Where to Eat Before a Broadway Show: 15 Top Places to Go

November 30, 2021

Once a veritable wasteland of food options, Midtown Manhattan has come a long way from its days of mediocre pizza and overpriced tourist traps.

The Theater District is now filled to the brim with a bevy of culinary options ranging from sublime omakase sushi to charming Italian trattorias.  

Choose to pair your evening of American Revolution history and hip hop with a hearty meatloaf from Joe Allens, or prepare yourself for a world of Wicked wizardly fun with Bond 45’s verdant broccoli rabe pesto. 

Whether you are in the mood to sip a silky Pinot Noir at a chic wine bar, or simply grab a slice of NY-style Cheesecake at the famous Juniors, we have the very best roundup of cafes, restaurants, and eateries to eat before your favorite Broadway show. 

exterior view of the Joe Allen restaurant awning in Manhattan in NYC, New York, USAJoe Allen

326 W 46th St.

A landmark icon of the theater district, Joe Allens has been fortifying Broadway's biggest stars and crew for over 50 years. 

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A homey establishment where you can find Broadway superstars such as Kristin Chenoweth chowing down next to Midwestern tourists, Joe Allens is a must-see for any theater lover. Take in the exposed brick and wood paneling, before searching the infamous poster collection of doomed Broadway flops that  adorn their walls.

Load up on classic American fare like the wholesome meatloaf served with fluffy mashed potatoes, gravy, and sauteed spinach or a crispy creole spiced fried chicken sandwich. Save some room for their beloved Banana Cream Pie (even Kristin’s a fan)!

interior view of cathedral ceiling inside of Toloache restaurant in manhattan in NYC, New York, USAToloache

251 W. 50th St.

Ole! For a festive south-of-the-border feast of Mexican delicacies, Toloache always hits the spot as a fabulous place to eat before a Broadway show. Named after the amorous flowering plant, Toloache puts a thoroughly modern spin on your favorite Mexican dishes. 

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With a plethora of platos to choose from, as well as an outstanding selection of guacamoles, ceviches, and tapas, this is one cantina where you won’t leave hungry. 

Kick off your order with a bowl of Rojo spicy guacamole, followed by the exquisite tuna belly toro taquitos, and carne asado tacos to share. Revel in the flavors and spices of their ‘platos fuertos’ including the enchiladas borrachas, and don’t forget to sample their deceptively strong margaritas.

interior view of seating and art at Aldo Sohm Wine Bar in Manhattan NYC, New York, USAAldo Sohm Wine Bar

151 West 51st St.

Ideal for a romantic pre-show drink or nibble, Aldo Sohm Wine Bar envelopes you in its chic art deco ambiance the moment you walk in the door.

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Sultry lighting and pop-heavy art pieces adorn the walls and invite you to take a seat and relax with a bold glass of Malbec, or a bottle of Burgundy.

The plates here are designed to be shared and paired with the accompanying wine so feel free to over-order and sample treats such as country-style pate, stuffed and roasted red peppers, and sublime roasted fig salad complete with arugula, goat cheese, walnuts, and balsamic drizzle. 

Close up photo of a sushi chef at work at Sushi Seki in NYC, New York, USA.

photo credit: Sushi Seki via Facebook

Sushi Seki

365 West 46th St.

If you can brave the bustling crowds of Times Square pre-Lion King showing you’ll be rewarded with some of the best sushi and sashimi of your life at Sushi Seki.

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This elegant and minimalist two-story sushi bar and restaurant cultivates the perfect atmosphere in which to enjoy your sake and omakase.

Peak your appetite with an order of steamed shumai and maguro avocado before savoring their otherworldly Oh Toro Sushi, and Hamachi Belly and Uni Sashimi. 

Pro Tip: While definitely a splurge, we highly recommend the seasonal Kaiseki Omakase, a traditional multi-course meal that utilizes the best and freshest ingredients available. 

