Looking for someplace wonderful to dine before or after the theater? No problem. Whatever your culinary inclination or price range, New York’s Theater District has plenty of mouth-watering restaurant options to fulfill any fancy.
Charlie Palmer’s gorgeous Aureole (135 W. 42nd St., 212.319.1660) is a temple to this world-renowned chef’s expertise in so-called “New American” cooking. Splurge (if you can) on the seven-course dinner tasting menu, which might feature pan-seared foie gras or braised Wagyu beef cheek.
At Becco (356 W. 46th St., 212.397.7597), hungry diners can sample unlimited servings of a trio of daily-changing pastas that will make you feel like you’ve traveled to Italy, along with a host of authentic creations.
When you have a large group to feed, choose Carmine’s (200 W. 44th St., 212.221.3800), where such classic Italian dishes as linguine with clam sauce, chicken scarpariello, and veal parmigiana are served in family-sized portions.
It’s unlikely you’ll see Woody Allen at the famed Carnegie Deli (854 Seventh Ave., 212.757.2245), but you can order the overstuffed corned beef and pastrami sandwich named in his honor here, along with such other ethnic delights as borscht, sturgeon, and the singular “brisketball.”
At the all-you-can-eat Brazilian eatery Churrascaria Plataforma (316 W. 49th Street. 212.245.0505) diners can indulge in grilled meats ranging from bacon-wrapped filet mignon to pork loin to turkey legs until they finally give in and switch their tabletop coaster from green (for go) to red (for stop).
Once a little-known gem, Dafni Greek Taverna (325 W. 42nd St., 212.315.1010) has become a jam-packed favorite of fanciers of such delicious dips as tzatziki, yummy zucchini croquettes, sublime spinach pie and luscious lamb gyros.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House (1221 Sixth Ave., 212.575.5129) is where cunning carnivores satisfy their cravings for rib-eyes, strip steaks, and porterhouses. Fortunately, there’s plenty of worthy seafood options (including shrimp scampi and sesame-seared tuna) for the non-beefeaters in your party.
The irresistible basket of freshly baked pastries is only one delicious reason to eat brunch at Glass House Tavern (252 W. 47th St., 212.730.4800). What about super-fluffy scrambled eggs, the aptly-named crispy chicken salad, or the marvelous “Tavern burger.” It’s also one of the best spots for after-theater dining.
Sublime sushi is the hallmark of the recently expanded Haru Times Square (229 W. 43rd St., 212.398.9810). But if you forego raw fish, the tangerine duck salad, greaseless tempura, and salmon teriyaki are equally excellent.
Joe Allen (326 W. 46th St., 212.581.6464) may be best known for its parade of celebrity guests and wall of theatrical posters, but you can happily go just for the food, including first-rate burgers, lobster roll, and macaroni and cheese.
You could go to Junior’s (1515 Broadway, 212.302.2000) just for the legendary cheesecake, but this family-friendly mecca also offers such comforting fare as matzoh ball soup, potato pancakes, and Hungarian beef goulash.
Superstar chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s modern cuisine is just as sophisticated as the red-leather-adorned dining room at The Lambs Club (132 W. 44th St., 212.997.5262). The adjoining lounge is equally divine for unusual cocktails and fabulous fare, and the Art-Deco-inspired front bar is also gorgeous.
Superb service, luxurious atmosphere, and world-famous chef Eric Ripert’s unparalleled preparation of fish have helped keep Le Bernardin (155 W. 51st St., 212.554.1515) at the top of New York’s food pyramid for over a decade. You will be looking at a very hefty bill, but it’s worth it!
The eclectic American menu at the beautiful Oceana (120 W. 49th St., 212.759.5941) has something to soothe every palate, but it’s a don’t-miss experience for those diners who truly savor oysters, clams, and other raw bar beauties.
The ever-popular Thalia (828 Eighth Ave., 212.399.4444) still attracts everyone from young diners downing $1 oysters at the bar to seasoned diners enjoying simply prepared spaghetti, sea scallops, and short ribs.
Perfect for the adventurous eater who’s willing to sample grasshopper tacos as well as tamer palates who prefer first-rate guacamole, enchiladas (and great margaritas), Julian Medina’s Toloache (251 W. 50th St., 212.581.1818) offers all the tastes of Mexico.
Located high atop the recently renovated Marriott Marquis Hotel, The View (Broadway and 45th St., 212.704.8900) offers a spectacular look at Manhattan, along with an equally extraordinary prix-fixe menu that will make your night one to remember.
You may not hear “Babalu” as you enter Victor’s Café (236 W. 52nd St., 212.586.7714), but the Cuban experience remains authentic at this long-time favorite thanks to such delectable dishes as ropa vieja (slow-braised and pulled skirt steak in garlic, tomato, onion and peppers) and paella de mariscos (shellfish paella).
Come hungry to Virgil’s (152 W. 44th St., 212.921.9494), where the emphasis of enormous platters of barbecued chicken and ribs, accompanied by such Southern specialties as cornbread, grits, and collard greens. And if you order the aptly-named “Pig Out,” well, you have no one to blame later but yourself!
Finally, no roundup of great Theater District restaurants would be complete without the iconic Sardi’s (234 W. 44th St., 212.221.8440). This historic spot, a popular place to dine for actors and audiences alike since opening in the 1920s, is still known for its white tablecloths, formal and attentive waiters (who will never allow you to be late for your curtain) and legendary caricatures of celebrities that completely cover the walls of the spacious main dining room.
Map of Theater District Restaurants in NYC
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