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MTA and James Beard Foundation Partner to Help Customers Explore Local Restaurants and Neighborhoods

Updated May 19, 2022 4:00 p.m.
MTA Away

DineAWAY Campaign Encourages New Yorkers to Explore the Region’s Vibrant Gastronomic Diversity Using Mass Transit; Supports

Comeback of Independent Restaurants and Small Businesses 

Enter DineAWAY Sweepstakes for a Chance to Win Fun Foodie Prizes

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s MTA Away program has teamed up with the James Beard Foundation to get New Yorkers on subways, buses and commuter rails for an easy ride to some of the city’s best food neighborhoods and some delectable destinations near the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad.   

DineAWAY is a joint campaign designed to bring back riders to the MTA, while supporting independent restaurants at the heart of New York City boroughs and surrounding neighborhoods. COVID-19 has affected the restaurant industry in unprecedented ways with many local businesses still struggling to meet pre-pandemic levels. By participating in the DineAWAY campaign, New Yorkers and visitors from around the globe are invited to use mass transit to experience unparalleled dining and cultural experiences across the area, while supporting ongoing efforts to rebuild the food and beverage industry.   

“MTA Away’s DineAWAY program pulls together everything New Yorkers need to plan a day in a new neighborhood with friends and family in one place,” said Sarah Meyer, MTA Chief Customer Officer. “MTA Away gives you a complete guide to local destinations that you may never have thought to visit, and it connects you to our fantastic trip planner. Riding our buses and trains takes the stress away from finding parking—it’s good for the planet and even better for your wallet.”   

“Independent restaurants are the cultural, societal and economic backbone of our communities. New York City and surrounding neighborhoods boast a remarkable array of local dining spots which still need support,” said Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation. "We are thrilled to partner with the MTA on the DineAWAY campaign, encouraging riders to explore and celebrate the city’s vibrant cultural and culinary diversity, while supporting critical local businesses.   

"I could not be more excited to be a part of the DineAway campaign with the MTA and James Beard Foundation highlighting my favorite local businesses in Harlem alongside my restaurant, FIELDTRIP,” said Chef JJ Johnson.

“Harlem is one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city, Uptown Manhattan truly raised me. With the MTA, it is easy to be a tourist in your own city and take the train somewhere you’ve never been. As a small business owner, my hope is that this campaign inspires people to take a field trip to different neighborhoods and support the diverse and culturally rich local businesses across New York City. Getting lost in a new neighborhood can open your eyes to new cuisines, traditions, and cultures."  

Neighborhoods and participating chefs include, but are not limited to: 

  • Harlem featuring JJ Johnson, FIELDTRIP  
  • Astoria featuring Beatrice Ajaero, Nneji  
  • Park Slope featuring Tonya Hopkins, Good Wine  
  • Sunnyside/Long Island City featuring Nestor Ducan, Rincon Melania   

For more information, neighborhood guides featuring restaurant suggestions, chef profiles, and walking guides with fantastic food and drink options are available online at MTAaway.com. Riders can also use the MTA’s “Plan My Trip” feature to map their DineAWAY experience using the subway, LIRR, or Metro-North Railroad to NYC, Long Island, and Hudson Valley towns.

The MTA recently introduced a best fare pilot program so riders can get to great destinations and save money. NYC Transit riders who tap and go with OMNY will be charged the standard $2.75 pay-per-ride fare only for their first 12 trips, starting every Monday. The “lucky 13th trip” and any additional trips through the following Sunday are free.  

The MTA also offers the CityTicket, which costs $5.00 and is good for one-way travel during off-peak hours that begins and ends within New York City. They are only valid on off-peak trains.  

In addition, customers can enter the DineAWAY sweepstakes for a chance to win fun foodie prizes or dinner at a neighborhood restaurant. To enter, look for DineAWAY sweepstakes signs at participating restaurants, as well as cards included with take-out orders. Prizes include: 

  • Dinner at featured restaurants
  • VIP tickets to Brooklyn Magazine Festival 
  • Tickets to Westchester Wine and Food Festival 
  • Overnight stay at Hotel Indigo - East End  

Customers are encouraged to visit MTAaway.com each week to see new DineAWAY interviews, neighborhood itineraries, and more MTA Away destinations.    

About the James Beard Foundation

The James Beard Foundation (JBF) celebrates and supports the people behind America’s food culture, while pushing for new standards in the restaurant industry to create a future where all have the opportunity to thrive. Established over 30 years ago, the Foundation has highlighted the centrality of food culture in our daily lives and is committed to supporting a resilient and flourishing industry that honors its diverse communities. By amplifying new voices, celebrating those leading the way, and supporting those on the path to do so, the Foundation is working to create a more equitable and sustainable future—what we call Good Food for Good™. 

As a 501c3 non-profit organization, JBF brings its mission to life through annual Awards, industry and community-focused initiatives and programs, advocacy, and events. Current programs include the Open For Good Campaign, Chef’s Bootcamp for Policy and Change, Beard House Fellows, Legacy Network, Scholarship Programs, Smart Catch, and Women’s Leadership Programs. In addition, JBF celebrates the chefs and local independent restaurants at the heart of our communities with numerous events and partnerships nationwide throughout the year—including the Taste America culinary tour, JBF Greens events for foodies under 40, the soon-to-open Pier 57 Market Hall, food festivals, and more.