Best Pizza and Bagels near Times Square?
I'm a life long Chicagoan who's heard constantly from New Yorkers how great their bagels and pizza are in the city. The last time I visited, I tried Ray's Pizza and some random bagels sold near Times Square and wasn't too impressed. I was pretty damn impressed by the delis though.
So I'm going back to NYC again, and will be in Midtown/Times Square area for about 4 days. Where would you go for a slice and, for breakfast, bagels that is within reasonable walking distance of that area?
I'm not a fan of H&H Bagels but many people are, so it's a fielder's choice. I prefer a chewier bagel and you can get them at Bagelfeller's on W 48 Street between 5th and 6th Ave. That is quite near to Times Square. I used to pick up bagels there when going into work and was never disappointed. The place is around the corner from Rockefeller Center so you can figure that into your itinerary.
As for pizza, by the slice is not a good way to judge NYC pizza. Take a friend and go get a pie at Lombardi's or John's or Candido's. There is a John's at 260 W 44 St in Times Square but it is not the best representative of John's pies. I like the John's on E 64 St off First Ave but I haven't been there in a while as we now prefer Candido's on First Ave at 83 Street. NY pizza, IMHO, should not be smothered in toppings. At John's or Candido's I CAN recommend the sausage topping as both are first rate.
pizza is really a toss up in times square area. but if you looking for proximate slices , teatro on 44th. just north of seventh is about the best . further away is vincent's on 8th (54th?). lots of the IATSE folk go there.
. for brick oven, sit down, Johns (also 44th ) is pretty darn good, as mentioned elsewhere other locations of theirs are a better, but the setting in an old church is great for pre-theatre.
If you really want good pizza, you will have to leave the Times Square area. I think most people will agree that Times Square has the highest concentration of bad restaurants in New York. If you're in for four days, hop a cab or subway out of that area at least two nights. Try Lombardi's on Spring St. and Mulberry. Also, give the Pizza Box (Bleeker off 6th) a try. Brick-oven pizza tastes better, but doesn't truly represent NY neighborhod style pizza like Pizza Box or Joe's Pizza (bleeker and 6th). I hope you enjoy your tastings, although I know it is nearly impossible to convince a person from Chicago that NY has great pizza.
I'm sorry, but we are unable to fulfill your request because Times Square is a tourist trap culinary wasteland. Do yourself a favor and follow the advice of some people here and take the subway somewhere else for good food. Seriously.