· · ·

Wonderful Spots for Pre-Theater Dinner in NYC (Top Theater District Restaurants) + Map

Looking for the best theater district restaurants in NYC? We got you. So, you’ve taken the plunge and planned a trip to see the latest Broadway show. You’ve purchased your tickets, you’ve listened to the cast recording — you’ve even got your theatergoing outfit all picked out.

There’s only one thing left to do — plan your pre-theater dinner in NYC. After all, seeing a great new show is much more fun when you’re not thinking about what you want to eat halfway through Act I.

Whether you’re looking for special occasion white-tablecloth joints, a cheap-and-cheerful quick bite, or something in between — we’ve got the roundup of the best restaurants near Broadway in NYC. 

Oh, and we made it easy by adding a map below to see what’s near your theater! Also, if you’re new to all this, be sure to check out our guide for how to see a show on Broadway (an easy to follow guide from getting tickets & saving money!).

A Few Tips for Picking Restaurants Near Theater District Venues

  • When choosing Theater District restaurants, keep your theater location in mind: While there are many restaurants near Theater District venues, the area itself is big enough that you’ll want to make sure your eatery of choice is a walkable distance to the show — especially if you’re short on time! 
  • Make a reservation if you can: Pre-theater dinner in NYC is a busy time for most Midtown restaurants. We recommend making a reservation to secure a table without stress and with enough time to enjoy your meal and make it to the show on time!
  • If you can’t reserve, be prepared to pivot: There are a few Midtown restaurants that don’t take reservations — if you’re committed to trying one before a show, it’s best to show up early-bird-special-level early. And if the wait is too long, be ready with a few backup restaurants in NYC’s Theater District to try.
  • Consider the post-show meal: Many shows now feature a 7 pm curtain — if you’re not a fan of early meals, trade pre-theater dinner in NYC for a post-theater debrief meal — after all, it’s very New York chic of you to have a 9:30 pm dinner. Just be sure to look out for any cast/crew/creatives before you start sharing your review ;)! 

Broadway Restaurants Map:

The Best Broadway Restaurants

Glass House Tavern

Perpetually known among Theater District restaurants as the hangout for the Broadway community, Glass House Tavern is also a reliably tasty spot for high-end New American fare — try the Fresh Atlantic Salmon Fillet (served with Roast Corn & Cous Cous “Risotto”, Citrus, Chiles, Blood Orange Vinaigrette) and keep an eye out for Tony Award winners. 

  • Address: 252 W 47th St, New York, NY
  • New American Bistro, sitdown
  • Reservations are available on Glass House Tavern & pre-theatre pri fixe menu is available

Joe Allen Restaurant

Editorial credit: Anne Czichos / Shutterstock

Open since 1965 in the Theater District’s famed Restaurant Row (West 46th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue!), the historic Joe Allen is one of the best spots for pre-theater dinner in NYC.

The long-running cafe known for celebrating Broadway flops with posters of doomed shows on its walls and for serving “chorus kids with bad knees” for the better part of six decades, and we recommend trying the signature Joe Allen Burger or the delicious Manicotti before taking in a show on the Main Stem. 

  • 326 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036
  • classic tavern serving American comfort food, sitdown
  • Reservations are available on Open Table


Editorial credit: DW labs Incorporated / Shutterstock

The whos-who of Broadway still make plans (and opening night parties!) at Sardi’s, open (in multiple locations near Times Square) since 1921 and long considered one of the best Broadway restaurants for both its high-quality food and historic walls filled with caricature portraits of famous theater folk.

Order the Sardi’s Chop Salad and Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, a giant Martini, and get inspired to write your own Broadway hit. 

  • Address: 234 W 44th St, New York, NY 
  • continental restaurant, sitdown
  • Reservations are available directly on their website or Open Table

John’s Pizzeria

One of the most well-known restaurants near the Theater District, John’s Pizzeria has served pies to hungry theatergoers for 25 years in the once-abandoned site of West 44th Street’s Gospel Tabernacle Church.

