BY: JESSICA FECTEAU
If you’re a New York City local or just a visitor who wants to dine like one, finding a place to eat that isn’t filled with tourists in the Theater District can be tough. But truth be told, some of the most crowd-drawing restaurants really are just that good.
Places like Olive Garden and Buffalo Wild Wings appeal to a certain crowd looking for something they already know and love (and hey—sometimes a never-ending pasta bowl hits the spot). But if you’re seeking a more memorable meal, and don’t mind rubbing shoulders with troops of people wielding backpacks and selfie-sticks, there are several gems that serve up amazing dishes within minutes from the theaters.
Since not every long line means it’s a deserving destination, Broadway Spin is breaking down five places where it’s worth waiting for a table—and you might even see some locals sneaking in for a bite, too.
1. T45 (LOCATED IN HYATT CENTRIC TIMES SQUARE NEW YORK HOTEL)
Location: 135 W. 45th Street
Cuisine: New American
After this hotel lobby restaurant (pictured above) went through an extensive redesign, it now feels like the coolest part of Brooklyn while being in the heart of New York City. The theme of the restaurant is “a traveler’s library” featuring reclaimed furniture and décor from around the world, more than 8,000 antique hotel key tags on the walls and an antique Harvard University card catalogue filled with travel tips. Stop in for a wine, beer or whiskey flight after a show and relax in the welcoming atmosphere.
2. JOE ALLEN
Location: 326 W. 46th Street
Cuisine: American Comfort Food
There’s no doubt you’ll get into the Broadway spirit while dining here before a show. Since its opening in 1965, the walls have been covered in Broadway posters, including flops, because Joe Allen doesn’t discriminate. Order the New York strip steak and stay for the hot fudge pudding cake. And if you’re lucky, you even might spot celebs ducking in for a meal after a show.
3. BOND 45
Location: 221 W. 46th Street
Newly reopened on 46th street, Bond 45 features an extensive Italian menu and antipasta bar that has been attracting diners for years. Stop in to try one of their delicious brick-oven pizzas or a breakfast dish that they serve all day. Meat and milanese is the name of the game (see below), and almost everything is served with a healthy helping of burrata. Basically, you can’t go wrong.
Location: 828 8th Avenue
Cuisine: New American
Located at 8th Ave. and 50th street at the entrance to the C/E subway, Thalia is only a stone’s throw from the theaters, but a world away from Times Square. In this lounge-like space, you’ll find some American classics on the menu (like burgers and steaks), along with flavor-packed dishes like wild mushroom risotto au gratin. Order a la carte or enjoy the pre-fixe brunch, lunch or dinner. Better yet, because of its slightly fringe location, it’s also the perfect spot to tuck away for a drink after the curtains close.
5. ANGELO’S PIZZA
Location: 1697 Broadway
Living or traveling in New York City not only calls for seeing a fantastic Broadway show, it’s also an excuse to indulge in some of the world’s greatest pizza. Parked next door to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, this spot does draw its share of school groups sporting “I Heart New York” shirts, but since it’s a little north of the bright lights of Times Square, it retains a quiet, open feel. With a cavernous upstairs seating section, this pizzeria features some of the best New York-style brick oven pizza and delicious pastas served both individual and family-style.