My son will be visiting and staying in Time Square as part of High School trip and we were wondering what type of budget/less expensive of restaurants are in Times Square? I understand there is a McDonalds and TGIFridays can anyone recommend any others in the area?
You can't swing a dead cat in Times Square without hitting a chain restaurant or McDonald's. Along 42nd Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue are a string of inexpensive places to eat, including the glitziest, tricked out McDonald's in all of NYC (you can't miss it, everything flashes like the Vegas Strip). On the north side of the street closer to 8th are some slightly more interesting places, like a Japanese fastfood/noodle joint.
Virgil's was a good suggestion, but Daisy May's is no where near Times Square and I think the area is super sketchy for high school students. It wasn't all that long ago that that part of 11th Ave was full of hookers, and the area retains a lot of that seediness. Island Burgers is only good if you're going in a group of no more than 4 people. It's tiny there, maybe 12-14 two top tables only, and I think your son will be dismayed by the fact that they don't serve French fries (kitchen's too small for a deep fryer). That said the burgers are GREAT.
There is a Burritoville on 44th and 9th Avenue, very cheap Mexican takeout, much better than Taco Bell.
There's another Mexican takeout place that is better than Taco Bell AND Burritoville on 49th and 9th Ave called Ta Cocina Express (they have a sit down restaurant a couple of doors up, but the Express is a take out place and much cheaper).
If your son and friends like Chinese food, and though this place is hottly debated I think it's really just fine, Ollie's on 44th close to Broadway is good for inexpensive, large share-able portions of Chinese food. Tell him and his friends to order lots from the extensive dumpling menu.
There's a Dallas BBQ in the area, which may not be better than Virgil's but it's certainly about half the price. When I was in high school and visiting New York I used to love this place, and people say they have one of the best burgers in the city.
And as loath as I am to recommend this place, there is a Planet Hollywood in Times Square. I've never eaten there and I'm not sure what the prices are like (my guess is somewhat inflated), but I had college age friends in town from LA not long ago and they wanted to meet there for drinks. The restaurant decor is kind of fun and tacky/glizty.
And there is a falafel joint around there with a famously surly guy a la the Soup Nazi, that is supposedly really delicious. I haven't tried myself, and can someone help me with the name and location?
c'mon, that part of Hell's kitchen hasn't been sketchy since mid Guilliani term. It's right on the way to the Intrepid Museum, so when the ship was there (it's out for renovation now) there is a plenty of tourist foot traffic around there.
Right off the Times sq. there is a Sapporo - Japanese ramen place (most dishes under $10). Awesome chahan (Japanese fried rice) - ultimate comfort food.
There is inexpensive Indian - Minar and great Cuban Margon on 46th st. Margon closes early though.
Almost forgot - there is a Chipotle on 48th st. between 6th and 7th ave. I'd take them in a bit over many even non-chain mexican places in NY.
Awww man...if those are the choices then there are tons of other selections from Applebees to Tex-Mex to D&Bs. There are all the chains from Olive Garden (between Broadway and 7th Avenue) to Red Lobster and Bubba Gumps (for the movie fans). The problem is that on the weekends there is an incredibly long wait for service. I recommend the little restaurants along theatre row on the side streets going toward 9th Avenue. The chains tend to be about as expensive anyway and the quality of the food is blah! You can get around it by going to Tad's Steakhouse which is relatively inexpensive and filling but short on ambiance.
I like Virgil's BBQ but the wait can be a bit long there too depending on when you go.
As long as your son is not from an area of the country known for superb barbecue, he will probably enjoy Virgil's, on 44th St., b/t B'way & 6th Av.; and Daisy May's, on 11th Av., near 46th St.
Uncle Nick's, on 9th Av., b/t 50th & 51st Sts., serves very good, moderately-priced Greek food in a casual taverna-like setting.
Island Burgers & Shakes is on 9th, near 51st St.
Wu Liang Ye, on 48th St., b/t 5th & 6th Avs., serves very good Szechuan cuisine.
You can view their menus on Menupages:
Wu Liang Ye - http://www.menupages.com/restaurantde...