Olive Garden Times Square: Real Italian Food


Since I’m going to Naples in a week, I figured that the best way to get acclimated to authentic Italian cuisine was to head to the Olive Garden in Times Square. Nothing says New York like Times Square. And nothing says Italian food like the internationally acclaimed Olive Garden.

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The View 

Without a reservation, TPOL strolled into the Olive Garden and was given the best seat in the house. The price of admission during New Years is $500+. Lucky diners who get my table have a great view of Times Square. Revelers can enjoy all the salad and bread sticks their hearts desire, but are not allowed to leave the restaurant. There are trade-offs in life.

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The Wine 

If you’re looking for fine Italian Pinot Grigio then order a bottle of Costco’s favorite, Cavit. Costco sells the 1.75 L bottle for $13. The Olive Garden sells the standard 750 mL for $27.

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Salad & Breadsticks

What’s better than Olive Garden’s salad and bread sticks? Nothing. Especially with extra, fresh Parmesan.


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The Soup

I prefer the minestrone but the zuppa toscana (translated to Tuscany Soup) is a crowd pleaser.

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The Tour of Italy 

For the main course, we had the tour of Italy. I began to wonder why I am wasting my time flying coach to Naples when the very best of Italy could be had right here in NY. Lasagna, fettucini alfredo, and chicken parm were perfectly prepared.

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And what’s dinner without dessert? That small piece of chocolate is enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.

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The Bill

All of this magic was only $71. Unlike with Uber, I left a hefty tip.

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Don’t bother going to Italy. Go to the Olive Garden. And not just any Olive Garden, go to the one in Times Square, the best place to be in NYC.

Don't fall for tourist trap Italy when the real cuisine is in NYC.
Don’t fall for tourist trap Italy when the real cuisine is in Times Square.


  1. Lucky must be jealous. After all, who needs Krug. Oh, I think you mean 1.5 liter, not 1.5 gallon on the Cavit.

  2. This almost makes up for you waiting a half hour with the tourists for espresso. My friend used to wait tables there…I don’t think he ever got more than a 5% tip. If you are looking for suggestions, tads is great for steak, sbarro is the spot for pizza and fresco tortilla has the best Mexican food.

  3. It was either tongue in cheek or thepointsoflife has no tongue and thus can’t taste. Good joke, though. Next he is going to Au Bon Pain to save a trip to France.

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