Must-See Times Square
by nycgo.com staff, 12/25/2012
Ellen's Stardust Diner. Photo: Fiona Gardner
If you're looking for a dining experience as entertaining as the performances in the Theatre District, look no further than Times Square. The area is so expansive that it's home to not one but two McDonald's locations. A visit to the one on West 42nd Street, open 24 hours a day, is quite the production—its grand marquee makes those walking in feel as if they're about to see a Broadway show. If you want the dinner-theater experience, check out Ellen's Stardust Diner. The waitstaff will serenade you with show tunes as you chow down on American favorites like burgers and malts. The rising stars here have already made it on Broadway (so to speak), as that's where the '50s-style venue is located (at the corner of West 51st Street).
Some of Times Square's entertainment options aren't even at street level. For a bird's-eye view of the action, grab a table at Broadway Lounge, on the eighth floor of the New York Marriott Marquis. You'll enjoy New York City–themed cocktails (The Uptown Manhattan, Subway Sidecar) and food truck–inspired eats (pork carnitas, Thai chicken satay on a stick) as you observe all the hubbub from above. The scene at Guy's American Kitchen & Bar is on the mezzanine level; that's the location of the kitchen, and the story was built specially for the spot for easy access from the first and second floors. The restaurant has received a lot of press recently, so stop by and see what all the fuss is about. Proprietor Guy Fieri takes guests to "Flavor Town" with apps like sashimi tacos and dishes like the "Motley Que" ribs. Wash it all down with a cold draft—most beers on tap are made by New York City's own Heartland Brewery.
Everything's bigger in NYC, especially in Times Square—and that goes for the neighborhood Applebee's (at Broadway and West 50th Street). With three floors, it steals the show as the world's largest location of the restaurant. It's also one of the few that opens early (at 7am) and serves breakfast. Another thing that distinguishes it from the rest: its third-floor banquet hall, which seats 250 people and has a private bar, and meeting rooms with audio-visual and projection equipment. And as is the case with McDonald's, there's another location of the eatery in the vicinity, on West 42nd Street. —Joanna Citrinbaum