the bar’s numerous TVs.

go go curry The 6 Best Bars & Restaurants Near Penn Station & Madison Square Garden

(credit: Go Go Curry’s Facebook Page)

Go! Go! Curry

273 W 38th St.
New York, NY 10018
(212) 730-5555

With this Japanese curry shack, it’s hard to decide which quirk to focus on first – the cartoon-bedecked walls, occasional staff member in a gorilla suit, or almost kabbalistic obsession with the number five (Go means five in Japanese). Originally named for Hideki Matsui’s number, the restaurant still ends its phone number with all fives and opens and closes at five minutes to the hour. In between, they serve up white rice and deep-fried toppings like pork katsu, all doused with the star attraction – the curry sauce, a thick, brown, slightly sweet gloop that looks fairly suspect but tends to inspire fanatical devotion among the clientele.

tc3adr na nc3b3g The 6 Best Bars & Restaurants Near Penn Station & Madison Square Garden

(credit: Tír Na Nóg/Facebook)

Tír Na Nóg

5 Penn Plaza near 34th St.
New York, NY 10001
(212) 630-0249

Named for the Gaelic land of eternal youth, this genteel Irish pub offers a cozy, casual atmosphere amidst lace-curtain relics and architectural bric-a-brac salvaged from churches and castles of the old country. Huge picture windows open onto the church-pipe-organ turned bar and illuminate a civil place to enjoy a pint or whiskey. The Celtic-influenced American pub food offers excellent seafood dishes, as well as a memorable shepherd’s pie.

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Chris Kelly is a freelance writer from Long Island.


One Comment

  1. Stephen says:

    +1 for Tir na nog; this is my favorite restaurant in the city, not just near Penn Station. The Shepherd’s Pie is the best you’ll ever have, anywhere. Another favorite is Seven Bar and Grill on 7th Ave near 30th St; a sexy bar, outstanding menu, great crowd.

  2. Malachy says:

    Seven Bar and Grill is a terrific upscale place. For those who want pure sports bar, Mustang Harry’s is outstanding.

  3. Eugene O. says:

    Nice list. Obviously no place is the right place for everyone. Tempest Bar has long been one of my favorites when I’m with a group on a budget; it draws an eclectic crowd for $4 pints, darts and a pool table, and you order in pizza from next door. Stout was long one of my favorites when I was a little younger, but it’s just too damn loud and crowded for me now. Tir na nog is just right for me now; upscale, a great ambiance, reasonably priced $5 pints and a great bar menu.

  4. Bruce Lipshitz says:

    How about the Blue Oyster Bar?? It’s soooo awesome…

  5. Brad says:

    How could you forget STOUT? Great place!

  6. ISM says:

    Uh…Stout? Hel-loooo?

  7. Sean says:

    36 West Bar and Grill on 36th between 8th and 9th is a nice, low-key spot that I try to hit before Rangers games. Good happy hour and food is decent.

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