Enjoy a coal-fired pie under the restaurant’s still-intact stained glass ceiling — we recommend the classic Margherita!

It’s worth noting that John’s only takes reservations for parties of 15 or more (with dates that don’t accept reservations at all!), but are also well-acquainted with the pre-theater rush — promising a wait of approximately 35 minutes at even its busiest times! 

  • Address: 260 W 44th St, New York, NY
  • coal oven pizzeria, sitdown
  • reservations only for parties of 15 or more, the rest are first come, first serve (seats 400 people so nothing to worry about)

Lillie’s Victorian Restaurant

giant teddy bear at Lillies Victorian for Christmas in NYC

If you’re looking for restaurants near Broadway in NYC that also have a distinctly theatrical flair, look no further than the popular Lillie’s Victorian Restaurant, known as much for its tasty, elevated New American fare as for its incredible seasonal decorations throughout the year(if you’re in town for the holiday season, Lillie’s is an excellent choice for a festive pre-theater dinner in NYC! It’s one of our favorite Christmas restaurants in NYC during the holidays).

Try the Apple Cider Chicken or Mushroom Angolotti en Brodo and be sure to take a few photos for the ‘gram.

  • Address: 249 W 49th St, New York, NY
  • New American, sitdown
  • Reservations available on Resy

West Bank Cafe

A bit further west than some of the go-to restaurants near Theater District venues, West Bank Cafe is an excellent choice if you’re seeing a show near 42nd Street or Off-Broadway at the Signature Theater, Playwrights Horizons or the restaurant’s in-house cabaret space, the Laurie Beechman Theatre.

Try their Free Range Roast Chicken and a big glass of red wine, and don’t forget to say hi to longtime Steve Olsen, a Theater District legend! 

  • Address: 407 W 42nd St, New York, NY
  • New American restaurant, basement cabaret, sitdown
  • Reservations can be made on Resy

Ollie’s Sichuan

Just next door to West Bank is Ollie’s, a supremely tasty and affordable Sichuan and Cantonese eatery that is one of best restaurants in the Theater District, takes reservations, and is relatively easy to walk into.

We recommend trying the supremely fresh Scallion Pancakes, Crispy Orange Beef, and Pan Fried Noodles with Shrimp! 

  • Address: 411 W 42nd St, New York, NY
  • Cantonese & Sichuan, sitdown
  • Reservations can be made directly on Ollie’s website, be sure to select the Hell’s Kitchen location

Chez Josephine

Photo Credit: Chez Josephine

Rounding out the West 42nd Street recommendations for restaurants near Theater District venues is Chez Josephine, a direct time machine to the “joie-de-vivre of 1930s Paris” and founded by Josephine Baker’s son, Jean-Claude. Francophiles will love the moody decor, live music, and top-notch traditional fare like Trout Amandine and Beef Bourguignon. 

Chez Napoléon

A few blocks north of Chez Josephine is the family-run Chez Napoleon, a local favorite open since 1960 and known as one of the best restaurants in the Theater District for its cherished recipes from owner Elyane Bruno’s mother.

We recommend the Moules “Napoleon”, Steak au Poivre, and heeding the Bruno family’s advice: “WARNING!!! Do NOT eat Lunch if you plan on having Dinner here! (You will not leave hungry after eating a proper French meal here at Chez Napoléon).” 

  • Address: 365 West 50th St, New York, NY
  • old-school French bistro, sitdown
  • call 212-265-6980 to make reservations, allow at least 2 hours before your show. When making the reservation, note the time of your show and they will guide you.

La Rivage

Photo Credit: Le Rivage

If you’re craving French food on Restaurant Row, Le Rivage is the place to go. One of the tastiest restaurants near the Theater District, Chef Paul Denamiel is known for serving up an excellent three-course, pre-fixe pre-theater meal featuring French classics like Celery Remoulade, Baked Seafood Crepe, and Ratatouille.  

