Anyone who knows me is most likely aware of the fact that the only thing I love more than Broadway is food. When I found out that I would officially be going to school in New York City, I was incredibly excited for a million reasons, but before I even made a dorm packing checklist, I compiled a selection of all the restaurants and bakeries around the city that I wanted to try. The list is color coded and categorized by food type, in case anyone is wondering how passionate I am about this. For the most part, when I am not snacking in my dining hall on campus (shoutout to Monty’s), I’m eating $1 street pizza or the cheapest possible menu item from the Shake Shack on 44th street with my roommates. However, there are rare occasions that I do splurge a little and actually sit down to a relatively nice meal before or after I see a show. So, I thought I would compile a short list of some of my favorite places to grab a bite within range of Broadway, and present you with what I think are the best restaurants in the NYC theater district.

Pazza Notte 

Maura Consedine

Number one on my list has to be Pazza Notte. I first noticed this gem because of its bright yellow exterior (my favorite color) and the fairly large sign advertising brick oven pizzas (need I say more). My dad and I sat down before an evening performance at the Broadway Theatre, which happened to only be a few blocks away. Their chicken parmesan with lemon fettuccine is otherworldly, and I also loved that we got to sit right by the window and people watch during our meal.

Tout va Bien

Maura Consedine

Next is Tout va Bien. Maybe I’m a little bit biased because I’m a French minor and just really love steak frites, but this restaurant is fantastic. It is actually the oldest French bistro in the theatre district, and the atmosphere is so cozy. Some of the nearby theaters include the Neil Simon, the August Wilson, and the Gershwin.

Blue Dog Cookhouse & Bar

Maura Consedine

Blue Dog Cookhouse & Bar comes in at number 3. My stepmom and I discovered this place when trying to find a brunch spot relatively close to the Winter Garden before a matinee last Summer. Located at West 50th street, the cafe has an impressive menu, including raspberry lemonade and chocolate chip pancakes with dulce de leche that were to die for, and features a large community table as its centerpiece. 

Cafe Frida

Maura Consedine

Up next is Cafe Frida. My friend Kristin introduced me to this restaurant in my quest to find authentic Mexican cuisine, and it did not disappoint. Within easy walking distance of Central Park West, it is a great place to grab a bite before hopping on the subway at a major station such as Lincoln Center or Columbus Circle to venture into Midtown for an evening performance. 

John's of Times Square

Maura Consedine

And finally, I feel obligated to include the iconic John’s of Times Square on this list. John’s, which is positioned conveniently on the same block as multiple popular theaters, has been my family’s go-to NYC pizza place for as long as I can remember, and I have such a sentimental attachment. Fun fact, the building used to be a church, so the old stained glass ceiling is actually still intact, which makes for a uniquely scenic and historical meal! John’s is a must-add pizzeria to any first time city-goer’s list of places to visit, and if you’re ever looking to escape the weather or the chaos of the city, it’s the perfect place to sit down and order a hot pie.

I realize that this list is honestly not really useful at this moment in time, due to the fact that many restaurants are still not fully operational, and unfortunately no one is doing any pre-show dining for the time being. However, I am trying to give myself something to look forward to when the world finally starts to become normal again, whenever that may be, and I hope some of my favorite spots find their way onto someone else’s NYC restaurant list. Also, I encourage everyone to support local restaurants, who, like the theatre industry, have also suffered greatly in recent months.

This article was originally published on under the title "Eating My Way Through The NYC Theater District".