Wide shot of the dining area inside of La Masseria in NYC, New York, USA

photo credit: La Masseria NYC via Facebook

La Masseria

235 West 48th St.

An authentic trattoria that strikes the perfect balance between tradition and presentation, La Masseria is a first-rate choice when seeking an Italian restaurant to eat at before a broadway show

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The upscale decor and incredible service that accompany your orders of crispy fried zucchini and insalata di mare are unparalleled. Arrive early so you can linger over a bottle of red as you devour their homemade fresh caciotta cheese ravioli in a light tomato sauce, or relish the purity of their spaghetti allo spugnito di pomodoro. 

For those who always need a little something ‘dolce’ to end their meal before listening to Mr. Evan Hansen belt it out, try their delicate tiramisu.

View looking in the window at Carmines with their logo on the window and people dinging inside in NYC, New York, USA

photo credit: Carmine's Italian Restaurant - Times Square via Facebook

Carmines

200 West 44th Street

Some things just belong together like peanut butter and jelly, Romeo and Juliet, and Carmines and a Broadway play. This consummate pre-show partner and Manhattan institution of Southern Italian cuisine never disappoints.

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While you used to have to trek all the way to the Upper West Side for a taste of Carmine’s juicy shrimp scampi or heavenly penne alla vodka, you can now enjoy these favorites right in Times Square. 

Begin your family-style feasting with some standout appetizers such as their savory stuffed mushrooms or Zuppa di Mussels, before moving on to the main attractions. 

All of their pastas are top-notch, but we hold a special place in our heart for their country-style rigatoni and their scrumptious chicken parmigiana. 

Close up photo of a dinner spread at Victor's Cafe in NYC, New York, USA

photo credit: Victor's Cafe via Facebook

Victor’s Cafe

236 West 52nd St.

Platanos, cubanos, and cocktails oh my! Seeking a taste of the tropics in the middle of NYC might seem crazy, but Victor’s Cafe brings sunshine, tropical vibes, and Cuban culture right into the Theater District.

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Enter a world of palm trees, colorful prints, and a welcoming island spirit when you dine at Victor's. Sitting amongst the hanging vines, vibrant colorful wall prints, and magical skylight, you will feel instantly transported to the shores of Havana. 

Leadoff your night of Cuban cuisine with one of their renowned cocktails like the creamy coconaty mojito, or the more traditional Cuba Libre. 

Debate the merits of the citrusy ceviche vs the flaky chicken empanadas before ordering both. More of Victor's signature dishes include their aromatic black bean soup, mouth-watering ropa vieja, and legendary lechon asado. 

Street view of the neon sign on the front of Bond 45 in NYC, New York, USA

photo credit: Bond 45 via Facebook

Bond 45

221 West 46th St.

Once located in the former historic Bond Clothing store on 45th St, Bond 45 is a dazzling Broadway eatery that has been feeding theater patrons for decades. They are best known for their scrumptious and seasonal vegetable antipasto bar which includes such superb offerings as cauliflower milanese, Brussel sprouts cacio e pepe, and eggplant parmesan. 

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Rondout your post-show dining escapade by ordering one of their delightfully thin and crispy pizzas like the ‘lot of pepperoni which is liberally doused with spicy honey for a unique sweet and savory twist, or the richly indulgent whole lobster pizza which is topped with creamy burrata. 

Pro Tip: Seeking a little more ‘show’ to go with your supper? Rev up the titillation and anticipation, with Bond 45’s Speakeasy. This underground artistic experience features cirque, burlesque, and Broadway performers as well as a creative custom menu of cocktails. 

View of the dining area at P.S. Kitchen in NYC, New York, USA

photo credit: PS Kitchen via Facebook

P.S. Kitchen

246 West 48th St. 

Calling all plant-based connoisseurs! It might now always be super easy being green (ask Elphaba to confirm,) but P.S. Kitchen takes the guesswork out of vegan dining in the Theater District.

