Best Places To Eat In Times Square – A bright, shiny world that must be seen by visitors and an inescapable reality for locals, Times Square can sometimes be a little controversial. With Broadway shows, seasonal celebrations and working offices, it’s a must-see for tourists and residents alike. But even in the utter chaos of downtown, dotted between chain restaurants and expensive establishments, there are moments of respite in the form of some really great restaurants.
In our guide to the best restaurants in Times Square, you’ll find unbeatable Italian sandos, stellar Asian cuisine, Indian-style kebabs, respectable slices of pizza, street-style art food and more. We can’t wait for you to dig in!
Best Places To Eat In Times Square
Hearty Chinese food and Midtown go hand in hand. Whether you want to enjoy a long sit-down meal or grab a bite to eat, Best Sichuan is the best of the many Sichuan restaurants in Times Square South. From hot dry pots to spicy and steamed tripe fish, the menu can be a bit overwhelming. If you need somewhere to start, Dan Dan noodles anchor the menu. Enjoy a huge bowl of bouncy, thick noodles with crispy ground beef and small, diagonal slices of onion. Everything is slathered in a sweet and tangy sauce that’s so addictive you’ll be tempted to lick the bowl.
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In addition to winning accolades over the years, this adorable little halal food cart also earned a spot in our guide to the best restaurants in Times Square. From kati rolls to falafel, there are plenty of options to get your fix at Kwick Meal. Their plates and pitas are top notch and you should definitely get the lamb. All halal food carts top their dishes with their own brand of white sauce, but most are poor imitations of tzatziki. Here, the sauce contains sharp notes of cucumber mixed with Greek yogurt, sugar, lemon juice and vinegar. It’s heaven for the aromatic spices incorporated into the lamb, chicken or beef. The hot sauce, instead of the typical hot red sauce, is peppery green and brings dynamic heat and flavor.
One of the best restaurants in Times Square is also one of the most recognizable restaurants in Manhattan. Ippudo began as a ramen movement to introduce Japanese gastronomic culture to the rest of the world. It expanded to the US during the height of New York’s ramen craze and now has select locations throughout the city. Instead of their traditional tonkotsu soup, the 5th Ave location offers their kasane-aji, or “layered taste,” a soup with a rich combination of chicken and pork. Prepared in three stages of careful preparation, the spicy soup becomes milky and velvety in texture. The Spicy Karaka Bowl is the way to go at this place. And don’t forget – you can always order extra noodles so there’s not a drop of broth left.
Times Square is notorious for bad Italian tourist traps, but among all the usual places is a little shop with legitimate Italian sandwiches. Shining like a lighthouse in a storm, Alidoro offers stunning combinations of mozzarella, prosciutto, sopressata and more on very good bread. Some of the sandwiches are particularly well-dressed with special spreads like sun-dried tomato puree, lemon basil pesto, truffle cream and olive paste, so be on the lookout for those. If you are overwhelmed by their large menu, the most popular are Gothamist, Il Sole or Pinocchio.
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The pie, the myth, the legend. Joe’s is one of the reigning parts of New York City—and likely will be for thousands of years to come. But why? No coal oven, crispy brico cheese crust, or specialty toppings. Still, Joe’s is the piece people think of when they think of New York. The answer lies in its simplicity. Huge, flexible, yet supple and melodramatically cheesy, this is a pizza dream come true. What’s more, their Broadway location is efficient, organized, and attracts as many “hotties” as visitors. Their front is the way to go; a perfect combination of cheese, sauce and a thin, chewy crust. Enjoy one of the best restaurants in Times Square.
And Kathy Roll? An Indian-style street roll and an item you’ll definitely want to add to your must-eat list in New York. To be a bit more technical, it’s a spicy mixture of meat and vegetables rolled up in a traditional Indian flatbread called a paratha. TKRC offers both meat and vegetarian options, marinating and grilling every filling in-house with their own blend of hand-ground spices and flavors. Their signature homemade cilantro lime lutenica is a mix of fried, pickled spring onions. Garnish each Kati roll along with a sprinkling of Chat Masala. We love chicken tikka rolls and never eat chicken momos. Indo-Tibetan dumplings are available pan-fried or steamed – pan-fried with soy vinegar sauce.
