12 Times Square Restaurants That Are Actually Worth Visiting, Chosen by Our New York Editors

Not today, McDonald’s

times square restaurants: rice, meat and kimchi from antoya bbq; fish and chips from gordon ramsay's fish and chips, wontons in chili oil from cafe china
Taryn Pire/Gordon Ramsay’s Fish & Chips Facebook/Café China

Whether you’re a first-time tourist or a full-fledged New Yorker, odds are you’ll find yourself in Times Square at some point. In a sea of fast-food joints, street performers and flashing lights, how does a gourmand find a bite actually worth writing home about? Read this list of 12 Times Square restaurants that our editors love before hitting the pavement and you won’t be disappointed (even you, skeptical Manhattanites). Our faves range from a sleek oyster bar to a next-level steakhouse to a casual fish and chips spot.

11 Union Square Restaurants That Should Be on Every New Yorker’s Radar

1. Brooklyn Chop House Steakhouse

  • Location: 253 W. 47th St.
  • Reservations: OpenTable

“It’s such a vibe; very fancy Asian cuisine with a twist, and it’s Black-owned,” says assistant editor Destinee Scott. “It’s where everyone goes after hitting up Carnegie Hall. The chicken fried rice is great, the organic chicken lettuce wraps and the sweet and sour chicken. The drinks are also different than what you’ll find at other restaurants, like a red velvet frosé.” If you’re eager to splurge, opt for the famous L.S.D., an over-the-top surf and turf featuring four pounds of lobster, a three-pound aged Porterhouse and a seven-pound Peking duck, cut table side. We also love the extensive selection of dumplings, including French onion soup and pastrami varieties.

2. The Mean Fiddler

  • Location: 266 W. 47th St.
  • Reservations: Resy

If you’re looking for dinner and a party, this sports bar-Irish pub hybrid is just the ticket. This eatery has next-level drinks, desserts and bar fare, like burgers, quesadillas, mozzarella sticks and loaded fries. They also have a mean brunch selection, including M&M’s pancakes. “They’re known for their cocktails and happy hour specials, but I love their fried chicken sliders and chicken and waffle sliders,” says associate editor Chelsea Candelario.

3. Playwright Celtic Pub

  • Location: 732 8th Ave.
  • Reservations: Table37

Nestled in the theater district, this casual spot is perfect for nursing a drink, watching a sports game or digging into some quality pub grub. The standard menu includes favorites like wings, flatbread pizza, bangers and mash, chicken pot pie, salads and pastas. “I highly recommend the beef stew or shepherd’s pie,” raves editor Abby Hepworth. The former is made with Guinness gravy, while the latter is filled with ground sirloin and crowned with a thick layer of mashed potatoes.

4. Café China

  • Location: 59 W. 37th St.
  • Reservations: Resy

This Sichuan favorite spans three levels of a 1930’s brick building. Round up your hungriest friends for dim sum, including dan dan noodles, pot stickers, pork buns, scallion pancakes and hot and sour wonton soup. As for entrees, try spicy numbers like braised beef in red soup with wood ear mushrooms, three-pepper chicken, whole fish with Asian chiles or double-cooked pork belly with Sichuan peppercorn. With a robust range of cocktails, wine, sake and beer, you can keep the bevs flowing as you eat. “There’s a wide variety of vegetarian options too,” says director of affiliate strategy Pam Masin. “I love the vintage décor, and the atmosphere is perfect for a group dinner before catching a Broadway show.”

5. Carmine’s

  • Location: 200 W. 44th St.
  • Reservations: OpenTable

Carmine’s has been a go-to for real-deal Southern Italian food for more than 30 years. “I don’t frequent Times Square too often but my family had a very festive dinner a few years ago at Carmine’s around Christmastime, and it was really fun!” asserts senior commerce editor Stephanie Maida. “The atmosphere was lively and the vibes were very old-school New York Italian; loved the chicken Parmigiana, it was big, hearty and cheesy.” Other musts include zuppa di clams, veal saltimbocca, shrimp scampi, manicotti and chocolate cannoli.