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Pursue their entire menu with confidence, knowing everything is 100% vegan as well as socially conscious. P.S. Kitchen has made the heartwarming promise to donate 100% of its profits to sustainable non-profit work.

Cozy up with a bowl of velvety rich tomato basil bisque soup, then pretend its game day with a serving of their earth-shatteringly crunchy Buffalo Maitake Wings which are accompanied by your choice of Buffalo sauce, BBQ, Sweet Thai Chili, or Garlic Cashew Parm oil. 

Sharing is caring! For your entree, why not order both the succulent ‘Chicken’ pot pie and homemade lasagna, made with herbed tofu ricotta, spinach, vegan meatballs, and homemade marinara, and sample both.

Close up photo of food coming out of the kitchen at Burger & Lobster in NYC, New York, USA

photo credit: Burger & Lobster (132 West 43rd Street, New York)

Burger + Lobster Bryant Park

132 West 43rd St.

Surf and Turf like you’ve never seen it before! Get the best of both worlds when you treat yourself to an epic epicurean experience at Burger + Lobster Bryant Park. Slide into one of their signature red vinyl boots and raise a glass to another evening of live theatre thrills.

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Shaking up a dizzying array of signature cocktails, as well as an entire margarita menu, prime your tastebuds for ecstasy when your sip on Bryant Park Punch, or the richly flavored Taste of Fall, featuring Avua Cachaca, peanut butter whiskey, mango juice, lime juice, and spice syrup.

Obviously, it’s all about the lobsters (and beef) here at Burger + Lobster, the former which are wild Atlantic, live, and delivered daily. Chow down on sumptuous crab cakes made from shrimp, lobster, and crabmeat served with chive crème fraîche. But be sure to save room for the maritime main event - Lobster.

Our top pick is the Lobster Roll, or if you’re particularly famished go for broke with the B&L combo: a London Burger, and a 1.25 lb Original Lobster served with fries, salad, and your choice of clarified butter or lemon garlic butter sauce.

View of the dining area inside Ipuddo Westside with white chairs and red booths in NYC, New York, USA

photo credit: Ipuddo Westside via Facebook

Ipuddo Westside

321 W 51st St.

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ramen! Ok, maybe that's not how the rhyme goes, but we can all agree nothing fills us up with more noodley goodness than a steaming hot bowl of ramen. Ipuddo Westside is our designated ramen joint and never fails to bring the flavor.

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Commence your culinary adventure with an order of your favorite pillowy soft steamed buns (we prefer pork, but you do you), followed by their sinfully juicy and tender Oishii Karaage (deep-fried boneless chicken). 

Lastly, slurp up the perfectly spiced and fragrant Karaka Spicy ramen which is also available in vegetarian broth for all of our non-carnivorous friends. 

Close up photo of steak with mushrooms and carrots at Butter Restaurant in NYC, New York, USA

photo credit: Butter Restaurant via Facebook

Butter

70 West 45th St.

Located in the Cassa Hotel, in the very heart of Midtown, Butter provides a satisfying, full-flavored dining affair in an elegant and elevated atmosphere. 

Whether you choose to tuck away in a comfortable booth underneath their spacious and highly arched ceilings, or sidle up to their inviting bar for a cocktail or two, an evening at Butter makes for a perfect reprieve pre or post-show. 

Helmed by Food Network star and chef, Alex Guarnaschelli, Butter’s menu is an exercise in curation and restraint, displaying the best of greenmarket offerings to create seasonal delights. 

Start your foray into American fine dining with their gooey cheesy gnocchi ‘mac and cheese’ to share, or if you are feeling more health-conscious, try their standout Brussels Sprouts & Baby Spinach Salad served with a divine smoked pecan dressing.

For your finale, feast upon the luscious (and surprisingly light) Grilled White Cloud Cauliflower, or the tender (and very local) Hudson Valley Duck Breast, served with wilted pea shoots, blackened grape leaves, and Somerset grape jam.

