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Times Square area with Kids, well mannered girls, 8 and 11

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Hello Fellow Chowhounds-
we are traveling to NYC in March, staying at the Hampton Inn Times Square. My husband and I have traveled to NYC many many times, but this is the girls first trip. I am looking for some fun, not too expensive, non tourist traps in the area. My girls are well mannered and love a nice restaurant and trying new things, but we also love love a good burger and fries, pizza, cupcakes, chocolate and anything else that is a specialty to the area we are visiting.
Thank you, so very much, in advance-

JM

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  1. Since you've been to the city many times before, is there a reason you are limiting your dining options to the Times Square/Theater District area? Not that it's impossible to eat well in that general area. But, for example, the best pizza is found in other neighborhoods.*

    For burgers, we love the Shake Shack, and there is now one located on 8th Av. corner 44th St. I've also heard positive things about 5 Napkin Burger, on 9th Av. & 45th St. Another place to have a good burger is Marseille, the French-Mediterranean brasserie, on the corner of 9th & 44th. In fact, all the food is very good there, and prices are, imo, moderate.

    That brings up the question of what "not too expensive" means to you since it can be interepreted very differently depending on the depth of one's wallet. So, give us your per person dinner budget for food only. Also, cuisine preferences? Any avoids?

    "ETA: Cheeryvisage has pointed out that there now two good pizza options in the Times Square area. See her post below.

    http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

    2 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      Actually, the best (Neapolitan) pizzas can now be found in Times Square / Theater District. Don Antonio just opened (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/832397). PizzArte, a couple of blocks away from Don Antonio, is also very respectable.

      There is this misconception that Times Square / Theater District is lacking in good food options, this is no longer true. This area now actually has some of the best restaurants in the city.

      -----
      PizzArte
      69 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

      Don Antonio by Starita
      309 W 50th St, New York, NY 10019

      1. re: Cheeryvisage

        I had forgotten about Don Antonio opening. So, thanks for pointing that out. Didn't remember about PizzArte either. I've added an edit to reflect this info.

        I've always felt that the area surrounding Times Square and the Theater District gets a bad wrap when it comes to restaurant options. As you say, lots of great dining to be had.

        http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

    2. For chocolate and great chocolate filled macarons, check out La Maison du Chocolat and Jacques Torres.

      Burger Joint is also great for burger, it was featured on Anthony Bourdain's Layover New York episode.

      For cupcakes, there are Crumbs and Magnolia Bakery, but I hesitate to recommend either since I personally wasn't impressed with their cupcakes. Magnolia's banana pudding is very good, however. I'd rather forgo cupcakes and go to Financier Patisserie for excellent general pastries.

      In terms of other great eats in the area, there are:

      Sushi - Sushiden, Shimizu, Sushi of Gari 46

      NY Style pizza - Angelo's Pizza, John's Pizzeria

      Neapolitan pizza - Don Antonio, PizzArte (both have fried pizza, Montanara!)

      Italian - Trattoria Trecolori

      Mexican - Toloache

      Chinese - Szechuan Gourmet (only for traditional dishes that aren't American-Chinese)

      Japanese - Yakitori Totto for yakitori (grilled meat skewers); Menchanko-Tei, Totto Ramen (1 hour+ wait though), or Sapporo for ramen; Katsu-Hama for fried meat cutlets.

      Thai - Pam Real Thai, Wondee Siam

      Dessert - Kyotofu (Asian-influenced), Momofuku Milk Bar

      Korean - Danji (modern small plates)

      More expensive, but worth it -

      The Modern Bar Room, fantastic French-Alsatian food, wonderful desserts
      Ma Peche - David Chang's French-Vietnamese influenced Midtown restaurant
      La Silhouette - French restaurant well-liked by Chowhounds

      -----
      Yakitori Totto
      251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

      Burger Joint
      118 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

      Sapporo
      152 W 49th St, New York, NY 10019

      Kyotofu
      705 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

      Shimizu
      318 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019

      Toloache
      251 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10019

      The Modern
      9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019

      La Maison du Chocolat
      30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020

      Trattoria Trecolori
      254 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

      Szechuan Gourmet
      21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

      Sushi of Gari 46
      347 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036

      Menchanko-Tei
      43 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

      John's Pizzeria
      260 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

      Wondee Siam
      792 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

      Pam Real Thai
      404 W 49th St, New York, NY 10019

      Sushiden
      123 W 49th St, New York, NY 10020

      Crumbs
      43 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036

      Angelo's Pizza
      1697 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

      Magnolia Bakery
      1240 6th Ave, New York, NY 10036

      Szechuan Gourmet
      244 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

      Ma Peche
      15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

      Financier Patisserie
      1211 6th Ave, New York, NY 10036

      Momofuku Milk Bar
      15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

      Totto Ramen
      366 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

      Katsu-Hama
      43 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

      Danji
      346 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

      La Silhouette
      362 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

      Jacques Torres
      30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112

      PizzArte
      69 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

      Don Antonio by Starita
      309 W 50th St, New York, NY 10019

      1. You should take your girls to Ellen's Stardust Diner. It is this great old fashioned diner where the waiters and waitresses all sing and dance; most are regularly auditioning for Broadway! It was one of my favorite places when I was younger and my 12 year old cousin just went for her birthday and adored it.

        http://www.ellensstardustdiner.com/

        -----
        Ellen's Stardust Diner
        1650 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

        1 Reply
        1. re: Linsybee1

          I hit Ellen's Stardust Diner and Pizzarte today. Both were really great. I had a great time at Ellen's and good meat at Pizzarte. I had the margherita pizza and the eggplant lasagna. Thanks for the recs. I also stopped at Bouchon and had a brownie.

        2. If the weather is nice walk on over to 9th Ave (Hells Kitchen) and stroll uptown looking into restaurants and at menus. Lots to choose from. We like the plentitude of Thai places (Yum Yum and Pam Real Thai). El Centro and Eatery are also some favorites along with Putanesca for Italian (may not take plastic).

          -----
          Puttanesca
          859 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10019

          Eatery
          798 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

          Pam Real Thai
          404 W 49th St, New York, NY 10019

          El Centro
          824 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

          Yum Yum Bangkok
          650 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

          1. I second the suggestion for Toloache. We took my then 6-year-old there a couple of years ago and it was a delight for all. NOT a traditional "family dining" place (no chicken fingers - I don't even think they had a kids' menu) but for a party with one or two well behaved children with adventurous palates, you couldn't ask for more. Nice cocktails for the adults, too.