When someone usually goes to a restaurant, the expectations are for the food and the decor to be great, along with the service. One thing that never crosses their mind is that they might be entering into a singing extravaganza with their waiters giving duality realness with taking their orders and singing some of the biggest hits in the world. This is what the experience happens to be at the iconic Ellen’s Stardust Diner, located right in the heart of Times Square.
Ellen’s Stardust Diner is one of the few shining exceptions of Times Square that is left in its ever changing conglomerate/gentrification that has happened over the past ten years. It is also one of the few locations, that I have noticed, where you literally see a line of people down the street waiting to get in. A tourist trap for the millions that flock into the most visited city in the world, Ellen’s more than makes up for it with what they bring to you once you are inside.
Set up in a retro “Grease” style sort of way, the two level restaurant provides a great throwback to the 50’s and 60’s, not only in its look but in other capacities as well. Whereas a ton of hotspots in Manhattan are trying to be as modern as possible, if not futuristic, Ellen’s has no problem keeping things classic and the audience seems to eat it up.
Yes, I do mean audience. One of the reasons why this place is so unique is that throughout it all the waiters get on a platform downstairs and sing their hearts out (quite wonderfully I might add) to some amazing songs to really get the crowd going. During our dinner last night, we heard them belting out hits from musicals such as “Wicked” and “Les Miserables” as well as iconic hit songs like Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and more. What’s great is that they just had a new slew of waiters come on board as several of them left for greener pastures, as they got hired to do national tours of some of the biggest musicals in the world. It was quite the treat that added onto the delicious food that we had.
The food isn’t really that much of a stretch of the imagination, but doesn’t really need to be as it still was prepared wonderfully and tasted great. Options that you should try the next time you are in Ellen’s including their classic Buffalo Wings, Reuben or Grilled Cheese with Waffle Fries, and The Girl Scout Cake and Brownie Sundae as a way to end the meal. Delicious Americana at its best, that really left me and my friend feeling happy and full.
The wait staff was also fantastic throughout, as we radiated off of their bubbly and fun personalities. Don’t go into this place thinking it will be like some coffee shop or Library where its quiet 101, because it is anything but that, in the best way possible. As much as I really don’t like Times Square anymore, this place is worth the train ride on the 1 to 50th Street for some fun, singing, dancing, food and more. For more information on Ellen’s Stardust Diner, check out their official site.