20 Best Restaurants Near Broadway NYC to Eat at Before a Show
T&C's expert guide to drinking and dining before—or after—a show. Thank us later.
The New York cultural season is in full swing and the offerings are an embarrassment of riches. From the mixed reality Ryuichi Sakamoto/Tin Drum concert at The Shed and Robert Icke's The Doctor at the Park Avenue Armory to Rebecca Martínez's musical adaptation of Shakespeare's The Comedy Of Errors at The Public and the slew of must-see Tony-nominated shows on Broadway, stages across town are offering something for everyone.
But for theater aficionados and tourists alike, the perennial question remains: where are the best places to dine before the curtains rise or to unwind with a drink after the final bows? Fret not, this list of hidden gems, time-honored establishments, and elegant new eateries will be your go-to guide to creating a perfect night on the town.
For Shows on Broadway
Long considered Broadway's unofficial canteen, this almost six-decade-old stalwart is the perfect spot for before or after the theatre. While the menu changes daily, you can always count on an ice-cold martini and comfort dishes like the Joe Allen burger (with some of the best fries in town), grilled chicken with mashed potatoes, pan roasted filet of sole, the peerless meatloaf, and banana cream pie.
The Times Square EDITION
Right there on West 47th Street, amidst the bustle of Times Square, sits one of the city's most appealing oases. The Times Square EDITION is, yes, first and foremost a hotel (and a nice one!) but we're especially fond of the property for its dining options, namely chef John Fraser's charming Terrace and Outdoor Gardens. There's a pre-theater menu for those who need a full meal, though we'd never advise against going à la carte with the top-notch burger, a combination of the tasty starters (do not miss the deep-dish focaccia), or anything involving the addictive fries. Looking for a later option? The EDITION's Lobby Bar is open until midnight and offers some highlights from Fraser's menu for peckish night owls.
This sophisticated Italian spot, with its amber glow, perfectly spaced well-set tables, and white-jacketed staff, is the epitome of elegance. Chef Nicola Fedeli's menu celebrates northern Italian dishes including veal Milanese, ossobuco with saffron risotto, and veal tortellini with fonduta of 48-month-aged Parmigiano Reggiano. A robust wine list and hand-crafted cocktails complements the menu.
Inside one the most dignified dining rooms in the theatre district, chef John Fraser draws upon his Greek heritage and deep admiration for Turkish cuisine to create a menu that includes a large selection of mezze, grilled whole fish, and classic Greek dishes like moussaka, shrimp saganaki, and expertly grilled lamb chops. There is also a three-course pre-theatre menu that allows you to sample many of the signature dishes.
Since 1960, this Hell's Kitchen OG has been serving up delicious French classics like escargots, onion soup gratinée , steak au poivre, beef bourguignon, bouillabaisse, and dessert soufflés to New Yorkers looking for a taste of Paris in Gotham. Dinner here is proof that the best things in life get better with age.
The Lamb's Club
This New-American standard, now under the direction of Chef Jack Logue, continues to focus on classics with a twist. There are starters like shrimp cocktail, steak tartare, and a great romaine caesar, and main courses including orecchiette with blue crab and bottarga, veal Milanese, and a slew of steaks grilled to your liking and served with peppercorn sauce. The Lamb's Bar serves drinks and snacks until 11pm.
Located above Joe Allen, this semi-secret bar is a great place to have drinks and a nosh after the show. The menu of signature cocktails and snacks is extensive and the no-standing policy makes for a very civilized experience. Added bonus, this is a fave among actors so bumping into the lead you just saw on stage is more common than not.
Don't Tell Mama
Did watching that musical put you in the mood to belt out a few numbers yourself? Well this fabled piano bar is the place to do it. Every night, in addition to the singing waiters and bartenders (most of whom have some serious stage credits) that gather around the piano and put on one of Broadway's best shows, there is an open mic where patrons can sing a song or two.
If you’re looking for a truly transportive dining experience before a show at The Shed, consider Peak, the stunning David Rockwell-designed restaurant and bar sitting at the summit of a 1,296-foot tower (the 101st floor of 30 Hudson Yards). Executive Chef Chris Cryer's menu reflects his long-standing relationships with local fishermen, farmers and purveyors as well as his personal commitment to sustainability. Highlights include Atlantic scallops with cauliflower and caviar, heritage carrots with Jersey Girl ricotta, kumquat, and foccacia, and roasted fluke with rainbow chard, fennel, and celery root velouté.
