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Where to Eat Before a Broadway Show in NYC

If you’re headed to New York City this June, you have endless activities to choose from. Not only is the WorldPride calendar packed with events, but the slate of standard New York diversions remains as tempting as ever. This list is for visitors who can’t resist the lure of the theater. Whether you’re planning to splurge on Hamilton tickets or trying your luck at the lottery, you’ve got to eat beforehand, right? Here are 14 options for pre-theater dining in or near the Theatre District.

 

marea dish
Photo credit: Marea
 

Marea

Winner of two Michelin stars, Marea is one of the preeminent seafood restaurants in the city. You’ll have several tough choices among the outstanding crudo, oysters, apps, and entrees on Chef di Cucina Molly Nickerson’s menu. For guidance, we’ll point you toward Marea’s signature dish: handmade fusilli with octopus, bone marrow, and red wine sauce. It’ll be a high tab at this elite dining destination, but utterly worth it. The four-course prix-fixe menu is recommended for the best value. 240 Central Park South, 212-582-5100, marea-nyc.com

 

Guantanamera

Have a Havana night before your show at Guantanamera. Every evening, this Cuban restaurant has live music to accompany your mojito and ropa vieja. If it’s Tuesday, your mojito is $6 all day, and sometimes you might even get a free cigar. Guantanamera is also great for late-night eats, as the kitchen stays open till around midnight. 939 8th Ave, 212-262-5354, guantanamerany.com

 

Heartland Brewery

A trip to NYC is not complete without a visit to one of Heartland’s premiere brewpubs. As a pioneer of NYC’s craft brewing scene, Heartland was named Best Brewpub by New York Magazine and has been paving the way to deliciously refreshing beer since 1995. Heartland uses only the freshest malts and hops, brewed daily, and Heartland’s beer is served exclusively at its employee-owned locations found only in New York. Heartland Brewery and Rotisserie Empire State Building, 350 Fifth Ave., 212-563-3433, heartlandbrewery.com

 
The folks behind Heartland Brewery also host the only casual chophouse in the Times Square area, Heartland Brewery & Chophouse, which combines the rich character of a steakhouse from yesteryear with a full bar and modern sensibility. In addition to a beer-friendly menu specializing in Black Angus beef, you’ll also want to try house specialties like Kobe mini-burgers, fried dill pickle Spears & house-smoked pulled pork. Inside, you’ll find a museum-quality collection of pre-Prohibition beer artifacts, including back-bar sculptures, trays, and photographs, all part of the personal collection of founder “Farmer” Jon Bloostein. 127 W. 43rd St., 646-366-0235, heartlandbrewery.com

 

Dianne & Elisabeth

One part wine bar, one part restaurant, Dianne & Elisabeth serves note-perfect food and drink from its 10th Avenue location. Posh without pretension, D&E has a wine list full of regional vintages, while the menu surprises with upscale comfort food like langostino poppers and steak bavette with red wine marinade and buttered popcorn polenta. Weeknights, order the three-course prix fixe menu for an affordable $39 per guest. 644 10th Ave., 212-247-3039, dianneandelisabeth.com

 

Strip House

Strip House brings New York soaring steak, sides, and desserts. The original downtown location, awarded two stars by the New York Times, stands near Union Square, while midtown offers mouth-watering pan-seared steaks at a bi-level space near Bryant Park. The star of the show is the namesake New York strip, served in 20-ounce portions with the bone in. This rich, juicy meat is coated with a generous layer of salt and pepper and served with a bulb of garlic and a sprig of rosemary, as are all other Strip House steaks. Cuts like the Porterhouse for two and rack of lamb with maitre’d butter are also sure to impress even the pickiest carnivore. 5 W. 44th St., 212-336-5454;
13 E. 12th St., 212-328-0000, striphouse.com

 

The Marshal

The sister restaurant of Dianne & Elisabeth, The Marshal serves excellent farm-to-table cuisine from its cozy dining room two blocks south. If sustainability and seasonality are important to you—or if you like your food cooked in a wood-fired oven—this place is a must-try. Don’t skip the local beverages like Oh Bee-Have, made with Catskills honey and rye. Other standouts include apple and sunchoke salad with bee pollen and the signature wood oven-roasted meatloaf with local bleu cheese. 628 10th Ave., 212-582-6300, the-marshal.com

 

spinach pie fournos theophilos

 

