Cheap Times Square Restaurants
When visiting NYC, these Times Square restaurants are the perfect cheap dining option for before or after your visit to one of these famous New York City attractions.
- Russos Restaurant in Times Square: If you’re looking for a cheap NYC breakfast, Russos Restaurant offers a great place to sit and enjoy an a la carte breakfast or grab a quick bite on the run. Before you start your busy day, be sure to stop by Russos for a cup of coffee and a bagel and shmear at one of the best New York City restaurants in Times Square.
- Rosie O’Grady’s Restaurant: A scrumptous American restaurant, Rosie O’Grady’s boasts a mellow environment to enjoy some decadent food at an affordable NYC restaurant. Whether you have a drink and some food at their upstairs bar or eat in their dining room, your meal is sure to please at this cheap Times Square restaurant.
An example of a delicious dish ordered from NYC’s Todd English Restaurant
If You Cant Decide: City Kitchen
If your groups already arguing about where to eat or perhaps youre arguing with yourself! your best bet is City Kitchen, located at the Row NYC Hotel. When you enter whats billed as A Times Square Food Market youll find a busy room ringed by upscale food stalls.
I have a couple of favorites. Whitmans, one outpost of a popular burger-and-fries joint founded in New Yorks East Village, serves a pared-down menu starring their Upstate Burger, a signature beef short rib blend, and an oddly satisfying version topped with peanut butter and applewood smoked bacon. Lukes Lobster, another East Village import, serves their signature lobster rolls and a more cheapo-friendly shrimp roll to aficionados at almost 40 locations worldwide. But theres more: Azuki sushi, Ilili Box Mediterranean cuisine, Gabrielas Taqueria and Kuro-Obi ramen.
Whatever you choose, dont miss Dough, an outpost for one of the citys great doughnut shops. Their rotating menu includes unexpected flavors like hibiscus and passion fruit. A couple of my favorites Nutella and dulce de leche are also often available.
Nyc On The Cheap Insider Tip:
- If all you want is a slice and a soda, these 99 cent pizza slice joints in midtown are fast and filling, and nearly all are open late.
Nearly all the recommendations on this page are included in my new NYC guidebook,
100 Things to Do in New York City Before You Die,
available in bookstores and online.
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The Best Restaurants In The Theater District
Its hard to find a great meal in Midtown. If you dont know that already, congratulations – youre either a pigeon or youve never had to find a meal in Midtown.
Unfortunately for the people who appreciate sailor costumes and a good Cole Porter number, this is exactly where the Theater District is. The thing is, you can find good food here – its just tougher to locate. Here are 30 places to get an actually-good meal before you see Wicked for the 10th time.
More Ideas For Where To Eat
If you want some other ideas of where to eat, the first place to start would be these pre-theater dining recommendations, which are located in the same area as Times Square. Of course, there are plenty more ideas for where to eat all over town, as well as some of New York City’s must-try food experiences.
Be sure to try classic NYC foods like bagels, black and white cookies, pizza, deli sandwiches, and cheesecakes, or sample some of the best steakhouses in NYC for a treat to some prime NY strip steak. Alternatively, if you’re planning to visit Manhattan’s Chinatown or South Street Seaport, there are a number of other great options nearby as well.
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The 10 Best Restaurants In And Around Times Square New York City
It might be better known for spring-break bar crawls and food-carts touting questionable fare, but all around Times Square you can find some of the best restaurants in Manhattan. In fact, from hip Mexican haunts to bargain burgers, romantic cocktail joints to oodles of noodles, you can find some of the best places to eat and drink in New York.
Tourists are magnetised by Times Square, with its flashing billboards, glittering skyscrapers and 25,000sq ft M& Ms World. Its reckoned that 100 million snap-happy visitors a year make the pilgrimage here, to the garish postcard heart of Manhattan, where men dressed as Muppets want photographs with you and the air is a cacophony of cab horns. But dont be put off not only is the area home to some of the best theaters and shows in the city, it has some great places to eat. Use our guide and dodge those overpriced specials with limp fries in favor of places with real NY flavor, before you make your way back uptown or downtown.
Relax At A Rooftop Bar
Times Square has several lounges and bars where you can take in great views of the lights on Broadway.
To find out about other rooftop bars near Times Square and throughout the city, see our post Rooftop Bars with great skyline views.
If you want to skip the drink and just enjoy the view, see our post, Best New York Skyline Views.
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Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant
Just think of it: the chutzpah of opening in 1913 as a vast 440-seat seafood restaurant in the belly of New Yorks Grand Central Terminal. Its gorgeous arched-tiled ceiling was done by Rafael Guastavino, who also did Ellis Island, and theres a curving counter and window service for the wonderful oyster roasts.
