BroadwayCon Eats: The Complete Guide to Snacking and Dining All Convention Long

News   BroadwayCon Eats: The Complete Guide to Snacking and Dining All Convention Long Whether you're looking for a quick bite between panels, an iconic New York experience or just a casual sit-down after a busy day, these diverse restaurant options have you covered.

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There is enough to decide when it comes to BroadwayCon that figuring out where you want to eat should not be on your plate. Here are your best options for in-the-area eateries and theatre-district hotspots to keep you fueled up this weekend:

Eating Inside The Convention Center
Bridges
Sip stiff martinis or choose from a varied menu of regional wines at this chic sports bar, which boasts seven flat-screens. Boisterous theme nights, including Latin Thursdays (if you need a pre-Con spot) with jazz music and salsa dancing, also draw a crowd. Platters of assorted sushi from Haru are available for when you and your friends start feeling peckish. 1335 Sixth Ave (at 54th St)

Bridges
Bridges

Herb N’ Kitchen
A farm-to-table ethos rules this restaurant’s menus, which comprise seasonal salads, hot and cold sandwiches, and brick-oven–fired flatbreads. For a quick morning bite, opt for a fresh-brewed cup of Illy coffee and loaded oatmeal or a tender pastry. 1335 Sixth Ave (at 54th St)

Lobby Lounge

Theatre lovers can mingle and discuss highlights of the panels and performances over a glass of prosecco or a classic Manhattan. Nibble on shareable plates (house-made fries with garlic aioli, ricotta crostini, lamb sliders) before a night out or sit down for a more sizeable meal (fried chicken, chorizo panini, a Pat LaFrieda burger). 1335 Sixth Ave (at 54th St)

Minus5 Ice Bar

Heading into a frozen cocktail lounge when it’s already plenty cold outside might seem counterintuitive, but this nippy den supplies a heavy parka (of faux fur coat if you want to upgrade) and insulating gloves for you to wear. Themed specialty drinks echo the frosty vibe: Adults can throw back spiked tipples like the Snowflake while young’uns are catered to with Jack Frost and other mocktails. 1335 Sixth Ave (at 54th St)

Minus5 Ice Bar
Minus5 Ice Bar

Cheap & Quick
Xi’an Famous Foods
What began as a tiny stall in a Queens food court has evolved into a mini empire slinging zippy plates of Northern Chinese fare. Among the signature dishes are the cumin-lamb burgers (reminiscent of sloppy joes), hand-ripped noodles, and spicy-sour spinach dumplings in broth. 24 W. 45th St (between Fifth and Sixth Aves)

Mooncake Foods
Putting a Pan-Asian spin on the classic American diner, this eatery delivers plentiful options for affordable, flavor-packed comfort food. Warm up with one of three wonton soup riffs or a spicy grilled lemongrass shrimp and supplement your choice with a homebrewed ice tea. 359 W. 54th St (at Ninth Ave)

The Halal Guys
This street vendor has earned a citywide cult following for its heaping platters of chicken and gyro over rice, slathered with mysterious white dressing and fiery hot sauce. Like Xi’an, their popularity recently allowed them to open brick-and-mortar locations, but the original cart on the southwest corner of the intersection remains the most authentic experience (and it's a step outside the convention center). W. 53rd St (at Sixth Ave)

Five Guys Burgers and Fries
Two hand-formed patties of fresh top sirloin and chuck, served on a squishy egg bun, form the basis for the standard burgers, which you can customize with more than a dozen gratis toppings. The house-cut, skin-on fries — served in a heaping paper cup — are equally addictive whether you choose the plain or the Cajun version. 43 W. 55th St (between Fifth and Sixth Aves)

Five Guys
Five Guys

Fuku+
David Chang hopped on the fried-chicken sandwich trend and seriously raised the game with his “MiniMe.” A habanero-buttermilk brine gives the tender chicken thigh a slow-building heat, which gets tempered by the bird’s crackly crust and a vinegary daikon-carrot slaw. Round out your order with a side of Old Bay-seasoned wedge fries. 15 W. 56th St (between Fifth and Sixth Aves)

Casual
Benoit
Alain Ducasse’s Parisian bistro exudes a relaxed elegance, from its clubby red booths to its classic French fare. Start with a frisee salad or onion soup gratinée, then follow with steak frites or cassoulet. The chocolate soufflé and profiteroles are both unimpeachable. 60 W. 55th St (between Fifth and Sixth Aves)  

Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien
Tucked away inside the Midtown hotel’s lobby, this no-frills fast-food spot stands in stark contrast to its ultra-posh surroundings. Queue up for the traditional cheeseburger—ask for “the works” to get it fully loaded with toppings — and splurge with a supremely thick chocolate milkshake. 119 W. 56th St (between Sixth and Seventh Aves)

PizzArte
Carbs reign at this Neapolitan eatery, where — as the name implies — pizza is the star of the show. Share the namesake pie (a combination of creamy burrata, butternut squash, spicy sausage, and thyme) or the indulgent montanara, which pairs deep-fried dough with smoked buffalo mozzarella, tomato sauce, pecorino romano, and basil. 69 W. 55th St (between Fifth and Sixth Aves)

Ise Menkui-tei
At this low-key Japanese hang, you’ll find dozens of ramen riffs, such as the ultra-porky tonkatsu and Szechuan-inspired tan-tan. Don’t overlook the curry rice either — the rich sauce, particularly delicious over crispy chicken katsu, has a devoted following among regulars. It’s perfect for the nippy weather we're expecting. 58 W. 56th St (at Sixth Ave)

The Plaza Food Hall
More than 20 options pack this subterranean complex, but the best marriages of value and taste can be found at No. 7 Sub, Tartinery and Luke’s Lobster. The first excels in creative sandwich mash-ups served on fresh-baked bread (the zucchini parm gets accented with pickled jalapenos and crushed BBQ chips); the second touts open-faced French tartines (try the truffle-spiked roast beef); and the third boasts ultra-fresh, Maine-style seafood rolls (the crab gives the namesake crustacean a run for its money). 1 W. 59th St (between Fifth and Sixth Aves)

The Plaza Food Hall
The Plaza Food Hall

Treat Yourself

Oceana
Between the convention center and the Theatre District lies this seafood-centric fixture from Executive Chef Ben Pollinger. Enjoy freshly caught, roasted branzino or sea scallops a la plancha in the main dining room or small bites and desserts in the more casual café and bar. 120 W. 49th Street (between Sixth and Seventh Aves)

Limani
If you're craving Greek food, head to this recently debuted location of the popular Long Island-based seafood restaurant for grilled octopus or sea bass. The ultra-modern, blue-and-white dining room serves as a welcome respite from the bustling city streets. 45 Rockefeller Plaza (between Fifth and Sixth Aves)

PHD Terrace at Dream Midtown
After a day on your feet, relax with a cocktail at this luxe rooftop lounge. Take in the views of midtown Manhattan—the sweeping, 15th-floor penthouse boasts some of the best panoramas in the city. 210 W. 55th Street (between Seventh Ave and Broadway)

Theatre-District Staples

Joe Allen 
You’re almost guaranteed to spot a celebrity at this stalwart, especially if you avoid the pre-show tourist throngs and go for lunch. (As you peer around, don’t miss the posters lining the walls — they’re an homage to short-lived Broadway turns.) Most of the menu errs on the American classic side, with filling staples like a brisket au jus sandwich and meatloaf. 326 W. 46th St (between Eighth and Ninth Aves)

Glass House Tavern
Craig Cupani’s New American menu emphasizes seasonal ingredients and includes a host of local touches, including Catskills trout and Long Island duck. Take advantage of the lunch and dinner Restaurant Week meals, which include three courses for $25 and $38 respectively. It's also a popular post-show spot for Broadway cast members. 252 W. 47th St (between Eighth Ave and Broadway)

Sardi’s 
Established in 1921, this restaurant and its legendary celeb caricatures have earned their icon status. Old-school dishes dominate the menu: Try the shrimp Sardi (jumbo shrimp in garlic sauce) or the signature cannelloni au gratin, which stuffs veal, beef and sweet pork sausage into a French crepe smothered in sherry-spiked tomato cream sauce. 234 W. 44th St (at Broadway)

Sardi’s
Sardi’s

Lillie’s Times Square
With polished wood fixtures brought over from Belfast, this Irish bar feels plucked from the Victorian Era. Wash down elevated pub fare (homemade mozzarella bites, bourbon pulled-pork nachos, shepherd’s pie) with one of the domestic or international beers (30 on tap and 30 more by the bottle). A popular after-show hangout, it is just across the street from The Book of Mormon. 249 W. 49th St (at Eighth Ave)

