A little while back I wrote about one of my favorite post-show eateries, Junior’s, where I love to “decompress” over a big slice of cheesecake following a fantastic show. And it got me thinking. I love Junior’s, but it’s just one of the many iconic midtown restaurants that have found their way into NYC’s theatrical landscape. There are a slew of famous restaurants that are just as recognizable as the theaters themselves. Plus, these are some of the best places to “accidentally” run into Broadway’s celebrities. So, here we go- these are my top five choices for iconic Broadway restaurants, and I hope you get to check them out soon!
5) Chez Josephine
This Paris themed restaurant has theatricality written all over it. Since 1986, Chez Josephine has been serving incredible French food, and everybody from Broadway stars to tourists find it to be the perfect swanky pre-show dinner. Oh, and did I mention that the restaurant is essentially a tribute to Josephine Baker, with live music included? Yes, it’s great.
4) Bond 45
If you were a “Smash” watcher, then you have certainly heard of Bond 45. This classy Italian restaurant is known to be a popular place for producers, and now even more popular for throwing martinis in people’s faces on TV. Though Bond 45 has only been around since 2005, it has made it’s impact and I recommend it if you are in the mood to take a classy step back in time. The atmosphere harkens back to a day when producers, writers and directors really did hang out in midtown restaurants till all hours of the night making theatrical history. No wonder they like it!
3) Angus McIndoe
“Angus” is billed as a Cafe and Bistro, but it’s really so much more. An incredible steakhouse, this is also a fairly new addition to the theatre eats scene, but it has climbed up the chain to become a favorite. It even has a special third level for a-list guests only, such as regulars like Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. And yes, The Producers ran next door at the St. James Theatre, so it makes sense! Regardless, this is a great place to get reservations prior to taking in a show, and you’ll get to dine with a great view of Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic across the street.
2) Joe Allen
I love Joe Allen. I mean, the restaurant of course. Located on Restaurant Row (just a few doors down from Chez Josephine), this is one of the most popular places for people working in the theatre business. I can’t even tell you how many meetings I’ve had at Joe Allen, and it makes sense. It’s a theatrically charged atmosphere, right down to the famous “flop wall” which has posters from Broadway’s biggest flops- from Moose Murders to Carrie. Why do we enjoy working around such a shrine? I don’t know… schadenfreude?
Most would argue that Sardi’s is THE iconic Broadway restaurant. Across from the Shubert Theatre, Sardi’s has been around since 1927. Yes, 27. They’re the birthplace of the Tony Award, and are of course known for their caricatures of show business celebrities. To this day, getting your head drawn for the Sardi’s wall is known to be one of those “I’ve made it” moments, even if you’re Cyndi Lauper! If you’re looking for the full Broadway experience, you’ve got to head to Sardi’s and I guarantee you’ll run into somebody important. The fact is, theatre people have egos, and nothing strokes an ego more than getting to have dinner under your picture!