Eric Hutchinson Shares His Top 8 Non-Touristy Times Square Eats

Food Lists Eric Hutchinson
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Singer-songwriter Eric Hutchinson is a savvy New Yorker, but when he recently played a couple of dates at the storied Radio City Music Hall, he realized he faced a daunting question. Where the hell do you eat in the culinary wasteland of Times Square? Eric has done the dirty work, scouring the streets of Manhattan’s Bermuda Restaurant Triangle… so we don’t have to! Below, Eric shares his picks for Radio City-friendly restaurants that won’t leave you too depressed to bother with the concert. Radio City is safe once again for dinner and a show.

Being a New Yorker means always having a good place to eat, no matter what part of town you’re in. We have thousands of them, every style, ethnicity and price point.

And then there’s Times Square, a barren terrain of mysterious bistros, dated pubs, claustrophobic knots of confused tourists. The very thought can give you heartburn.

I play concerts for a living. But as much as I love music, if I don’t have dinner plans, I spend the whole show worrying about where I’m going to eat. I knew Times Square must have its hidden gems and I was determined to find them. Here are eight great places to eat next time you’re going to see a concert. May you never settle for Bubba Gump again.

Don Antonio
Don Antonio is your spot if you love serious Napoletana pizza. No slices, fellas. They have only two locations, Napoli and NYC, and serve only a handful of pies, including a lovely lightly fried pizza. The staff has a disinterested attitude that will make you feel like you’re dining right in Italy! The real deal.
Walk to Radio City: 8 minutes

Num Pang
Num Pang serves hearty Cambodian sandwiches that are fast and delicious. The Peppercorn Catfish, Coconut Tiger Shrimp and Roasted Cauliflower are all great. Your best option when your friend’s mom’s new boyfriend is running late to the show and you know you’re never going to have time to sit down.
Walk to Radio City: 4 minutes

Benoit
Midtown is crawling with terrible French restaurants. Benoit isn’t one of them. This place (one location in legendary chef Alain Ducasse’s global family of restaurants) has a great old-school vibe that will make you feel like you’re dining in an episode of Mad Men. Escargots, East Coast Oysters and Hand-chopped Prime Beef Tartare are among the highlights. Get dressed up and start the night here. (Also a great spot if you’ve worked up an appetite stealing your dead commanding officer’s identity.)
Walk to Radio City: 6 minutes

Xi’ans Famous Foods
Any serious Chinese-food lover knows about Xi’ans Famous Foods. The new Midtown location is a perfect place to grab something cheap and delicious. Try eating the Spicy & Tingly Beef Hand-Ripped Noodles, the Spicy Cumin Lamb Burger, and their Spicy Cucumber Salad. The afterburn from all that Spicy will ensure a mild buzz through at least the first set.
Walk to Radio City: 7 minutes

St. Andrews Restaurant & Bar
St. Andrews is a charming, if slightly corporate, Scottish pub serving steaks, seafood and haggis. The real star here is the extensive list of scotch whiskeys. Perfect if your date is one of those people you just like better when you’ve had a drink or two. You know the one I mean.
Walk to Radio City: 6 minutes

Sake Bar Hagi
Have a late night sake party at Sake Bar Hagi This izakaya is one of those beautiful NYC hidden gems you’ll have a hard time finding, but when you do, you’ll find it bustling with excited diners. They serve lots of small Japanese comfort-food dishes, sushi and plenty of sake. A wonderful after-show destination.
Walk to Radio City: 4 minutes

Joe Allen
I’m always on the lookout for restaurants that capture how I imagined New York would feel when I was a kid growing up outside of DC. Joe Allen is a little supper club with Broadway posters lining the walls and a fun old-New York feel. Take your parents here when they come to visit from Ohio. Pick up the tab for the extra benefit of sparing yourself another volley of complaints about how expensive New York is.
Walk to Radio City: 12 minutes

Danji
Danji is classy, sophisticated, inviting contemporary Korean food. The bulgogi beef sliders are a thing of beauty. They also put your silverware in a little drawer of your dining table, which I always find very cute.
Walk to Radio City: 10 minutes

BXL Café
Beer enthusiasts will enjoy BXL Café, a crowded Belgian bistro. Steamed Mussels with Frites, Roasted Chicken with Apples, Belgian Style Meatloaf and a plenty of great Belgian beers. Good for your buddy who loves bragging about which beer he tasted the night before.
Walk to Radio City: 8 minutes

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Eric Hutchinson is a Manhattan-based singer and songwriter. He is currently on tour all summer with Kelly Clarkson and Pentatonix. His new album, Pure Fiction, is available now. Don’t worry, he’s never heard of you either.

Times Square photo by Stewart Butterfield CC BY
Eric Hutchinson photo by Jeff Lipsky

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