Top 5 Non-Touristy Places To Eat In Times Square
For being the Crossroads of the World, one would think that there would be better places to eat. Instead, tourists are saddled with the depressing notion of choosing between a cavernous Hard Rock Café and pulling up a stool at Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen. (Also known as “Flavortown!” – exclamation included.)
Thankfully, if one moves past the flashy three-or-so-block-radius that is Knockoff-Elmo-central, things get a lot better. The crowds, noises and the neon start to fade away, and replaced with some genuinely great food options that can stand with some of the best in the city. Here are five of those tasty Times Square noshing options that aren’t Olive Garden:
Yes, it is possible to get quality sushi in Times Square (and no, you’re not going to find it at Red Lobster). Masatoshi Sugio’s
Sushi Of Gari 46, 347 W 46th St
The Times Square outpost of this popular New York Chinese joint is always busy, but with good reason. Their hand-pulled noodles are as tasty as ever, and for the sake of variety, the menu throws a few burgers and salads into the mix. But it’s good to stick to the favorites: the spicy cumin lamb noodles are always delicious, and as far as Times Square prices go, one can find much higher-priced Chinese in the area with a fraction of the quality.
Xi’an Famous Foods, 24 W 45th St
Korean tapas? Is that really a thing? Well, yes, it is, and Danji proves it. The menu has all of the usual suspects – bulgogi beef sliders, Korean-style wings, scallion pancakes – but sidles a bit into adventurous territory as well (if Korean tapas weren’t adventurous enough for you already): cod roe and quail yolk over rice, whelk salad, and more.
Danji, 346 W 52nd St
Be prepared for a lengthy wait (and a bit of a walk from the center of Times Square), but also be prepared for some of the best ramen you’ll ever slurp. Japanese ramen is one of New York’s most popular go-tos – a local could probably name ten places off the top of their head – but Totto Ramen, which recently expanded to beyond New York, is still one of the best places to sit down and have a steaming bowl of the ultimate comfort food. Their chicken paitan is the classic go-to, and it’s hard to get much better. Do be warned, though: this place doesn’t take reservations, and takeout is forbidden, so your best bet to avoid a wait is to get here early. Don’t worry: it’s worth it.
Totto Ramen, 464 W 51st St
If you ever wanted to try the ‘local hangout’, you can’t do much better than Margon. During the lunch rush, you’ll find a mélange of New Yorkers – men in business suits, construction workers, even the occasional off-brand Minnie – and very few tourists. This tiny Cuban counter-service restaurant is the definition of hole-in-the-wall, with an unassuming front and cafeteria-like interior. Its small space notwithstanding, Margon offers some of the best Cuban food in the area – from their medianoches and Cuban sandwiches to lunch specials piled high with meat, rice and beans.
Margon, 136 W 46th St
Times Square has long been the flag-bearer for unbearably kitschy décor and gaudy consumerism, but walk a block or two to The Rum House and the old Times Square comes rushing back. If you’re craving classic cocktails, piano players, and stained-glass chandeliers but you can’t make it out of the Square, this spot needs to be on your list. Predictably, the rum-based cocktails are amazing, but so is everything else on the menu – and don’t forget to stay for the live piano music, which adds a touch of class to the proceedings.
The Rum House, 228 W 47th St
Words By: Emma-Louise Geary