Midtown restaurants get a bad rep. Theater District restaurants get an even worse rep. Yet, if you know where to look, there are some remarkable restaurants near Broadway in NYC, hidden throughout the area.
From outstanding Uzbek fare, to Japanese-Italian fusion, this part of town has numerous quality spots worth exploring. So Broadway show or no Broadway show, check out these 14 must-try options and make sure to come hungry!
Brooklyn Chop House Times Square
Believe it or not, the Brooklyn Chop House isn’t actually from Brooklyn –the original is in the Financial District! But what does it matter? Brooklyn Chop House knows its way around a cut of meat. The steaks here are excellent but what makes this spot special is that the menu is also loaded with another unexpected yet delicious item: dim sum.
Dumplings galore, plus satays, fried rice dishes, and other pan-Asian favorites.
Intimate and romantic, Casellula is a wine-and-cheese focused spot that is a lovely place to wile away an evening. The menu offers a diverse selection of cheeses, ranging from the more familiar to unfamiliar, and the inoffensive to the sharp and potent. Casellula’s wine list curators have a proclivity and love of lesser-known wine regions.
Want to try a malvazija from Slovenia paired with a smokey goat cheese? Or a deep red blend from the Spanish region of Aragón with an earthy, grassy sheep cheese from upstate New York? Then Casellula is your spot.
Big tables and small plates define hot shot chef Hooni Kim’s Korean eatery in Hell’s Kitchen. Get cozy at one of the large communal tables and indulge in Danji’s inventive Korean fare. Notable menu items include sausage-spiked fried rice cakes, bulgogi beef sliders, or fresh noodles paired with Niman ranch pork belly and black bean sauce.
Since 1901, the original Don Antonio outpost has been firing up pies in the pizza heaven known as Naples. And since 2012, Don Antonio has been making moves in Hell’s Kitchen —and they may just make one of the best Neapolitan pies in New York City.
Do yourself a favor and tuck into a classic Margherita with mozzarella di bufala or one of their more creatively topped pizzas, like the pistacchio salchiccia.
Restaurants near Broadway NYC can oftentimes skimp on quality. But this mama likes big flavors in small packages. There are over 40 different empanadas on the menu at this lively spot, some filled with unlikely but delicious ingredients.
Empanada Mama’s hits include jerk chicken and Swiss cheese, seafood stew, Colombian pork sausage, and even a cheeseburger-stuffed empanada.
Farida is an Uzbek restaurant and it’s pretty darn excellent. First-timers should order the manti, luscious lamb-stuffed dumplings, which one can find everywhere from Turkey to the Central Asian “stan” countries. The flaky beef-filled samosa-like samsa, and the shurpa, a traditional Uzbek beef soup, are also a must.
Farida also brings in dishes from the Soviet world, like amazing kharcho, a lamb soup from the Republic of Georgia, Kazakh noodle dishes, and Ukrainian borscht.
Ever since Japanese ramen chain Ippudo opened on Fourth Avenue and East 10th Street in 2008, they have had a perpetual line of diners crowd outside their shop, patiently waiting to try their outstanding ramen soups.
Fortunately for us, and particularly for those in and around the Theater District, there’s now another location on West 51st Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. Order any of the pork-centric ramen bowls and you’ll end up very happy.
Los Tacos No. 1
The original Los Tacos No. 1 is in Chelsea Market and pretty much any time you go, you’ll be welcomed by a daunting, ever-present line of hungry taco fans. They recently opened a location on West 44th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues and, while there may be a wait at times, it’s usually not as long as the original spot.
Whatever the case, once you bite into the excellent adobada taco (which is their take on al pastor), you’ll be happy you waited in line for what is probably one of the best tacos in New York City.
Slang for “delicious” in a northern Thai dialect, LumLum stands out among the crowded Hell’s Kitchen/Theater District Thai food landscape. Despite the Northern Thai-referencing name, it isn’t an Isaan-leaning menu, as has been the trend with Thai restaurants of late. LumLum’s menu features dishes from all around Thailand.
The seafood here is particularly tasty — the whole fish and giant river shrimp are two standouts.
Natsumi is not only a very solid Japanese restaurant, but it also has an Italian accent to it. You can get very good traditional Japanese staples here, including sushi, but the menu also has inventive dishes like green tea gnocchi and tofu ravioli stuffed with shiitake mushrooms, drizzled with a Parmesan cream sauce.
If Japan and Italy somehow collided, it would taste a lot like what they’re making at Natsumi.
New York City has only a small handful of Ethiopian restaurants and Meske is one of the best in Manhattan. For those uninitiated in Ethiopian culinary customs, the way to do it is to order a number of stewed meat and vegetable dishes, which arrive on a platter and sit atop a layer of injera, a spongy bread that is a hallmark of this East African cuisine.
Rather than using silverware, diners are given extra piece of injera, using it to scoop up the different medley of ingredients.
“Nizza” is the Italian word for the French Riviera metropolis, Nice. The name gives you a sense of the food here: Ligurian cuisine from the Italian Riviera, but mixed with some French influence. As one would expect, Nizza excels at seafood-based pasta dishes, but they also offer some very solid pizzas.
For the daring and thirsty, Nizza also has a fun, bibulous bottomless brunch on weekends.
Sushi of Gari 46
There are four locations of Sushi of Gari sprinkled around Manhattan and they’re all very dependable and consistent. This Theater District outpost is located on Restaurant Row and is one of the few restaurants that rises far above the mediocrity of its neighbors. If you’re intent on getting your sushi fix before or after a show, Sushi of Gari is one of the best restaurants near Broadway (NYC) to satisfy this craving.
Tim Ho Wan
Tim Ho Wan’s original Hong Kong location once had the designation of being the most affordable Michelin-starred restaurant. Its second downtown NYC location however, is a fun and affordable experience. Indulge in a procession of Chinese dumplings, rice rolls, pork buns, spare ribs, spring rolls, and bowls of congee floating to your table.
David Farley is a West Village-based food and travel writer whose work appears regularly in the New York Times, National Geographic, BBC, and Food & Wine, among other publications. He’s the author of three books, including “An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church’s Strangest Relic in Italy’s Oddest Town,” which was made into a documentary by the National Geographic Channel. You can find Farley’s online homes here and here.