Grazing Through New Eating and Drinking Options at Grand Central
There haven’t been any Earth-shattering changes to the dining scene at Grand Central Terminal (until this happens!), but there are some newer offerings that you may not be aware of. In the interest of stomach space, time, and not taxing your attention spans, I narrowed the newer food and drink options down to a few and was led on a mini-tour through the terminal. Most of the newness is on the dining concourse, but a smattering are at street level. Summer sorbet flavors, meats, fish, and caffeine after the jump!
My first stop was at Central Market, in the corner of the lower dining concourse next to Chirping Chicken. Here, you can get a variety of sandwiches—either made to order or grab and go—and a craft beer if you’re having “one of those days.” They have a different hand-carved meat each day of the week that you can get in a sandwich or plate, and the day I was there (Friday) it was beef brisket. The other four days are: flank steak, stuffed pork loin, roasted turkey, and pork belly. I was offered the day’s specialty sandwich with brisket, Brie, and caramelized onions and apples. That last ingredient made the sandwich for me, and my co-workers who also sampled the sandwich said they were surprised by the Brie as a choice of cheese, but it worked. Consider Central Market a couple of notches above the generic deli in your building, meaning you’ll also pay a bit more. While their regular sandwiches average $8 for base models, the sandwich on a hero that I had costs $12.
Next up was Ciao Bella Gelato, and I would fully encourage you to eat gelato or sorbet for lunch. No shame! I am also going to give you a PSA that this place also makes sweet and savory crepes. I tried about six new seasonal varieties, and the most notable were a pear hibiscus sorbet (my favorite of what I tried), brown sugar caramel gelato, and a wild Italian strawberry limonite. There is also a bourbon caramel chocolate gelato that tastes boozy enough to make you feel like a badass at lunch.
Shiro of Japan is the newest eatery in the dining concourse and they have pretty much every sushi option you could want. I asked to try one of their most unique rolls, and one of their most popular and was given a volcano roll ($10) and a nigiri/California roll combo. The volcano roll comes with a side mix of chili oil, spicy mayo and eel sauce, and contains tuna, salmon, cucumber, avocado, whitefish and crab stick. While this was a beast to eat and you will most certainly shove too much food into your mouth at one time, it was downright tasty. The combo I had was nice, but the star of the show were the two pieces of spicy roll included in it. Instead of spicy mayo they use chili oil and it’s a change I can get behind.
My last stop was at the outpost of Brooklyn-based coffee roaster and mini-chain Cafe Grumpy at street level in the Lexington Passage. I had gone there in the name of research earlier in the day to try some coffee and was not disappointed. Although a small coffee will run you $2.75 (compared to $2.50 at Joe the Art of Coffee), it’s a strong brew and I was wired for the rest of the day. Another bonus of this shop is that they bake their own treats on the Lower East Side, and have a commuter special until 11 a.m. that gets you a regular coffee and muffin or scone for $5.50. The pastries looked good, and are a deviation from most places that get baked goods from a collection of bakeries.
Now you know about the newest eating options in Grand Central. No judgments if you opt for a brisket sandwich and gelato for lunch today.
Central Market, lower level dining concourse, near tracks 116/117, (212) 808-5227
Shiro of Japan, lower level dining concourse, (212) 972-9638
Ciao Bella Gelato, lower level dining concourse, (212) 867-5311
Cafe Grumpy, entrances at 89 E. 42nd St. and Lexington Passage, (212) 661-2198