What do commuters from Westchester, tourists, and depressed hedge fund employees have in common? They all seem to be very, very excited about the new permanent food hall known as UrbanSpace Vanderbilt, located right by Grand Central. The East 40s are a food desert no longer.
UrbanSpace Vanderbilt is basically a permanent, indoor, year-round Madison Square Eats - it's produced by the same people and features some Madison Square Eats and Union Square Holiday Food Market Favorites. The usual suspects (Red Hook Lobster, Roberta's, etc.) are mixed in with some cool new spots, andoverall it’s yet another reason not to go near Penn Station pretty much ever.Lots of the vendors serve alcohol too, so it’s the perfect place to hang while you wait for a train, or if you find yourself in Midtown with some time to kill.
We scoped out the offerings - here's what to try:
Perfect-sized hot dogs with unusual toppings. Want to add paté and kimchi to your hot dogs? You got it. With beef, chicken or veggie dog options, there's something for everyone.
We enjoy No. 7 Sub,the sandwich shop famous for things for putting unusual combinations of food - like Fritos and General Tso's Chicken - between bread. At Vanderbilt, they've established a mostly-vegetarian outpost. Get the Total Vegetarian Chaos And Destruction, a very good veggie burger with smashed avocado, cheese, pickled beets, griddled onions, and No. 7 steak sauce.
You know the drill here. No surprise that Red Hook Lobster pound has a home at this market, as they tend to make the food market rounds. They make solid lobster rolls in a few different styles, including Tunisian and a lobster BLT. They also serve other seafood and do a happy hour here from 4-6pm with $2 oysters.
Your spot fora coffee fix. Get a flat white and you'll be ready to conquer the world, or at least the morning rush.
We’ve seen Roberta’s at Madison Square Eats and pretty much every other food market, but this is the first permanent location outside of the original. It’s not as much fun as gathering around a table in Bushwick, but the pizza is still great. The spicy honey-topped Bee Sting is always the move.
TwoTablespoons makes summer rolls filled with things like corn, beets, and goat cheese and have established a devoted following for offering one of the few not gut-busting options around these parts. Their two summer rolls and a salad special is awesome, healthy, and is a lot of food for about $10.
Hong Kong's food can be hit or miss, with the exception of the honey sriracha wings. Those are great. Get some to share.
It’s time to abandon that summer body and pad up for the winter. Grab a dulce de leche or chocolate salted caramel donut to go, and you won’t be sorry. Well, you might, but that’s between you and your imaginary personal trainer.
This is probably the most hyped spot in the space - its owner is Daniel Delaney, who has gotten a lot of attention for bringing Texas BBQ to Williamsburg at his restaurant Briskettown. Think of Delaney Chicken like an elevated Chik-Fil-A. The fried chicken sandwich which comes with mayo, hot sauce, and pickles - it’s a good sandwich, but some of the meat we had was tough and chewy at parts. We'd definitely give it another chance, but don't feel like you have to rush here just because it's getting attention.