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The perfect pairing with any Broadway show is a trip to one of the many NYC Theatre District restaurants.  Pre-show dinners at Times Square restaurants are as much a part of the Big Apple as The Empire State Building and dollar pizza. Choosing the perfect restaurant will make or break your experience, so follow this trusty guide for the best pre-show dinner!


Sardi’s has been a theater district staple since 1927. It is both a pre-and post-show hangout for the “it crowd” of Broadway and has been the site of many opening night parties.

You may have heard of the Antoinette Perry Awards, more commonly known as the Tony Awards. These awards annually honor the best of Broadway. It is every Broadway performer’s dream to win a Tony Award. The Tony Award was born at Sardi’s. Legend is that after his wife’s (Antoinette Perry) death, producer and director Brock Pemberton was eating lunch at Sardi’s and came up with the idea of the Tony award. He thought a theatre award given in Perry’s honor would be the perfect way to honor her memory. For years, the Tony Award nominees were announced at Sardi’s restaurant.

If the rich history isn’t enough, Sardi’s decor oozes Broadway nostalgia. Over 1,300 Broadway celebrity caricatures are on display on the walls. Caricatures include Lucie Arnaz, Analeigh Ashford, Fred Astaire, Lauren Bacall, Lucille Ball, Laura Benanti, Johnny Carson, Hugh Jackman, Billy Joel, John Lithgow, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Alfred Molina, Al Pacino, Bernadette Peters, Michelle Williams, and Bruce Willis!

This is the place to “see and be seen” of all NYC theater district restaurants. The food can be a bit pricey, but it’s worth it to be a part of the Broadway theater scene.


So many visitors searching Times Square Restaurants are specifically seeking NYC pizza. While many of NYC’s most well-known pizzerias are located in other neighborhoods such as Brooklyn, fabulous pizza can also be found in the theater district.

For delicious pizza in a sit-down restaurant, check out Don Giovanni. Their famous brick oven pizza will fill your belly to the brim! A family can easily share a pizza and leave full. Also, check out their appetizers. Their bruschetta is not to be missed.

If you’re looking for pizza on the go, Joe’s Pizza recently opened up a location near Times Square. Many New Yorkers consider Joe’s Pizza to be the best slice in NYC. Joe’s pizza is also the pizzeria Peter Parker worked at in the Spider-Man movies, making it one of the coolest of the cool NYC restaurants. Joe’s doesn’t have much by way of seating, but it’s the perfect slice to grab between sightseeing and your Broadway show.


The most well-known NYC theatre district restaurants with the best pre-show deals are almost all found on Restaurant Row. Restaurant Row is the stretch of 46th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenue. On this one small strip, you will find almost any type of food you can imagine.

Joe Allen Restaurant is on par with Sardi’s when it comes to cool NYC restaurants at which to see and be seen. On any given night, you can see Broadway directors, designers, composers, and performers grabbing a drink or a bite with their family and friends. Their Joe Allen Burger might be one of the best in NYC!

Don’t Tell Mama is a well-known cabaret space. Stars who have enjoyed a meal in the piano bar, and even performed in the space include Liza Minelli, Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Mario Cantone, and Cuba Gooding Jr.!

Steak houses are perfect for grabbing a pre-show dinner. Frankie and Johnnie’s is one of the top NYC theatre district restaurants and serves up a delicious sirloin. Also, try their tuna tartare and get a side of truffle fries.

All of our City Tales Tour Guides love recommending restaurants. Whether you are taking our Secrets of Broadway & Time Square Walking Tour, our Brooklyn Bridge & City Hall Walking Tour, or a Private Custom Tour with us, make sure to ask your guide for their favorite bites in each neighborhood. It will make your trip to NYC positively delicious!

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