New York / Recommendations / Restaurants/Bars

Recommendations: Pre/Post-Theater

Sometimes you’re just stumped when it comes to picking a bar/restaurant/activity.  When you’re drawing a blank of where to go and what to do, hopefully my themed roundups will serve as a helpful guide. 

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Having worked in the theater district for 8 years, I am familiar with the wasteland it is when it comes to food.  I straight up avoid it whenever possible; however, I’m not going to give up my love of Broadway shows; and if you eat anywhere outside the theater’s vicinity, you’re going to be eating reeeeally early (to eat and get to the show on time) or reeeeally late (after the show gets out and you travel to a more desirable ‘hood).  That’s silly.  There may not be as many, but there are definitely worthwhile restaurants in the area:

  • Becco: This is my favorite spot for groups or if you have kids.  The Italian food is more authentic than someplace like Carmine’s, and they do a great $25 all-you-can-eat deal of salad and pasta.  It sounds like Olive Garden, but it’s way better.  They also have a wine list made up entirely of $29 bottles, which is a steal.
  • Bar Americain: This is good if you’re looking for something on the nicer side and a bit grand. (Think: when your parents come to town.) The lobster avocado cocktail is delicious and more filling than you’d expect.  The hot potato chips with blue cheese sauce is another great starter.
  • Sushi Seki: I fell in love with the original Sushi Seki when I lived around the corner.  This Westside location is a bit fancier, but it’s still fabulous sushi and you’ll forget you’re in the Theater District.  If you’re trying to impress a date with dinner and a show, this is a great one.
  • Toloache: This Mexican spot is great and not in the “it’s good for the Theater District” way.  This is just good, period.  Get the guacamole trio to start.
  • Ippudo/Totto Ramen:  These two ramen spots are right down the block from each other and both are good.  They tend to have long lines and don’t take reservations so plan accordingly.
  • Danji: These Korean small plates are legit.  It’s one of the best secrets of the neighborhood.
  • Casellula: If you’re a wine and cheese person, this fits the bill.  It’s adorable and open til 1 AM so you don’t need to rush through dinner pre-show.  It’s mostly snacks and sharables, but there’s a sandwich and enough variety to make a full meal from the menu.
  • Little Beet: If you’re meeting a friend after work and only have time for something quick before the weeknight show, this is the place.  It’s Chipotle style but actually healthy and tasty.

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