There is no shortage of restaurants in New York City, but when the main event of the evening is catching a performance on the Great White Way, show goers will find that some of the best meals are within walking distance of the bright lights. Take the guesswork out of choosing among the seemingly endless eateries. These top-notch restaurants peppered around the Theater District are a home run for a satisfying meal before the show.
Carmine’s Times Square
200 W. 44th St. • www.carminesnyc.com
Since opening its doors 30 years ago, Carmine’s Italian Restaurant has earned its place as a bonafide New York City institution. Come hungry. The family-style restaurant is equally well-known for its exceptional Southern Italian cuisine as it is for its “wow-factor” sized portions that make guests feel as if they are attending a feast. The expansive menu will please even the pickiest eaters, offering everything from platters of homestyle antipasto and pasta to seafood or meat entrées and decadent desserts. Signature dishes include lobster fradiavolo and mammoth-sized meatballs served with perfectly-sauced spaghetti. As if the food isn’t mind-blowing enough, the sweeping skyline views from Carmine’s Time Square location are breathtaking.
1515 Broadway at 45th St. • www.juniorscheesecake.com
Start with dessert at Junior’s Cheesecake. The namesake menu item is world famous for good reason. Creamy, silky and just the right amount of sweet, Junior’s original cheesecake is a foodie bucket list item. For the more adventurous, Junior’s offers several varieties of homemade cheesecakes, including pumpkin, strawberry and chocolate swirl. There are even sugar-free options for those trying to eat healthier in the new year. While the cheesecake is simply not to be missed, the iconic restaurant, founded in 1950, also has hearty dishes for the dinner crowd. The menu includes soups, salads, delicatessen sandwiches, seafood, steaks and more.
147 W. 43rd St. • www.tonysnyc.com
Since 1959, Tony DiNapoli’s has been serving up some of the best Italian favorites to theatergoers. The family style restaurant is known for its heaping portions of homemade Italian fare. Come with a big appetite—the portions are designed to serve two to three people. Guests will feel as if they are being treated to a traditional Sunday meal at Nonna’s house. The recipes have been handed down through generations to bring a taste of the Old World to New York. Guests can choose from a lunch, dinner or post-theater menu that includes all the classics, such as eggplant parmigiana, baked ziti napolitano, fettuccine alfredo and more.
956 2nd Ave. • www.thesmithrestaurant.com
The Smith Midtown is a go-to spot for a farm-to-table meal that is guaranteed to satisfy. The Smith believes in working closely with local farmers and purveyors to expertly curate a mouth-watering menu of bistro classics, seasonal fare and craft cocktails. Its high standards are evident in every bite. The innovative offerings include ricotta gnocchi in truffle cream, seared tuna salad served with chilled spicy soba noodles, and multiple cuts of steaks. The Smith also has an impressive craft cocktail list, as well as extensive craft beer, wine and cider selections.
234 W. 44th St. between 7th and 8th Ave. • www.sardis.com
A Broadway staple since 1927, Sardi’s is iconic on the Great White Way. Many know the restaurant for the celebrity caricatures lining the walls (there are more than a thousand on display). But its well-rounded menu is geared toward the theater crowd. The restaurant serves pre-theater, post-theater and prix fixe dinner offerings. The menu features a wide range of dishes, such as sautéed jumbo shrimp in garlic sauce and grilled filet mignon medallions served with horseradish whipped Idaho potato. A bonus for theater lovers: The legendy restaurant is also said to be the place where the idea of the Tony Award was devised.
321 W. 44th St. • www.gyu-kaku.com/times-square
Dine at Gyu-Kaku if you’re seeking an unforgettable meal. Gyu-Kaku, which means “Horn of the Bull” in Japanese, serves up Japanese yakiniku (grilled barbecue) dining experience where customers share premium cooked meats over a flaming charcoal grill. Each table comes with a personal grill and cooking up your own meats and veggies is a highlight. Best-sellers include the Harami skirt steak in miso marinade and certified Angus Kalbi short rib in tare sweet soy marinade.