  • Address: 340 W 46th St, New York, NY
  • French bistro, sitdown
  • For reservations call (212) 765-7374 or on Open Table

Osteria al Doge

Looking for Broadway restaurants with cozy Italian fare? Look no further than Osteria al Doge, a longtime favorite among theatergoers for hearty pasta and a strong Negroni. We recommend the Orecchiette con Salsiccia, Branzino al Forno, or the Napoletana Pizza! 

  • Address: 142 W 44th St, New York, NY
  • Venitian Italian restaurant, sitdown
  • reservations available on Open Table

Don Giovanni

Famous for their freshly-baked brick oven pizza, Don Giovanni has maintained its place as one of the tastiest restaurants in NYC’s Theater District for nearly a quarter century. We recommend the ever-popular White Clam Pizza, Genovese Pizza, and their extensive gluten-free and vegan options. 

  • Address: 358 W 44th St, New York, NY
  • Coal-fired Neapolitan pizzeria & Italian cuisine, sitdown
  • call for reservations (212) 581-4939


The elder statesman of our Theater District restaurants, Barbetta has been open and delighting New Yorkers since 1906 (!).

Known for their pre-theater, four-course prix-fixe meal featuring hits like Chicken Paillard, Pacific Bass, and Bue al Barolo (red wine braised beef), Barbetta also features an elegant, old-school dining room and gorgeous, secluded backyard garden to get you in a glam mood! 

  • Address: 321 W 46th St, New York, NY
  • Northern Italian trattoria, offering a pre-theater set course
  • Reservations available directly at Barbetta or Open Table

Masseria dei Vini

One of the best restaurants near Broadway in NYC, Masseria dei Vini is aptly named for its extensive wine program and well-regarded Southern Italian cuisine. We recommend the Penne alla Masseria (their take on Penne Alla Vodka) and the Costate Di Maiale Al Tartufo Nero (Pork Chop with Black Truffle Sauce). 

La Masseria

The Masseria team also operates the popular La Masseria, a go-to for tasty rustic Mediterranean fare and one of the best Broadway restaurants for a pre-theater meal.  Dig into their fan-favorite Fusilli Alla Bolognese, Petto Di Pollo Parmigiana, or their Tiramisu before taking in your favorite show! 

  • Address: 235 W 48th St, New York, NY
  • Southern Italian, sitdown
  • Reservations are available on La Masseria directly or Open Table

Kashkaval Garden

Indecisive diners should head to Kashkaval Garden, an incredible Mediterranean tapas joint whose Spinach and Feta Boreks alone should qualify it as one of the best restaurants in the Theater District.

Order a whole bunch of tapas and meze (homemade, hummus, tzatziki and the like!), Lamb Kofte or Chicken Skewers, or, if you have some time, one of their signature cheese fondue sets to share! 

  • Address: 852 9th Ave, New York, NY
  • Mediterranean, sitdown
  • Reservations available on Resy


This longtime family-run Greek eatery (which recently moved closer to Broadway!) has quickly become a go-to for Theater District restaurants. Enjoy a three-spread sampler and Branzino Crudo on their patio during the summer or tuck into one of their carefully curated red wines and Molyvos Moussaka when temperatures drop. 

  • Address: 402 W 43rd St, New York, NY 
  • Greek, sitdown
  • Reservations can be made on Molyvos’ website or Open Table

The Purple Tongue

The Purple Tongue — creatively named for both the traditional color of the giraffe tongue and the remnants of a night drinking great wine — is a cozy, well-run cafe known for its New American-meets-Mediterranean fare, live music nights, and genial vibe. We recommend the Braised Short Ribs and the Matcha Tiramisu! 

  • Address: 410 W 43rd St, New York, NY
  • Mediterranean, wine bar, sitdown
  • Reservations can be made on Resy or Open Table (they have cancellation fees and require a credit card to make a reservation)


Completing our Mediterranean series is Avra, one of the best restaurants in NYC’s Theater District known for its incredible ceviche, freshly caught whole fish, and caviar. This is the place to go for a special pre-theater occasion and order the raw bar with abandon! 