A mainstay in the theater district and one of the best restaurants in Times Square, Patzaria Perfect Pizza is actually the perfect choice after a long morning or afternoon of walking. Their cheese pizza is everything a pizza should be. The optimal ratio of cheese to fat to sauce is on a chewy, airy crust with a flawless snap. If you want to go all in on the sauce, get the granny pie. The deep tomato tones of the sauce, mixed with bits of basil and garlic, provide a juicier, sweeter and more flavorful version. Whatever you choose, get ready to go back for seconds.
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Two avenues west of Times Square is the Thai and Vietnamese fusion restaurant of your dreams. OBAO fuses Southeast Asian comfort foods with their own finesse, serving up fine dining without compromising on authenticity. Start with kimchi fries for an app. Airy and fluffy yet crunchy, the fries are covered in a lip-smacking sriracha mayo sauce with onions, sesame seeds and spicy sauerkraut. Moving on to entrees, their 12-hour Pho Bò Braised Beef Soup with thinly sliced beef, brisket and rice noodles is Michelin recommended. The best dish, though, is the Roast Duck Noodles: silky, wok-fried noodles laced with some of the best duck you’ll find north of Chinatown. It is topped with Thai Sriracha sauce and finishes with a stunning combination of flavors.
Living on a diet of liquid sodium, lard and noodles, but Tonchin makes you want to try. One of the brightest threads in New York’s rich ramen tapestry, this Tokyo noodle house is also one of the best restaurants in Times Square. And once you try their soup – complex, layered, slightly spicy – you’ll understand why. Their signature Tokyo tonkotsu soup is used as the base for many of their bowls. If you like spicy, definitely go for the spicy tan. If you want something with a deeper flavor, try smoked dashi. Paired with hand-made noodles, finely sliced roast pork chasu, and a sweet pickled egg, the ramen is too good for words. And it’s easy to see why they’ve been awarded the Michelin guide for the past few years.
Mama’s Empanada is a colorful, bustling downtown where post-Broadway tourists and late-night locals often find common ground. And with fresh empanadas hot from the fryer served 24/7, it’s no wonder why this is one of the best restaurants in Times Square. Serving mainly Colombian flavors, it offers excellent quality Latin cuisine at an incredible price. Among their 40+ empanada flavors, you’re sure to find one you like. We love their spicy chicken, which is covered in what they call Mama’s Special Picante sauce. Shredded beef is another standout, slow-cooked and marinated with traditional Colombian spices and onions.
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We will sing the praises of Los Tacos until the bitter end. You simply won’t find better tacos in all of Manhattan, which means it’s definitely one of the best restaurants in Times Square. Their menu is pretty simple. Choose between their marinated pork adobada, steak, chicken or cactus on flour or corn tortillas. Every combination is a winner, so don’t stress too much about the decision (or just take one of each). Their quesadillas are also a marvel with a perfectly crispy layer of cheese between the tortilla and the filling. Be sure to check out their salsa bar after you order.
Head to Danji for a fever dream full of bulgogi and fried chicken. This cozy, upscale restaurant on 52nd Street is the place to be for modern Korean cuisine in the area. It serves shared small plates that combine Korean flavors with French techniques, producing magical treats like fried tofu with ginger shell dressing and soy poached black cod with spicy daikon. As soon as you sit down, order the beef bulgogi sliders for a tantalizing burst of flavors on small sweet buns. Almost everything on the menu is a work of art, but for the true enthusiast, try the sizzling “wet” kimchi fried rice with bacon, served in a hot cast iron skillet. The caramelized pieces of bacon are as thick as pork belly and contrast with the sharp, fiery tones of the kimchi rice. You’ll be scraping your plate down to the last bite.
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