Close up photo of a cheery cheesecake at Juniors in NYC, New York, USA

photo credit: Junior's Restaurant & Cheesecake via Facebook

Juniors 

1515 Broadway 

1626 Broadway

A true NYC legend, you truly haven’t lived until you have had a slice of Junior’s World Famous cheesecake. For over 70 years this Brooklyn icon has been delivering its creamy, dreamy cheesecake to millions of tourists, visitors, and celebrities. 

Lucky for you and your Broadway-bound compatriots, you no longer have to schlep across the bridge to get a little slice of heaven. Head on over to Times Square for the ultimate Juniors nosh pre or post-theater. 

Tuck into a plate of potato pancakes or cheese blintzes to share before diving into their sublimely savory offerings like the pastrami Reuben, Matzo ball soup, or brisket platter. 

Lastly, reward your restraint in not having demolished dessert first with a slice of their famous #1 original cheesecake (or strawberry, if you’re feeling fancy), imbibe with a classic Brooklyn egg cream for complete satisfaction.

Close up photo of two entrees at 44 & X in NYC, New York, USA

photo credit: 44 & X Hell's Kitchen via Facebook

44 & X

622 10th Avenue

Picky palates will rejoice with pleasure when they break bread and eat before a Broadway show at 44 & X in Hell's Kitchen. Daring combinations and seasonal ingredients are married here in perfect unity to produce quality American cuisine well worth the walk to 10th avenue to eat before a Broadway show.

Love for the theater pours out of this airy establishment and is well reflected in their menu of Broadway-themed libations with cheeky monikers such as ‘Sprig Awakening’ and ‘Everything’s Coming Up Roses’ which contains a dreamy mix of Effin Rosé Flavored Vodka, lemon, St-Germaine, and grapefruit. 

Their newest menu showcases the bounty of fall ingredients and includes such showstoppers as their hamachi sashimi starter, accompanied by blood oranges, blood orange syrup, avocado, and micro celery as well as their refined persimmon salad.

Ample entrees pay homage to everyone’s favorite comfort foods, like meatloaf and fried chicken, with a surprisingly gourmet twist. 

Upgraded Buttermilk fried chicken is plated with pecans, collard greens, a chive waffle, black pepper, and maple syrup while their palatable turkey and wild mushroom meatloaf, comes wrapped in bacon, with a homemade old fashioned tomato sauce, and creamy mashed potatoes. 

Photo of all of the staff group together outside the Glass House Tavern for their reopening in NYC, New York, USA

photo credit: Glass House Tavern via Facebook

Glass House Tavern

252 West 47th St.

Central location, pre-theater dinner deals, and undeniably delicious cuisine? Check, check, and check! Keep your Broadway theater schedule in line when you snag a reservation at Glass House Tavern. Centrally located within the theater district, Glass House Tavern has long been a go-to for those theater nerds ready to grab a bit to eat before a Broadway show.

The dedicated staff and servers here are old pros at getting you to curtain call in time. So relax and unwind with a glass of vino. Then dig into their pre-fixe theater menu or ordering a la carte.

A serious steal at just $44 for a three-course meal. Their pre-fixe provides such winners as:

  • buttery wild mushroom risotto
  • braised pork shank with sweet potato spaetzle
  • apple chutney
  • homey apple cinnamon bread pudding

After a long hiatus, Broadway is back and better than ever! Nothing can rival our excitement for the official return of the Great White Way. However, curling up with an exquisite cocktail or tantalizing meal post-show is a close 2nd. 

There is no NYC pairing quite as iconic as dinner and show, but without the proper know-how and knowledge, it can be difficult to avoid mediocre dining or tourist traps in Midtown Manhattan. Save yourself the stress of a subpar meal when you dine at the very best in the theater district.

From luscious lobster in Bryant Park to dreamy mojitos and platanos at Victor's, our comprehensive list gives you all the delicious details on where to eat on Broadway this season.

What Places to Eat Before a Broadway Show Did We Miss?

Have a favorite NYC place you love to eat before a Broadway show? We want to know about it in the comments below!

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