When going to see a Broadway play, sometimes locking down tickets to the most popular show in town is easier than deciding where to eat.
To help you navigate through the labyrinth of forgettable eateries, tourist traps and hidden gems in the theater district, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite restaurants near Broadway, from the middle of Times Square to the quiet and more diverse side of Hell’s Kitchen just a few blocks away.
Because whether you’re in search of a quick pre-theater repast or relaxing post-performance dinner, you deserve to complete the day with a meal that is as good as the show.
When you’re going on a trip, sometimes the best thing to do is to follow your stomach. In recent years, food tourism has become more and more popular.
Restaurants near Broadway: Convenient and casual sit-downs
361 West 46th Street, NYC
One of the better options along the Theater District’s Restaurant Row (West 46th Street Between 8th and 9th), Lattanzi’s lighter, Roman-style dishes won’t leave you too stuffed before a show. Post-performance, guests can enjoy a full menu with more elaborate dishes, served after 8 p.m. The restaurant stands out for its traditional Jewish-Italian fare, including their signature artichoke appetizer sautéed with garlic and olive oil. And nothing tops off a Sunday matinee like their homemade lasagna special.
14 West 44th Street, NYC
At Kellari Taverna, the motto is “Enter as strangers, leave as friends,” and with such delicious seafood, they are a great friend to have. Two and three course theater prix fixe options are available, which offer a sampling from their traditional Greek seafood menu. Full dinner menu includes both fish and classic meze such as raw clams and oysters, brandy-flamed saganaki and spanakopita, and a wide selection of whole grilled fish and Mediterranean entrees.
Saju Bistro Bar & Restaurant
120 West 44th Street
Located in Hotel Mela just minutes from Times Square, Saju brings the feeling of Paris to midtown. Serving a menu of salads, burgers, pastas, and bistro staples including steaks frites and mussels served Marinières or Provençal-style; here you can unwind amidst the bustling surroundings while enjoying a quick meal that will get you to your show in time.
B-Side Pizza & Wine Bar
370 West 51st Street, NYC
Take the ten minute walk over to this funky little place in Hell’s Kitchen for gourmet pizzas and small plates. They use an authentic Italian wood-burning oven, which gives great flavor to their pies. Try the “Killer Bee,” topped with sopressata, chili oil and honey, or the “Don Ho” with roasted pineapple, smoked ham and burrata.
Restaurants near Broadway: Around the world
251 West 50th Street, NYC
Toloache is a splash of color in the theater district. If you like Mexican food and options, they’ve got a lot of both. Highlights of the menu from Mexico City native Chef Julian Medina include three different types of guacamole (traditional, fruit or spicy), four ceviches (choose one or a tasting of each), a variety of quesadillas, and a long list of tacos filled with everything from carne asada and suckling pig carnitas to Oaxacan-style dried grasshoppers. Wash everything down with a margarita and you’re all set. A full vegetarian menu is also available.
346 West 52nd Street, NYC
An excellent choice for after-show snacks, Danji has been highly-touted by critics for its well-executed Korean tapas such as bulgogi beef sliders, scallion and Korean pepper pancakes and chicken wings. Choose from several of Chef Hooni Kim’s creations; the small portions are made for sharing, so have fun sampling away. Though mostly a walk-in restaurant (which, by the way, only has 36 seats), reservations are accepted for certain days and times.
Rice ‘n Beans
744 9th Avenue, NYC
This tiny Brazilian restaurant makes up in authentic flavor and practicality for what it lacks in size. For appetizers, try the Brazilian-style cheese puffs and empanadas. Entrees are meat-heavy, though there are a few vegetarian options and a list of traditional fish dishes like prawns and yucca. If you’re hungry, don’t miss the feijoada, a hearty casserole made with beef, pork ribs and sausage. And of course, rice and beans are at the heart of it all.