Fournos Theophilos

For a casual, affordable meal in the Theater District, look to super-fresh and authentic newcomer Fournos Theophilos. Sourcing high-quality ingredients, most of which come directly from Greece, you’ll find seasonal signatures and a full array of fresh-baked goods. Among the highlights: Greek salad, roasted lemon chicken, and spinach pies made with feta and sheep and goat’s mizithra. Counter service accommodates breakfast and lunch guests; dinner sees table service in the upper level dining room. 45 W. 45th St., 212-278-0015, fournos.com

 

saar dish
Photo credit: Saar
 

Saar Indian Bistro

A two-hander from Michelin-awarded chef Hemant Mathur and pastry chef Surbhi Sahni, Saar elevates typical Indian fare with fresh ingredients and fusion twists. Saar’s Pre-Theater deal offers diners two courses for $35 per person or three for $40 if you’d like to add dessert (highly recommended!). Both options include one glass of house wine or a non-alcoholic drink. Consider the tandoori Colorado lamb chops with potatoes, peanuts, and spiced pineapple chutney as a main, and find out why Mathur has been called “the Yo-Yo Ma of Tandoori cooking.” 241 W 51st St., 646-609-2142, saarnyc.com

 

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse New York

Conveniently located near Rockefeller Center, Del Frisco’s presents a world-class steakhouse experience from its massive tri-level dining room on Sixth Avenue. Take advantage of the award-winning wine list and seasonal specials, served by an excellent staff, at this consistent Midtown favorite. 221 6th Ave., 212-575-5129, delfriscos.com

 

Suzuki

At Suzuki, chef Takashi Yamamoto champions the Japanese tradition of kaiseki from its dining room near Rockefeller Plaza. Kaiseki indicates a rotating selection of seasonal dishes made with fresh ingredients, as well as a set format for the menu. Chef Yamamoto and his team design appetizers, soups, sashimi, hot main courses, and desserts that are beautiful to taste and beautiful to look at. In the adjoining space is Suzuki’s Michelin-starred sushi bar, Satsuki, offering omakase sushi from behind its 10-seat counter. 114 W 47th St., 212-278-0100, suzukinyc.com

 

La Masseria

La Masseria is a Hell’s Kitchen favorite for many reasons. In a city with Italian restaurants on every corner, it’s no easy task to serve high-quality Italian quickly and courteously, while maintaining a homey environment.  Come here for dependable fettuccine with lobster and tomato sauce, linguini with clams in white wine, and grilled sea bream. Plus, there’s a patio with umbrella-decked tables—another feature that sets La Masseria apart from its peers. 235 W 48th St., 212-582-2111, lamasserianyc.com

 

 


 

ICHIRAN Times Square

The newest location of ramen masters Ichiran is in Times Square, in a location that boasts 1960s Japan décor, private dining booths, and customizable ramen. Ichiran is distinct for its tonkotsu ramen, which consists of a cloudy broth made with pork bones, a bowl full of noodles, and toppings. Ichiran’s ramen also comes with a proprietary (read: secret) sauce called hiden no tare, an aged hot sauce made with 30 ingredients including togarashi pepper. Combined, the soup is spicy, savory, and delicious to the last drop. 152 W. 49th St, 646-964-4294, ichiranusa.com

 

ribbon times square

The Ribbon

Times Square’s newest draw is The Ribbon, a spinoff of the Blue Ribbon empire of fried chicken fame. Brothers Bruce and Eric Bromberg, hospitality legends with more than 25 years under their belts, have brought the Theater District a winning combination of elegant-yet-approachable environs and perfectly executed elevated comfort food. At once ambitious and familiar, many of the offerings have homegrown roots, with large-and-in-charge steaks, burgers, fried chicken, and whiskey. But these dishes are anything but homebound, with techniques and flavors adapted from France, the Mediterranean, Latin America, and Jewish culture. A great destination for pre-theater or brunch! Times Square: 220 W. 44th St., 212-944-2474, 44.theribbonnyc.com; Upper West Side: 20 W. 72nd St., 212-787-5656, theribbonnyc.com

 

HB Burger

Gourmet burger at Times Square? Head directly to HB Burger, serving prime Angus burgers and even a sashimi-grade tuna burger among its many fantastic options. A branch of the Heartland Brewery family, HB Burger also serves a diverse suite of rotating craft brews on tap, plus spiked shakes and housemade sodas. 127 W 43rd St., 212-575-5848, heartlandbrewery.com/hb-burger2

 
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