One of NYC’s great ironies is that the area around Radio City Music Hall (and the larger Theater District) – home to some of the city’s best culture and entertainment – is also an extreme food wasteland.Fortunately, there are now real diamonds in the rough of an area that used to be categorized solely by boring Suits-only restaurants, traumatizing tourist traps, and straight-up gross food. Whether you’re on a concert date or chaperoning the annual family reunion at the Rockettes show, here are the best places to eat around Radio City.
Think you can’t get a best-in-class meal in midtown? You are wrong, and Ippudo’s here to prove it. The ramen here is just as impressive as the Rockettes’ high kicking – we promise.
Exhibit B: the burger from Burger Joint is another best-in-category food item within walking distance of Radio City. Though this place is hidden behind a red curtain at Le Parker Meridien hotel, it’s not a secret, and the lines here can get a little out of hand – best not to come dangerously hangry.
If your concert tickets have left your wallet feeling light, Halal Guys is your your best cheap eats option in the area. Don’t be intimidated by the line – it moves quickly and this tasty street food (particularly the lamb) is worth it.
If it’s a fancy kind of evening, or you have a grandma with fancy tastes in tow, The Modern’s dining room is a great move for top-caliber dining in a formal setting. If you’re here with a date, we recommend you head to the Bar Room for a more laid-back atmosphere with just as impressive of a dining experience.
On the other side of the spectrum is Sake Bar Hagi – do not come here with Grandma. This subterranean spot is loud, crowded, and generally a place you come to do a lot of drinking while you eat. The menu has all of the Japanese bar food you could ever want: ramen, sushi, fried things, and meats on sticks, all of which are even more enjoyable if you’re here late-night (they serve till 2am).
Craving asian noodles but Ippudo is running a two-hour wait? The soba here is incredible. Another big selling point (particularly in the worst part of winter): it’s a four-minute walk from the Radio City.
We don’t go around dropping 9.0’s on lots of restaurants (in Midtown, no less), so if you’re looking for the BEST meal near Radio City, this is it. Despite its ornate dining room and exceptional, fine-dining style food, this place maintains a sense of informality we love. If you have a Big Night Out planned and want a memorable meal that’s not stuffy at all, this is the move.
If you’re coming from a show at Radio City, particularly around the holidays, there’s a good chance you’re with an out-of-towner (i.e. your dad) that “wants a good steak.” As long as your dad doesn’t mind a slightly rowdy vibe, you should bring him to Quality Meats. Actually, he’ll probably appreciate the bachelor-party vibe.
If your dad doesn’t want steak, he probably wants Italian. The Quality people have dad-friendly (and really just everyone-friendly) food and big, visually impressive environments down pat.
As much as we like a good performance, we’re often most excited about a trip to Midtown because it means we have a good reason to go to Danji. Not that you need an excuse, because it’s both accessible and delicious. If you’re with people that easily get excited about Korean food, don’t think twice about Danji.
This place feels like a cross between a country club and the Playboy mansion, which makes it perfect for a big time pre or post Radio City meal. The food is all highly delicious, and highly expensive.
Totto might not be as famous as Ippudo, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that the ramen here isn’t great or that you’ll easily snag a table. Because it is, and you won’t. If you can deal with the wait, you’ll be served ramen that isn’t as excessively rich as Ippudo, which might make it even better for pre-theater consumption.
The National might not be the best restaurant in Midtown, but it might be the most reliable. This brasserie’s eats are always solid, and while they’re not cheap, they’re also not horrifyingly pricey. The excellent service and amazing pork chop should satisfy even the fussiest people in your group.