PRe-theatre dinner, Times Square

My wife and daughter will be there later this month, staying nearby. They probably will want to eat relatively light, and will balk at entrees over $40 or so. Thoughts?

Hi John,

Our office was near there, our go to pre-theater in the area is szechuan but it will be spicy. What do they like to eat?

For light, I tend to think more snacks, small plates - aldo sohm or casallula are good options, though casallula is definitely farther west. If the wine bar vibe isn’t quite their speed, maybe Don Antonio or pizza arte to split a pizza or something? A bunch of options around there if those don’t fit the bill.

They usually lean toward seafood or chicken, often a salad topped with a protein, butt try they’re game for most cuisines.

So not sure how much time your wife and D have spent or will spend in NYC. One of the first places we take visitors is Joe’s pizza. Joe’s is not my favorite pizza spot but it’s excellent and I’ve always thought it the canonical NYC slice. They are dedicated to consistency across their mini-chain. So if someone wants to get a sense of what NYC pizza is supposed to taste like, Joe’s provides a quick, cheap intro. there’s one near time’s square at 1435 broadway. Joe’s is not a dinner stop, just a counter, but worth having or splitting a slice at some point.

another iconic NYC must-have are bagels. Again, bagels are served all over the world but it’s tough to find a great bagel outside of nyc. If you let us know the general area they’re staying, we can provide some suggestions.

So how about ramen? there are three very good ramen spots near the theater district: ippudo westside, ichiran times square and totto hell’s kitchen. I’m a fan of ippudo but really any of them will do, I’m not a ramen expert but to my palate, these places are good as what we had in tokyo and I’ve heard them called among the best ramen spots in north america. they don’t take reservations so I’d try to arrive btw 530 and 6pm.

when I worked in the area, I dubbed the area around broadway and 38th szechuan alley and since then, a number of new places have opened. Our favorite was szechuan gourmet, well-priced, well-reviewed and had earned a michelin star before the fire. we’ve been since they re-opened, still excellent. But your wife and daughter must order spicy food: dan dan noodles, dumplings in hot oil, mapo tofu, eggplant in garlic sauce, cumin lamb are all good. we’d notice tourists scratching their head “this beef with broccoli tastes just like it does at home”. If they split an appetizer and one dish, it will be a light dinner.

I can’t really help with a salad/protein, I think it would be a shame not to try something that’s hard to find in place you live but do understand the urge for something familiar.



I’ve not been to sohm but don antonio is a great suggestion for Neapolitan pizza.

These are some great suggestions, and I’ll pass them on so they can decide. They’ll also have a lunch. I suspect they might go with tapas, but who knows.

Ah! I used to make Dan Dan noodles all the time, but haven’t cooked Chinese in a while. I need to. And we need to start going out for Chinese more often. We used to do it a lot, but everything’s moved out to the suburbs, where rents ar affordable, so it’s kind of a project – like trekking out to Queens.

I haven’t been in a while, but I’ve never not liked a meal at Marseille. Lots of appetizers to make a light meal.

Well there’s an Olive Garden for breadsticks and salad. :joy:

I would skip Ichiran. Not group friendly with the booth set up unless you don’t like your family. But Ippudo is a good choice. Depending on how far you want to go, for cheap French there is La Bonne Soupe. For fancier fare I really like Benoit. Patsy for Italian. There is a Sugarfish for bargain sushi. 48 Lounge if you want drinks and cocktail finger food. I also like the food you can get at Ruth’s Chris at happy hour. The sliders are great. The seared tuna is better than you would expect. A real bargain with each plate at $9.

We ate at Marseille on our last trip and enjoyed it. It’s nice and close to the theatre.

my impression from reading the op is that it’s just wife and daughter, so maybe not a group. Can’t get behind travelling to nyc for a chain restaurant but agree, happy hour at ruth chris is a good deal.


Right, just the two of them. I like Benoit – at least the one in Paris – but I can’t see it as pre-theatre – more of a lingering dinner.

Many thanks to all, and keep suggestions coming!

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Benoit would be great for lunch, though

Danji is another small plates place if you are in for a contemporary take on Korean

Does Ruth’s Chris NYC location do the Happy Hour specials? I couldn’t find it anywhere on the website. When you check for happy hour locations, NYC is not listed.

The Ruth’s Chris on 51st has happy hour until 6:30. Select beers, glasses of wine and a few cocktails along with a half dozen or so small plates for $9.

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This is asked often. Take a look at these lists, see which draw your attention and then ask about them here, perhaps.


Yakitori Totto. Consistently good and very customizable.

We ate at Marseille a few years ago and thought it was excellent. Fairly convenient to many theaters.

Joe’s ain’t half bad for pre theater. And you ogle the litany of playbills lining the walls too to get you pumped for your show.

Meatloaf, great cheeseburger, stiff drinks and a suave hot fudge sundae. Easy.

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