It's a common misconception, in my opinion, that New York is expensive. Sure, the cost of living here might be higher on the average, but it's still not as expensive as say, being at a Disney resort. This is a living, breathing city, and a lot of it is made up of low and middle income families. So trust me, you won't be forced into eating outrageously over-priced hamburgers. That is, as long as you follow my advice :)
The biggest rule that you must follow is this:
DO NOT EAT AT THE CHAIN RESTAURANTS IN TIMES SQUARE!
You might be lured by the giant, familiar neon signs that boast the names of your favorite restaurants. "Oh, I know that place! They're inexpensive and have food that I love!" And then you'll get inside, ask to be seated and once you're cozily ensconced in your booth overlooking Times Square, you'll realize your mistake. The chain restaurants know that tourists will always run for what's familiar and so they mark up the prices considerably, knowing you probably won't walk out once you've already been seated. Olive Garden, Ruby Tuesday's and Red Lobster are massive staples in the city's center, but you'll find the markup on your favorite dishes to be anywhere from $3 to $6. Or pop into Fridays and you'll pay almost double for their standard hamburger.
So where should you go for that yummy non-chain hamburger? THE COUNTER! This primarily west coast build-your-own-burger joint finally comes to NYC, and while it's not the cheapest fare you'll find, it's darn good food and worth every penny. You'll leave feeling satisfied, and you won't be kicking yourself for paying $15 for a meal you could get back home for $8. Plus, it's a short 4-minute walk down Broadway from the Marriott!
For more info on The Counter, and to see their menu (which has way more than just burgers!), visit http://www.thecounterburger.com/
I'll be back in two weeks to give my suggestions for great Italian restaurants in Hell's Kitchen!
-Jerrica, Her Grace of Grammar