Recently I was commuting into New York City every day for an internship, which means I spent as much time in Penn Station as I did actually at work. This left me with a large amount of time to explore the train station...and be thoroughly impressed by the food options. What else am I going to do with my free time other than eat?

So, whether you're looking for a quick bite before you have to run to catch a train or a sit-down meal, here are some of my fave places to grab a bite in Penn. 

1. Tracks Raw Bar and Grill

I've gone to Penn Station specifically to eat here, honestly. Seafood in a train station is something I don't always want to risk, but it's a specialty here and it's guaranteed to be great. They're possibly most well known for their oysters, but my personal favorite is the lobster ravioli. If you're looking for something more classic, their burgers and fries could make anyone's mouth water. And since you're in a train station and presumably not driving home, it's worth mentioning that they're an Irish pub, so they obviously have to serve great beer.

2. Pret A Manger

Pret was my go-to in the mornings, whether I was grabbing breakfast to eat on my walk to work or something for lunch later. It tastes good, it's pretty healthy, and it's easy to pick up if you're in a hurry. Plus, all their food is made that day and anything that isn't gone at the end of the day is given to charity, so everything you eat is fresh, but they make sure nothing goes to waste.

3. Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme is the ultimate donut. Most importantly, they're light and airy, making it possible for me to buy half a dozen of these babies to bring home to my family. Instead of actually bringing them home, I eat them over the 2 hours it takes me to get from Penn to home. I would feel sorry, but they taste too good for that.

4. Au Bon Pain

Like Pret A Manger, this is a great place to go if you need to pick something up quickly. Au Bon Pain also has a seating area if you want to sit back and relax for a while. Just look at that creamy mac and cheese. Yes, please.

5. Dunkin' Donuts

If you're a Dunkin' Donuts person like me, the multiple DD locations will thrill you. All I have to say is there's a reason America runs on Dunkin'. But don't worry, there are a few Starbucks shops around Penn Station too if that's more your cup of tea (or coffee). 

6. Zaro's Bread Basket

Cannoli and babka and bagels oh my! This place is dangerous. Not only do they have display cases lined with delicious looking food, but they have shelves along the wall with food that's all too easy to grab. And they're open from 5:30am until 10pm during the week. Aka it's almost always going to be open and hard to resist if you're walking by.

7. Don Pepi Pizza

Is it even New York pizza if a single slice isn't as big as your face? This is super reasonably priced for the amount of food you get. Don Pepi hits the spot every time. I couldn't ask for anything better from a small pizza place, whether in a train station or elsewhere.

8. Underwest Donut

Basically a to-go location in Penn is Underwest Donuts, whose main location is 638 W 47th Street. This place serves bomb donuts in some unique flavors. They still have some classics, like cinnamon and sugar, but they mix it up with halva, banana milk, and even lavender. If you're looking for a sweet (and totally instagrammable) snack, this is the place for you.

9. Chickpea

Let this be the end to your search for healthy train station snacks. It's a Mediterranean chain that has vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Anywhere I can get some good hummus is fine by me, and this place fits the bill. Along with classic entrees like falafel and shawarma, they also have desserts like honey cake and baklava, if you needed more of an incentive to stop by. 

10. Jamba Juice

Maybe you're in Penn over the summer and need to cool down or maybe you just need something that'll fill you up on the go. Either way, Jamba Juice is a solid option to have. And their energy bowl or 'boost' options are both great if you need a little bit of a kick to get you through your day. 

11. Magnolia Bakery

This store is one of Magnolia Bakery's smaller locations, but that doesn't mean there's any shortage of goodies. They've still got cupcakes, banana pudding, mini cheesecakes, cookies, and pies, which all taste amazing. I would expect nothing less than sugary goodness from here, and that's exactly what they give you.

12. Kabooz's Bar and Grille

If you're looking for a sit-down meal with all the classic American foods, this is the place for you. A little more upscale than one of the food kiosks around the station, their nachos are killer and their burgers are just as good.

13. The Pennsy

OK, so technically this food hall is above Penn Station, but it's too good for me to not include it. It has vegan and gluten-free options from The Cinnamon Snail and The Little Beet along with Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors (which is exactly what it sounds like), aka whatever your food preference is, there's something for you. 

Now go forth and conquer Penn Station. And may you never be stuck waiting for a train without anything to do again.