Grand Central Terminal may be the only transit hub in New York City known for its culinary offerings, but the midtown Manhattan train station offers more than what’s on the menu. Throughout the Dining Concourse and Grand Central Market, in-the-know visitors know to ask for secret menu items before hopping on the Metro North with a beer float from Shake Shack. A few restaurants have spilled their secrets on the off-menu items guests can order by name while chowing their way through their commute.
The cake is great and all, but it’s the frosting that stands out here. Those in the know can get an additional boost of sugar by requesting a shot of icing ($3, in any available flavors) into their dessert of choice.
Most New Yorkers have Shake Shack’s entire menu memorized, but several unlisted and commute-friendly items include beer floats, cold brew floats, the vegetarian-friendly Garden Dog (a Shack-Cago Dog, minus the hot dog, plus lots of veggies), and a Quad Burger (four patties stacked between a Martin’s potato bun).
Shiro of Japan
This traditional Japanese restaurant’s grab-and-go outpost inside Grand Central Terminal lets customers get a little creative before they grab their takeout: Up to three different types of soup on the menu can be mixed to create your dream bowl combo.
Get tropical at this Caribbean eatery that offers secret ice slush drink mixing their piña colada and mango flavors.
Art Bird & Whiskey Bar
Known for its chicken sandwich (and whiskey selection), guests can top a sandwich with macaroni and cheese (no side required) or cut the carbs and skip the bun entirely, with a “naked” sandwich wrapped in lettuce. Too early for fried poultry? In the morning Art Bird also offers breakfast oatmeal topped with sliced bananas and maple syrup.
Zaro’s Family Bakery
In addition to Zaro’s secret croissant hot dog, customers can ask for The Scotty, an eight-grain, scooped out, double-toasted bagel filled with vegan cream cheese, tomato, and onion.
One of Grand Central Terminal’s newest additions serves traditional Latin American food with a New York City twist. Not listed on the regular menu are the bacon, egg, and cheese empanadas, baked in wheat flour dough with Monterey Jack cheese, scrambled egg, and maple glazed bacon, made in-house daily and served until they sell out.
Known for its buy-two-tacos-get-one-free deal, this Mexico City-style taqueria also serves the seldom seen Taco Arabe (pork pastor, melted cheese, salsa morita, pineapple, onions, and cilantro on a flour tortilla), and the Fajita de Alambre (steak, peppers, onion, bacon, melted cheese, guacamole, Mexican crema, with a side of flour tortillas).
Tri Tip Grill
Unlisted menu items include a chicken Caesar wrap and the Jammin’ Salmon sandwich.