Don’t Tell Mama
Four venues in one, this spot houses a no-cover piano bar, a restaurant, and two cabaret lounges. Seating at the shows can be tight, but the only-in-NYC experiences are worth it, especially award-winning impersonator Rick Skye's Liza Live! — a must for any Minnelli admirer. The restaurant’s varied menu changes seasonally, but certain staples (shrimp fra diavolo, chicken piccata) remain year-round. 343 W. 46th St (at Ninth Ave)

E&E Grill House
In most cases, “affordable steakhouse” would be an oxymoron, but the owners of this restaurant keep the bulk of their menu at accessible price points and include a side with each of their meat and fish entrees.  Split an order of parmesan-truffle or sweet potato fries    for an extra treat. If you take in a show, present your ticket and Playbill for 10 percent off food. 233 W. 49th St (at Broadway)

The Palm
This West Side spot specializes in Italian-American fare. In particular, it’s known for massive portions: The heaping veal parmesan is even bigger than the plate it’s served on, and the bone-in rib eye feeds at least two people. Finish your meal with the bag of warm doughnuts holes (tossed in cinnamon-sugar at your table) or decadent seven-layer chocolate cake. Just across the street from Wicked,  you never know who you'll see inside. 250 W. 50th St (at Broadway)

Thalia
Though named for a Greek muse, the menu here takes its inspiration mainly from American and Italian cuisines. Dishes like the herbaceous cioppino and zucchini-noodle pasta cater to those seeking lighter fare, while the lobster mac ‘n’ cheese or grass-fed burger satisfy anyone craving rib-sticking comfort food. 828 Eighth Ave (at 50th St)

Ellen’s Stardust Diner
Between the singing wait staff and the retro videos playing around the room, it’s hard not to get swept up in the lively atmosphere of this 1950s-style diner. Follow up one of the homey blue plate specials (chicken pot pie, meatloaf) with an equally classic dessert (warm apple pie, brownies, whoopie pies). Plus, your waiter could end up one of Broadway's next stars! 1650 Broadway (at 51st St)

Junior’s
Portions at this famous diner are enormous. Lay down a solid savory foundation (maybe a reuben or the baby back ribs) before moving on to the real reason you’re here: the cheesecake. Sixteen different varieties (plus a smattering of layer cakes, cookies and other desserts) ensure every sweet tooth is sated. Located in Shubert Alley, keep your eyes peeled for spottings. 1515 Broadway (at 45th St)

Junior’s
Junior’s Photo by Monica Simoes

Hurley’s Saloon
Blending an Irish pub with an American bar and grill, this historic tavern (operating since 1892) stays bustling from opening until its late close at 1am. A robust appetizer menu makes a strong case for ordering several small plates (pub potato skins, stuffed clams and blackened shrimp are standouts), but the onion soup and massive burger shouldn’t be overlooked. 232 W. 48th St (between Seventh and Eighth Aves)

Westway Diner 
Actors often hit up this unassuming eatery for dinner, so keep your eyes peeled. Like any good diner, the options are plentiful and affordable. Eggs and omelets are served all day (the namesake encompasses peppers, onions, tomato, and feta cheese), and the spanakopita is homemade. 614 Ninth Ave between 43rd and 44th Sts)

New York Signature Eats
Magnolia Bakery
First made famous by Sex and the City, this now-chain of shops draws crowds with its pastel-frosted cupcakes, retro icebox cakes and signature banana pudding. Court a sugar rush by getting at least one each — and maybe a couple cookies for good measure. 1240 Sixth Ave (at 49th St)

Magnolia Bakery
Magnolia Bakery

Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel
Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian revitalized this iconic lounge in 2014 to pepper the American menu with European accents such as a mezze platter and country-style pate. The afternoon tea — complete with tea sandwiches, scones and sweets—is pricey, but absolutely worth the splurge if you're looking to add to your BroadwayCon memories. 768 Fifth Ave (at Central Park South)

Lindy’s
Down the block from the convention center, this deli is classic through and through: Among the most popular items are the pan-fried potato pierogis, the chicken noodle soup, and triple-decker sandwiches, with most of the latter named after celebrities new and old (from Mae West to Britney Spears). Save room for a slice of ultra-classic New York cheesecake. 825 Seventh Ave (between 53rd and 54th Sts)

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