  • Address: 1271 6th Ave, New York, NY 
  • Greek, sitdown
  • Reservations can be made directly at Avra’s website

Los Tacos No. 1


Looking for something delicious, quick, and affordable? Los Tacos No. 1 has got your back. One of the most popular grab-and-go restaurants near Broadway in NYC,  the consistently fresh and flavorful Carne Asada Tacos and Adobada (pork) Quesadilla will keep you coming back time and time again before the curtain rises.

A word of warning, though — everybody else also loves Los Tacos No. 1, so budget enough time to wait in the frequently fast-but-long line to order!

  • Address: 229 W 43rd St, New York, NY
  • Mexican, standing (quick bite to eat)
  • no reservations available, first come, line moves quickly

Mermaid Inn Oyster Bar


Much-loved New York-based seafood cafe The Mermaid Inn has recently expanded its NYC reach to Times Square — making it one of the newest restaurants in NYC’s Theater District that comes complete with a sterling reputation for excellence.

Try a selection from their raw bar, signature Clam Chowder, or True North Salmon before going to see a Broadway show. And if you’re not a seafood person, there are still plenty of non-seafood options (Strip Steak, Mac and Cheese) to enjoy as well! 

The Mermaid Inn (and their other locations) also have one of the best happy hours in NYC too!

  • Address: 127 W 43rd St, New York, NY
  • Seafood, raw bar, sitdown
  • Reservations can be made directly on Mermaid Inn’s website or Open Table

Cafe Un Deux Trois

Not far from Mermaid Inn is one of the most long-standing, best restaurants in the Theater District — Cafe Un Deux Trois, open since 1977 and famous for its cozy French cuisine and lively atmosphere.

Cafe Un Deux Trois is a great option for a pre-matinee brunch (try the Croque Madame!) and a joyous “12 Days of Christmas” singalong during the holiday season. 

  • Address: 123 W 44th St, New York, NY
  • French, sitdown
  • Reservations available on Resy and Open Table

The Lamb’s Club

Located on the second floor of the Tony Chatwal Hotel, The Lambs Club screams Old New York Elegance (with new New York prices — this is a spot best reserved for special occasions or an expense account…!).

Dig into a sublime Roasted Duck or Lamb Loin (this is the Lambs Club, after all) and be sure to try the Gold Rush cocktail before you catch curtain time. 

  • Address: 132 W 44th St, New York, NY 
  • American restaurant, sitdown, offers pre-theater pre fixe set
  • Reservations available on Resy


Some of the best restaurants near Broadway in NYC are Thai eateries, and Chalong deserves to be noted as one of the highlights. The Southern Thai, seafood-focused cuisine features absolutely their impeccable version of Pad Thai called Mee Pum Riang (made with coconut cream and shrimp) as well as impossibly juicy fried fish like the Pla Tod. 

  • Address: 749 9th Ave, New York, NY
  • Southern Thai cuisine, sitdown
  • Reservations available on Resy

Pure Thai Cookhouse

Pure Thai is a longtime favorite among locals and visitors alike for restaurants near Theater District venues. The intimate dining room fills up quickly, so be sure to make a reservation and order one of their signature handmade noodle soups (we love the Sukhothai Pork!). 

  • Address: 766 9th Ave, New York, NY
  • Thai restaurant, sitdown
  • Reservations available on Open Table


Rounding out our Thai series is Northern Thai specialist LumLum (though quite frankly, there are so many amazing Thai spots for pre-theater dinner in NYC that it’s hard to choose!). Known for their incredible Tom Kha Soup, Crying Tiger Ribeye Steak, and Pad See Ew, Lum Lum has a lively, Tiki-bar vibe and incredible cocktails — we recommend the Phuket Night (Tequila, Thai Chili, Lemongrass, Lime). 

