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Dec 2, 2009 08:36 PM

HELP! Need cheap restaurant suggestion for Theater District!

I'm taking my girlfriend to NYC for our anniversary. We're going to see "My First Time" at New World Stages on 50th Street, and arriving at Penn Station, so I need a restaurant to take her to that's somewhere in between.

Now, we're both college students, so my budget is about $30 per person (mind you, we're under-age, so alcohol is a non-factor). Would prefer a steakhouse/American cuisine, but I'm willing to hear any suggestions. I know it won't be extravagant, but we're just looking to have a good time.


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  1. You might like Daisy May's BBQ or 5 Napkin Burger.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cimui

      Ditto on 5 Napkin Burger (9th and 45th), which is a fun place and within your budget. It's very popular, so reservations are necessary (usually a good idea in that area for pre-theatre seatings).

    2. I'll continue the burgers & BBQ theme with Island Burgers & Shakes and Virgil's. Daisy May's isn't bad, either, but is so far west that it almost doesn't qualify is "in between" (well, neither does Island at 51st St, exactly, but there you are). It all depends on how willing you are to avoid the big ticket items, really. For example, Joe Allen has a $30 steak, but it has cheaper items as well, and is a perfectly nice place.

      Virgil's Real Barbecue
      152 W 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

      Joe Allen
      326 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

      Island Burgers & Shakes
      766 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

      1. To step outside the burger/BBQ mold for a moment, you might consider Pigalle, on the corner of 49th & 8th. It is a bistro, with a bistro menu. It is casual and relatively inexpensive, and, depending on what you order, the food can be quite good. An order of the French onion soup followed by the grilled chicken cobb salad would come to about $25, before tax and tip, as an example.\

        Hope you enjoy both the dinner and the show...

        1. My absolute favorite in that area is Gazala's Place, a tiny delicious middle eastern place between 48th & 49th on 9th Ave. Wonderful people, really good food.

          1. One of my favorite "secret" places in the Theater District is Market Cafe on 9th Avenue and... hmm... maybe 39th street? It's secret because it's not in the theater district, of course. But it's good, usually not super-crowded. And it's also pretty inexpensive.

            Apps are 10ish, all entrees are under 20. It's more or less on your way from Penn to 50th street. I'm not sure where the New World Stages are.

            2 Replies
            1. re: egit

              Thank you all, but I think we have a winner... Market Cafe seems perfect!

              1. re: jdalgarno

                i see you've got your mind made up, but you should consider Bann, the uptown sister restaurant to Woo Lae Oak in SoHo. it is beautiful inside and anniversary-adequate. you cannot take a date to Island Burger for a special occasion, regardless of how good it is. Korean BBQ at Bann is fun, interactive and romantic. read about it. it's on 50th bet. 8-9th Ave.