photo credit: Kate Previte

the exterior of the Hard Rock Cafe in times square

Hard Rock Cafe


Times Square

$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsKids


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The Times Square Hard Rock Cafe is a crash course in merchandising. You enter through the gift shop, from under a sculpture of a gigantic Gibson Les Paul, before making your way down to the dining room. Admittedly, there’s some really cool memorabilia in there, like Gene Simmons’ ax-shaped bass, Keith Richards’ guitar, and an iconic Gwen Stefani concert outfit. There’s also a shrine to CBGB, which is funny, because this place couldn’t be less punk rock if it tried: there’s literally something for sale every two feet. 

It’s good thing the old instruments, outfits and even products are there to distract you, because the drinks taste like they came from a candy store, and the breaded chicken sandwich gave us flashbacks to our college dining hall. But for an extra $5 per drink, you can bring home a branded pint glass, which, by the time you leave, will feel like a pretty good deal.

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