Since the kitchen has such clout in the seafood market, whatevers best and freshest that morning is added to the menu in season20 varieties of oysters, soft-shell crabs, shad roe, bay scallops, abalonealong with daily specials. The wine list, properly geared to whites, is very carefully chosen to pair with the food here. The waiters can be on the brusque but not rude side of hospitality, but theyll ask the kitchen to make anything you want if they have it.
Theres always a mad rush here, with commuters dashing for trains, hungry business people from the surrounding area, tourists, all converging here before lunch to get a table position. Their orders continue into the evening hours as the noise bounces off the tiles and the trains rumble above and below them.
Where To Eat In Times Square At Local Restaurants Not National Chains
With so many great local and family-owned restaurants in Times Square and the Theater District, NYCOTC remains amazed by visitors who opt for national chains more at home in any suburban shopping mall anywhere in the USA.
Enjoy the great tastes of the Times Square and Theater District area at these standout homegrown choices, where you always eat better, and usually for less money, than at a national chain.
Avoid the tourist traps and get native NYC vibe and flavor, along with value for your restaurant dollar, at these top local choices recommended by native New Yorker and NYC on the Cheap Publisher/Executive Editor Evelyn Kanter.
This list was published originally in 2018 and is updated regularly.
This April 2021 update reflects restaurant business decisions due to the Covid-19 pandemic and indoor dining restrictions.
NYC now permits restaurants to stay open until midnight. Indoor dining is limited to 50 percent of capacity.
While outdoor dining is permitted and encouraged, there is little space in the Times Square area for outdoor dining. Take-out is encouraged, as are reservations.
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Restaurants Located In Times Square For New Years Eve
A number of you are looking for a restaurant in Times Square to eat and watch the famous Ball Drop at midnight on New Years Eve.
Its a great idea but theoretically its more complex in reality since Times Square is mostly surrounded by shops and only a handful of restaurants which are not the best in town!!
If youre up for it, heres a list of restaurants of your choice
Im organized the restaurants according to their location in Times Square.
> > > Summary:
Restaurants with a view on the Ball Drop in Times Square
Restaurants in the vicinity of Times Square
How to dine in one of these restaurants?
Is it possible to get out the restaurant to see the Drop Ball and then return inside?
Hows New Years Eve in Times Square?
Are there any other tips to watch the Ball Drop?
The map of restaurants and Hotels located in Times Square
Hows New Years Eve In Times Square
The Drop Ball can only be seen from 43rd street and 50th street on Broadway and on 43rd Street and 59th street on 7th avenue.
As the crowd builds up, the NYPD will close streets after streets when they see its packed. Beware, dont come late to Times Square or you wont be able to enter the area even if you have a restaurant reservation!!!
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Frequently Asked Questions And Answers
What are people saying about restaurants in New York, NY?
This is a review for restaurants in New York, NY:
“We didn’t get to do indoor dining, it was super busy and very loud, not that I’m complaining the place looks amazing. We opted to do takeout, the food was absolutely amazing! And of course the cheesecake is out of this world. I also try the coconut lemon cake and it did not disappoint! Definitely going back for indoor dining. We even ordered breakfast the next morning and had a delivered to our hotel room and again, breakfast was great and did not disappoint us. Can’t wait to go back. I didn’t give the restaurant a five stars rating cause we didn’t eat indoors but I will definitely change my review once we experience the indoor dining.”
Free Shows: Bryant Park 6th Ave Between 40th And 42nd St
What a difference an Avenue makes. Walk just steps from Broadway to 6th Ave to find the relatively tranquil Bryant Park , and if you time it right you might catch a well-reviewed Shakespeare play for free.
The small city park also offers tours, Ti-Chi, concerts and lots of other free programming. A New York City treasure for sure, and not one that many tourists know about when wandering around the pastiche of illuminated, blinking Times Square facades.
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Restaurants Locals Love In The Center Of Manhattan
Times Square is a popular destination for visitors to New York City, but the area is home to many mediocre chain restaurants. Most tourists will find themselves in Times Square at some point during their visitwhether they want to go see a Broadway Show or just take in the bright lights and energy of the neighborhoodand the good news is that it’s easy to skip the tourist traps and have a great meal at one of many great local favorites instead.
From the celebrity-owned Becco Restaurant’s all-you-can-eat pasta special to the Sichuan cuisine at Wu Liang Ye, these restaurants offer an escape from chains like Olive Garden and McDonald’s on your trip to this bustling tourist epicenter of the city.
People flock to Becco Restaurant mostly because co-owner Lidia Bastianich prepares antipasto or salad and three kinds of pasta nightly. Although you’re unlikely to spot Lidia, you won’t leave hungry. However, it’s highly recommended that you make a reservation here if you want to be sure to dine without a long wait, as it’s definitely a popular choice. They also have a $33-per-bottle wine list, offering great wine values if you’d like to have a glass with your dinner without breaking the bank.
