Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Aug 15, 2006 12:17 AM

Broadway bound need pre theatre restaurants

Any suggestions for good, real, non tourist food near the Broadway theatres? Nothing too ethnic, unfortunately, as we are two moms with teens in tow. I know, it's way too early to eat before the shows but we don't have much choice. Maybe we'll have dessert afterwards. BTW staying at the newly redone Gramercy Park Hotel. Anyplace of note in that area?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Pre-theater dining is very popular with both natives and tourists, so you will have plenty of company. Since there are literally hundreds of restaurants in the B'way Theater District, it would be helpful if you would be more specific about what types of food you and your teens would prefer so that we can narrow down the options.

    The Gramercy Park Hotel is in my nabe. There are lots of excellent dining options nearby. But, again, some guidance as to exactly what you are looking for would be helpful. Do you want to stick with casual places? Or do you want to include something fancier and upscale?

    3 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      Thanks for your reply. We do want casual places. For cuisine: Italian, steakhouse, bistro French or regional American?? Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.

      1. re: snibbo

        My favorite steakhouse is Keens, on 36th St., b/t 5th & 6th Avs., which has been around since 1885. Though it's not in the Theater District, it's within walking distance (by New Yorkers' standards) or a short cab ride away. In addition to excellent food, there is incomparable old New York ambiance -- walls filled with memorabilia and rows of clay smoking pipes suspended from all the ceilings and those belonging to famous people in display cases in the vestibule. You can eat in the main dining room or in the less expensive Pub Room.

        In the Theater District, one of my favorites is Marseille, a very attractive brasserie on the corner of 9th Av. & 44th St., that serves excellent French/Mediterranean cuisine.

        Cascina, on 9th, b/t 45th & 46th Sts., is a pleasant Italian restaurant with nicely prepared food.

        In the vicinity of the Gramercy Park Hotel...

        Park Bistro, on Park Av. S., b/t 28th & 29th Sts., serves well-prepared Modern French cuisine. Service is first rate, and there is Paris-style bistro ambiance. Tel.: 212-689-1360.

        Via Emilia, on 21st St., b/t Park Av. S. & B'way, serves very good Italian food. The lasagna is a star, but the other pastas are not too shabby.

        Blue Water Grill, on the corner of Union Square W. & 16th St., has very good fish and seafood. The space is interesting because it was formerly a bank.

        Shake Shack, located in Madison Square Park, serves terrific burgers, hot dogs, fries and fabulous soft ice cream. Lots of tables where you can enjoy your food al fresco. Caution: To avoid the exceedingly long lines, it's best to go off hours, i.e., between 2 and 5 p.m. or very late in the evening.

        Enjoy your stay in NYC and Bon Appetit!

        1. re: RGR

          Thank you so much for the imput, especially for including websites- very helpful. I booked Cascina for Sat. and have duly noted the rest of your suggestions. I promise to try to give feedback next week when we get home.

    2. There's Carmine's on West 44th, right next to some of the larger theatres, i belive it's right across the street from the schubert theatre. It does attract many tourists, but it's very good italian food. The Garmercy Park hotel sn't really in the theatre district, so i would go up to Times Square, take a left around 42nd to 46th near the theatres are some of the more "trendy" pre-theatre restraunts, look at a price fixed menu for pre theatre and choose one. Otherwise I suggest Carmine's.

      1. I have been to Baldoria (W49th) a couple of times for a pre theater dinner. Its a sister restaurant to Rao's and we have had great meals everytime. The meatballs are well known and worth a side dish (ps - they are huge). Good place for teens as well.

        1. Before you think of going to Carmine's, do some searching around here. I'm not the only one who thinks it's one of the greatest abominations in the city.

          Roberto Passon is a good pre-theater bet, but you'll definitely need a reservation.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Peter Cherches

            Ditto on Roberto Passon - very good Italian menu and surprisingly reasonable prices (50th and 9th).

            Carmine's works if you're with a large group that's more interested in drinking and yelling at each other (necessary because of the noise level) than having a good meal - or for those more interested in quantity than quality.

          2. For something a little different but not "ethnic" try Tintol, a Portuguese tapas bar on 46th st. The food is excellent, obviously with a variety of choices, and it is a cusine that you are not likely to find at home.