A Local’s Guide to Times Square

Where to shop, eat and play in Times Square.

What can be said about Times Square that hasn’t already said in a song, a poem or a slogan? The area was called Longacre Square until 1904, when The New York Times moved its headquarters to 1475 Broadway, forever changing the area to be known as Times Square. For more than 100 years it has been known as the home of Broadway, the center for the finest live drama, comedy and musicals in the world. But today, this stretch of area between West 42nd Street and West 47th Street at Seventh Avenue and Broadway, is also home to great shopping, historic bars and restaurants and other forms of live entertainment.

Opened in 1921, Sardi’s is a legendary fixture in the Theater District’s culinary scene with its rich Italian dishes and celebrity caricatures. You never know who you might spot when you are there, so keep your eyes open! Two other district stalwarts: Joe Allen serves upscale American fare (don't forget to check out the restaurants’ famous Wall of Flops, posters for some of Broadways most notorious theatrical flops), and Orso is a classy pizza and pasta-lover’s haven. Both these restaurants are also frequented by Broadway actors.

Times Square's area is as much an outdoor mall as it is Broadway’s epicenter. Skagen, the Danish accessories company, offers fine bags and accessories, in a sleek atmosphere, and Swatch, maker of the iconic colorful watches, both share a street. The Drama Book Shop, which was founded in 1917 by the Drama League, caters to the city’s theater community with theatrical books and scripts, and for fans of “Hamilton,” the show’s pop-up shop has every bit of Ham-branded merch you could want.

Lantern's Keep

Lantern’s Keep is an elegant saloon with dark wood paneling and historic decor mixing classic, Prohibition-era cocktails.

The Rum House

If you’re in the mood for jazz, both The Rum House—a bar with swanky, glam details and a wide variety of rum drinks—and Birdland—named after the legendary jazz saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker, who headlined at the original club—have live music. The former centers its menu around libations with a few bar eats; the latter offers a full dinner, complete with scrumptious desserts like cheesecake and tiramisu.

A slew of new attractions have opened in this area over the past couple of years.

Gulliver's Gate Times Square

A miniature world awaits you at Gulliver’s Gate, with detailed models of familiar and fictional landmarks from NYC and around the world. Plan on visiting at least two hours to check out what feels like a walk around the entire world.

Elsewhere, Encounter: Ocean Odyssey is a deep-sea adventure through the Pacific Ocean. As the website promises, “You’ll come face-to-face with humpback whales and great white sharks, Humboldt squid and sea lions, and animals you’ve never dreamed of…in ways you’ve never seen. All without getting wet!”

And all in the heart of Times Square.