Where To Eat Before Or After A Broadway Show

Whether you're looking for something quick or want to have a nice sit-down dinner before 'Sweeney Todd', here are your best options.
Where To Eat Before Or After A Broadway Show image

photo credit: Emily Schindler

The next time you're seeing a Broadway show and want to eat at a place that's more impressive than Bubba Gump Shrimp, use this guide. Whether you're looking for something quick (because you're always running late), or want to enjoy a nice sit-down dinner before you inevitably fall asleep halfway through a three-hour production, these are all your best options.


photo credit: Emily Schindler



$$$$Perfect For:Business MealsEating At The BarPre-Theater EatsDrinking Good Wine
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After one visit to Jupiter, you’ll start sending every Broadway fan you know here. Open until 10pm every day (except Sunday), this Italian restaurant from the King team is located on the concourse at Rockefeller Center. While the colorful dining room is plenty warm and lively, we prefer sitting at the long red stone bar. Order the zucchini fritti with a tempura-like batter that'll make you forget about all the soggy fried zucchini you’ve ever had. Round out your dinner with the beef carpaccio, clam linguini, and veal shank.

photo credit: Utsav



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Utsav serves classic Indian food with the speed and ferocity of someone who’s as stressed about making a curtain call as you are. This 46th Street spot is ideal if you want something warm, spicy, and delicious but you don’t want to worry about waiting for a table. The space is massive, and looks like a modern bistro. We like the dal makhani and butter chicken, but you can’t really go wrong. Utsav stays open until 10:30pm, but the service is efficient. 

Hainan Jones is officially our favorite vendor at Urban Hawker, the Singapore-style food court on 50th. You can get your chicken roasted or fried, but we prefer the classic poached version. The uber gingery rice and broth it comes with are flavorful on their own, but the spicy chili and sweet sesame soy help the dish realize its full potential. Lines can get long, but you have plenty of other options in the building if you don’t have time to wait. Keep in mind, If you want to go after a show, it closes by 10pm.

There are restaurants that are simply near Broadway shows, and there are restaurants—like Bar Centrale—that cater specifically to theater-goers. When you make a reservation (only taken via phone, like it’s 1991), they ask about your show details so they can get you in and out on time. The entrance looks like any old brownstone, and once inside, you’ll feel like you stumbled into a secret club with zebra wallpaper, old-timey music, and Jimmy Stewart movies on TV. Come before or right after a show, and order deviled eggs, a strip steak, and a classic cocktail.

In 2019, All’Antico Vinaio popped up in NYC, and the lines made people seriously weigh the value of their time against the need for an Italian sandwich. A permanent location of this Florence import opened on 8th Ave, and it’s a great option for a quick bite before you head to a theater. The sandwiches—all on Tuscan schiacciata bread—are huge and most have creamy spreads that come in varieties like pistachio and ‘nduja. This place only has a few stools, so plan on eating on the sidewalk.

photo credit: Noah Devereaux

$$$$Perfect For:Cheap Eats

Maybe you skipped lunch today because of all those stupid meetings, and now, your body needs calories to make it through a three-hour musical. Head to Los Tacos on 43rd Street. This place has some of our favorite quick eats in the neighborhood—but there aren't any seats, so you'll have to scarf down your Mexican food standing up. Order a few tacos and lean against a counter while you gather your thoughts on whatever upcoming show you paid hundreds of dollars to see.

The Lambs Club is a very Midtown restaurant. The design is Art Deco, and the seats are filled with people who just left work and could really use a martini. It’s a fancy place, and it’s a little stuffy, but if you’re going to have a pricey meal in the area, this is a reliable option. The Italian-leaning food is uniformly well-executed, and your server will probably ask if you're seeing a Broadway show as soon as you sit down. Dinner is only served until 10pm, but you can get snacks until 11pm.

If you're looking for a pre-theater spot that isn't boring, come here. Jasmine's is a colorful place where you can sit under some hanging plants and drink a rum punch or a piña colada. The food is broadly Caribbean, and you can stop by for some empanadas and a plate of well-seasoned jerk chicken before or after The Book of Mormon. Jasmine's is open until at least 10:30pm every day.