Restaurants near Broadway: Fancy, but not too fancy
402 West 43rd Street, NYC
One of Hell’s Kitchen’s most highly-acclaimed eateries, AAA Three Diamond Rated Esca is for seafood lovers. This upscale Italian trattoria is known for its elegant setting and fresh and simple menu. Highlights include an impressive selection of crudo, fish-accented pastas and entrees and extensive wine list. In the kitchen, Chef Dave Pasternack is noted not only as a great chef but a passionate fisherman, which is more than you can ask for in a seafood restaurant. Book your reservations in advance.
653 11th Avenue, NYC
Inside of the ink48 hotel in a renovated and repurposed printing factory, Print is dedicated to seasonable and sustainable farm-to-table cuisine. Their menu is updated daily to showcase the freshest ingredients, which are all sourced locally. They even have an in-house forager on staff to make sure that all of the ingredients are responsibly obtained. It’s a bit farther from the theaters than other restaurants but it’s worth trekking the extra few minutes for. Pre-theater dinner menu is available every day until 6:30 p.m. Head up to the rooftop bar for an after dinner drink with an awesome view.
Restaurants near Broadway: The classics
234 West 44th Street, NYC
In food and presentation, this Times Square classic is as traditional as they get, perhaps even outdated, but its many fans chalk it up as part of the experience. Since the late twenties, Sardi’s has been a hangout for Broadway stars, thousands of which have been immortalized in caricature form on the restaurant’s walls. Both pre-theater dinner and post-theater supper menus are available, featuring their signature continental fare. It is touristy, but the feeling of old Broadway is hard to match.
228 West 52nd Street, NYC
Steak lovers have been enticed by the dry-aged meats in the front window of Gallagher’s for years. Recently restored and reopened in 2014, what began as a speakeasy and evolved into one of Broadway’s first steakhouses maintains the old-school New York vibe it’s held onto for almost 90 years but with an updated menu and more modern décor. Steaks and chops from the famous meat locker are cooked over hickory coal grills and served with all the traditional sides, but the homemade potato chips at the bar are hard to beat.
326 West 46h Street, NYC
When it comes to finding restaurants near Broadway, Joe Allen is another old reliable choice on Restaurant Row, even if only for a quick cocktail. Adorned with posters of Broadway flops, the traditional American food and service here are anything but, helping it to remain a long-standing favorite of Broadway stars and theater buffs alike. For a pre-show meal, the staff is especially conscientious about show times to make sure that you head out the door on time.
Restaurants near Broadway: Burgers and quick snacks
5 Napkin Burger
630 9th Avenue, NYC
Grab an original 5 napkin burger at its Hell’s Kitchen location – the first of what is now a six restaurant chain. Known for serving grab-and-go food in a comfortable yet stylish sit-down atmosphere, 5 Napkin is as good for a messy burger as it is a swanky mixed cocktail. Take on the namesake burger – a 10 ounce beef patty topped with, gruyere, caramelized onions and rosemary aioli on a soft white roll, or try one of their other creations, like the veggie, lamb kofta or portobello, truffle, fontina burger. This location also serves sushi. Cap off your meal with a shake, float or dessert for a perfect finale to a night at the theater.
Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen
8th Avenue and 41st, NYC
Dishing out all things delicious and craveable at reasonable prices, this Times Square haunt is the answer to your after-show hunger pangs. What’s on the menu? Specialty burgers and sandwiches, hot dogs, mac and cheese and sloppy Joe galore – on its own or topped with cheese sauce, over fries and on top of hot dogs. If you have the willpower, they also have a nice selection of salads. Not to mention handcrafted milkshakes to boot.
364 West 45th Street
Sometimes you just need a cookie. Luckily, Schmackary’s exists to satisfy your sweet tooth. Zachary “Schmackary” Schmahl has made a business of serving his original cookies to New Yorkers. Beyond the standard chocolate chip, flavors alternate on a weekly and seasonal basis and include choices such as cookies and cream, sweet corn, maple bacon and green tea. And if you loved the show you saw, you can send cookies to your favorite Broadway stars through the Schmackary’s website.
What’s your favorite pre- or post-theater dinner spot? Tell us in the comments.