6. Antoya Korean BBQ

  • Location: 37 W. 32nd St.
  • Reservations: Yelp

Head to nearby Koreatown for an unlimited array of meats and banchan. We’re talking traditional beef short rib, pork belly, marinated pork shoulder, paper-thin beef brisket and flat iron steak. There’s also a wide variety of soup (we’re partial to the kimchi jjigae, or kimchi stew with pork), cocktails, wine and soju to wash it all down with. Did we mention Antoya was named in Michelin’s Bib Gourmand Restaurants Guide in both 2021 and 2022?

7. Gordon Ramsay’s Fish and Chips

  • Location: 1500 Broadway, Ste. 105
  • Reservations: Walk-ins welcome

If you're visiting Times Square with picky eaters, this chippie is a solid alternative to Mickey D’s. Sink your teeth into shatteringly crisp fish, shrimp or chicken with a side of sea salt-topped fries. There are also six drool-worthy dipping sauces (tartar! curry-mango! Southwest ranch!) and two decadent milkshakes (banana toffee and Biscoff) that kids and grown-ups alike can treat themselves to.

8. Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine

  • Location: Multiple locations
  • Reservations: Walk-ins welcome

As far as fast-casual Latin food goes, Sophie offers some of the best. The Midtown West, Hell’s Kitchen and Bryant Park locations are all close to Times Square. Choose from plates—like spicy grilled chicken, fried pork chops, shrimp in garlic sauce and ropa vieja—or sandwiches, like the classic Cubano or, our favorite, the mojo pork sandwich with a twist, which is stuffed with marinated onions, mayo, sweet plantains and signature green sauce. Pair it with moro rice, boiled yuca con mojo and a guava and cheese empanada to seal the deal.

9. Mermaid Oyster Bar

  • Location: 127 West 43rd Street
  • Reservations: OpenTable

What began in the East Village as a laidback New England-style fish shack is now a sleek seafood brasserie with three locations, one of which is in Times Square. The raw bar is stocked with delights like yellowtail ceviche, tuna crudo and Maine lobster, along with six types of East Coast oysters and one type of West Coast. Hush puppies, Parker House rolls with Old Bay and drawn butter and lobster “escargot” are delicious warm pairings for cold shellfish. Go for $2 oysters and littleneck clams during happy hour, as well as mini fish tacos, salmon tartare and clam chowder.

10. Magic Hour Rooftop Bar at Moxy Times Square

In search of an Insta-worthy rooftop oasis that’s open year-round? Look no further than this hotel bar that offers epic views of the Empire State Building, photogenic cocktails and live entertainment. Small bites, like truffle fries, steak barbacoa tacos, chicken fingers with cucumber yogurt and hot honey mustard, Jersey hamburger sliders and taffy-flavored pink popcorn, dominate the menu. Barbie girls won’t want to miss Pink AF Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, which highlights a blush-colored Big AF Croissant, cotton candy-topped Pink AF pancakes and a pink espresso martini to keep you caffeinated.

11. Gallaghers Steakhouse

  • Location: 228 W. 52nd St.
  • Reservations: OpenTable

This beef haven known for its dry-aged steak cooked over hickory coals has more than 90 years of service under its belt. “The food and service are top-notch and it has the classic, old-school New York vibe while being a bit more happening and less stuffy than a typical steakhouse,” claims managing editor Catrina Yohay. “Bring your in-laws there and they’re guaranteed to be impressed.” Raid the raw bar for clams, oysters and jumbo lump crab cocktail, save your appetite for all the filet mignon, lamb chops and prime rib you can handle and end your meal sweetly with orange-vanilla crème brûlèe, pecan pie or a banana split.

12. Olive Garden

  • Location: 2 Times Square
  • Reservations: Walk-ins welcome

OK, before you judge us, hear out associate editor of entertainment and news Joel Calfee. He—and countless other Gen Z-ers that hopped on the TikTok trend—loves heading to Olive Garden in his Sunday best for a casual-yet-special night out. “Some might turn up their nose at the thought,” he writes. “Going to Olive Garden? In one of the most cuisine-rich cities in the world? Of course, I’m not going to make all my meals eggplant Parmigiana and Italian rum punch, but it was exciting to challenge what it means to be luxurious in a city that costs so much.” Load up on bottomless breadsticks (but you already knew that).

taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...