Marseille bills itself as one of Broadway’s favorite dining destinations—and while we’ve never spotted Ben Platt there reviewing sheet music over moules frites, you will find plenty of theater-goers having pre-show dinners and green Ricard apéritifs at this warm French brasserie. The menu is standard, but the tartare, escargots, and steak frites do not disappoint, and they’ve got a fun oyster Happy Hour. Marseille doesn't have the Parisian cool of Frenchette or Le French Diner, but, surprisingly, it doesn't feel as dated as a Times Square-adjacent white tablecloth restaurant could.

This tiny restaurant is filled with colorful paper lanterns, makeshift seating made from repurposed Suntory crates, and a very fun bathroom. We like the incredibly rich and thick ramen broth, but we love the yakitori. It can be ordered by the skewer—we highly recommend the saba, which comes lightly marinated in vinegar and is artfully charred on the outside. The menu also covers all the classic izakaya dishes, like curry rice and karaage. It's far enough from Times Square that you can use this spot as a non-touristy pre-theater option.

Chalong is a district in Phuket, but it’s also the name of the Thai place you should go before your show (or right after if it’s the weekend, when this place stays open later). This spot has a spacious, earth-toned dining room that works well for big groups, and their menu features a lot of seafood dishes like shrimp and crab stuffed in crispy tofu skin, and a spicy herb salad with scallops. Similar to the one at Fish Cheeks, the crab curry is a must-order, and you can get it without a horrendous wait because it’s relatively easy to book a table here.

photo credit: Emily Schindler

$$$$Perfect For:Lunch

Grab a spot at this 10-seat counter on Ninth Avenue, and watch a cook in a paper hat squish a beef patty onto a griddle next to a mound of thinly sliced onions. Lovely’s Old Fashioned is for when you need something quick and satisfying, with a side of 1950s nostalgia. The offerings are simple and straightforward—burgers, a hot dog, and a few patty melts, including a vegetarian version—and there are no misses. Bring $20, get a side of crunchy onion rings, and finish your meal with a chocolate pistachio bundt cake.

Save this Cuban restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen for after the show, when you want to keep your song-and-dance energy going. This place comes alive at night with a band, a crowded bar, and a man selling hand-rolled cigars in a room with tropical murals. The food is also decent—the chicken in the pollo al mojo could be a little more moist, and the rice more flavorful—but it’s a good option for an impromptu, mojito-fuelled late night with a group. They close at 12am on weekdays, and 1am on weekends. If you do go before a show, they have Happy Hour on weekdays from 12pm-6pm.

This restaurant is loud—like “we considered texting a question to someone sitting right across from us” loud. We don’t say this to discourage you from coming here. The food at Quality Italian is solid, with a wide-ranging Italian menu that will likely please even the pickiest diner. Standouts include the fried calamari with bacon and the spicy lobster rigatoni alla vodka (flambéed tableside). You'll likely leave stuffed because the portions are huge, so build in time for a walk to your show from 57th Street. (Or come for a late dinner because this place is open until 10:30pm on weekdays, and 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.)

As with any NYC neighborhood where tourists outnumber actual New Yorkers two to one, the Theater District has plenty of places to eat pizza. This one is dark, has mostly bar seating, and looks like a ’70s rec room. The brick-oven pies here taste like whoever’s making them cares more about bread than finding somebody to love. We especially like the carbonara pie and the one buried in soppressata, chili oil, and hot honey, which you can get until at least 11pm every day.

For a post-theater hang at a spot that’s the opposite of chill, head to Vida Verde, a Mexican restaurant that’s open until at least 3am every night. Every possible color (and a giant disco ball) is present in a dining room that's filled with neon signs, rainbow umbrellas, and strings of lights. If you eat only one thing, get the shredded brisket birria tacos with a pleasantly bitter consommé. There’s also a rooftop if you want to drink under the stars. Just kidding—we know you can’t see any stars in the city.

Kashkaval is a dimly-lit, rustic Mediterranean restaurant where you should bring a date, a parent, or really anyone you feel comfortable sharing a plate of fondue with. (They serve three different kinds.) This brick-walled space stays relatively quiet, so you'll be able to enjoy a peaceful meal before you wade through crowds of people screaming for autographs. Note that this place is only open late (until midnight) Thursday to Saturday.

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