New York City, NY

10 Things We Love About Visiting Times Square, NYC

Hungry Hong Kong

Times Square can seem like an overly touristy option for the discerning traveler, but many are still attracted to the energy and ambiance that reminds you that you're in the Big Apple. You may not be interested in the crowds or overpriced tourist traps, but the famous address still holds that's enticing allure. On our last visit to NYC we found ourselves staying a few nights in this energetic area and were again captured by its bright lights and buzzing atmosphere. Outside of the huge chain restaurants and flashing billboards we found you can still locate mouthwatering fare, five star accommodation, fun date nights, sparkling rooftops, slices of history, and that iconic NYC moment. Here's a list we think you should try next time you're near Times Square.

The Halal Guys

  • If you're strolling around bright and bustling Times Square you'll probably notice a huge line forming behind a vibrant yellow food truck. That is The Halal Guys who now have locations all over the city. Popular with college students, office workers, and tourists you won't want to miss this casual yet mouthwatering fast food option. The chicken platter and chicken sandwich are probably the most ordered but we also loved the falafel plate. Ask for extra sauce and perch on a step nearby to enjoy the feast.

Shake Shack

  • These juicy burgers have garnered worldwide fame, but the Times Square location is one of our favourite. The perfect spot to refuel after a day of sightseeing or grabbing a quick and crowd pleasing lunch with the family. The window front seats are a prime spot for people watching and admiring the neon lights and you can't go wrong when ordering the signature cheeseburger, crinkle cut fries, and creamy milkshake.


  • Brick walls, dim lighting, and quiet intimate seating allows you to feel worlds away from the tourist crowds. Bea serves strong handcrafted cocktails and small plates of elevated bistro fare in the perfect date night setting. Sample their Spicy Lamb Meatballs, creamy House Ricotta, and the indulgent Cheese Platter perfect for sharing. They are also open for brunch and the bar top is a relaxing space for a drink if you're looking to escape the busy streets.

The Lambs Club

  • Entering Geoffrey Zakarian’s The Lambs Club is like stepping back in time. Art deco design, bright red booths, and a classic fine dining menu are the highlights of the establishment. You'll find dishes such as foie gras, NY Strip Steak, and Raw Hamachi as firm favorites among the patrons but the prices aren't for the faint of heart. If you don't have the expense account to afford the meal head up to the mezzanine bar and throw back one of the city's best martinis for a fun old school NY experience.

Virgil's Real Barbecue

  • Dig into classic American BBQ dishes at the heart of Times Square. This casual and inviting restaurant is perfect for families who are craving a hearty feast. Must order dishes include the Southern fried chicken, juicy pulled pork, indulgent mac & cheese and the refreshing sweet tea. The ideal choice if you're exhausted and hungry after a full day exploring the city.

Jimmy's Corner

  • The narrow and inviting bar that houses Jimmy's Corner is one of the the only original establishments that has lasted in Times Square. Opened in the 1970's the dive bar still holds all the gritty demeanor and no fuss attitude of it's beginnings and the affordable prices reflect it's style. $3 beers are served from morning to night and you won't find a trendy cocktail in sight. Fighter Jimmy Glenn has successfully created a haven in the small space attracting everyone from theater goers and tourists to businessmen and even the odd celebrity. A true American experience for those who are looking for something different to the typical Times Square establishments.

Bryant Park

  • Only one block from the bright lights of Times Square sits Bryant Park one of NYC's most welcoming green spaces. The park is host to a variety of activites throughout the year with many dedicated to children. In the warmer months there is an outdoor "Reading Room" where story time is held for all ages and families love the ice skating rink which is free of charge every Winter. There is also an old-fashioned carousel that costs $3 per ride and you can picnic in the grassy areas on sunny days.

Watch a Broadway Show

  • Times Square is home to 39 theaters showing the world's most iconic shows and independent plays. Dating back to the early 1900's The Great White Way is a huge part of American history. Tickets can be purchased at a number of discount stands or booked through your hotel and there's always something for all ages and tastes. You can also take a walking tour with one of the artists and hear the history of all the theaters located in the district. Seeing a show on Broadway is still one of the most popular activities while visiting NYC and a fun family outing or romantic date night.

The Knickerbocker

  • It's doesn't get any more central than The Knickerbocker, Times Square's iconic five star hotel. Guests love the picture perfect Beaux-Arts facade and the long list of politicians and movie stars the luxurious establishment boasts as past guests. The rooftop bar promises delicious cocktails and stunning views, and the fine dining served at The Knick led by Master Chef Charlie Palmer will please any foodie. Families and couples looking for the nostalgic experience of a posh hotel at the heart of NYC's tourist hotspots will love The Knickerbocker.

Midnight Moment

  • Every night from 11:57pm to midnight Times Square is home to the world's largest digital art exhibition. Stand at the center of 1 Times Square and watch a synchronized display of neon billboards putting on a show. It's free and very touristy but most likely one of the most memorable moments that will bookmark your stay in NYC. Speaking of a midnight moment, one of the most iconic things you can do is ring in the new year at 1 Times Square. Can you imagine standing amongst the crowds of happy faces while you cheers the beginning of a fresh start? Watch that famous ball drop and capture a memory for a lifetime.

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We are a full time travelling family, world schooling our kids one trip at a time. Check out our articles to find the best street food, world class Michelin star restaurants, five star resorts, far flung beaches, and tips on travelling with kids and homeschooling.


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