Best Of

Best Restaurant Near Times Square

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Is it possible not to feel like a sucker when you’re grabbing dinner before a Broadway show? It may not seem like it. The Times Square area is stuffed with chains and cheesy hellholes eager to rip you off. But there is an exception: Sake Bar Hagi, a small basement izakaya that drips with Tokyo authenticity. You’ll find a wide range of yakitori on the menu here, like tsukune (tender chicken meatballs with a soy glaze), bacon-wrapped asparagus, and pork belly, plus small plates like sweet, creamy nasu dengaku (miso-glazed eggplant) and eel tempura. The list covers more oddball (to Americans, at least) offerings as well, like the briny pasta with spicy cod roe or grilled beef intestine. And remember that this is a sake bar — so you should pair your meal accordingly. One caveat: If you are catching a show, go early. By 7 p.m. each night, a line snakes all the way up the staircase.