- Address: 355 West 46th Street
- Cuisine: Italian
- Price Range: pasta special is $20.95 for lunch and $25.95 for dinner while a la carte options are approximately $40.
- Address: 200 West 44th Street
- Cuisine: Italian
- Price Range: Dishes made for sharing are $25 or more each.
Hot Dogs: Grays Papaya
New Yorkers are busy. And, so it appears, always running late. Which makes hot dogs the perfect, cheapo food: a portable meal you can eat on the run, and one you can find everywhere.
Lets start by debunking one myth: Food carts are not the dicey proposition many visitors believe. In fact, theyre a staple for many locals and some even serve gourmet specialties. So, youre rarely more than a block away from a credible New York dog.
But there are a few legendary versions, and one of them is Grays Papaya. What sets it apart? Its always open. Its very good. And its cheap. In fact, Grays Papaya is famous for its Recession Special, two hot dogs and a medium drink for about six bucks. In Midtown Manhattan, you cant do better than that.
Its called Grays Papaya because papaya is one of their featured, non-alcoholic tropical beverages, but maybe not the best. I prefer piña colada, though they also serve coconut and banana along with pineapple juice, soda, coffee, tea and hot chocolate.
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Pizza: Heres Where It Gets Tricky
Pizza is the iconic NYC cheap eat. And theres no shortage of storefronts peddling crust topped with tomato sauce and cheese. You can probably find one of those on every block. Maybe two. Or three.
What you wont find in the Theater District is the kind of great slice joints scattered in neighborhoods around the city. Why? I dunno. Send me your theories. But I suspect it has to do with rents and that whole tourists-content-at-Olive Garden thing.
If you want pizza immediately before or after a show, your best bet is Johns of Times Square, a notable restaurant preparing traditional New York pies in an 800-degree, coal-fired oven along with a full menu of pasta, sandwiches, and dessert. But it may be known better for its setting in an abandoned church, complete with a stunning stained glass ceiling, which, to be honest, is pretty cool.
But I prefer to venture nine blocks outside the Theater District to NY Pizza Suprema, praised by many and rated by the Slice Harvester website as New York Citys best slice. Their regular cheese pizza is memorable. So are the Margherita and white slices. My advice? Go with whatever looks good it will be but be ready to order when its your turn and keep things moving.
Johns of Times Square260 West 44th St.
Times Square At Night
Some of the top attractions listed above, like Madame Tussauds or Ripleys Believe it or Not! stay open until 10 pm or beyond!
Below are some more things to do at night. For more ideas, see our post about things to do at night in NYC.
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Things To Do In Times Square
This post covers things to do in Times Square including free and night activities, shopping, restaurants, a Times Square map, and a self-guided walking tour.
We will show you the best attractions as well as provide tips on how to get discounts on tickets for Broadway shows.
Lets dig in.
TIP: Many popular attractions in or near Times Square, such as Top of the Rock and Madame Tussauds are included for free with all of the tourist discount passes as well as hop-on-hop-off bus ticket packages.
R Lounge At Two Times Square
Located inside the Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel, the R Lounge restaurant offers gourmet cuisine and stunning views over the bustling Times Square streets. The menu may be a little pricey, but it offers a “From the Farm” section featuring delectable entrees like Creekstone Filet Medallions, Grilled Lamb Chops, and Edan Farms Pork Belly Tacos.
- Address: 714 7th Avenue
- Cuisine: American
- Price Range: Appetizers range from $12 to $19 while entrees range from a $15 to $39.
Chef and owner Julian Medina brings a taste of Mexico City and the best in Latin cuisine to the heart of Times Square in the traditional Mexican restaurant known as Toloache. Here, diners can enjoy exotic and unfamiliar dishes like Bacalao Trufado or classic dishes like Carne Asada .
- Address: 251 West 50th Street
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Price Range: Appetizers range from $9 to $20 while main courses cost between $22 and $42.
This upscale Venetian restaurant offers pizzas, pasta, and pesci at relatively reasonable prices, especially for Times Square. Osteria al Doge does, however, require a reservation as seats often fill up during the busy tourist season.
- Address: 142 West 44th Street
- Cuisine: Italian
- Price Range: Appetizers and small bites cost between $12 and $19 while entrees range between $23 and $38.
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Experience The Midnight Moment
Every night from 11:57 pm to midnight, you can witness the worlds largest digital art exhibition.
Huge billboards in Times Square are synchronized resulting in three fabulous moments of the same whimsical imagery.
Top Attractions In Times Square
TIP: Several of the attractions listed below are included free with the purchase of most NYC tourist discount passes as well as several bus company combo tickets.
Check out our extensive post, Tourist Attractions in NYC.
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