This sexy rooftop lounge in the Garment District from nightlife impresario David Rabin offering jaw-dropping views, an expansive terrace, and excellent cocktails and bar snacks is a great place to grab a drink after a show. Is there anything more glamorous or New York than enjoying a nightcap facing the Empire State Building? We think not.
For Shows Uptown
Dowling's at The Carlyle
Inside an art-filled, Deco-inspired dining room designed by Tony Chi, executive chef Sylvain Delpique (formerly of 21 Club) has created a menu that features his interpretations of timeless New York favorites and throwback dishes from another era. Of special note are the dishes prepared tableside like Dover sole and steak Diane flambéed, a show before a show at the Park Avenue Armory if you will.
A Lexington Avenue spot that has been the unofficial clubhouse for OG Upper East Siders for over seven decades. Grilled lamb chops with mint jelly, a classic hamburger, traditional turkey dinner, and Yankee pot roast are some of the signature dishes. Eating at the bar and enjoying the company of bartenders who have worked there for over 50 years is a particular treat and a nice precursor to a performance at 59E59 Theaters.
This buzzy Lincoln Center restaurant from award-winning chef Kwame Onwuachi features an eclectic menu inspired by Afro-Caribbean flavors, ingredients from the American South, and NYC-style street food preparations. Standouts include the curried goat patties, braised oxtails, shawarma roasted chicken, and the Harlem Chocolate Factory white chocolate cheesecake.
Shun Lee West
As one of New York's great culinary institutions—and a T&C favorite—Shun Lee West never disappoints. The cold sesame noodles, Grand Marnier prawns, dry shredded crispy beef, and Peking duck are legendary, and the dining room with its wraparound glowing dragon is a Lincoln Center landmark.
The Mark Bar
Open until 1am, this chic Madison Ave standby with interiors by Jacques Grange is an ideal spot for post-show hand crafted classic and signature cocktails. And if you’re feeling peckish, the black truffle pizza is a great late night snack.
For Shows Downtown
Since 1984, this French-Vietnamese boitê has been the epicenter for downtown cool. Located conveniently across from The Public Theater, Indochine is a stylish choice for a pre-show bite, a post-show cocktail and some of the best people watching in the city.
Home to the salad that ignited the kale craze, this rustic Italian and Spanish eatery consistently turns out simple home cooking that highlights seasonality and the integrity of the ingredients. Whether it's a bowl of pasta or their signature porchetta, a dinner here is a deeply satisfying and soulful experience.
The Commerce Inn
Conveniently near both the Cherry Lane and Lucille Lortel theaters, this eatery from chefs Rita Sodi and Jody Williams (via Carota, i Sodi) celebrates Shaker-inspired early American cooking in a carriage house on the corner of Commerce and Barrow streets in the West Village. Dishes include rarebit, pot pies, cod cakes, and a nice selection of simply cooked vegetables. Don't miss the perfectly clear milk punch, a drink that dates back to the early 1700s.
Les Trois Chevaux
While the tasting menu experience at this elegant West Village spot is an all-night gastronomic affair, a drink and a delectable dish from the new à la carte menu is a sublime and quick pre-curtain moment as well as an easy way to try chef Angie Mar's outstanding haute cuisine. Order a glass of champagne, the decadent crabe pithiviers, and a few scoops of roasted pineapple ice cream and you'll be the happiest person at the nearby Greenwich House Theater
The menu at this intimate farm-to-table-inspired restaurant reflects chef Simone Tong and sommelier Emmeline Zhao's shared Chinese American heritage. Start your meal with the addictive scallion puffs with zhajiang scallion butter and kung pao peanuts before diving into the cauliflower truffle dumplings, chili garlic prawn potato gratin, and General Tso's broccolini. The well curated wine list includes interesting sparkling and orange options as well as excellent sakes from Brooklyn and Berkeley.
Contributing Editor William Li is the founder of art consultancy Armature Projects and the Emmy-nominated co-host of Lucky Chow, a series about Asian food and culture on PBS.
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