  • Address: 404 W49th Street New York, NY 
  • Thai restaurant, sitdown
  • Reservations available on Resy


Michelin-starred magic is afoot at Mari, one of the tastiest restaurants in NYC’s Theater District helmed by Chef Sungchul Shim. Known for their top-notch Korean hand rolls, check out Mari’s tasting menu for Spicy Tuna, Salmon Belly, and Mushroom sushi as well as third-course treats like date cake and banana ice cream adorned Choco Pie. 

  • Address: 679 9th Ave New York, NY
  • Michelin-star Korean, specializing in Korean hand rolls tasting menu only, sitdown
  • Reservations available on Resy


Mari’s 10th Avenue sibling Kochi is another gem among Theater District restaurants. Try the nine-course tasting menu featuring Sweet Pumpkin Soup and Snow Crab Bibimbap — and be sure to leave enough time to enjoy every course! 

  • Address: 652 10th Ave, New York, NY 
  • Korean, tasting menu only, sitdown
  • reservations available on Resy

Ippudo Westside

Warm up before a winter show with excellent traditional ramen at Ippudo Westside, one of the best spots for pre-theater dinner in NYC. Make sure to try their truly tender Pork Bun appetizer, fried Chicken Wings, and signature Karaka Spicy Ramen!

  • Address: 321 W 51st St, New York, NY
  • Japanese small plates and ramen, sitdown
  • Reservations available on Resy

Jaz Indian Cuisine

A relative newcomer among restaurants near Broadway in NYC, Jaz Indian Cuisine and owner Jaz Rupall have quickly made a name for the eatery as one of the great go-tos for a delicious pre-theater meal. We recommend the pre-theater prix-fixe dinner featuring hits like Vegetable Samosas, Chicken Tikka Masala, and Palak Paneer! 

Empanada Mama

A longtime favorite for traditional empanadas with a creative twist, Empanada Mama is a supremely tasty and affordable pre-theater dinner in NYC. We recommend the Cuban Empanada, Arroz Con Pollo, and Yucca Frita! 

  • Address: 200 W 40th St, New York, NY & 765 9th Avenue New York, NY
  • Latin American, you can sitdown but this is more of a quick bite to eat. Both locations can get busy
  • No reservations available

All’Antico Vinao


If you need a quick bite to eat pre-theater, look no further than the delicious Italian sandwiches from All’Antico Vinao, a famous Florentine sandwich shop that’s made its way to New York City!

Even if there’s a line, it goes pretty quick. They import the finest ingredients from Italy to craft the most delicious sandwiches on their freshly-baked Tuscan schiacciata bread. The sandwiches are pretty large, so come hungry!

  • Address: 729 8th Ave, New York, NY 10036
  • Italian sandwich shop, take out, quick bite to eat, there can be a line but it moves quickly
  • no reservations available

Bonus Theater District Bars With Snacks for When You’re Short on Time: 

The Friki Tiki

Run downstairs to this basement speakeasy which is part-Tiki bar, part cabaret karaoke! Head to The Friki Tiki for an impeccable pre-show happy hour and tasty Cuban sliders! 

  • Address: 357 W 44th St, New York, NY
  • Tiki Bar, tropical inspired food menu, sitdown or bar
  • Reservations available on Resy

Pebble Bar

Known unofficially as the resident SNL cast member bar of choice, grab a stylish cocktail at Pebble Bar (we like the Apple Cider Mule made from Absolut Elyx Vodka, Sparkling Rosé, Chambord, Ginger, Lime) and share a gigantic Shrimp Cocktail before the curtain goes up! 

  • Address: 67 W 49th St, New York, NY 
  • seafood & cocktails. sitdown and bar
  • Reservations available on Resy

Enjoyed this guide to all the best spots for pre theater dinner in NYC? Bookmark for later or share the love below on Pinterest!

best restaurants around the theater district in nyc

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.