Theme Restaurants, New York City
Food traps to avoid: Street meat - Toronto Street meat is way better. The hot dogs are nothing but skinny red hots for $3/dog. Not worth it.
Street Pretzels: they are dusty and chalky and there weren't no dipping sauce.
Large eateries= mucho denaros.
Unique Suggestions: Our first night in New York we went to the only place we could think of right off the bat: Times Square. It is loaded with large restaurant chains like Bubba Gumps - which is cool since we don't have one here in Ontario. So we ate there and discovered that it was not worth the amount we paid. The food was good and it was a nice treat for one meal. But after that we would've blown are budget on meals alone had we stuck with sit down restaurants.
Fun Alternatives: Everyone says that New York is expensive but when it comes to food there are so many options that you don't need to stick to large brand name restaurants. The diners in New York are fantastic and cheap!! I recommend the Galaxy Diner ( I don't remember the addy but is keeps winning local food awards so it is well known and at the lower end of the city), as well as the Chelsea Food market (75th ninth ave btwn 15th & 16th) for all sorts of gourmet food, coffee and desserts.
Try the small deli's they are everywhere and ohhh soo tasty! There are so many cute tucked away nooks that offer fantastic food for reasonable prices that it would take you years to get sick of dining out in the city and it won't break your bank.
Why come all the way to NYC to eat in McDonalds, TGI Fridays, Starbucks (which i hate at home anyway!) or any other chain you can get in most parts of the world.
There are so many amazing places to eat in the city so please try something different ask the locals on here for suggestions!
Fun Alternatives: lots of other great restaurants/coffee shops that offer good value for money food!
Avoid this restaurant. It was a rip off. Food was not good, prices were high and service was awful. If you want good steak, go to Gallaghers, also in Times Square.
Fun Alternatives: Gallagher's Steak House, Times Square. Great food.
With 25,000+ restaurants competing for customers who know their food, you'd think it'd be hard to stay in business serving mediocre food. Unfortunately, many people come all the way to New York just to eat in the same places they know from their local mall. We've got fantastic Italian restaurants, yet the Olive Garden draws a crowd. Ditto for Red Lobster, Hard Rock, Planet Hollywood, Mama Sbarro's, etc. You'd never find a native there.
Fun Alternatives: If you're not an online subscriber, pick up a copy of Zagat's restaurant guide. Its quirky reviews and ratings are right on the money. A great way to help explore the possibilities of dining in New York.
Here'e my observation on restaurants... the futher away from times square AND the the further from 5th avenue [ east ,west]... the food and price might improve. at least... you will eat where natives eat... whatever your price range.
Any of the theme restaurants on 57th Street. This includes the Hard Rock Cafe. The lines are long. The food is generic. Skip them!
Fun Alternatives: Go to a NY deli or from a food cart. These are more typical NYC activities.
Jekyll & Hyde Restaurant. The food is terrible, the 'shows' are lame and repetitive, and it is SO overpriced! If you must go, sit at the bar and have a drink or four. That can be fun. But do not eat there.
If you have kids, on the other hand, you should go. Kids love it. Do not fall for the specialty drinks, which will set you back around $15. Oh, sure, you'll have a cool glass to show for it, but it's not worth it.
Eating at restaurants like the Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood are a waste of your hard earned money. A hamburger and fries with a drink could run you close to $20 dollars. Buy a shirt if you want from the gift shop, but don't spend your money on their horrible food just so you can look at the guitar Buddy Holly bought but never played.
Unless your travelling wth children, PLEASE, avoid the Theme Restaurants inhabiting Times Square. They include; ESPN Zone, Harley Davidson, Jekyll & Hyde, Mars 2112, Planet Hollywood, & WWF NY. There are many fine eateries in Times Square that won't set you back an arm and a leg. Here are a few of many - RUBY FOO'S, 'Pan-Asian' food, Avg. Entree $18; JOE ALLEN (you might spot a Star or two), 'American', Avg. Entree $16; VIRGIL'S REAL BBQ (ribs pictured left), 'American BBQ', Avg. Entree $16. At the Theme Restaurants, the food is lousy, service is slow, and the noise level is too high. If that is what your looking for, then go and enjoy. Remember, you have many other great options in Times Square.
Any theme restaurant, like Planet Hollywood, there's one in every city so why bother going here, go somewhere that says NY. Plus they are expensive and not very good.